Security software showdown! 9 antivirus suites empirically tested

We tested security suites on PCs, tablets, and phones to evaluate how well they protect against viruses and other threats.

By Nick Mediati and Sarah Jacobsson Purewal, PC World |  Security, antivirus

BEST PROTECTION: Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security 2013This suite had the most well rounded protection of all the suites we looked at. It proved effective at keeping malware at bay and at cleaning up infected PCs.

BEST SPEED: Norton Internet Security The days of Norton being ridiculed as slow are long gone: Norton's newest suite had lightning-quick scan times, and its impact on overall PC performance was minimal.

BEST INTERFACE: Norton Internet Security We liked Norton's polished, easy-to-use interface and one-click installation process. It's also designed to be Windows 8-friendly.

A competitive field

The security software market is highly competitive and it showed in our test results. In our testing, no suite detected less than 97.8% of recent known malware samples, and blocked below around 94.4% of new malware in our "real-world" attack-blocking tests. False positives were also largely a non-issue. But if you look closely,there are still some notable differences.We noticed a fairly wide difference in terms of ease of use between the suites we looked at. While some--like Norton and Trend Micro--were very user friendly and polished, others--like Avira and G Data--were less so and seemed to be designed withexpert users in mind.In the end, even the lower-ranked suites performed reasonably well, but simply didn't stand out enough to claim a higher ranking.

What you don't get in these suites

For the sake of this story, we looked at mainstream Internet security suites, but most security companies also sell more feature-complete "advanced" suites. These suites include products like Norton 360, Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security, and AVGPremium Security.For the most part, these advanced suites feature the same basic antivirus engine as the more basic suites, but will also include PC maintenance tools, online backup, additional parental controls and privacy controls, and more.What comes in the more advanced packages compared to the more basic suites does very between manufacturers, though: Some include a mobile app with the basic suite, while others include it only in their advanced suites. In general, though, the basic suitescontain just about everything you'll need to keep your PC protected.

Threats to watch for in 2013

(by Tony Bradley)

More sophisticated phishing Email and text messages that contain links to malicious websites will improve in quality to the point that they'll be virtually indistinguishable from legitimate communications. The messages will become more polished and professional--no more broken English and poor grammar.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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