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Av antivirus comparison

These tests evaluate the suites “real-world” protection capabilities with default settings (incl. on-execution protection features). It is our aim to do these tests rigorously. Due to that, these tests are time and resource expensive, so only products chosen for the yearly main test-series are included.

Malware Protection Tests

The Malware Protection Test is an enhancement of the File Detection Test which we performed in previous years. Any samples that have not been detected e.g. on-access are executed on the test system, with Internet/cloud access available, to allow features such as behavioural protection to come into play.

Performance Tests

Programs running in background such as real time protection antivirus software use some percentage of system resources. These tests help users evaluate their anti-virus protection in terms of system speed (system performance).

False Alarm Tests

False alarms can sometimes cause as much troubles as a real infection.
With AV testing it is important to measure not only detection capabilities but also reliability – one of reliability aspects is certainly product’s tendency to flag clean files as infected.

File Detection Tests

The File Detection Test is one of the most deterministic factors to evaluate the effectiveness of an anti-virus engine. These test reports are released twice a year and include false alarm test. See how the products perform in this basic component test.

Malware Removal Tests

Malware Removal tests (aimed mainly for home users) evaluate the anti-virus products’ capability of removing malware and its leftovers from an already compromized system. For this test we use mainly prevalent “in-the-field” samples from infected PCs of customers.

Heuristic / Behavioural Tests

These Heuristic/Behaviour tests evaluate the products against new and unknown malware to measure the proactive protection capabilities (heuristics, generic signatures, behaviour blocker, aso). The Heuristic / Behaviour Tests also take into consideration the false positive rate.

Anti-Phishing Tests

These tests evaluate the protection provided against phishing websites. These malicious websites can pose a real threat to any user who is connected to the Internet, as they attempt to steal sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details.

Summary Reports

Annually we release a summary report that collates the results of the various tests. We then give awards and comment on product abilities.

Mobile Security Reviews

Integration of new technologies into smartphones also brings risks of malware, phishing and concentrated attacks on sensitive data. This section contains tests and reviews of Mobile Security products.

Mac Security Reviews

These reviews evaluate the protection provided to Mac OS users. Macs are being attacked more and more by cybercriminals, who start to take advantage of the complacency towards malware threats amongst Mac users.

Business Security Tests and Reviews

These tests put special emphasis on business product features which are important to sys admins.
The resulting reviews are time-saving resources for sys admins when they need to decide on an antivirus solution.

Linux Security Reviews

Linux systems are considered to be very secure, and the usage rate on desktop systems is low compared to other platforms. Nonetheless, Linux malware exists and successful malware attacks on Linux systems have been known.

Parental Control Reviews

Parental control software is designed to keep children away from materials that their parents feel is not yet appropriate for them, and may also allow Internet access to be restricted to particular times or a total number of hours per day or week.

Single Product Tests and Reviews

Often, security vendors rely on AV-Comparatives to give them an unbiased and competent feedback regarding their new product features and feature updates. These commissioned reviews of a single product help vendors improve their software and offer valuable data regarding the product’s overall performance.

Anti-Spam Tests

Spam can be defined as unsolicited emails sent en masse. These may be sent for advertising purposes, in which case they may be seen as irritating but harmless. These Tests evaluate the Spam-Blocking capabilities of Security Solutions.

Certification Tests

For Certification Tests the AMTSO Real Time Threat List (RTTL) is used. The RTTL is a repository of malware samples collected from around the world, and is managed, maintained and secured by the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO).

Special Tests

Sometimes we release tests which might be of public interest and reflect current security issues.

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