Can you guess which vendor is 'feeble' at protecting businesses from malware?

AV-TestRespected anti-malware testing authority AV-Test.org has published its latest report - comparing the performance of 11 different enterprise anti-virus products designed to protect Windows 7 users.

And, in the main, the products performed very well.

In fact, products from Bitdefender, F-Secure, Trend Micro, Symantec and Kaspersky managed an impressive 100% detection rate in a "real-world" test against new, still unknown threats and a separate test against an AV-Test.org library of nearly 30,000 already known malware samples.

Even the products which didn't quite manage 100% in both tests, still performed very well.

However, there's one fly in the ointment. One (rather well-known) software company that AV-Test.org included in its Windows 7 test, and found somewhat lacking... Microsoft.

AV-Test chart

Thorough tests like this by independent experts are important, because over 60% of the Windows PCs used by businesses are running Windows 7. (Approximately 22% are running Windows 8.1, and a worrying 18% are said to be still risking everything by using Windows XP).

In its report, AV-Test.org describe Microsoft's offering as "much too feeble":

An economical option for protecting a corporate network is the use of the endpoint module, bundled in the Microsoft Management Suite System Center 2012. The test revealed, however, that this is not to be recommended. The solution was awarded 0 points by the testers in terms of its protection function, and it achieved only 11 out of 18 possible points.

...

The solutions from Seqrite and the security module from Microsoft, tested for comparison, made a considerably weaker showing. While Seqrite still did a respectable job in detecting malware, it slows down the clients much too heavily in the process. The freeware Microsoft module is much too feeble in the detection of malware.

AV-Test chart

On its website, Microsoft continues to recommend Microsoft System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection to business users.

Microsoft security webpage

Maybe, in light of test results like this, Microsoft would be doing a better service to more actively promote solutions from third-party vendors instead.

Remember folks - price should not be the driving factor when you decide which anti-malware solution you're going to use to protect your business.

Security software's performance and the quality of the service you receive should be much more important than whether your business is going to have to write a cheque or not. Ultimately, an anti-virus which isn't doing a good enough job of stopping the malware could well cost you more in the long run.

Find out more about AV-Test.org's test here.

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114 Responses

  1. Bob

    July 3, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

    would have to disagree with these results, I deal with all these products on a daily basis and each of the let virus's through to a certain degree, kaspersky, mcafee and Symantec are worst of all. F-Secure is a resource hog.

    • Graham Cluley in reply to Bob.

      July 3, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

      Yes, there is no perfect solution – but some are clearly doing better than others at detecting malware.

      What's important when choosing a product to protect your business is a consistent track record in competent independent tests. (As well as support, customer service, yadda yadda)

    • ron in reply to Bob.

      July 3, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

      Everyone has a different opinion and that is why they call it that.

    • Helen in reply to Bob.

      July 3, 2015 at 8:00 pm #

      What about Norton? Is this antivirus protection no good? Please tell us what to get to protect our computer. Thank You

      • Mcafe sucks in reply to Helen.

        July 3, 2015 at 9:00 pm #

        Symantec is company Norton is the product name

      • Matt in reply to Helen.

        July 5, 2015 at 10:27 am #

        Norton is considered the worst Antivirus as it slows your computer down. It is only offering a 30 day free trial which` is annoying and will not be enough as after 30 days it will expire meaning after that 30 days you'll need to renew or install a different program.

        No Antivirus or Antimalware/protection tool is 100% effective at protecting against new kinds of discoveries.
        Hackers/Malware writers fight a constant battle against Antivirus makers, while antivirus makers aim to keep their program as up to date as possible for discovery of bad Software.

        If you have common sense of computer systems and know the dangers as well as the good things, then you'll be fine.
        If you know the most common ways of getting infected and how to keep yourself safe online, you'll be fine.

        You should also know that more than 1 of the same protection program on your computer can fight each other which will slow your computer down and conflict with things that you're doing.

        If you're using Windows 7, i recommend Microsoft Security Essentials, you need an Internet connection to download Microsoft Security Essentials, windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows/security-essentials-download to help monitor your computer, keep it up to date before you do a scan, i recommend you do full scan once a week and a quick scan now and then, but before any scan make sure you update it by going to the update tab and clicking update. To update you need an Internet Connection.

        If it's Windows 8/8.1/10 use Windows Defender which is installed and do the same techniques as suggested above. Windows defender works the same way as Microsoft Security Essentials just make sure you uninstall any other program while you have it enabled
        here's a link to show you how the antivirus works! https://www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/microsoft-security-essentials.aspx

    • wKKmh in reply to Bob.

      July 4, 2015 at 9:56 am #

      Kaspersky is best, all others are western stealers.

    • Angel in reply to Bob.

      July 5, 2015 at 10:25 am #

      Where is avast?

  2. Meri

    July 3, 2015 at 2:05 pm #

    why didn't you test Panda Security? I would be interested to know how they would do on your test.

    • Graham Cluley in reply to Meri.

      July 3, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

      It's not my test – you should ask Av-test.org. Maybe other vendors didn't want to be included in this enterprise test for their own reasons.

    • soundguruman in reply to Meri.

      July 4, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

      Panda blocks other advertisers-and fills your system with pop up ads for Panda products. The support is rather poor because the Panda techs don't understand English. Panda used to have USA support, then moved it overseas. That's when the product became non- user friendly.
      We also discovered that certain viruses (Like CIA trojan) can take control of Panda and disable it. At this point we switched to Kaspersky and have have zero problems. (recommend you install Kaspersky)
      Also – avoid any "free" security downloads that claim to "fix" your computer. These are scams.

