A Free Computer Security Lunch?
Some anti-virus vendors, that do not offer free virus program but only provide commercial anti-virus solutions, claim that free virus protection is not enough. Last year, I wrote a blog entitled "It Is Not Dangerous to Rely on Free Anti-Virus", after reading a claim by Symantec that free AV is not enough. I'm sure many people who rely on paid anti-virus solutions will understand that it's not about free or paid solutions, but the settings on the PC, the users' actions while they surf, retrieve emails or download files, the support by AV vendors for their product (e.g. are the bugs being fixed, do they use advanced technology, etc), fast detection of new threats, and effective removal and detection. Also, if you look at several malware removal forums, you will find many Hijackthis or OTL logs that show that an infected computer actually uses a paid anti-virus program.
To help people understand the effectiveness of their preferred free anti-virus program, I decided to put the Top 10 free anti-virus programs to the test. What you'll see here is not a feature comparison, but a test to see if the free anti-virus solutions will detect more than 95% of malware samples and measure how fast the detection works. Note that this is not the usual "number game" comparison on detections, but whether any malware samples that are not detected are executed. If a free virus protection program failed to detect 10 malware samples, those non-detected samples will be run to determine if the free AV will trigger an alert, block and prevent the infection. However, if the free real-time protection failed to detect at least 25 malware programs, it is considered below the 95% protection level.