Antivirus Test - gHacks Tech News

Antivirus Test

Everyone seems to favor a different antivirus software and its hard to make a choice because of this as recommendations too are all over the place. A little test from the guys over at may help you in your decision. They tested desktop and online antivirus solutions and gave recommendations in the end.

They used one virus file, 50 Megabyte in size unzipped that contained more than 10,000 different viruses and other malicious code. The software that found the most got their recommendation which is not the best criteria if you ask me. There should be other factors like system resource use (never use Norton if you want a fast system), updates, type of virus found aso. But its a good test to see how your favorite AV handles this infested files.

Update: The test, as useful as it was in 2005 is no longer useful on today's Internet. Malicious software, antivirus programs and operating systems have moved on since then, and other websites and services have started to do regular tests.

One of the websites that you may want to consult if you are shopping for a new antivirus solution for your operating system is AV Comparatives. The company behind the site runs a series of tests in regular intervals, and publishes the results on the website. Tests include detection tests, but also performance, anti-phishing, removal or false alarm tests.

Reports are offered as pdf documents that you can download from the servers directly.  Many products of popular security vendors are analyzed in the tests. Companies included are for instance Kaspersky, Symantec, Trend Micro, F-Secure, or AVG. A click on Comparatives / Reviews in the left sidebar menu displays the available tests.

A second site that is useful in this regard is AV Test which is also publishing regular reports. Some test results are however directly accessible on the web page, which improves the accessibility significantly.

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    1. kurt said on January 6, 2006 at 4:56 pm

      unfortunately the test is probably worthless… with only 10,000 samples they’ve sampled at most about 7% of the virus population, and there’s no way to tell if that sample is representative of the whole virus population (in fact there’s little reason to believe there is such a thing as a ‘representative sample’ in this context)…

      further, the documentation for the test gives no information on how the samples were validated (just because a virus scanner calls something a virus doesn’t mean it really is one)… there’s a great deal of so-called scanner fodder out there that doesn’t actually self-replicate…

      many anti-virus tests are invalid on these two points alone… few people/organizations have the resources to do proper anti-virus testing, and without proper methods the results are suspect at best…

    2. rwkohio said on January 6, 2006 at 5:29 pm

      I use AVG Free, NOD32 and Avast! at home (on different PCs) and they all seem to be effective. One nice feature with Avast! is that you can do a boot-time scan, which can help catch some trojans before they get loaded into memory.

    3. Martin said on January 7, 2006 at 11:18 am

      I agree with you that the results are not the non plus ultra but they probably help you in your decision which you should use and trust.

    4. kurt said on January 7, 2006 at 10:52 pm

      it’s difficult to use the test as a descriminator for which products you can trust and which ones you can’t when all the products had such similar scores… combined with the question of how many of the samples really were viruses, it’s impossible to tell which one really had the best score and by what margin did others really fall short…

    5. sensibleguy said on December 27, 2007 at 1:03 pm

      actually we cant trust any antivirus software because viruses are getting into pc still when an antivirus software is still installed.

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