  3. Lighthawk

    July 3, 2015 at 2:17 pm #

    I use Malwarebytes Pro (buy once free forever including newer ver.) its a great anti-malware scanner and pro version has a constant anti malware firewall (not a resource hog either) , i also have AVG pro (which protects against non malware based threats) both use barely any resources and combined makes my system very secure ,forgot to mention they are not conflicting software and use barely any resources , i also have standalone anti-root kit tools as well TDSS killer & aswMBR (Master boot repair) so far any viral detection have been blocked and Quarantined

    • Leslye in reply to Lighthawk.

      July 3, 2015 at 9:31 pm #

      I also have been running Malwarebytes Pro along with MSE. I started using it after Trend missed a virus. MSE found it, but couldn't remove it, wereas Malwarebytes found it, and removed it. The free version didn't have active protect or scheduled scan so I moved up to Pro. The combination has never let me down. Sorry to say MB Pro is no longer lifetime license, but $24.95 a year for three PC's is a still a bargain.

      • NickSteel in reply to Leslye.

        July 3, 2015 at 11:10 pm #

        Fortunately, I bought several lifetime licenses prior to the yearly license. And I also use free anti-exploit from Malwarebytes. Both work for me.

  4. Eddie

    July 3, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

    These results are clearly false. First off, I don't care how good your AV program is, there is no such thing as 100% protection (AV software is for the most part, only as good as it's ability to scan for KNOWN viruses, and since viruses are created on a daily basis, it can NOT catch 100% of them BEFORE it's known…aside from heuristics, which is another topic altogether).

    Anyhow, that being said, I'm very disappointed that they didn't have ESET in the mix. My experience has been that McAfee is one of the worst out there, and Symantec is good at protection, but a serious resource hog, and unfortunately crashes quite often. ESET on the other hand has been VERY reliable over the years, and has a very small footprint compared to the others I've tried.

    • clint in reply to Eddie.

      July 3, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

      not false, you just don't understand how the testing worked.
      Or if you prefer, over at the Dennis Technology Labs website, products can earn certification at five levels: AAA, AA, A, B, or C. Panda squeaked by with C-level certification. Kaspersky, Norton, ESET, Avast, and Trend Micro managed AAA. Of all the products tested, only Microsoft didn't earn at least a C grade.

      • Graham Cluley in reply to clint.

        July 3, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

        Yes, some very competent testers working at Dennis Technology Labs, with lots of experience in the tricky field of testing anti-malware products.

    • Graham Cluley in reply to Eddie.

      July 3, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

      I don't think that AV-Test.org's test was attempting to claim that any of these products are perfect. They know as well as the rest of us that no product is capable of detecting 100% of malware without a false alarm problem. They also know that no-one is ever likely to be able to test competently against all the malware in existence – as there are something like 400,000 new malware samples seen every day.

      But what they have done is test a number of products against a reasonable collection of malware (if you're interested, you can read about their testing methodologies here: http://www.av-test.org/en/test-procedures/ ) on the Windows 7 platform, and reported their findings.

    • there's this thing called in reply to Eddie.

      July 3, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

      heuristic scanning

    • Coyote in reply to Eddie.

      July 3, 2015 at 6:14 pm #

      "there is no such thing as 100% protection"
      Correct. But there is no such thing as testing all strains of every type of malware. Same with other security auditing. Indeed, security is constantly evolving and new threats will arise regardless of what some think will be possible at some point.

      "it can NOT catch 100% of them BEFORE it's known…"
      Heuristics as you suggest.

      "aside from heuristics, which is another topic altogether"
      Except it isn't another topic. Using databases is one part of the puzzle. The same puzzle. Which means that your statement isn't correct.

      "Anyhow, that being said, I'm very disappointed that they didn't have ESET in the mix."
      Ironically you understand how they can't test every AV yet you fail to see how this applies to testing malware.

    • David R. Hall in reply to Eddie.

      July 3, 2015 at 8:18 pm #

      I have used several virus cleaners but ESET product seems to be the best and the most consistant and I have used that for about 4 years now with no complaints.

    • Rick in reply to Eddie.

      July 4, 2015 at 7:39 am #

      For gosh sakes – don't you know English? It's is a contraction of "it is" – – – Its is possessive! If you don't the proper grammar don't write.

      • Bootyman in reply to Rick.

        July 4, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

        Hey Rick, who cares? Ohhh, you didn't put a ' in its to say it is. This is not a grammar school classroom it is a message board. I guess you don't like stuff like IDK and AFK because they are not real words? And you are so ignorant in assuming that each and everyone posting here utilizes English as their primary language. I would love to shove an ' up your you know what.

      • Michael in reply to Rick.

        July 4, 2015 at 6:40 pm #

        For gosh sakes – don't you know English? It's is a contraction of "it is" – – – Its is possessive! If you don't the proper grammar don't write.

        Lol, this cracked me up. "If you don't the proper grammar don't write.

  5. Jeff

    July 3, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

    Have to agree with Bob. There is no perfect. I found Symantec to be a serious resource hog, and was the reason I switch to McAfee. It also took Symantec way to long to support Server 2012 R2 and VM's, I couldn't wait that long.

    • Coyote in reply to Jeff.

