Earlier this week, AVTest.org published the results of their latest antivirus shootout, performed during April, May and June 2010. The last time I looked at one of these antivirus shootouts was in 2009. Since then a lot has changed, but a lot has also remained the same.
Avira was once again outstanding in detecting malwares in AVTest’s reference set, as well as “in the wild” malwares. However, as expected, it fumbled in the dynamic detection test (blocking of malwares on or post infection), where it succeeded on only 38% of the test cases. Surprisingly enough, Avira proved itself to be efficient in repairing a system. Nevertheless, in my personal experience, I have found that Avira tends to prefer deleting infected objects rather than recovering them. Obviously that isn’t exactly the preferable way of approaching system recovery. Avira also continued to be amongst the lightest security products, with very little adverse impact on system performance.
Norton and Kaspersky, which were found to be the most effective in 2009, also continued their impressive showing. Norton aced the 0-day (new) malware detection test, while Kaspersky performed better with the reference set. Kaspersky also had the upper hand in the repair tests, a testament to its sophisticated engine.
For me the real surprise was Panda, which proved itself to be lighter than both Kaspersky and Norton, and also performed commendably in detection and repair tests.
One of the crowd favourites, Microsoft Security Essentials, also performed fairly well. It returned solid results in all of the tests, without being outstanding in any of them. However, MSE turned out to be heavier than the aforementioned security suites.
McAfee (poor repair), Trend Micro (poor detection), BullGuard (poor detection), and Norman (poor detection) were the only products that failed to receive certifications. Detailed reports on each of the antivirus products is available here. Kaspersky, Norton and Panda were the best overall performers. You can pick any one of them based on your preference and also local prices. Indian users looking for top-notch protection should definitely take a look at Kaspersky considering its low cost in India. If you don’t want to pay for premium protection, Microsoft Security Essentials and Avira are still the best options.