Which Anti-Virus for Windows, Android and Mac? Latest lab test results
For this review we summarize the cumulated results of several months of anti-virus and anti-malware protection tests, for most of the market-leading Anti-Virus software, from the two leading test labs. The tests have been performed by AV-Comparatives and AV-TEST, the two leading anti-virus research and testing institutes worldwide. Nobody else has a collection of millions of recent and ancient malware samples available as well as an undisputed reputation for strict impartiality. Because anti-virus solutions are normally offered as 1-year-subscriptions, we inform you about the latest test-results of both labs, to give you an overview, which solutions offer the best protection this year. Mobile devices under Android have now become a lucrative target of cybercriminals. If you’re an iPhone user or even one of the few Windows Phone users left, you do not need a mobile anti-virus app, because malware has a hard time to get into your phone system. iOS as well as Windows Phone are closed like sandboxes and do not resemble an open operating system available in many variants, as is Android. So, safely warding off infected apps for the Google operating system is among the ever-increasing challenges.
Several products show an excellent level of detection accuracy in the long-term test series’ of both labs. Another one of the most important criteria is false positive detection. This term means, that harmless or legit software samples are erroneously detected as malware. This may not be a risk in itself, but can make digital life more difficult: if you imagine to experience 132 false alarms (which was the worst false-positve result in AV-Comparatives’ latest test series) when using normal software or files, this may strain your patience more than a bit.
Most important results sum-up
- Bitdefender‘s Anti-Virus engine is the second best performing malware blocker at AV-Comparatives’ lab, with 99,9% blocked malware samples and with an even lower false positives rate then Panda. Bitdefender slows down the computer only 2.2 of 100 points of the PC Mark 10 Home score, which is also one of the best results in this test. Bitdefender removes 79% of the tested malware, in case one of the 0,01 percent of malware which was not blocked in the test hits your system and infects it. This is one of the best results in AV-Comparatives’ 2017 malware removal test. Bitdefender reaches the highest possible certification in this field, too. While you can download a free version of Bitdefender Anti-Virus for Windows, you have to pay for Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac – but Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac is the top product in AV-Comparatives’ 2017 malware blocking tests on MacOS X with 100% blocked malware in this test. It offers a 100% malware blocking capability in AV-TEST’s blocking test on MacOS X Sierra, too. Bitdefender have a business security solution available for companies, too, which was also tested by AV-Comparatives. Bitdefender received the Product of the Year award from AV-Comparatives 2017, because it won more tests and certifications than any other product at AV-Comparatives in 2017. Bitdefender is also the winner of most of AV-TEST`s 2017 awards. According to AV-TEST Bitdefender Internet Security offers the best protection to consumers as well as Endpoint Security to business users, together with Symantec. Bitdefender receives the awards for “outstanding protection”, but that’s not the only prize AV-TEST awarded to Bitdefender: Bitdefender products “demonstrated strong protection with minimal reduction of system resources within the one-year test period”. That’s why “AV-TEST is honoring Bitdefender Internet Security and Bitdefender Endpoint Security, as well as two Kaspersky products, with the Best Performance 2017 Award. Finally, AV-TEST tested, which products remediate malware incections in the most comprehensive way, and found out, that Bitdefender Internet Security and two Kaspersky Lab products, one of them free, prove to be the best form of assistance in case your computer was infected with malware. All three products earn the Best Repair 2017 Award. In AV-TEST’s 2017 test, the Android apps Bitdefender Mobile Security and Symantec Norton Mobile Security managed to perfectly protect Android devices. Both security apps and therefore two manufacturers receive AV-TEST’s Best Android Security 2017 Award. Bitdefender Mobile Security and Antivirus provided 100% malware protection, zero false positives and a variety of useful security features in the AV-Comparatives Mobile Security Test 2017. “The application worked very well in our tests and seems to be mature. A small security issue which may be solved in future releases is the absence of the Uninstall Protection”, the AV-Comparatives test engineer states.
