New Antivirus Shootouts – Avira AntiVir Is the Lightest; Norton & Kaspersky Most Effective
Av-test.org and Av-comparatives.org have been extremely busy over the past couple of months. Both of them have been busy testing various aspects of some of the most popular security products in the market. Let’s take a look at what they found.
Antivirus Performance Test
Security suites are notorious for having an adverse impact on system performance. In fact, “What is the Lightest Antivirus?” is a frequently asked question in tech support forums. Few months back, I had reported on the performance impact of internet security suites, based on a test conducted by PC Mag. At that time Norton had emerged to be the winner with Kaspersky, Avira, Zone Alarm and Panda as close runner-ups.
Av-comparatives.org recently released the results of its own performance tests. They conducted a series of benchmarks which included file copying, archiving/unarchiving, application installation/uninstallation, application launch, file download and Worldbench tests.
None of the antivirus utilities had a significant impact on encoding/transcoding and archiving/unarchiving speeds. However, eScan, FSecure, G DATA, Microsoft and Trustport did slow down file copying significantly (more than doubled the time required to copy a file). Interestingly enough, everyone but eScan performed significantly better on subsequent runs (mainly to Fingerprinting). When it came to slowing down application installations/uninstallations Bitdefender, G DATA and Trustport were the biggest culprits. Trustport also increased application launch times by more than 100%. These three were joined by AVG in the file downloading hall of shame. AVG, Bitdefender, G DATA and Trustport more than doubled file download durations.
Throughout the tests Avira performed admirably and this was reflected even in the WorldBench scores. eScan, Trustport, Bitdefender and G DATA were once again at the bottom of the pile.
Thanks to an outstanding all round performance Avira was the overall winner. Kingsoft, F-Secure, Sophos and Kaspersky also performed commendably and finished in the top five.
Real World Tests
Both Av-comparatives.org and Av-test.org performed dynamic tests in order to assess the real world performance of various security products. Both the firms went to great lengths in order to emulate real-world infection scenarios. The final resulsts are fairly similar. In both the tests Norton and Kaspersky performed admirably and were among the best performers. However, the big surprise was PC Tools Internet Security. Although PC Tools managed to detect fewer threats than Kaspersky and Norton, on the whole it managed to block a greater number of malwares. Avira and Microsoft also performed laudably. However, Avira also returned a large number of false positives.
Best Antivirus Software
Av-test.org also conducted some tests in association with PC World to determine the Best Antivirus Product. I couldn’t find any performance charts, however you can find the in-depth product reviews over here. It appears that G Data, Avira and Norton had the best detection rates. But, Avira ended up getting penalised for a poor UI and the lack of features. PC World ended up giving the highest ratings to G Data, which (in my opinion) is too bloated to be seriously considered. Check out this article if you wish to find out which antivirus product has the best detection rate.