New Antivirus Shootouts – Avira AntiVir Is the Lightest; Norton & Kaspersky Most Effective

Antivirus-Shootout and 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. 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 and 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 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.

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18 Responses to New Antivirus Shootouts – Avira AntiVir Is the Lightest; Norton & Kaspersky Most Effective

  1. Ashish December 24, 2009 at 11:20 am #

    Good to see that Kaspersky is the best in performance and a little surprise to see Norton getting the performance level to such a high.

  2. Zubair Khan December 27, 2009 at 9:56 pm #

    ya thats right Kaspersky is the best in performance and i dont like the other one. good interesting post liked it a lot thanks for sharing,,,!

  3. Ujjwal Kanth December 28, 2009 at 5:47 am #

    I still believe Microsoft Security Essential is the best. My own experience with Avira showed its demerits of False Positives and inability to clean file. Others like Norton and Kaspersky are too resource hogging…
    .-= Ujjwal Kanth´s last blog ..Omnet++ 4.0 : Installation =-.

    • Pallab December 28, 2009 at 11:09 am #

      I don’t think you have used Kaspersky and Norton recently. Norton 2009 and 2010 are super light. Even Kaspersky 2010 is quite light. In fact according to Av-comparative both of them are lighter than MSE.
      Avira does have problems with false positives and token detections. But it’s detection rate is superior to MSE and it is also a lot lighter. But, the choice is yours.

  4. Ricky December 28, 2009 at 10:45 pm #

    It is shocking that nod32 didnt perform well. Kaspersky is doing a great job. Mse is lighter but it is not upto the mark.

  5. Amal Roy December 29, 2009 at 5:02 am #

    IMO Notron and Eset are the best options to consider. They are light on resources and have a good detection rate.
    .-= Amal Roy´s last blog ..How to Get Back Hacked Facebook Account =-.

  6. Jonny January 7, 2010 at 1:39 am #

    Interesting reads Pallab…
    Avira and MSE have the lightest resources and best detection rates. If you spend a little while reading on Wilders forums -the well respected security forums, there are a lot of people on there reccommending both.

    Norton is light compared to the fat elephant it was…. but is only catching up with the rest of the market…

    • Pallab January 7, 2010 at 7:24 pm #

      I am there in Wilders forums. I always go through it before posting these AV roundups to see if people are reporting any specific problems with a pirticular product. Nice to know you are there too.

  7. alex @ estate February 6, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    i got some problem with sality virus can i remove that virus with kapersky?
    .-= alex @ estate´s last blog ..What Do Wealthy Home Buyers Want From Their Real Estate Agent? =-.

  8. D Acharya August 26, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    I have not found kaspersky antivirus 2010 particularly impressive on two accounts, inspite of being among the cheaper antiviruses in the Indian market.Firstly, their customer support is not particularly user friendly. Besides the fact that there is considerably more CPU usage I have seen the software people using the Indian Quickheal to remove the viruses rather than recommending/using the Kaspersky virus removal tool.Possibly the reason for this is the user unfriendly support system.

  9. ESET October 17, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    i happy use this antivirus
    suggest try use eset ist really very nice

  10. Dodge Neon SRT4 February 6, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    Antivir always slows my computer. I try always avast. Some friend, said that “Antivir 2011” is the lightest. Is it true Pallab?

  11. topantivirus March 9, 2011 at 8:39 am #

    howdy, just wanted to let you know that your page wasnt showing properly in ie 8 but after few refreshesh that it was fine again. Keep in the good work.

  12. matin August 13, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    its nice im using avira and good antivirus products


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