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AV-TEST Reveals the Best Windows 7 Anti-Virus Programs

by on October 01, 2014
in Computer Safety & Support, News, Computers and Software, Software & Games, Blog :: 8 comments

Computer security concept image (lock button)We all know how important it is to have an anti-virus program running on all our devices to keep us safe. But trying to pick the right security software is admittedly difficult. There’s no shortage of options to choose from. And there are lots of factors to consider in the purchase, like protection, performance and usability.

Recently, the researchers at the respected AV-TEST Institute took an in-depth look into all the major security options available for computers running Windows 7. Programs were evaluated based on the level of protection each provides against malware and 0-day attacks; how taxing the software is on your computer speed and how likely it is to return false positive warnings. Twenty-four different options were tested in total.

The good news: Most antivirus programs will protect your computer quite well. Some of the most popular options – Bitdefender Internet Security 2014 & 2015, Kapersky Internet Security 2015, Intel Security 2015 and Norton Security 2014 – achieved perfect scores in all categories. Others; like Bullguard Internet Security 14.1, Qihoo 360 Internet Security and Check Point ZoneAlarm Extreme Security; came in a half point shy of perfection (17.5 out of 18). Many programs were dinged for usability and performance, but most did well in the most important “protection” category.

The worst performing anti-virus program overall, shockingly enough, is Microsoft’s own Security Essentials program. It was only able to defend against 76% of real world threats (like phishing emails) and 79% of widespread, known threats discovered in the 4 weeks prior to testing. Those figures are so low that AV-TEST awarded it a zero score for protection, its worst possible rating.

Curious how your antivirus solution stacks up? You can see the full results of AV-TEST’s research at the organization’s website. And be sure to take a look at our full computer safety and support coverage to stay up to date on the latest threats and anti-virus software releases.

[Keyboard lock key via Shutterstock]



Discussion loading

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Free Anti-Virus Programs

From peggy on November 30, 2014 :: 9:23 pm

I am currently using Microsoft’s own Security Essentials so imagine my surprise when I read this article.
I need to change to reliable program but since I am out of work without any income - what do you suggest that is free?

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Take a look at AVG & Avast

From Josh Kirschner on December 03, 2014 :: 11:03 am

Both have free versions that will outperform Microsoft Security Essentials, though are not quite up to the standards of the best paid programs.

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Free Anti-Virus Programs

From peggy on December 03, 2014 :: 3:18 pm

Thank you for the input but I am confused. The article lists 7 programs so I am not sure which programs you suggested for free.

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AV-Tests.org

From Adrian Ashurst on December 25, 2014 :: 7:29 pm

Norton security gets a rather rubbish rating on AV-Tests.org’s own website though bitdefender.kaspersky,and webroot are rated at 100% for protection in all the above mentioned areas for protection.Though none are of course free Webroot is half the price of the other “editors choice” above.If your wanting a decent free AV program avira s rate highly in the free category

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That's not correct

From Josh Kirschner on December 26, 2014 :: 2:24 pm

Norton scored a 100% rating in the latest AV-Test evaluation for Windows 7, and also did very well on false positives and usability: http://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-windows/windows-7/august-2014/norton-norton-internet-security-2014-143116/

What “editor’s choice” are you referring to?

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You need see

From John on February 03, 2015 :: 3:44 pm

At me using Kaspersky,now Kaspersky 2015,and y found license free here

http://antiviruskeysfree.org/

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Suggetion About the Antivirus

From KHAGESH DARJI on May 26, 2015 :: 3:35 am

when I used Kaspersky then system was heng So can you suggest me to which type of antivirus is suitable for our system ?

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Best Antivirus

From Robert Scroggins on June 05, 2015 :: 4:01 pm

Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender provide good/adequate protection against the malware/viruses an average user is most likely to get.  They will not provide good protection for users who are their own worst enemy and frequent “risky” web sites (such as porn, cracked/illegal software, or torrents) and who click on all web links/downloaded software without checking them.  They also do not provide good/adequate protection for businesses and high-profile users who might be targeted by criminals/nation states.

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