      July 3, 2015 at 6:21 pm #

      Percentages don't work that way, Jeff.

      If they test 1% of all known strains of all known bugs, and the test shows that some vendors detected 100% of that 1%, then that is what you base the percentage on. This is basic maths yet something many tend to forget, ignore or simply don't understand (or realise how important it is). But it doesn't change the fact that percentage is a percentage of something else which means it is based on that something else.

  6. Joseph R Duffy

    July 3, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

    Why is Norton not included in the test?

    • Anon in reply to Joseph R Duffy.

      July 3, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

      Symantec=Norton

    • Skip Plummer in reply to Joseph R Duffy.

      July 3, 2015 at 7:34 pm #

      Norton need not be included. Anyone that's been in the computing business since before 1990 already knows what a slow computer Norton can arrange for.

      On any new computer turn-ups that I've ever done Norton, Symantic or MacAfee free trials are the fist things that get thrown away. How well they do or do not work has never been a part of that decision. Plain and simple, they slow everything down and there are a plethora of other solutions, many of them free, that do a better job and don't slow things down.

    • Michael in reply to Joseph R Duffy.

      July 3, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

      Why is Norton not included in the test?

  7. Redneck

    July 3, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

    what happened to AVG, Avast, Norton or a few of the other anti-viruses?
    this article seems to be more about promoting one name over the others.

    • Anon in reply to Redneck.

      July 3, 2015 at 4:47 pm #

      Symantec is the company that owns the Norton product. Norton is the product name, Symantec is the company name. But the reason why they pretty much stopped the name "Norton" is because Norton back in the day was just an anti-virus product. Now-a-days its like an all-in-one product, so it includes, anti-virus, anti-malware, firewall, etc…

    • Skip Plummer in reply to Redneck.

      July 3, 2015 at 7:42 pm #

      I agree but since before 1990 I've been "turning up" new computers and in the anti-virus department the free trials of Norton, McAfee or Symantic are the first things that go. Whether or not they do a good job has nothing to do with it. All of those serve to slow down the machine too much.

      Years ago I tried the Avast Pro version and just couldn't really get along with it either. I settled on the Axast free version; it updates sometimes multiple times in the same hour; and have not had any problems since.

    • Norbert Gostischa in reply to Redneck.

      July 3, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

      Totally agree with your assessment. Avast happens to be rated as well as the one being promoted but it isn't even mentioned. There isn't any shame in sharing top honors. :)

      • Joe in reply to Norbert Gostischa.

        July 4, 2015 at 12:38 am #

        I agree. Having used Norton (too much of a resource hog) and McAfee (conflicts with too many programs and drivers) in the past I would never install either on my computer. I've been very happy with Avast Pro for viruses and Zemana for anti-malware and anti-logger protection. They use minimal system resources and I have never picked up any viruses or malware while running them. My experience with Malwarebytes was that the program is excellent for doing a scan but its real-time protection leaves a lot to be desired.

    • Coyote in reply to Redneck.

      July 4, 2015 at 2:34 am #

      "this article seems to be more about promoting one name over the others."

      Yes, I'm sure Graham sponsored av-test.org and had them manipulate the results so HE could promote specific antivirus software and call out Microsoft! Perhaps you should find out where he used to work. And improve your reading comprehension.

      Your suggestion defies all logic and is utterly absurd.

    • cody in reply to Redneck.

      July 4, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

      I have used AVG since 2008. It has protected me from many threats. Why no mention of this product?

  8. donald hunt

    July 3, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

    I have always let windows defender handle mine. Most of the others slow down computers. I have removed bloatware and anti virus software from a few of my friends computers after they bought them so they would run smoothly. A new computer is so full of crap that starts when you turn them on it is a wonder they run at all. The first thing I get rid of is anti virus.

    • Anon in reply to donald hunt.

      July 3, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

      You do know, Kali Linux, which is free, can easily own a Windows box with MS Defender on it right…

    • Netmon in reply to donald hunt.

      July 3, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

      Windows Defender coupled with MS Security Essentials is a passable minimum, and surely takes the cake for lowest overhead/resource hog wise. But I would only recommend going that way on two conditions. 1.) you have an older (or "bargain") machine that needs all the help it can get-resources-wise, and 2, its' not computer you pump you Credit Card into regularly, if ever.

    • Skip Plummer in reply to donald hunt.

      July 3, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

      Well yes, but Windows Defender is a poor choice. From what I remember it has to be run manually. In any event, you're right about most of the others slowing things down to the point where they are aggravating.

      Since 1990; and before I do anything else when setting up a computer; all of the free trual anti-viruses and all of the "junkware" are the first things that gets thrown away. It only takes thirty minutes or so and you get back a lot of hard disk drive space.

      The real-time anti-virus that I settled on years ago is the free version of Avast. I've never had any problems using it and it doesn't slow anything down.

  9. Dennis moxness

    July 3, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

    what about AVG virus sec protection ?

  10. morete

    July 3, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

    Use the one that works. If it's not working, don't use it and use another. Multiple layer protection is better. Use Windows Defender, an anti-spyware proggie and an AV proggie with two engines. That should at least cover the basics without getting into sandboxing and virtual machine.

  11. Joe

    July 3, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    I have been running Norton aka Symantec since I built my first computer twenty years ago. In my opinion Symantec has worked fantastic and I will continue to use it , as far as being a resource hog I fail to see any more resources being used other than whats needed maybe your settings need to be adjusted . ps I run windows 7 serv. pk. 1 with no problem at all I even game world of warcraft with no lag , so in my opinion your both wrong have a nice day !!!.

