A recent thread has discussed and then flamed the antivirus tests carried out by commercial magazines. I would like to add to this the results of a very recent test in the UK and also to widen the discussion on where we can obtain reliable information on the capabilities of AV Scanners. A relatively new magazine in the UK- PC Extreme- has just published an interesting comparison of 24 Antivirus scanners and 6 trojan cleaners. This was interesting for a number of reasons; 1. The number of programs tested - invariably in the UK, in magazine testing the number of scanners has been between 4 and 10 and with one exception, Norton or McAfee have received the Editors Choice. So no surprises there!!!! Some of the scanners used in the test I had never heard of - Fire and Solo for example. 2. This test was solely on detection ability of the scanners and their scan speed and not other criteria. 3. NOD32 was tested. The first time I have seen this carried out outside of the virus bulletin. Each on demand scanner was tested against 47,000 'viruses' including file, Dos, macro, Windows and script viruses, malware and trojans. 'All antivirus programs had the latest engine upgrades, updates and the scan was made with maximum heuristics set in all programs' ( 5-10th November, 2002). The overall detection rate was as follow;the top 10 being; 1. F-Secure->99%; 2. KAV4->99%; 3.McAfee-97%; 4.RAV-95%; 5. E-Scan-95%' 6.F-Prot-92%; 7. PC-Cillin-92%; 8. Sophos-90%;9. Norton-89%; 10.Dr Web- 88%. The results for only antitrojan detection were very similar to the above with Avast replacing Dr Web in the top 10. In contrast, AVG, E-Trust, Ikarus, VirusBuster and Quick Heal brought up the rear in both categories. So overall these results are what we would have generally expected. However the big shock was with NOD32( under the name NodIce32) which was listed only 19th in overall detection and 14th in antitrojan detection. NOD for example only picked up 59% of the trojans tested. NOD was not the only AV program to 'underperform'; Norman and Panda also were well away from the top 10 listed above. From the above I would like to make the following comments; 1. Why was NOD the only one of accepted 'excellent' AV Scanners ( KAV, RAV, Dr Web, E-Scan) to underperform? This was not only in trojan detection but also in virus detection e.g. only 76% of 2703 script viruses picked up. Whereas the relatively poor scanners e.g. Ikarus and VirusBuster were in there perceived positions i.e. bringing up the rear. Is this commercial test therefore judged to be 'rubbish' because NOD was not number 1? NOD has conquered all in the virus bulletin results over the last few years but it is difficult to judge the overall effectiveness of a scanner when you can pass the test for a particular month but not pick up all the viruses and also fail the test by catching all the viruses but producing too many false positives. I am not stating that NOD has missed any viruses here but apparently some other 'Passed' scanners have. I am not flaming NOD as I am a registered owner of this program( together with KAV4 and Dr Web)but I am somewhat puzzled that this scanner seemed to be the only one that seriously underperformed. In addition from what I can see this new magazine does not appear to be as commercial as some others in the UK which only carry recommendations for Symantec products. 2. Commercial sites such as Cnet are now I think well known to support only the big buck programs such as Norton and most people do not take their own reviews seriously, particularly after the recent review of NOD. Although the reviews of customers I do find interesting and more truthful. Therefore judge these sites with caution. 3. Forums here and elsewhere are also informative and I have switched to NOD and Dr Web with information from here. So I have found this forum very useful for choosing security programs although there has been some comments of late that wilders shows a bias towards NOD and shoots down those which are not followers( not my words). Therefore where do people suggest we go for unbiased, reliable information about the performance of AV Scanners?