Is your free AV performing well?

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by STV0726, Mar 27, 2012.

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  1. STV0726

    STV0726 Registered Member

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    STV0726's AUGUST 2011 - FEBRUARY 2012 EVALUATION OF CURRENT BEST FREE ANTIVIRUS:
    A perhaps unconventional, but worthy test result collaboration

    INTRODUCTION:

    Is your choice of free antivirus doing well in the past half year? Is the company that develops it having it enrolled in enough tests to sufficiently prove its efficacy? This report aims to dive deep and find that out.

    It is important to understand what is being described within this report. THIS IS -NOT- a homegrown malware test report. This is in fact a collection and summation of test results from four major, known-reputable, independent testing organizations, from August 2011 to February 2012. AV-TEST's results are already numerical, and for this reason, will be used as the initial part of this report. The other vendors' tests will be converted to numerical values based on how each individual product scored.

    Before reading, please consider this: If your choice of free antivirus does great in all the tests it participates in, but only participates in half of the tests that are carried out, does that make it still good? That is ultimately your opinion, but from a scientific point of view, lack of producing evidence when the opportunity existed and others did should be denoted as a negative test result. This report assumes that logic...




    AV-TEST Results:

    * Jan/Feb 2012:
    -> Avast Free composite score: 14/18
    -> AVG Free composite score: 14/18
    -> Microsoft SE composite score: 12.5/18
    -> Panda Free composite score: 14.5/18

    * Nov/Dec 2011:
    -> Avast Free composite score: 12/18
    -> AVG Free composite score: 14/18
    -> Microsoft SE composite score: 12/18
    -> Panda Free composite score: 13/18

    * Sep/Oct 2011:
    -> Avast Free composite score: 14/18
    -> AVG Free composite score: 14.5/18
    -> Microsoft SE composite score: 13/18
    -> Panda Free composite score: 14/18

    * Jul/Aug 2011:
    -> Avast Free composite score: 12.5/18
    -> AVG Free composite score: 14/18
    -> Microsoft SE composite score: 11/18
    -> Panda Free composite score: 14/18

    * Total composite scores:
    -> Avast Free: 52.5
    -> AVG Free: 56.5
    -> Microsoft SE: 48.5
    -> Panda Free: 55.5
    -> Avira Free: NOT PARTICIPATING IN TESTS, 38.5 (Baseline = Lowest Score - 10)
    -> PC Tools Free: NOT PARTICIPATING IN TESTS, 38.5 (Baseline = Lowest Score - 10)

    VERDICT: AVG Free has earned the best score from AV-TEST's reports by a margin of only 1 point away from Panda Free.




    Interpreting AV-Comparitives Results:

    * On-Demand Comparative (August 2011):
    -> Avast Free: Advanced+, 3 pts
    -> AVG Free: Advanced, 2 pts
    -> Avira Free: Advanced+, 3 pts
    -> Microsoft SE: Advanced, 2 pts
    -> Panda Free: Advanced+, 3 pts

    * Retrospective Test (November 2011):
    -> Avast Free: Advanced, 2 pts
    -> Avira Free: Advanced+, 3 pts
    -> Microsoft SE: Advanced, 2 pts
    -> Panda Free: Advanced, 2 pts

    * Whole Product "Real-World" Dynamic Test (Aug-Nov 2011):
    -> Avast Free: Standard, 1 pt
    -> Panda Free: Advanced, 2 pts

    * Performance Test (December 2011):
    -> Avast Free: Advanced+, 3 pts
    -> AVG Free: Advanced+, 3 pts
    -> Avira Free: Advanced+, 3 pts
    -> Microsoft SE: Advanced+, 3 pts
    -> Panda Free: Advanced+, 3 pts

    * Removal Test (December 2011):
    -> Avast Free: Standard, 1 pt
    -> AVG Free: Standard, 1 pt
    -> Avira Free: Advanced, 2 pts
    -> Microsoft SE: Advanced, 2 pts
    -> Panda Free: Standard, 1 pt

    * Total points:
    -> Avast Free: 10
    -> AVG Free: 6
    -> Avira Free: 11
    -> Microsoft SE: 9
    -> Panda Free: 11
    -> PC Tools Free: NOT PARTICIPATING IN TESTS, 0

    VERDICT: Both Avira Free and Panda Free are tied with the best score of 11 points. Take note that AVG suffered considerably for not including themselves in some of the tests.



