Detection is undoubtedly an important factor, but it is not the sole criteria by which you should judge an antivirus. A good detection rate and strong self-protection features should ensure that an antivirus is able to keep any malware at bay. But, there may be occasions when you have already been infected by a malware (possibly due to your carelessness). In such cases the security product’s cleaning abilities become absolutely vital.
Last year, Anti-malware.com had tested the cleaning abilities of all the major antivirus products. Dr. Web was the surprise winner. The only other antiviruses which performed commendably were Kaspersky and Avast. This year, AV-Comparatives.org has performed a similar test. Av-comparatives used 10 malwares – all of which were detected by all the participating antivirus products. G-Data – which was the best performer in detection comparatives, failed miserably when it came to cleaning up an already messed up system. Avira Antivir’s performance was also disappointing. In fact several well-known antiviruses performed poorly. ESET NOD 32, Avast, AVG and McAfee produced extremely mediocre results. Like last time, Kaspersky managed to remove most of the malware that was thrown at it. However, the best of the pack were Microsoft Security Essentials, Norton and e-Scan. Microsoft Security Essentials was the surprise package. Microsoft seems to have done a commendable job with Security Essentials, which is shaping up to be a big improvement over One Care. In a recent test conducted by AV-Test.org, Microsoft managed to detect 98% of the 545k malware samples used.
If you suspect that you have already been infected and are looking for a new antivirus to fix your system, it makes sense to choose an antivirus which performed well in this test. Microsoft Security Essentials would be a good first choice since it is free, simple, light weight and gets the job done. In case that doesn’t work try your luck with Norton. You can download an extended trial of Norton Antivirus from here.