Best antivirus versus PC Advisor recommendation

  Broooz 19:36 18 Jan 2010

Have just read the PCAdvisor recommended antivirus in the latest magazine. It seems to point to the market leaders like kaspersky, mcafee and norton. However if you read AV-Comparatives (see click here) they give low scores to mcafee and norton although they do agree with kaspersky. The av-comparatives studies appear very thorough and I am left wondering how they compare with what PCA do (detail not given).

Of particular concern to me (as a user) was the low score for ESET whereas AV-comparatives give it a high score.

1. Why dont PCA give more detail on their tests.

2. If not why should we regard their tests as better than others like AV-C.

3. In fact would it not be better for pca to give a summary of what the market is saying?



  OTT_B 20:31 18 Jan 2010

Only someone from PCA could really ever definitively answer your question.

The impression I get, rightly or wrongly, is that PCA is not so much a "read and make your own mind up" publication, as it is a "we're the experts and we don't expect a lot of our readers to have the knowledge or need to question our methods", publication.

I could be completely wrong.

  Salut 22:01 18 Jan 2010

I agree with OTT_B that the questions Broooz raises can only be answered by PCA.

That said, the market for anti virus software is being filled by many different providers. It is also a fast changing market as virus become more sophisticated. You also have to factor in the number of free cut-down versions of the paid for software. That means a huge list of products to analyse and publish.

I use Avast, simply because the users of this forum recommend it as one of those numerous examples of free software. It does the job that I require. I have no doubt a fully functioning paid for version would give greater security, however, I am cautious about the sites I visit, so the freeby is OK for me.

And there is the rub, what is it that you want and how much are you prepared to pay, or not pay.

PCA does a fair job in analysing and reporting the frequent changes to anti virus software, though I again agree with OTT_B,not everyone wants to read the full documentation-some simply want to cut to the chase and decide that way.

Thanks for bringing the AV Comparatives article to the forums notice, I am sure others will also find it of interest.

  gardener 23:20 18 Jan 2010


I agree, every review seems to reach a different conclusion with anti-virus and it changes from year to year leaving consumers confused. I too use ESET and it seems to do a great job. However, Kaspersky does seem to top most tests so maybe it's time for a change...until the next reviews come out :)

  theDarkness 23:56 18 Jan 2010

for 2009/2010 articles Norton is getting alot of number one spots for best antivirus. im still using the freebie version of avira. i found a suspected virus in one of my emails the other day. The email was pretending to be an automated parcel company response, which contained some nonsense stating i had to collect a parcel from them and download/open the attached info. It was addressed to my real email at the top (not the usual "[email protected]" or similar) but they still messed up badly - the email had poor spelling in one or two words, but what was even worse was that it said it was a US parcel company. LOL. Im not travelling to the states to pick up a parcel..

I knew fine it was the usual spam with an attached virus, but out of curiousity and for a test, I downloaded it. I unzipped it. It was an ".exe" application file, common for viruses/trojans. Of course I did not run it, that would have been stupid! Instead, I scanned it with Avira. No detection. I also uploaded it to the Norton site, no detection. About 20 mins later, i tried the Norton site. It now reports back that I do have a nasty trojan/malware! hurrah! I uploaded the virus myself to Aviras own website, no idea if it was because of me or not, but a day or two later I got a thankyou email stating that Avira is now listing my suspect file as a new trojan. They didnt name it after me though :( lol

If somebody uploaded the suspect file and sent it to norton, i can only say that norton gets the thumbs up for being quicker in updating it to their database of nasties. I guess if its new suspect malware that does not work in similar ways to whats already known, no antivirus program is going to be able to detect it anyway - i guess the public do need to play their part and upload them to their used antivirus programs homepage. No idea how i get so much spam mail! first one ive ever received with an attached newbie virus

  Forum Editor 00:03 19 Jan 2010

any of those products."

No, we don't.

  DieSse 00:19 19 Jan 2010

"No, we don't."

Er - what's the PC ADVISOR SOFTWARE SHOP then?

click here

  ame - hi! 01:15 19 Jan 2010

Very good, DieSse. Sometimes I do wonder about posts from the FE's - in the nicest possible way, of course, because they make the forums possible. Broooz - you pays your money (or not) and you take your choice, but there is obviously no definitive answer. How may posts have there been in the last year (and previous years) on what is the best AV "at the moment?"

  Batch 09:25 19 Jan 2010

AFAIK, in many (most?) cases the protection afforded by free versions is no worse than paid for versions. Sometimes the free versions have restricted options (e.g. no automatic updates or automatic daily scans), but the underyling engines and databases used are the same.

For many of these companies it makes good marketing sense. They realise that the home market is highly price sensitive, whereas the business market is much less so. In order to achieve market penetration and presence they need to get their products out there and known. Providing their solutions free to people who would be unlikely to pay for it anyhow makes good commercial sense.

  Broooz 09:47 19 Jan 2010

Thanks for the comments.

Please can the forum editor tell me who I should ask at PC Advisor if they would publish more background to their tests. I am a subscriber to the magazine and find it very useful but this would make it more worthwhile.


  Broooz 09:50 19 Jan 2010

I dont agree that free versions have the same engine as the paid for versions. I regularly use Norton's free scan of the whole C-drive as a double check on ESET - it takes a fraction of the time their paid version ever took (a few years ago at least when I used norton).

Also, the detection rates of some of the free ones are not as good as the paid ones - going by AV-Comparatives at least.

That said, the rfee ones provide an excellent service and would be enough for most people. I use my computer for banking and want that extra bit of protection in case.

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