    • Netmon in reply to Joe.

      July 3, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

      I thought Symantec was a resource hog too back before my last upgrade. And I was annoyed with some stability issues back before Endpoint and to a minor degree with the first year of Endpoint. Current 12.1 is rock solid. AMD or Intel Chipsets. I suspect most of the guys talking about Symantec being a resource hog are the same guys who wait at least 10 years to upgrade and then buy a 4 year old refurb core-duo. Probably the same guys who clung to XP with bloody fingers until just last year or 2. Seriously to them I'd say, if your machine is significantly hampered by Symantec, you should take that as the sign it is, it's time to upgrade the hardware.

      • Coyote in reply to Netmon.

        July 4, 2015 at 2:44 am #

        "Seriously to them I'd say, if your machine is significantly hampered by Symantec, you should take that as the sign it is, it's time to upgrade the hardware."

        That is the attitude of someone who has no (successful) experience supporting users of software (whether it is free or not), doesn't understand how computers work (referring to CPU scheduling and the like) and/or doesn't understand what software development involves.

        I would argue all three (and that is from my experience with all three). Your other statements are nothing more than assumptions. Surely you know what that does.

    • Skip Plummer in reply to Joe.

      July 3, 2015 at 7:58 pm #

      Can't agree with you. I've been doing this since before 1990 and Norton, McAfee and Symantic (and "junkware") are the first things that get thrown away on any computer setup. They may or may not do the job but, like it or not, they do slow things down too much.

      I settled on the free version of Avast years ago and have never encountered a problem using it. It's "light" and doesn't slow anything down.

    • Coyote in reply to Joe.

      July 4, 2015 at 2:49 am #

      "with no lag , so in my opinion your both wrong have a nice day !!!."

      You're missing something important. Latency is relative. Different people are used to different things, too. You might be more tolerant than others, to latency. You might have less running, you might have X, you might not have Y… or you might just be used to older hardware so that you aren't feeling the difference (other way around is also possible). And opinions are not indicative of facts; indeed, your very opinion is based only on your experience. Your experience is so important, quite obviously, that any other experience can't at all be correct.

    • Pamela Robinson in reply to Joe.

      July 4, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

      I totally agree with you Joe. On all the pc's that I've had, I always used Norton (Symantec). Ever since I discovered Norton I have not turned back. I also run windows 7 with serv. pk 1. If it works why fix it?

  12. clint

    July 3, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

    yep, this isn't anything new. mse has been the bottom of the barrel in every monthly security bulletin i've read for years.

  13. Gary

    July 3, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

    I'm sure each of us has his own favorite anti-virus. I am curious as to the exclusion of MalwareBytes from the testing. I have had a considerable number of clients running MBAM. It doesn't hog resources, and after the initial scan following installation, it is a fairly unobtrusive protection. With
    the exception of the 'shoot yourself in your own foot' cases, MBAM has served me well. Why was it left out?

    • Wayne in reply to Gary.

      July 3, 2015 at 9:16 pm #

      Because MalwareBytes, any version, is NOT an Anti-Virus program and shouldn't be substituted for one. Their own FAQ states that, and in multiple threads in their forum. The HVAC subcontracting company that got Target hacked was running only MalwareBytes Pro, without any Anti-Virus at all. Not too bright.

  14. Joey

    July 3, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

    This is as misleading a statement as I have ever seen. What a Joke! I have owned 24 Computer Stores across the United States with over 100,000 repairs over 25 Years. Every one of these So-Called Anti-Viruses have been on almost every machine coming in on a daily basis for a Virus Removal. Ouch! So Much for the Test results. Most commenters on here are right. You cannot have 100% Protection and anyone who said that is a Flat Out Liar Period!. I can guarantee you, they do not have 24 Computer Stores. I can Guarantee you, they have not fixed 100,000+ Computers due to viruses. You cannot cure a Disease that doesn't exist yet so you cannot stop a Virus that is being written right now or tomorrow until AFTER it has infected millions of computers and even then we still have no cure for cancer. There cannot be a fix for every virus out there since they mutate as well. I don't know what Real World Testing They live in but maybe they should spend a month in a Real Computer Store and see for themselves what the TRUTH really is. Sounds to me like somebody took a Bribe or a Payoff to report this silliness. Ask any Real Technician in any store and I am sure 98% of them will disagree with this article. No Wonder so many people are still really clueless about computers in this day and age with so much misinformation out there. Keep up the good work because this kind of reporting only guarantees that my stores stay super busy with Virus Removals since these products DO NOT WORK as advertised by this article. Thank you for all of the added business.

    • Raymond Stevens in reply to Joey.

      July 3, 2015 at 4:38 pm #

      Too bad that you can't offer a substantive suggestion for somebody that has owned 25 computer stores and fixed over a 100,000 computers. But I guess that you're looking out for your own interests. So, thanks for nothing.

    • james in reply to Joey.

      July 3, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

      The JOKE is on you IF you really think that the antivirus software is always the problem or even mostly the problem. Most people that owns computers and has to take them to a store to get them fixed are those people that really does not keep their computers up to date and does not know to keep the virus protection up to date. Oh, and there's also the issue with how often the anti-virus software updates. Some only updates once a week, some are kept updated a lot better. My Bitdefender updates every hour, and uses very little resources which makes it really safe.

