Sixteen Antivirus Solutions Put to the Test

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A new report is out comparing sixteen of the most popular anti-virus software solutions on the market and their ability to remove malware. Definitely something everyone should look at, you might be surprised at how your anti-virus software stacks up to the competition.

The test focused only on the malware removal/cleaning capabilities, therefore all used samples were samples that the tested antivirus products were able to detect. The main question was if the products are able to successfully remove malware from an already infected/compromised system. The test report was aimed to typical home users.
 

Hornet

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Quite surprise to see Microsoft is one of the only 2 of them that got GOOD for both.

Anyway, I kind of hope they did a test on malware prevention capabilities as well. Like how well they works in stopping a malware from a thumb drive, email attachment or other common source.

In the past, I usually do a clean reformat once a malware is detected. I don't really trust the av to completely remove everything, heh
 

G0M3S

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Yeah Microsoft has quite the little product there, very light, not annoying, works well, and its free!
 

batteriesnotincluded

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Same here...I don't care how good it is for removing things if it's not good at preventing them in the first place (or in the case of an infected system: preventing them from coming back after I put in MSE in place of their outdated Norton install).
 

Riftsaw

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Yeah Microsoft has quite the little product there, very light, not annoying, works well, and its free!

The question here is "Will it end up like Microsoft Anti-Spyware?" As in, not soon after its release, every malware maker and their mom focused on circumventing it.

I'll give it a shot though, I just use Avira right now, couldn't hurt to try another free one until I stop procrastinating and go back to Kaspersky.
 

kac77

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What I wanted to see would have been actual numbers of viruses detected. Norton has really good management features for virus removal without a doubt. However, in practice it is notorious for finding things after the fact, or not finding them at all.
 

xrealm20

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I've been running MSE since beta, and I was truely suprised at how well it actually works. I've used it on a few client's machines to clean off some basic virus/spyware issues and it worked great --
 

Jutsu

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I really can't take those result seriously... I mean good/good wtf does that mean. I want numbers, heuristics, virus types, types of scans done, time it took, etc. That chart is fail...
 

-PK-

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What I wanted to see would have been actual numbers of viruses detected. Norton has really good management features for virus removal without a doubt. However, in practice it is notorious for finding things after the fact, or not finding them at all.

You can view the large sample virus scans. "On demand" is manual scanning and "proactive" is background scanning. http://www.av-comparatives.org/comparativesreviews/main-tests
 

Valset

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Symanatec out rates Avast? that is far from my experience here. I have to question this.
 

Advil

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Yeah, I agree. Who did Symantec pay off to get that result? ;)

But the report was focusing on REMOVING malware. As someone stated above, the only thing that matters is keeping it off to begin with. Most of the major bad scareware/malware programs demolish the OS as soon as they load. The moment someone manages to get infected a Windows reinstall is virtually guaranteed.

Symantec, McAfee, etc doesn't have the stopping power of many of the others. The full version of AVG for instance has done a good job of keeping my customer's systems from getting infected and without slowing the computer to a standstill.

Also, what about specific malware programs? Where was Spybot and MalwareBytes on that list?
 

AshleyG

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Help Net Security is in violation of AV-Comparatives' results posting guidelines, I hope they don't get in too much trouble. Maybe they should read the bottom of the results index?

Please link only to our main site www.av-comparatives.org.
We do not allow to host our test reports/documents on other sites without our permission.
If you find anything on other sites, please inform the forum/site admin to remove it.

That said, I agree with the above poster. I'd love to see how the dedicated anti-malware only programs handle these infections.
 

kac77

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Yeah, I agree. Who did Symantec pay off to get that result? ;)

But the report was focusing on REMOVING malware. As someone stated above, the only thing that matters is keeping it off to begin with. Most of the major bad scareware/malware programs demolish the OS as soon as they load. The moment someone manages to get infected a Windows reinstall is virtually guaranteed.

Symantec, McAfee, etc doesn't have the stopping power of many of the others. The full version of AVG for instance has done a good job of keeping my customer's systems from getting infected and without slowing the computer to a standstill.

Also, what about specific malware programs? Where was Spybot and MalwareBytes on that list?

Ok I thought I was the only one that saw those results and walked away in disbelief. There's been so many times that Norton has failed to detect a virus or detected it after the fact that it's comical. Ive always had to resort to downloading a stand alone application to detect or remove the latest viruses. If it wasn't for it's management features there would be no need to have it at all.
 

MrGuvernment

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The question here is "Will it end up like Microsoft Anti-Spyware?" As in, not soon after its release, every malware maker and their mom focused on circumventing it.

I'll give it a shot though, I just use Avira right now, couldn't hurt to try another free one until I stop procrastinating and go back to Kaspersky.

For me i would think MS could do it right, since they know their OS code base, so who better then to protect it?


be interesting to see how many people will continue to say AVG and Avira are awsome and should be used...
 

BlueMeanie

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So who paid for that research? Microsoft or Norton?

In my experience of fixing home and small business PCs, these two products are hopeless at protecting people from the real live threats out there. Personally, I love them as they make me sooooo much work of clearing up infections.

AVG free is a bit week too as the company seem to have been distracted by adding other gimmicks to their product. And it is clear how virus writers are testing against this commonly used free product.

Personally I use and also sell Eset NOD32. I am constantly surprised at how good it is at clearing up problems on infected PCs. It doesn't miss much.

I too would of been interested in Spybot S&D and Malwarebytes comparisons. These guys often get more junk off of a PC than the average Anti-Virus product.
 
