Microsoft Security Essentials costs nothing and is more effective than many paid anti-malware products, according to a comparative survey by the independent security research and advisory organization, NSS Labs. So why do some of us choose to pay around $40 per annum per PC for these inferior products? It seems there are two main reasons.
The first is inertia. In a big organization, as long as the anti-virus software appears to be doing its job, few people risk rocking the boat by suggesting a replacement. With individual consumers, the inertia is usually due simply to laziness. The anti-malware was probably pre-installed on the PC and many of us just couldn’t be bothered looking at alternatives. Apart from that, we assume it’s doing a good job since it cost money. We’re wrong. Paid for or free, anti-malware falls far short of our expectations, not to mention most manufacturers’ claims.
NSS Labs tested eleven major consumer anti-malware programs currently on the market. These included well-know names like McAfee, F-Secure, Norton, Kaspersky, and Microsoft Security Essentials. They used three test criteria: effectiveness at malware and exploit blocking, and impact on computer performance.
Malware blocking means either preventing an infected file from downloading to a PC, or preventing its execution, if it somehow gets in. Both McAfee and F-Secure were over 80% effective in this category; Norton, Kaspersky, and Microsoft Security Essentials were all over 70% effective.
Exploit blocking refers to the software’s ability to identify and block threats posed by websites visited by the user. These kinds of threats are very serious because they enable criminals to use an infected PC to attack others and steal information such as passwords and bank details. Worse still, they can exploit the infected computer without the user’s knowledge. In the NSS Lab tests, F-Secure, Kaspersky, and McAfee each blocked over 70% of attempted exploits. Microsoft Security Essentials and Norton each blocked just over 60%.
These are worrying results. They suggest that, though some anti-malware may be more effective than others, cybercriminals have a significant chance of evading detection regardless of which one is installed.
Blocking uninvited intruders is obviously users’ primary concern. Their choice of anti-malware, however, may be influenced by how it affects computer performance. NSS Labs carried out extensive tests on this factor. They analysed the boot up times of the PCs, as well as the performance of many widely used applications both with and without the anti-malware software installed. The results revealed a wide disparity between the vendors. In terms of increased boot time (the extra time the computer took to boot up when anti-malware was installed compared to when it was not), Microsoft Security Essentials performed best with an increased time of less than 10%. With Kaspersky, the increase was over 60%, with F-Secure over 70% and with Symantec over 120%. The effect of the anti-malware software on specific applications’ start-up speed varied significantly, though Microsoft Security Essentials performed consistently better than most. It’s not clear whether Microsoft’s better performance is because all tests were carried out on PCs running Microsoft’s Windows operating system and most of the applications used in the tests were from the Microsoft stable.
With over 50,000 new threats detected every day, no one product stands out as a panacea for all malware issues. No anti-malware developer seems to be able to create software that tackles all or even nearly all threats as soon as they appear. In addition, it’s misleading to assume that the more expensive products are the more effective. NSS Labs ranked Microsoft Security Essentials ahead of half the ten others it tested including the market leader. All ten products have to be purchased, whereas Microsoft’s is free.
There are another two popular names in Anti Malware category behind all these antivirus packed with antimalware are Malwarebytes and Hitman Pro. These are the dedicated companies working on blocking malwares. And both these are ahead of any antivirus companies. We always recommend any of these Anti Malware program along with your Antivirus program.
Malwarebytes: Malwarebytes provides a Free version for life which is very effective in cleaning the malware infected machine. Its paid version is to protect your PC in realtime from all malwares.
Hitman Pro: Hitman pro is strong in cleaning an infected system. Hitman Pro uses a cloud based technology to scan any suspected file using aother 5 antiviruses to confirm that file is harmful or not.
Both the above antimalware are using the unique technology. In it is your own decision which one you want to buy. But we will recommend you for Malwarebytes because of its free version.
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