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The best antivirus software? Kaspersky, Bitdefender and Trend Micro lead in late ...


The AV-TEST Institute recently tested the most popular windows 10 client antivirus products on three primary criteria: protection, performance, and usability. Only four of the 16 products tested earned a perfect rating of 6 for each of those criteria: Bitdefender Endpoint Security 6.2 and 6.6, Kaspersky Lab Endpoint Security 11, Kaspersky Small Office Security 5 and 6, and Trend Micro Office Scan 12.

The downloadable infographic below summarizes the results, along with earlier test data for Windows 7 and Windows 8. You can drill down on the full results at The AV-TEST Institute's website . Here are summaries of the top ten Windows antivirus products.


Windows antivirus tools test results

This infographic summarizes tests of Windows client antivirus software conducted by the AV-TEST Institute. The AV-TEST Institute

1. Bitdefender Endpoint Security 6.2 and 6.6

One of four products with perfect scores for protection, performance and usability, Bitdefender Endpoint Security stopped all zero-day malware web and email attacks tested, and all malware discovered in the last four weeks. Performance degradation when using applications and websites was minimal to moderate, with the worst being a 26 percent website launch slow-down on a standard PC. For the latest round of tests, the product gave no false positives.

2. Bitdefender Endpoint Security Elite 6.2 and 6.6

The results for Bitdefender Endpoint Security Elite are nearly identical to those of the standard Bitdefender product. The main difference is that it falsely blocked one of 41 actions tested while installing legitimate software, which is why it scored a 5.5 out of 6 on the usability rating.

3. Kaspersky Endpoint Security 11.0

With its perfect scores across the board, Kaspersky Endpoint Security continues its run in the top tier of anti-malware products. It stopped all zero-day and known attacks tested. On the performance side, the product had minimal impact on the launching or installation of websites or applications.

4. Kaspersky Small Office Security 5 and 6

Kaspersky Small Office Security scored similarly to the company’s endpoint protection product. It had a slightly higher impact on website launches and application installation, but its performance there was still well above industry average.

5. McAfee Endpoint Security 10.5

For protection and usability, McAfee Endpoint Security ranks with the best of its competitors. However, it falls a little short on performance, particularly during launch or installation of software. Launching standard applications with the McAfee product active was 37 percent slower than normal, well above the industry average of 13 percent. It was worse when installing frequently used applications―51 percent slower. The industry average there is 30 percent.

6. Microsoft Windows Defender Antivirus 4.2

With one or two improvements, Microsoft Windows Defender Antivirus 4.2 could join the elite with perfect scores among this group. Its impact on installation times for frequently used applications was significantly higher than industry average―45 percent vs 30 percent for standard PCs and 37 percent versus 27 percent for high-end PCs. It also blocked one action during the use or installation of legitimate software.

7. Sophos Endpoint Security and Control 10.8

You can count on Sophos Endpoint Security and Control to stop attacks as well as any other product in this group. It lags the leaders only in one performance category: Slower installation of frequently used applications. The product caused a 43 percent slower installation time for standard PCs, significantly higher than the 30 percent industry standard. In all other performances test, the Sophos product was better or near the industry average times.

8. Symantec Endpoint Protection 14.0

In addition to a perfect protection score, Symantec Endpoint Protection is one of the better-performing anti-malware tools tested. It scored below or near industry average in every category. The only reason it didn’t have perfect ratings across all three main categories is that it blocked two actions while installing and using legitimate software.

9. Symantec Endpoint Protection Cloud 22.14

Symantec Endpoint Protection Cloud scored similarly to its non-cloud counterpart. The main difference was in performance. It caused popular websites to launch more slowly (21 percent), but showed no slowdown of frequently used applications.

10. Trend Micro Office Scan 12.0

One of the few products with a perfect rating across all three main categories, Trend Micro Office Scan was among the best performers of that group. It was below or near industry average for all performance categories except for launching popular websites. There, it caused a 22 percent slowdown on standard PCs and a 16 percent slowdown on high-end PCs, versus industry standard 17 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

Why the best antivirus software may not be enough

Traditional signature-basedantivirusis notoriously bad at stopping newer threats such as zero-day malware and ransomware, but it still has a place in the enterprise, experts say, as part of a multi-layer endpoint security protection strategy. The best antivirus products act as the first layer of defense, stopping the vast majority of malware attacks and leavingthe broader endpoint protection software with a smaller load to deal with.

According to a survey of this year's

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