    Interpreting West Coast Labs Real Time Results:
    (Observed at 8:35 PM CDT on March 27th of 2012.)

    * Average detection rate of all infection vectors:
    -> Microsoft SE: 91%, 9.1 pts
    -> Avira Free: 93%, 9.3 pts
    -> Avast Free: 97%, 9.7 pts
    -> AVG Free: 95%, 9.5 pts
    -> PC Tools Free: 94%, 9.4 pts
    -> Panda Free: NOT PARTICIPATING IN TEST, 0 pts

    VERDICT: Avast Free currently has the best score at the time of observation. Keep in mind this is a 28-day average.



    Interpreting VirusBulletin's Results:

    * August 2011 (Windows Vista SP2 x64 Business Ed)
    -> Avast Free: VB100, 1 pt
    -> Avira Free: VB100, 1 pt
    -> Microsoft SE: VB100, 1 pt

    * October 2011 (Windows Server 2003)
    -> Avast Free: VB100, 1 pt

    * December 2011 (Windows 7 Professional)
    -> Avast Free: WildList misses, 0 pts
    -> Avira Free: VB100, 1 pt
    -> Microsoft SE: VB100, 1 pt

    * February 2012 (Red Hat Enterprise Linux)
    Test currently discounted due to lack of information on what specific product was actually tested to ensure fairness.

    * Total points:
    -> Avast Free: 2
    -> Avira Free: 2
    -> Microsoft SE: 2
    -> AVG: NOT PARTICIPATING IN TESTS, 0
    -> Panda: NOT PARTICIPATING IN TESTS, 0
    -> PC Tools: NOT PARTICIPATING IN TESTS, 0

    VERDICT: All three products that participated in these tests, Avast Free, Avira Free, and Microsoft SE, tied with 2 points. It is honorable that Avast Free was included in the server test and passed.




    Master Total:

    From August 2011 to February 2012, the products are listed below (best to worst) based on their scores (and participation or lack thereof) earned in each test conducted by the major four known-reputable, independent testing bodies named above...

    * Avast Free: 74.2 pts
    * AVG Free: 72 pts
    * Microsoft SE: 68.6 pts
    * Panda Free: 66.5 pts
    * Avira Free: 60.8 pts
    * PC Tools Free: 47.9 pts




    ENDING NOTES:

    You may find that you disagree with this master score section, because this report considers ALL tests from August to February at equal weight. The reason for this, however, is to place emphasis on amount of data available, and furthermore to penalize vendors for specifically excluding their free editions in 3rd party testing. Vendors should by all means stand by all of their products, despite their cost or other factors. Security software is crucial, and in determining which one is the best, it is important to have lots of data. When vendors are not making enough data available, they are hurting themselves and their consumers.

    To give a vendor credit for the scores they earned from their paid products or suites would be unfair, because they often will cut out parts of the engine or aspects of protection that which almost always affect the score they earn. Even if the paid product or suite has the identical engine, even a small addition like a malicious website filter that occasionally blocks a bad URL could change the scores from some of these testing sources. So for this reason, we have chosen to be strict on ensuring it is specifically the free version that is being tested for this report. Readers are of course free to disregard this and draw their own conclusions, but be cautioned that different products are different products!
     
  2. Dark Shadow

    Dark Shadow Registered Member

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    STVO726,Nice work. I will give Avast credit, they dive right in and usually with good results.
     
  3. adrenaline7

    adrenaline7 Registered Member

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    great post
     
  4. Brocke

    Brocke Registered Member

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    Right avast 7 is really strong with the cloud features and sandbox and BB improvments
     
  5. carat

    carat Guest

    ... and the other 27 shields :rolleyes: For example: PCAV without all the bells and whistles has a better protection ;)
     
  6. Atul88

    Atul88 Registered Member

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    Avast free has always been my Favorite!!!:D :D
    Agree with u there!!!
     
