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Do we need an Antivirus?

Are you one of those people, who thinks “I have a original copy of a top-rated anti-virus installed, so I don’t give a damn about viruses”. Well, if it’s so, now is the best time to remodel your strategy. Currently, about 55,000 new malware are written everyday. But the fact that malware are infecting in newer ways is a lot more threatening. The Stuxnet worm could be a forerunner for future disasters, even though it is aimed at industrial software and equipment and few home users. Antivirus vendors observe that Trojans, key loggers and bots are increasingly being programmed professionally and hence are becoming more dangerous. Without antivirus protection, there is a very high risk that a computer will be infected. So, statistically, it is compulsory to have an anti-virus installed, to stay protected.

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How good is your antivirus against today's malwares?
List of antivirus solutions

What Antivirus offers us?

Reputation: Better Real Time Protection

Reputation technologies are the most important addition to the cloud services in this year. Antivirus developers obtain data from all the used security suites (as long as the user agrees) about the origin, size or behavior patterns of unknown files, which are sent to the cloud server and are evaluated there. “With that, we can differentiate trustworthy and potential suspicious files even before theyre available in the laboratory”, says Stefan Wesche, Technical Expert, Norton Products at Symantec. Reputation analysis is only one of the many detection levels; however, they help the program to decide how to deal with unknown files. You can see how this process runs in the info graphic, using F-secure as an example.

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Virus Detection Test

The top group antivirus softwares achieved sound results and recognized between 97 and 100 percent of the Trojans, backdoors and fake antivirus programs, Kaspersky and Eset have big problems. Their hit rate is considerably below average, mainly in case of Trojans and fake antiviruses. Eset missed 90 percent of the hurdles and overlooked about 30,000 potential viruses – a highly unacceptable value. As against that, Panda proved to be very efficient: from about 270,000 samples, its suite overlooked just 646.

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Nevertheless, all programs passed the mandatory test, the complete recognition of all known malware, with 100 percent results. The false alarms for harmless files were also in manageable limits. The scan engines didn’t give false alarm for 11,604 Windows and Office files. F-secure and G Data managed without any errors for 135,712 files of other software. Avira struggled the most with seven false alarms in the test. In addition, Avira was very annoying with warning messages for Winzip and the Defraggler system tool. Even Google Earth was totally blocked when launched.

Malware Attack: Poor Removal

No security suite managed to get rid of all destructive software. The highest scorer in test: PC Tools got rid of the active component of nine out of ten viruses, and even fixed the system changes for eight of those. McAfee and Eset lay turned down at the end; they could not remove the active components from each of the four viruses.

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System Boot-up: Snails and Sprinters

The boot time was severely affected with Kaspersky Internet Security. The boot up lasted longer than any other program with Windows taking its own sweet time to load the components and start the real time protection

Eset Internet Security certainly doesn’t offer any effective protection, but it hardly delays Windows startup.

Panda, G Data and Eset took thrice as long as BitDefender for the first scan and were also not considerably fast during the second run.

Interface: Tidy and Informative

Confusing user interfaces and the pop-up messages were nuisance for a long time. The programs should show with clear symbols whether the computer is protected and how one can solve possible problems. In addition, they should only report in emergency cases so as not to distract the user. BitDefender, with three selectable interfaces for beginner, intermediate and expert, and G Data understand the requirements of the user very well and present their suites in a very neat design. F-Secure is also convincing, with clear information as well as a well thought-out menu structure, which prevents long searches.

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What will be your Antivirus now?

Even though, each anti-virus software is dominating in its each zone, no anti-virus offers complete security at all levels and for all malwares. Also, it is tough to choose an anti-virus from a pool of other similar softwares. But, Norton anti-virus performed decently across various tests, followed by Bitdefender, F-secure, Panda, G-Data and Avira. It’s now up to you, to decide, “Which antivirus to buy?”.

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