      • Skip Plummer in reply to james.

        July 3, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

        I agree with you, James. I've been setting up new computers for people since before 1990. The free trials of Norton, McAfee and Symantic; along with all of the "junkware"; are always the first things to be "thown away". All of those anti-viruses are cumbersome and slow down things too much to be tolerated.

        Years ago I settled on the free version of Avast. It's "light", doesn't slow anything down and it updates sometimes multiple times in the same hour. I've never experienced any problems using it.

        • jim jefferon in reply to Skip Plummer.

          July 4, 2015 at 5:13 am #

          Oh my god how many times are you going to cut and paste the same post into this thread? WE GET IT!

    • adrian in reply to Joey.

      July 3, 2015 at 6:28 pm #

      What about Apple products? I hear they can't be infected with viruses.

      • Netmon in reply to adrian.

        July 3, 2015 at 8:00 pm #

        that is a major, (sadly somewhat famous), myth and very dangerous one.

    • Coyote in reply to Joey.

      July 3, 2015 at 7:09 pm #

      Someone is either on their male period (… I can't help but make a pun out of the Americanism 'period') or they are otherwise very defensive for some unknown reason. But as someone else pointed out (I'll extend it a bit), you can have all the security measures in place but all it takes is ONE user to ruin it all… This is a fact that has been shown again and again (and this will continue ad infinitum). In any case, you clearly missed some critical things over your career.

      "You cannot cure a Disease that doesn't exist yet so you cannot stop a Virus that is being written right now or tomorrow until AFTER it has infected millions of computers and even then we still have no cure for cancer."
      First, some illnesses have general treatments.
      Second, no such thing as a cure exists; even cancer can return, and let's not forget mutations. Or the recent Ebola outbreak, something that was thought by many to be more or less eradicated. With exceptions like appendectomy for appendicitis, there really isn't a cure.
      Third, YES you can catch malware that isn't known. It is called heuristics. Yet you have this 25 years experience in… security you say? Funny, too, given that back then malware was caught and it wasn't nearly as many computers as you say. Just so you know, also, many virus writing groups of old published ezines with the source code as well as the viruses themselves (not to say it was a 100% but it did happen), which means that antivirus companies could also read them (something about being 'public'). How do I know this? Quite simple, really; the thought, the art, the skill that went in to (many, not all) computer viruses a long time ago, is fascinating to some people. I'll refrain from naming any but they exist(ed).

      As for technician in stores. Quite amusing, actually. If they were that great in security they would have other jobs than working in a store dealing with average, frustrated users.

      Lastly, this part:

      "Thank you for all of the added business"
      Your attitude displayed here, that you know better than people av-test.org, when you state things that are 100% false, is quite arrogant and very amusing. You know more yet you don't even understand heuristics? Amazing. You seem to have a lot to prove but I wonder why that is.

    • Tim in reply to Joey.

      July 3, 2015 at 7:18 pm #

      Honestly – Owning a computer store, or even a chain of them, doesn't make you an IT professional. It makes you a compter repair person…

      Stay in the shallow end of the pool and leave the deeper waters to the professionals.

      • Coyote in reply to Tim.

        July 4, 2015 at 2:54 am #

        Improving your statement: it makes him a businessman. That is even worse. Otherwise, well said.

    • Netmon in reply to Joey.

      July 3, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

      I would bet that about 85% (conservative) of the machines you worked on for infections were machines that came with pre-loaded ("bundled") AV products, that had a 30 or 90 day or 6 month or 12 month "trial" versions, which once expired the customer, then failed to pay up or install something free, so then as soon as the bundled AV was a few months out of date on definitions, whamo. That's hardly the fault of Symantec or MacAfee. Your inference sir is misleading and as another poster put it, not helpful, thanks for nothing indeed.

    • soundguruman in reply to Joey.

      July 4, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

      Joey is absolutely correct, there is no 100% protection, and any professional knows this already.
      He makes a very good point.

      • Coyote in reply to soundguruman.

        July 7, 2015 at 6:01 pm #

        Not only does he express his point with arrogance (which shows something else entirely), if he had enough comprehension of the subject (which he doesn't), he would know what he said is false: of course there is not 100% of all malware; see below on percentages (because this argument "there is no such thing as 100% so the tests can't be valid" is folly). But you can detect malware that doesn't yet 'exist' just as you can detect illnesses that 'don't exist' (and also that have no known cause). How is this possible with malware? As others have pointed out (including Coyote) it is called heuristics. Without heuristics things would be a lot worse, particularly with unknown malware. Trivia: heuristics can lead to false positives in some software, specifically software that makes use of antidebugging (and similar) tricks that viruses also use. In software that isn't a virus, that is. That alone should show even more just how the above works (the word 'heuristics' should by itself, even).

        Lastly, on the subject of percentages, as I already pointed out above:
        "If they test 1% of all known strains of all known bugs, and the test shows that some vendors detected 100% of that 1%, then that is what you base the percentage on. This is basic maths yet something many tend to forget, ignore or simply don't understand (or realise how important it is). But it doesn't change the fact that percentage is a percentage of something else which means it is based on that something else."

        In other words, those who keep latching on to percentage (as in there is no 100% so therefore the tests are flawed) do not at all understand a basic maths (or statistics) concept. Which means their argument isn't valid in the first place.

