Sunday, August 29, 2010

July 2010 Internet Security Performance Test by AV-Comparatives

Testing organization AV-Comparatives issued a 17 page report: “Performance Test (Suite Products). Impact of Security Suites on System Performance”. This was NOT a test on Internet Security Suite effectiveness. Panda Internet Security 2011 received the top score among the products tested. The complete report can be viewed and/or downloaded at

Internet Security Suites Tested

The products tested were: avast! Internet Security 5.0, AVG Internet Security 9.0, BitDefender Internet Security 2010, eScan Internet Security Suite 10, ESET Smart Security 4.2, F-Secure Internet Security 2011, G DATA Internet Security 2011, Kaspersky Internet Security 2011, Kingsoft Internet Security 2010, Norman Security Suite Pro 8, Panda Internet Security 2011, PC Tools Internet Security 2011, Symantec Norton Internet Security 2011

The tasks performed (multiple times) to measure performance were - File copying, Archiving / Unarchiving, Encoding / Transcoding, Installing / Uninstalling applications, Launching applications, Downloading files, Worldbench Testing Suite (XP).

Internet Security Solutions Receiving Advanced Certification

Nine companys’ internet security solutions received AV Comparative’s advanced certification level. Panda Internet Security 2011 received the top overall score. Note above which products were 2010 and which ones were 2011 releases. The product’s overall weighted scores were as follows:

1. Panda - 195
2. Kingsoft - 185
3. Norman - 181
4. Symantec - 179
5. eScan - 179
6. ESET - 177
7. Avast - 176
8. F-Secure - 173
9. AVG - 172

The above is a weighted average summary score. The 17 page report has multiple tables and additional details.

Boot Time Measurements Not Part of Testing

The report goes into great detail as to why boot times were not part of the test. In part, they said, “We did not test boot-times on purpose. Security products need to load on systems at an early stage to provide security from the very beginning – this load has some impact on the time needed for a system to start up. Measuring boot times accurately is challenging. The most significant issue is to define exactly when the system is fully started, as many operating environments may continue to perform start-up activities for some time after the system appears responsive to the user.” It’s worth reading the complete explanation on page 4 of the reports, as some vendors “game” their install, to make it look quicker, at the cost of protecting the customer.

Considerations in Selecting an Internet Security Solution

In the end, more critical factors in selecting an internet security solution include: are: which product provides the protection I need, which product provides any additional functionality I need, what is the price. Some of these performance criteria can be used as a tie breaker. They should not be the first cut in selecting an internet security solution. For information on some of the 2011 products that were included in this test, go to. “Internet Security 2011 – The Rush to Release” and ‘Internet Security 2011 – The Rush to Release Part II”

About AV-Comparatives

AV-Comparatives is an Austrian Non-Profit-Organization, which is providing independent Anti-Virus software tests free to the public

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