Lab Tests Reveal Top AntiVirus Programs
Have you been using the wrong antivirus program for the past year? Now is your chance to kick yourself and mend the error. The authorities on antivirus testing and rating have released their lists of the best-performing antivirus programs. Here's the scoop:
Which AntiVirus is Best: Protection, Repair and Usability
Every year, the folks at AV-Test, “the independent IT Security Institute,” issue six awards: three each for home and corporate products. The three categories are Protection (defense against infection), Repair (detection and repair of infections), and Usability (user-friendliness, system resource consumption). Annual ratings are the averages of each product’s bimonthly test scores.
This year’s winners in the Home category are as follows. Protection: F-Secure Internet Security; Repair: BitDefender Internet Security; Usability: Symantec Norton Internet Security. The scores for several of the categories were so close that they are actually virtual ties. For the criteria that was used to rate all 20+ security products, and the details on how they scored in each category, see the complete AV-TEST AWARD results.
On the Corporate side, the winners were as follows. Protection: Kaspersky Endpoint Security; Repair: Kaspersky Endpoint Security ; Usability: Symantec Endpoint Security. And again, some of the races had razor-thin margins. Check out the full report in the link above.
That’s simple enough. So of course, AV-Test’s competitor had to be more “comprehensive” in its annual ratings. AV-Comparatives issued a 180-page PDF “summary” report ranking products in a slew of categories. If you like picking nits with online dating profiles, you’ll like AV-Comparative’s approach.
BitDefender and Kasperky tied for Product of the Year in terms of average test scores. But BitDefender got the prize because it scored slightly higher in Real Time Protection and had never won before.
The award for Whole-Product “Real World” Dynamic Protection goes to any number of products whose average test scores exceed 99 per cent while producing few false positives. This year’s honorees include BitDefender, Kaspersky, and G-Data.
Using similar criteria, the award for detection of malware files already infecting one’s computer was given to Kaspersky, BitDefender, F-Secure, and AVIRA. For some reason, a separate award is deemed necessary for actual removal/repair of infections. That honor went to BitDefender, Kaspersky, and Panda Security.
Awards are not given for usability. Instead, AV-Comparatives’ report drones on about what constitutes “usability” and compliments G-Data, Kasperky, AVG, Avast, McAfee and many others on various aspects of their user interfaces. This is unquestionably the longest and least helpful section of the report when it comes to comparing products. Its excruciating details of product user interfaces may of be use if you are down to the wire with one or two products and need a tie-breaker.
Don’t feel like a failure if your current antivirus didn’t get a “best” award from either testing organization. Many products come within one or two per cent of the winners in average test performance. Refer to AV-Test’s awards page and AV-Comparative’s PDF report to see these “close and good enough” products.
When all is said and done, you are probably using a perfectly adequate antivirus program. Utter failures don’t last long in the marketplace. After just one infection, most people switch to a new antivirus program, fostering rapid evolution of this software species. I've got a list of Free Anti-Virus Programs, which includes several of the top rated products listed here.
Awards such as these are of limited practical use to most home users, but if you're a little bit geeky you may find them fascinating. Your thoughts on these test results, or anti-virus protection in general are welcome! Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 14 Feb 2013
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Lab Tests Reveal Top AntiVirus Programs (Posted: 14 Feb 2013)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved