Independent project AV Comparatives, run by Andreas Cleminti, aims to conduct twice-a-year surveys of the effectiveness of leading antivirus package, conducting tests in February and August. This February (PDF), Microsoft’s Windows Live OneCare antivirus software came in dead last in the comparison of 17 products, catching just 82.4 percent of the one million known viruses AV Comparatives threw at it. OneCare’s score is low enough that AV Comparatives declined to give Microsoft’s antivirus product any certification rating at all, and may re-evaluate whether to even bother including it in future tests since it failed to meet its 85 percent threshold for participation. OneCare was the only tested product which failed to achieve a rating.
The leaders in AV Comparative’s tests this year were small players in the antivirus scene, with G Data Security’s AntiVirusKit (AVK) gaining top marks, detecting 99.5 percent of all malicious code thrown at it. Next came AEC’s TrustPort AV with a score of 99.4 percent, Avira’s AntiVir PR Premium with 98.9 percent, MicroWorld’s eScan Anti-Virus with 97.9 percent and F-Secure’s Antivirus Kit 2007 with 97.9 percent.
Big commercial products like Symantec’s Norton Antivirus and McAfee VirusScan garnered lower scores; Symantec stopped 96.8 percent of the malware thrown at it, but McAfee came in 14th, catching just 91.6 percent of viruses, worms, and other malicious code passed under its nose.
Antivirus software was tested under Windows XP SP 2.
Cleminti doesn’t claim his tests are conclusive, and encourages computer users to look at other independent evaluations of antivirus and security software as well as his own, and is quick to point out that other factors—such as interface, usability, support, price, localizations, and broad compatibility—may make some products more suitable for some computer users than others.