- Panda‘s Anti-Virus engine is the best performing malware blocker at AV-Comparatives’ lab, with 100% blocked malware samples and a relatively low false positives rate. The results of the AV-Comparatives Real World Protection Test July – November 2017 state Panda Anti-Virus as the best performing malware blocker, therefore it receives a joint Gold Award for AV-Comparatives’ Real-World Protection Test 2017. Second best is BitDefender in this long-term test series. It offers slightly weaker anti-malware protection, but also less chance of false positive detection. Panda slows down the computer only 2.3 of 100 points of the PC Mark 10 Home score, which is one of the best results in this test. Panda does not get a certification in the 2017 test of malware removal capabilities, but given a malware blocking rate of 100% this might not be a big deal of a problem. Panda offer a free Anti-Virus for Windows, and a paid one for Mac – the latter was not included in the AV-Comparatives’ Mac test of 2017. Neither was the free Panda Mobile Security for Andriod included in AV-Comparatives Mobile Security Test 2017 or in AV-TEST’s mobile test on Android. Which might mean (but does not have to mean – we simply don’t know) they did not meet the minimum requirements for these tests or the solutions have not been available for the public when the test started. Panda provide a business security solution for companies, too, which was also tested by AV-Comparatives.
- Symantec‘s range of security products is one of the top recommendations from AV-TEST: “In terms of risk protection, Symantec not only defends its top position of last year with the products Norton Security” (home) “and Endpoint Protection” (business), but is able to achieve a top finish with another product: because the vendor also offers the business solution Endpoint Protection Cloud, which is “an additional top-class IT security solution for companies”, according to AV-TEST. In their lab test, Norton Security blocked 100% of tested malware (as Bitdefender does) and caused the least impact on system performance on MacOS X Sierra among all tested products. While Symantec offers paid anti-virus software for Windows and MacOS X, there is no free anti-virus available for computers. In AV-TEST’s 2017 test, Symantec Norton Mobile Security received one of two AV-TEST’s Best Android Security 2017 Awards, the other one went to Bitdefender (see above). It was not included in the AV-Comparatives Mobile Security Test 2017. Good news: A restricted free version of Norton Mobile Security is available for download, although the AV-TEST results may be based on the protection level of the full version.
- Kaspersky‘s Internet Security and Small Office Security win AV-TEST’s Best Performance 2017 Award, that means, they slow down the computer considerably less then other solutions, except Bitdefender. Kaspersky Lab Internet Security and Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool demonstrated a “superb rescue capability”, according to AV-TEST, which might help if your computer was infected with malware. Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool is free to download and at least for this reason worth a try if you catch an infection. Kaspersky receives the Outstanding Product of 2017 Award at AV-Comparatives for 2017, having reached Advanced+ level in all 7 tests. Together with Panda it was awarded the joint Gold for the Malware Protection Test. Kaspersky offers a free version of its anti-virus solution for Windows, too. Kaspersky’s Android Internet Security product provides a 99,8% malware protection (0 false positives) as well as a great variety of functions and features for mobile security. Like most vendors Kaspersky does not offer a free virus protection for Android neither. Note that Kaspersky allegedly was involved in espionage on behalf of the Russian government and was banned from all U.S. government devices in mid-2017 for this reason. So if you guess the Kremlin cares about what’s on your computer(s) or mobile phones, you might wish to read Tom’s Guide’s comprehensive research on this issue before downloading any of the highly-lauded Kaspersky software versions.
Bitdefender reaches the best overall test results on Windows, Mac and Android in nearly all categories of short and long term lab tests with both of the leading security test labs, including the removal of active malware from infected systems. Moreover, Bitdefender lets you choose if you’d rather install a free or paid protection against malware on Windows (not on MacOS and Android). Some of the tested security features are only available in paid Windows versions, though. If you don’t mind to spend some money for a protected computer, Symantec might be your choice – especially if you have to protect a whole company, as they offer two different award-winning business solutions. Panda is a good choice, too, if you’re a consumer and stick to Windows and don’t use Android devices – as we have no meaningful independent test results on Android and MacOS yet for Panda.