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This test is rather weak to be honest. They literally tested one thing: removing a certain type of malware. While the explanation as to why they chose that certain type shows initiative, it doesn't take into account every other aspect of what to look for in an antivirus program. How much of a resource footprint does it have, how effective is the scanning engine, how fast is the company's response time to new threats, how well does it prevent things from getting on the local machine? These are far more important aspects than "can you detect this typical threat and remove it easily?"

I'll stick with Kaspersky. They have a faster response than any of this report's top 3, a smaller system resource footprint, and I've yet to get a single piece of malware on my Vista system since the day I installed it.
 

entropism

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For the record, Norton has been excellent since the '09 version came out. Anything before has been subpar, and deserving of the horrible image they've cultivated. AVG has been bloated and crap since version 8, and Avira has always been about detection and prevention, not cleanup. Cleanup has been its constant sore spot, but who cares if you don't get infected in the first place?
 

Jutsu

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No I did see the link, the article is still a poorly written joke and the chart does nothing to support the title of "Battle of the anti-virus: What is the best software?" When he doesn't even answer his own question, never mind answer all the other questions that people have when it comes to purchasing an AV program.
 

Nocturnal

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The thing about Security Essentials is that when Microsoft Anti-Spyware was released a few years back, it was great at finding and removing spyware as well. Once it came out of beta, it sucked, it was worse than Spybot or Ad-Aware.
 

Eva_Unit_0

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NAV got a "good/good"???:confused:

Maybe they're assuming the non-typical scenario that norton isn't a 2-year-old trial version that hasn't been updated in 1.5 years? That's the natural habitat for norton. :p

I don't know, maybe if it's actually up to date it can be decent.
 

OB1ie

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i'm sad to see AVG is average, i guess thats what I get for a free scanner
 

Dev1ant

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They've got additional tests for On-demand and Retrospective/Proactive tests. You can't base the judgement on this one test. AV-C did this test to merely show how well AVs can remove malware based on what remains and what is removed after infection. You've got to read the others in addition to this to make your own decisions with regards to what's "best".

AV-C isn't there to decide which AV you MUST get. It gives you the data/results of the tests and you decide. If you're unable to draw conclusions from what's available to suit your needs, that's your problem.

Latest on-demand results:
http://www.av-comparatives.org/images/stories/test/ondret/avc_report23.pdf

You decide on your AV of choice depending on what you want. So we know Norton/Microsoft are capable of fully removing traces of malware, but does that matter to you? What matters to you? Will you sacrifice detection rates for less false positives or will you try to maximize detection rates/speed and accept the possibility of above "average" false positives? Are you looking for something free? Will you go for prevention (based on detection early on) or counter-measures after infection(removal)? I personally feel detection rates matter and catching things sooner is much better than being infected and having to remove it later on. Might as well just image to a clean copy a few days before if something managed to get in.

Btw, Norton 2009 >> all other previous Norton products. Stop being ignorant especially when one of the "highly regarded" AVs such as ESET/Kaspersky managed to get only 97.2%/94.7% respectively whereas Norton got 98.4% (caught 17895 more samples than NOD32 did). It's much less bloated and ran fine in a Vista VM.
 

james__bean

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Everyone saying how the test isn't very good clearly aren't familiar with AV-comparatives. They've been doing tests for years and most of the things you guys are complaining about are covered in other tests. This data was merely a subset of the large number of things they test for on a regular basis. (i.e. Scan performance, heuristics, detection rates, etc.)
 

MrGuvernment

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So who paid for that research? Microsoft or Norton?

In my experience of fixing home and small business PCs, these two products are hopeless at protecting people from the real live threats out there

Get over it, both products have changed since previous versions, as stated below:

For the record, Norton has been excellent since the '09 version came out. Anything before has been subpar, and deserving of the horrible image they've cultivated. AVG has been bloated and crap since version 8, and Avira has always been about detection and prevention, not cleanup. Cleanup has been its constant sore spot, but who cares if you don't get infected in the first place?


Sure Norton was bad before, but from what i recall, it wasn't really bad, it had a high rate of removal, but the software was just bloated and slow.\

New test all over the net and even on the actual AV comparative site, if you read it, shows Norton and MS are actually good products, so stop putting down a company because of a name, and actually try their new products, or at least view reviews on them and dont assume they paid for the reviews. :rolleyes:
 

Proxy

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I have been running MSE for a few weeks now, seems good, it's a light program. It replaced AVG. I would want to see how good it is about actually preventing things from getting there in the first place.
 

Zoogle

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I tend to just avoid clicking on things I shouldn't and not going to websites of dubious nature...
 

douglasb

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I've got to seriously doubt this test if Symantec and Microsoft products come out on top. That's pretty much the opposite of what most other research has shown.
 

Nocturnal

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I've got to seriously doubt this test if Symantec and Microsoft products come out on top. That's pretty much the opposite of what most other research has shown.
If you would actually take the time to read the entire website you would find out that they do thorough testing on all antivirus programs and that again this was just a subset of tests that they did on these programs.
 

TheCommander

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Norton's current AV program works well. I've been using it and it does not take up as mnay resources or is as bloated as the previous versions.
 

Seemund

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Sorry, thumbs down for this review...
Kaspersky is the best antivirus out there, no questions asked...
 

MrGuvernment

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I tend to just avoid clicking on things I shouldn't and not going to websites of dubious nature...

with the way known websites have been comprimsed, doesnt matter if you think your safe, i wish people would get off this mentality that only 'questionable' websites can expose you.
 
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