Security software awards

What's the best antivirus software, and how can you tell? When we review security software at Download.com, we do hands-on testing, looking at everything from user-friendliness to virus eradication, but we also look at test results from independent institutes like AV-Test and AV-Comparatives. These labs do not produce their own antivirus software and perform rigorous, objective tests on security suites from all major manufacturers. Here are the consumer security apps that recently won the labs' seal of approval:

AV-Test awards

Best protection against malware: Trend Micro Internet Security ($39.95)

Best performance (speed): Kaspersky Internet Security ($79.95)… Read more

Which Android security apps are the most effective?

Looking for a reliable security app for your Android device? AV-Test recently checked out 30 different apps, awarding many of them good grades.

The January 2014 report lists all the apps included in AV-Test's analysis. One column shows how the app fared at basic protection, while another column displays its record at usability. Six solid white squares in a row means the app got a score of 6 out of 6.

Drilling down on any one app reveals further details, including the criteria AV-Test used to gauge protection and usability. A Features section also tells you which important security … Read more

Security suites jockey for position on Windows 8.1

Independent security testing firm AV-Test.org released its first Windows 8.1 results earlier this week, showing that, once again, most security suites are capable, but not great, at protecting you from threats.

AV-Test spent most of 2013 focusing on testing security suites on versions of Windows prior to Windows 8. The company's January and February tests showed that top-rated suites on Windows 7 generally performed well on Windows 8. The new Windows 8.1 tests saw similar results.

The new tests compared 24 suites during November and December 2013 on Windows 8.1 with no default security features … Read more

Adobe and Java vulnerabilities leave Windows open for exploitation

A recent report by the AV-Test Institute found that exploits in Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, and Java account for 66 percent of Windows systems affected by malware.

In a 10-year-plus study, AV-Test uncovered that one exploit for Adobe Reader had nearly 37,000 recorded variants that exploited user machines with high levels of precision. Users with outdated software or versions known to be susceptible stood virtually no chance of avoiding malware damage without some form of protective software.

The biggest offender? Java, which had a whopping 82,000 attacks spread across different versions, making it one of the most vulnerable … Read more

Bing serves up more malicious sites than Google, report says

Although most search engines have measures in place to protect users against trojans, malicious sites still manage to crop up from time to time -- even in the top search results. An independent testing lab in Germany by the name of AV-Test has just completed an 18-month survey to find out which search engines are the worst offenders.

The lab tested 40 million Web sites (PDF) across seven search engines -- Google and Bing, the world's two most popular search engines; Yandex, Russia's biggest search engine; Blekko; peer-to-peer search engine Faroo; Teoma, better known as Ask.com; and … Read more

Windows 8's rising security tide raises all antivirus boats

In one of the first independent tests of third-party security suites on Windows 8, nearly all antivirus and anti-malware software tested well. What may surprise you is that even without a third-party suite, Windows 8 is relatively resistant to modern threats like zero-day attacks, according to the report.

Independent German security suite evaluators AV-Test.org publish bimonthly tests that rate the effectiveness of the biggest Windows security suites out there and rated all 26 of the suites they tested on Windows 8 in January and February as "certified," including Windows 8 itself. This is because Windows 8 comes … Read more

Microsoft challenges poor grade for Security Essentials

Microsoft isn't too happy with the results of a recent test that found fault with its antivirus software.

For the second time in a row, the company's Security Essentials failed to win certification from AV-Test, a German-based testing lab that evaluates the efficacy of antivirus products. Out of 25 programs tested, only three failed to gain AV-Test's thumb's up for certification.

Microsoft's Forefront Endpoint Protection, which is geared toward corporate customers, also failed to gain certification.

Microsoft responded to the test via a blog posted yesterday, challenging its findings.

"Our review showed that 0.… Read more

Microsoft bombs another security test

Updated Thursday, January 17, 2012, at 4:50 p.m. PDT with comment from AV-Test.org.

For the second time in a row, Microsoft Security Essentials has failed to be certified as effective by AV-Test.org, an independent testing lab based in Germany.

The lab publishes test results every two months, and the test from November and December 2012 looked at 25 consumer antivirus security programs. Three failed certification: PC Tools Internet Security 2012, AhnLab Internet Security 8.0, and Microsoft Security Essentials 4.1.

This was the second test in a row in which MSE failed to earn certification. … Read more

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 AV-Test.org.

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 AV-Test.org 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

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. AV-Test.org'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