I have covered various security products before. I even told you how to get them for free (Six Premium Antivirus Software for free and Six Premium Antivirus Software for Free – II). But in the past I mainly concentrated on the detection rates. Detecting a malware is important, but equally important is completely removing the malware (once detected). So how effective is your antivirus in cleaning up the mess once a malware is successful in attacking the system? Anti-Malware.com put all the popular antivirus softwares through the test and the results are shocking to say the least.
Anti-malware.com first infected the test bed with Adware. Win32.NewDotNet, Backdoor.Win32.Sinowal.ce, Email-Worm.Win32.Scano.bd, Rootkit.Win32.Agent.ea, Rootkit.Win32.Podnuha.a, Trojan-Dropper.Win32.Agent.vug, Trojan-Dropper.Win32.Mutant.e, Trojan-Proxy.Win32.Saturn.cu, Trojan-Proxy. Win32.Xorpix.dh, Trojan-Spy.Win32.Zbot.bsa, Trojan.Win32.Agent.lkz, Trojan.Win32.Monderb.gen, Trojan.Win32.Pakes.cuh, Trojan.Win32.Small.yc and Virus.Win32.Rustock.a. Once the system was compromised antivirus softwares were installed and full system scan was run. After the antivirus software was done, a list of remaining traces was prepared. You can find the detailed methodology used here.
So, how did the antivirus softwares do? Terribly. Here are the results:
Platinum Malware Treatment Award :
Dr.Web Anti-Virus 4.44 (100%)
Gold Malware Treatment Award :
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2009 (80%)
Avast! Professional Edition 4.8 (80%)
Bronze Malware Treatment Award :
Agnitum Outpost Antivirus Pro 6.5 (53%)
Norton AntiVirus 2009 (53%)
Panda Antivirus 2009 (40%)
Poor results :
BitDefender Antivirus 2009 (33%)
Trend Micro Antivirus plus Antispyware 2008 (33%)
McAfee VirusScan 2008 (33%)
F-Secure Anti-Virus 2009 (33%)
AVG Anti-Virus & Anti-Spyware 8.0 (33%)
Avira AntiVir PE Premium 8.1 (20%)
Sophos Anti-Virus 7.3 (33%)
Eset NOD32 Antivirus 3.0 (0%)
VBA32 Antivirus 3.12 (0%)
Avira is known to have a lot of token detections. It has a strong heuristic due to which it’s able to detect a large number of viruses (it has the best detection rate among all single engine AV products). However, once a system is infected Avira fails miserably. Notably Avira had also failed the self-protection test conducted by Anti-Malware lab. Although Dr. Web managed to completely remove everything thrown at it, it’s not the best option due to its average detection rate. The best option seems to be Kaspersky. Kaspersky has a very good detection rate (generally second best after Avira among single engine AV products) and managed to clean 80% of the malware and bagged the Gold award.
What is your take on these results? What do you prefer? Better detection rate or better cleanup ability?
6 responses to “How Effective is Your Antivirus Software?”
I use Avira.. Changed to this from AVG after reading your previous posts about the different AVs..
For me Resource Utilisation is very important and Avira just wins hands down because it’s just so light on the system.. and it detects everything and prevents the infections from spreading and that’s good enough for me:)…
i am presently using Avira and i think that it is really good as compared to norton (which i was using earlier).
So, from my point of view, Avira is the winner from all the Antivirus i have used till date.
I’m using Mcafee Although these results shocked me.. I think I will stick with Mcafee. Maybe it’s not the most powerful antivirus But I prefer its options than kasper and other antivirus
This article should be titled, “How Effective is Your AntiVirus Software at Cleaning an Infected System.” I agree that this facet of antivirus is important, but I would put more weight on the detection side. I’d rather block a virus than clean one any day. I use AntiVir, and have not had a virus problem to date. Another important factor I would like compared is how resource hungry these programs are.
I previous had Avira but when the license expired I changed to Bitdefender because they had a better offer. Right after installing Bitdefender and scanning with it, it showed me that my PC is infected with 3 different viruses, then I realised that BitDefender is far more better than its rival Avira. Regarding the update, i saw that it updates 3 times a day, it;s sufficient if you consider the good heuristic scanner that bitdefender has. Overall the suite is very good, i am using Internet Security.
Avira for me, along with a layered approach to security. Avira is lightweight and has picked up everything I have accidentaly picked up. If I was gonna pay for an a.v. I’d still pick this, especially as Nod32 seems to be sliding.. 🙁
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