  7. STV0726

    STV0726 Registered Member

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    If that's true then, why can't you tell me, why don't they have their FREE version (just PCAV) tested more?

    That's the whole point of this...I'm truly beginning to think transparency with efficacy results is more important than individual good scores.

    @ Everyone Else: Thanks for the very positive comments! I was expecting nothing but flames for posting this! :)
     
  8. ams963

    ams963 Registered Member

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    emsisoft don't take part in tests......does that mean eam is not good?.......
     
  9. STV0726

    STV0726 Registered Member

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    Not necessarily. I used Prevx 3.0 for a long time (alongside a traditional product, though) when they were not tested by many of the major organizations.

    What it does mean is that they aren't being transparent, which that in itself isn't good. If you stand by your product, what do you have to hide? People have the right to know how your product stands in comparison to other products. Whether it is a free version or a paid version, an end user is choosing your product, and you should definitely have something more to give them than just "we think our product is good."

    So what ends up happening when rebels like Emsisoft refuse to take part in major testing? YouTesters happily rise to fill that role, and then as a result, incorrect information gets out there and people judge the product based on poorly conducted tests. This is why I am a firm believer that it is in every company's benefit to participate in official testing by the major organizations in the long run.

    Let's keep this post about free AVs for now though, as I didn't intend to critique other paid solutions for not participating in tests; at least not with this post. This thread is about how well free AVs are doing, and how transparent their developer is being about having the free versions tested along with the paid versions.

    Thank you.
     
  10. carat

    carat Guest

    How many tests do you want? :D

    However, I think there is no reason to use a paid AV because the free AV are pretty good :)
     
  11. STV0726

    STV0726 Registered Member

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    That is also part of the point of this thread. I want to increase the # of times companies opt to include their free AVs in testing so that people have more evidence that free AVs are sufficient. Then as a result of that, perhaps paid AVs will realize they REALLY gotta step up their game to re-convince people they do need to pay. :D

    Thanks for reading!
     
  12. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    I don't doubt that some free av's are pretty good. The main reason I usually prefer the paid versions is to avoid the nag screens, etc. What really irks me is when the paid versions start using the nag screens.
     
  13. JoeBlack40

    JoeBlack40 Registered Member

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    Entirely false.Don't make statements just for the sake of the statement.
     
  14. HKEY1952

    HKEY1952 Registered Member

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    STVO726, Thanks for the informative Post, very professional.

    It was helpful to discover through this test result collaboration that my favorite free security software is faring
    around average plus.


    HKEY1952
     
  15. RejZoR

    RejZoR Registered Member

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    Donno, i have yet to see some results for avast! 7.0. So far there still aren't any tests done by AV-C or AV-Test so we'll see.

    They just offer modularity. They could just as well stuff everything into 1 shield. But they haven't decided to do so. Frankly, the number of all shields is 8 and they could consolidate them into just 3 (File System, Network Protection and Behavioral Protection) like i've suggested to them already some time ago. Mostly because shields now depend on eachother way more than before. So consolidating them would make sense. We'll see. Maybe for avast! 8.x...
     
  16. carat

    carat Guest

    +1 :)
     
  17. STV0726

    STV0726 Registered Member

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    Hey everyone!

    Thanks again for the positive regards! I am happy to contribute! :)

    Hopefully Avast 7 will be good...I have a feeling it will. As for now, MSE is in a similar situation in terms of waiting for a new version to be released. The purpose of my results analysis report was to give each vendor about half a year of all tests reports to give a collection of efficacy information.
     
  18. MaleleS87

    MaleleS87 Registered Member

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    I just have to update it frequently...

    but it works fine, at least it is free
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  19. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    @ STV0726, A very interesting post. :thumb:

    I am quite interested to see what the next version of MSE is like (I run MSE). I actually tried The Panda Cloud once, & it was incredibly light & easy to use, but prone to a few too many false-positives for my liking.
     
  20. STV0726

    STV0726 Registered Member

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    Thanks!

    I agree about v4.

    As for Panda...I don't know...I feel they are at the point where they should get in more tests.
     
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