Security Essentials fails latest AV-Test

Updated Monday, December 3, 2012, at 11:45 a.m. PDT with comment from Microsoft.

Updated Friday, November 30, 2012, at 1:00 p.m. PDT with comment from

In a month of uneven Windows 8 news and reviews, Microsoft is taking another hit. This time, its freeware Security Essentials finds itself in the crosshairs.

Independent German security suite evaluators publish bimonthly tests that rate the effectiveness of the biggest Windows security suites out there, and the recently published results showed that MSE failed to earn certification on the most recent test. MSE was the only … Read more

Avira kills its pop-up for 2013, sort of

The competition for the best free Windows security suite just got a lot more intense, as Avira returns to the field with its second major revamp in as many years of its flagship free antivirus and paid upgrades.

Available exclusively from today, Avira Free Antivirus 2013, along with the paid upgrades Avira Antivirus Premium 2013 and Avira Internet Security 2013, greatly expand the kinds of protection that Avira offers.

Avira wouldn't reveal a precise number of people who use the suite, but Opswat puts them at around 12.1 percent of the worldwide Windows market. Travis Witteveen, … Read more

New test results highlight Windows security struggles

Today might be Friday, September 14, but to PC security companies, it probably feels like Friday the 13th.'s latest regularly published results on home security suites have been released, and the vast majority of the best performing suites slipped a full point or more.

You can read the report at AV-Test's site.

AV-Test looks at three categories in its tests, and scores them each on a six-point scale. Protection gauges how well a suite blocks threats, Repair evaluates how well a suite removes malware, and Usability includes testing for false positives. Eleven points total are required … Read more

Will tweaks keep F-Secure competitive?

A firewall that boosts outbound protection, browser protection that almost doesn't care which browser is your favorite, and compatibility with Microsoft's big October gamble are the highlights of F-Secure's 2013 suites, released today.

There's actually quite a few changes to F-Secure Anti-Virus 2013 (download) and F-Secure Internet Security 2013 (download) this year, but nearly all of them are focused on enhancing security already in last year's suites -- as opposed to providing entirely new features.

The most notable changes in F-Secure come to how it interacts with your Web browser, and how its firewall works … Read more

Trend Micro shuffles features for your safety

Trend Micro wants to redefine the expectations of people buying security suites by changing what level of protection they get. The Trend Micro Titanium 2013 updates move feature sets around, lowering the price on features previously available only for more money, as well as debuting new ones.

Available exclusively from today, Titanium Antivirus Plus (30-day trial download, $39.95), Titanium Internet Security (30-day trial download, $79.95), Titanium Maximum Security (30-day trial download, $89.95), Titanium Premium Security (30-day trial download, $99.95), and Titanium Mac (30-day trial download, $69.95) push a number of formerly premium options … Read more

AVG goes all-in with Windows 8

Microsoft is forcing everybody to rethink the operating system that everybody loves to hate with Windows 8, and that includes security suite makers. Freeware faves AVG leap into the future today with a touch-friendly interface, a zippy installation, and impressively fast scans.

The upgrades are available at no cost as AVG Anti-Virus Free 2013 (download), or as a paid update to AVG Anti-Virus 2013 (download) and AVG Internet Security 2013 (download), exclusively from today.

Security vendor claims about being faster, or better, or able to protect your computer while doing your dishes, are perennial boasts. At least in … Read more

As Windows goes touch, Norton goes social

Symantec's annual Norton security suite delivers an interface optimized for Windows 8, but its new features address the mobile and social implications of the era arriving with the new operating system at the end of October.

The new features in Norton Anti-Virus 2013 (download), Norton Internet Security 2013 (download), and Norton 360 2013 (download), aim squarely to cut down on social engineering threats like scams and phishing attacks.

Windows 8 is already gaining a reputation as the safest version of Windows to date, but this doesn't surprise Gerry Egan, Norton's senior product manager. "Each time Microsoft … Read more

Panda 2013 reaches out, touches its Windows 8 future

Windows 8 support and a new interface for touch screens arrive in Panda's 2013 security suites, released today.

Following the mid-summer update to Panda Cloud Antivirus, Panda's 2013 line-up of Panda Antivirus Pro 2013 (download), Panda Internet Security 2013 (download), and Panda Global Protection 2013 (download) offers a competitive range of security features. But if you're not already a Panda fan, it's hard to see what's in this year's release that would convince you to jump.

There are some solid improvements, to be sure. As mentioned, the new landing screen favors large, mobile-style buttons, … Read more

New ZoneAlarm antivirus-firewall combo competes for free

ZoneAlarm is making an aggressive move to attract new people to its line of security programs with what may be a first: a free antivirus program pre-packaged with a free firewall.

Available exclusively from today, ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus+Firewall 2013 (download) could very well make big waves in the free security-suite space. It's the same free firewall that ZoneAlarm has produced for years, but with basic antivirus and anti-malware tools included. It's basically ZoneAlarm Pro Antivirus+Firewall from last year, with an updated engine. And did I mention that it's free?

The free security suite … Read more

Avast ports Windows shields to Mac

Avast will introduce the latest version of its Mac security suite as early as tomorrow, just a few weeks after Flashback, the third major OS X security scare in a year.

The company touts an unblemished record of blocking the virulent malware as evidence that its suite is a must-have.

Currently available from in beta, Avast Free Antivirus 7 for Mac (download) brings to the Mac several features that have made the Windows version one of the best free security suites. Along with an up-to-date version of the Avast antivirus and anti-malware engine and a redone interface, it … Read more