  15. David Eckard

    July 3, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    The number one antivirus is a suspicious user. No antivirus product will protect the system against an idiot user that clicks on everything willy nilly. Number two thing to do is run as a regular user, not administrator. That alone kills better then 90% of viruses.

  16. Derp

    July 3, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

    I've been using MSE (aka Windows Defender) along with Malwarebytes for years and haven't had an issue yet. Norton and McAfee are garbage, the rest I couldn't tell you about. Running Win 7 Ultimate x64.

  17. Dal

    July 3, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

    Thing is, none of these are Mac based problems.

    • Graham Cluley in reply to Dal.

      July 3, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

      There is of course a LOT less malware for Mac OS X than there is for Windows.

      But if you're interested, here is a recent test AV-Test.org performed on Mac anti-virus products: http://www.av-test.org/en/news/news-single-view/mac-os-x-under-attack-10-security-packages-put-to-the-test/

    • Coyote in reply to Dal.

      July 3, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

      I invite you to learn what MacOS is based on. After that, I invite you to learn what the most notorious worm to exist, attacked. In these cases it is the service (said worm attacked three different services) and bugs of, that matter. There are many other examples. The only reason you see less of it on MacOS (and other platforms) is that the target reach is much smaller. Doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

      If it makes you feel comfortable, by all means, believe what you want. But you're 100% wrong.

  18. Mr Joseph Smoe

    July 3, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

    It's too bad these solutions don't work well together because I have found examples where my current Norton solution didn't find a problems but my MalwareBytes did. However Norton always logs that MalwareBytes is invasive when it tries to scan Norton stuff.

    • Skip Plummer in reply to Mr Joseph Smoe.

      July 3, 2015 at 8:17 pm #

      The problem is with Norton. I've been doing this since before 1990 and learned long ago that the free trials of Norton, McAfee and Symantic are the first things to throw away when setting up a new computer. I settled on the free version of Avast years ago. It's "light", doesn't slow anything down and updates sometimes several time in the same hour.

  19. JOneal

    July 3, 2015 at 4:21 pm #

    Just pointing out… I think some of the commenters are missing the fact that this was a test of "Enterprise" solutions–that's why many of your personal favorites aren't on here. This was looking at networked computers/networked managed virus solutions.

    • Tim in reply to JOneal.

      July 3, 2015 at 7:14 pm #

      Exactly. Enterprise solutions are completely different than personal use products.

      • David in reply to Tim.

        July 3, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

        Yes, it is hilarious reading these comments.There is a huge conspiracy against AVG, Avast, etc. No, just take a minute to actually READ the article. This is about Enterprise solutions. This makes me feel sorry for the future of humanity.

  20. sd

    July 3, 2015 at 4:30 pm #

    Norton rocks

    • David Eckard in reply to sd.

      July 3, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

      Norton is a CPU hog

      • Netmon in reply to David Eckard.

        July 3, 2015 at 8:33 pm #

        My AMD FX6100 (running at 4.42GHz) (and 8GB of Corsair Vengeance) doesn't seem to notice. Seriously how old is your machine? Regardless of what MS claims are minimum HW requirements for Windows 7-8 or 10, (they have clear motives of low-balling), the real MINIMUM these days, and I'll speak INTEL to "get along", is an i3 (quad-core) CPU and 4GB of ram. Anything older/less than that and Norton slowing down your machine is not the least of why you need to upgrade, but it's a good "canary in the coal mine"….

    • Mach 1 in reply to sd.

      July 3, 2015 at 6:31 pm #

      Panda Destroys Norton. Panda & Malwarebytes running at the same time = 99.9999% untouchable.

      • Netmon in reply to Mach 1.

        July 3, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

        you know it's always nice if you can convince yourself that your free-ware solutions are fine or even better than what those other "suckers" are paying for. My experience in 20+ years as an IT professional, (with an emphasis on security for most of it) has been that over the long haul, averaging successes and failures over 1,000's of machines, the paid-for stuff beats the free-ware. The other point that keeps getting overlooked over and over here, (despite being mentioned SEVERAL times) most of the wise-guys yapping-off here are talking from-home-use-product experience, and don't even understand the difference between home-use and ENTERPRISE solutions AV/network security, which is what this article was about.

    • Skip Plummer in reply to sd.

      July 3, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

      I'm afraid that Norton sucks.

  21. drsolly

    July 3, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

    400,000 per day. Wow.

    I remember a period of three months in 1988, when no new viruses came along, and us AV folks were wondering if there would be any more.

    And then I remember when there were about 100 viruses, and I wondered how many there might be at some point in the future, and I thought that I couldn't actually give a maximum number, so I'd better plan for a future with a *lot*.

    And a few years ago, I was the keynote speaker at an AV conference, there were 50,000 new things per day, and I told the assembled AV techies that they were doing a spectactularly poor job, but that I had no advice for them as to how to do better.

    Personally, I use linux. I still receive hundreds of malware items per day via email (and a few via ftp); this is dealt with by not opening them.

    • David in reply to drsolly.

      July 4, 2015 at 9:05 pm #

      We never realised we had it so good…

      • Old timer in reply to David.

        July 4, 2015 at 9:11 pm #

        That's nothing. You should have seen the time our paper tape was infected by woodlice…

  22. Dee

    July 3, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

    Just about every "add-on" Microsoft provides is garbage compared to third parties. Third parties is what made MS but yet they decided to copy the third parities and put utilities in the over priced OS which hurts the third parties even though MS stuff is nowhere near as good. This is why innovation has died off.

