ESET Superman Just yesterday we wrote about how some of the best antivirus apps were having troubles passing the VB100 test. In that scenario the apps were only tested against viruses that had already been released to the wild. That’s the most basic of all tests since the antivirus apps just have to look at the virus signatures to see if it matches something in their database, but that only tells one side of the story.




Another important aspect of finding the best antivirus program is how well it can detect those viruses that have yet to be created. I mean face it, several hours pass before even the best antivirus companies update their virus definitions, and in that period of time you are susceptible to fresh attacks.

That’s where retrospective testing comes into play. As I’ve said before this puts the heuristic engine to the test by using an old version of the antivirus software’s database against some of the most recent viruses. For example, I would use an antivirus application that was last updated October 15th, but I would only scan for viruses that were created after October 15th so that the software knows nothing about the existence of the viruses.

The last time I wrote about this test in June 2007 NOD32 took home the gold medal, and they did it yet again. To determine the most highly ranked apps they look at both the percentage of detection versus how many false positives there were. False positives play an important role because any antivirus can be overprotective and flag things that “might” be suspicious, but in the end it will just be annoying for the user.

So how did the programs fair this time around? I’ve created two different lists, the first of which is sorted purely based upon what percentage of viruses it detected. The next list is sorted based upon the rating given by AV-Comparitives.org, which takes into account the number of false positives.

Note: The antivirus applications were tested against more than 25,000 viruses.


Best Antivirus (Detection Rate)

  • AntiVir PE Premium (81% with many false positives)
  • NOD32 (71% with no false positives)
  • TrustPort (56% with many false positives)
  • BitDefender Pro (44% with many false positives)
  • Kasperksy (40% with few false positives)
  • Dr. Web (39% with many false positives)
  • AntiVirusKit (39% with few false positives)
  • Avast! Professional (37% with few false positives)
  • Norton (35% with very few false positives)
  • Microsoft OneCare (35% with few false positives)
  • McAfee (34% with few false positives)
  • Norman (33% with few false positives)
  • F-Prot (33% with many false positives)
  • AVG Anti-Malware (25% with few false positives)
  • F-Secure (14% with very few false positives)
  • eScan (14% with very few false positives)
  • FortiClient (3% with few false positives)

Best Antivirus (Detection Rate & False Positives)

Note: Listed from best to worse.

Advanced+:

  • NOD32 (71% with no false positives)
    ESET - Download NOD32 Here!
  • Kasperksy (40% with few false positives)

Advanced:

  • AntiVirusKit (39% with few false positives)
  • Avast! Professional (37% with few false positives)
  • Norton (35% with very few false positives)
  • Microsoft OneCare (35% with few false positives)
  • McAfee (34% with few false positives)
  • Norman (33% with few false positives)
  • AVG Anti-Malware (25% with few false positives)

Standard:

  • AntiVir PE Premium (81% with many false positives)
  • TrustPort (56% with many false positives)
  • BitDefender Pro (44% with many false positives)
  • Dr. Web (39% with many false positives)
  • F-Prot (33% with many false positives)
  • F-Secure (14% with very few false positives)
  • eScan (14% with very few false positives)