Antivirus Test: A Quest for Nearly Objective Rankings


The system used for testing consisted of a AMD Sempron 2600-Plus processor, Asus A7N8X-E motherboard, 3 GB of 184 pin DDR RAM, a Seagate 190GB SATA hard drive, and an nVidia video card. The test bed was installed with Ubuntu Linux (version 8.10 Intrepid Ibex) which ran a copy of Sun's Virtual Box (OSE 2.1.0). Most AV programs ran without incident on the test bed but a few had problems which are detailed in the table that follows.


I found a list of AV vendors on this website, which I augmented with additional AV found here. The Wiki sire had 35 unique AV product listings, including proprietary, freeware and open source. There were names that I have known for over 16 years as well as ones that I had never seen before. Of these listings, I eliminated those whose parent company no longer existed, those for operating systems other than Windows, those for whom I could not download an evaluation copy, and software at (or very near) the end of its life. What remained are the AV solutions evaluated here.


All AV software was downloaded directly from the vendor's website (where possible) or from a trusted source (C-Net or SourceForge) where the vendor did not directly support downloading. In all instances the software I downloaded was fully functional but time-limited software and would be the same that I would install and keep. For the companies that offered free versions of their products, I still chose the trial version of the commercial product.

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