  23. Gautom dada

    July 3, 2015 at 5:23 pm #

    Rubbish article. This reporter making money from these vendors. LOL. AVG is the best and they don't participate in this kind of bogus comparison. Thanks.

    • Graham Cluley in reply to Gautom dada.

      July 3, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

      You're misinformed.

      AVG does participate in AV-Test.org's tests. For instance, http://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-windows/windows-7/april-2015/avg-anti-virus-free-edition-2015-151570/

      (although apparently not this one testing Windows 7 enterprise solutions. You'd have to ask AVG or AV-Test.org why that is.)

      Regarding me making money from these vendors… I do write articles for Bitdefender's blog (as well as some other vendors). But Bitdefender is the only one included in this test who I write for. Needless to say they didn’t ask me to write about it, and I haven’t told them I’ve written about it.

      Anyway, it doesn't really make sense – if your conspiracy theory was true – why I would also single out for praise F-Secure, Trend Micro, Symantec and Kaspersky – all of which are competitors of Bitdefender.

      In case anyone is hard of thinking this is NOT my test. It's the test of AV-Test.org, a well-respected independent testing agency that has been doing tests of anti-virus products for donkey's years.

  24. LOL at thee

    July 3, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

    I've been in IT professionally for 21 years and into computers for 33. Many of these top apps are not only resource hogs but they allow Malware and Ransomware past like it's going out of style. Security Essentials gets a bad rap from the still ongoing hate for MS.

    Kaspersky is the master of false positives.

    Symantec Endpoint protection chows down resources and again is completely oblivious to malware. I've used MSSE to clean up what it missed MANY times.

    McAfee actually made the list? Again false positives, resource hog and misses malware left and right.

    Many (not all) virus's are caught before it even reaches the client these days anyway. (SPAM firewalls, Cloud based email, etc) It's Malware and Ransomware that make it to the client and these products are average at best at detection and removal of those.

  25. ACW

    July 3, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

    What about Avast?

    • Skip Plummer in reply to ACW.

      July 3, 2015 at 8:28 pm #

      ACW, I've been setting up new computers for people since before 1990. The free trials of most of the mentioned anti-viruses are the first things that get thrown out. Since Avast came along I've been sticking to the free version of it.

      It updates multiple times, often in the same hour, it slows nothing down and I've never had a problem with it.

  26. Dan

    July 3, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

    AVG free, Super Anti-spyware, Malware Byte's Anti-Malware. That's all you need for an end user. Stay up to date with it and you will be fine.

    • Tim in reply to Dan.

      July 3, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

      Thats for personal use. This article is discussing enterprise products.

      • Netmon in reply to Tim.

        July 3, 2015 at 8:56 pm #

        that's been said about 5 times now and they keep coming back home use product references. It's becoming clear many of these posters don't understand what the difference is.

  27. Tim

    July 3, 2015 at 7:12 pm #

    We use Vipre by GFI and have had really good luck with it. Previous to that we used Trend which was really great at telling you it discovered an infection (as opposed to blocking it).

    As others have pointed out Symantec/Norton is just an incredible resource hog…

    People need to realize that enterprise AV software is a whole different animal from personal use. At home I use Avast/Malwarebytes but I don't know anyone that uses AVG/Avast/MS Security Essentials for business use.

    • David in reply to Tim.

      July 4, 2015 at 5:30 am #

      I too use Vipre by GFI and have for quite some time. I have tried a number of different free antivirus, anti-malware and firewalls out there as well as a number of paid ones. Nothing has worked as consistently and well for me over the years as Vipre. In the past there were some great products such as Dr. Solomon and Panda, both which I liked and used. Seems like products come and go, but have used Vipre the longest now of any. Still some good ones out there, but chew up too many resources on my ancient machines.

  28. TJ

    July 3, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

    I love how every anti virus test ignores PC Mag's Editor's Choice for this year, Webroot. Countless awards and snagging PC Mag's top honor for this year. How about you test Webroot and see how it performs before putting crap AV softwares like FSecure, Bitdefender and Kaspersky up there.

  29. AP

    July 3, 2015 at 8:22 pm #

    Did they try testing Vipre to see if they are any good?

  30. S

    July 3, 2015 at 10:40 pm #

    I have used a few different anti-virus programs. The worst was Norton and I will never use that again after it allowed a Trojan horse take out the complete boot sector of my boot drive. I ended up having to hire a tech to totally reformate my hard drive in order to get rid of it. After that I had another anti-virus that worked well for awhile and then started to 'rebel' against Windows for some odd reason to the point I had to opt for something different. It got so 'rebellious' I had issues just updating it. I've had Avast for awhile now. However I have head of a fairly good anti-virus program out there you pay a lot for it the first time, but after that it updates and upgrades for free the entire lifetime of that computer. I read about it somewhere, but will have to try to find it again. If it is really good it might just be worth paying a lot for initially upfront and it actually may be less expensive in the long run.

  31. James

    July 3, 2015 at 10:54 pm #

    I've pretty much tried and used all of these anti virus software and for me Webroot and ESET seemed to work the best. Webroot and ESET did not slow my computers down and they both have a light footprint. Many times I have fixed my friends computers by removing Norton and installing webroot. Webroot is cloud based so its always up to date and I won't use anything else. ESET would be my second choice and I used it for years before trying Webroot. I do think Norton improved a few years ago but the biggest problem remains they are a resource hog and slow down your computers.

