Most consumers are aware that they need an antivirus on their PC. While there is a huge selection of solutions that consumers can choose from, typically they select free solutions from popular vendors that their friends recommend. After all, the more popular an antivirus is, the better protection it must offer, right?
Popular does not always mean better
Unfortunately, grasping onto the notion that “the more popular an antivirus, the better the protection” could be dangerous to the well-being of your PC, as this is not always true. In fact, the security product you’re using might contain holes that could allow destructive malware to sneak onto your PC – even though it’s telling you “everything is okay”.
Don’t just take our word for it
AV-TEST is a leading independent organization that has been researching, testing, and evaluating antivirus software developed by well-recognized vendors for over 15 years. Many consumers look to the expertise of AV-TEST for validation that their security product is actually providing them optimal protection. AV-TEST evaluates security products based on three categories: protection, performance, and usability, with each category having a maximum score of 6 and a collective score of 18.
Recently, AV-TEST evaluated 24 home security products, which include free antivirus solutions by Avast and AVG. Avast has a claimed user base of 220 million people, while AVG claims to have 182 million. That’s a lot of people. With millions of users who depend on these security vendors to protect their PCs from malware, you would think that their protection is top-notch. The results speak for themselves.
Avast Free Antivirus scored a 3.5 for protection, 4.5 for performance, and 6 for usability – giving a collective score of 14 out of 18.
AVG Antivirus Free scored a 3.5 for protection, 3.5 for performance, and 5.5 for usability – giving a collective score of 12.5 out of 18.
ZoneAlarm Extreme Security scored a 5.5 for protection, 6 for performance, and 6 for usability – giving a collective score of 17.5 out of 18.
Is the antivirus you’re using really protecting you?
The comparison between ZoneAlarm, Avast, and AVG isn’t apples to apples; ZoneAlarm Extreme Security is a premium product while Avast and AVG are free products. However, the result of this test is proof that even the most popular free antivirus solutions aren’t enough. In this case, you need premium security that includes multiple layers of protection that can ward off even the most sophisticated malware.