Friday, January 21, 2011

AV labs evaluate top 13 home PC computer security suites; McAfee and Webroot don't fare well, Norton does

Robert Vamosi and Christopher Null have an article in the Feb. 2011 PC World, “Top Security Suites for 2011”, link here.  The online version evaluates 13.  The top rating this time went to Symantec Norton, despite the complicated install. Kaspersky (a favorite of BestBuy) is #2, but has some annoying timewasters in its install (particularly of the “update”).  Many of the packages were too slow or had false positives.

Online, McAfee was #12, and Webroot was #13.  (I am reminded of the movie title, “I am Number 4”.)  The tester AV-test  (link)  , the Independent IT Security Institute.

The article discusses new threats like animalware (fake anti-virus) and bank-related malware, activated only at sign-on. The new products also look over your shoulder when in Facebook and other special environments.

The article is not specific about deficiencies in products. It did give Webroot and McAfee bad writeups (the reader can check this at the link).

Many anti-virus companies offer multiple computer home licenses for only slightly more than one license. But there may be an advantage to using more than one product on different machines. If one product consistently finds more problems than the others, it may be right for your own computer usage habits (which vary a lot from person to person).  My own experience is that Webroot/Sophos/Spysweeper finds problems that McAfee and Kaspersky miss, including obscure ad-associated viruses on complete scans. It also identifies some sites as unsafe when McAfee Site Advisor and MyWOT have greenlighted them.

Geek Squad has told me that the "best" package keeps changing all the time, every few months, and that users have to keep up. 

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