  32. anonymous

    July 3, 2015 at 11:35 pm #

    Anti-virus are worthless…. they can't protect against hackers that can crack into your router OS, and then abuse this position of trust to fake out the windows update server to drop down malicious device driver updates that are all signed with real device driver private keys that were stolen by bad hackers and real device driver software that was stolen from companies for the purpose of modifying it to spy on people's computers without them knowing it.

    Router OS, were made to crack into, obtain Linux root, and then fake out computers with fake windows update servers. no anti-virus in the world can defend against that.

    • anonymous in reply to anonymous.

      July 3, 2015 at 11:37 pm #

      Companies should take a good look at the type of cheap labor they are hiring to write device drivers and router OS… you might uncover a secret police force run by crazy insane people from india and china that are cracking into everybody's network by directly screwing with stolen code base…and then erasing their trackmarks….

  33. CharlieJ

    July 3, 2015 at 11:57 pm #

    How do you like WEBROOT?

  34. Joe

    July 4, 2015 at 12:29 am #

    Nobody I know that knows the slightest thing about computers would put McAfee on their systems. The program is notorious for interacting with drivers and other programs. In the past if I had problems with a program and contacted customer service the first thing they would ask was whether I had McAfee installed. I also think Norton is a resource hog and that it's overrated. I got one of those fake Windows Security viruses where you get crippling pop-ups demanding that you give them your credit card for a full copy of Microsoft Security to clear the infection when Norton Antivirus was supposedly protecting my system. I was able to run a Norton Scan while all this was happening and Norton found no malware or viruses, which would have been hilarious if it wasn't so annoying. I stopped using Norton that day and will not install it even if my internet provider gives it away for free.

  35. Digi

    July 4, 2015 at 1:37 am #

    Personally, Comodo is far up there.

  36. David L

    July 4, 2015 at 5:23 am #

    Wow Graham! Did you put a redirect somewhere to draw all these comments (-: lots of first timers too ,it looks like. As always,thanks for bringing us the news of your latest testing. Oh,that's right,ITS NOT YOUR TEST . LOL And next time,please include the rest of our favorites would you? (-;

  37. savecityofheroes

    July 4, 2015 at 11:16 am #

    I do not trust all virus killers. it dose not work. what it dose it waits for the virus to do the damage.
    then wait too long to do something about it. Norton, and Bitdefender so far that I tested is so far the worst. they are all the worst. what it dose is add more spyware, adware to sell you more virus killers
    and if you do not buy it. it will bug you to death.
    next thing you notice after it kills the virus. it removes the boot up files off from windows so you will never boot up windows. Dead installation. what this is trade in one problem for another and add some more and add some more. I do not trust all virus killer. ALL OF THEM NOT A ONE
    Better not use the internet is the best way not to get a virus

  38. Jeff B

    July 4, 2015 at 11:22 am #

    WOW, all these personal computer owners spouting off about the worse or the best. None of them read the article. The article is about enterprise problems, not your home hack. With that said, only a couple writers mentioned the real culprit here. It is and will always be the human factor. Any reasonable common sense says you don't open anything you are not familiar with, period. That includes being bored at work and cruising the web on the companies network. Again, the human factor. I use ECET at home with an occasional scan from Malwarebytes. As far as my work, I rely on the people we hired. So far, so good. But I don't get bored at work and when at home, I use common sense. You cannot fix stupid.

  39. soundguruman

    July 4, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

    That is correct, there is no such thing as 100% detection of malware.
    At best, you can expect maybe 90%.

  40. luis

    July 4, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

    what about AVAST? LET ME KNOW IF FOR WINDOWS 8, THIS AVAST PRODUCT IS GOOD ENOUGH.

  41. luis

    July 4, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

    i want your opinion for Avast on a window 8 program

  42. Jed c claptions

    July 4, 2015 at 2:47 pm #

    I use the lifetime protection vipre internet security blocks virues spyware trojans and more defends against cybercrime PC hackers and spam prevents identity theft and keeps information safe.
    its a complete protection that doesn't slow down your pc.

    I got ten licenses lifetime protection and I only have to paid it once and I get free tech support and free updates and free update software for life of the computer.

    if more people use vipre internet security virus don't stand a chance.

    and I also order the fixmestick which it is a external virus protection that I run once a month to do a deep cleaning.

    I to use these other anti-virus software and let me tell you that AVG sucks at finding viruses when I install vipre it went to work and kick the crap out of the viruses that AVG didn't find. And Norton anti-virus software sucks I hate that virus software.

    I'm done with virus from getting on to my system
    hope this helps you people out there get the vipe internet security 2015 and get the fixmestick and your good to go.

  43. Harold Dean

    July 4, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

    Iobitware is in my opinion one of the better ones.Upgrade and its many tools do a fabulous job.Not invasive on performance and updates regularly.

  44. Don

    July 4, 2015 at 7:05 pm #

    I tried most of these and Avast slowed my computer w/windows 7 so much that I got rid of it and went to Norton. (Norton was free from my isp Repair-it Service.) I won't say Norton is the best, but it satisfies me.

  45. matthew hann

    July 4, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

    I have been using Microsoft Security Essentials for years now with very good results. As it turns out, it is your behavior which determines how safe you are.
    Anti-virus is a big business, so I'm not surprised that the one free AV turned out to be the 'worst'.

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