Windows 10 may be less than a year old, but all major antivirus makers have already upgraded their software to the new OS.
Today, there are 19 official antivirus products for Windows 10.
Which product offers the best choice for you? AV-Test recently helped to answer that question when they ranked 20 different security software programs for Windows 10 (19 third-party programs as well as the built-in Windows Defender).
Here’s what AV-Test discovered.
Tests Were Performed Over a 2 Month Period
There’s a reason AV-Test’s rankings are seen as some of the best in the industry. The tests were performed over a two month period, giving the company ample time to test the software’s responses to new threats.
The rankings were based on the following major features:
All of the 20 tested software programs are officially approved by the manufacturers for use in Windows 10. AV-Test explains why that’s important:
“That means in the event that test results are mediocre for particular manufacturers, they can’t use the version as an excuse.”
Four Products Achieved the Best Possible Score (18 Out of 18)
Four antivirus software programs achieved the best possible score on AV-Test’s certification test, scoring a total of 18 points out of 18.
That means they achieved a perfect 6 out of 6 in each of the three different testing categories. The four software programs included:
Two More Products Were Nearly Perfect, Scoring 17.5 Out of 18
The two nearly perfect programs included F-Secure and Trend Micro, both of which offered strong protection and usability ratings – but impacted PC performance just a little bit too much.
Meanwhile, all 20 tested software programs – including Windows Defender – received AV-Test certification. Here are the complete rankings.
It’s important to note that these rankings are given in alphabetical order for situations where the point total was tied. So despite the fact that Avira is above Bitdefender, Kaspersky, and Symantec, the four top software programs are not ranked in any meaningful way. They’re all tied at number one.
Only Two Products Recorded a 100% Detection Rate
In detection rate testing, software was tested against 21,000 malware tests as well as a reference set of previous malware programs.
While four products received a perfect score of 18 out of 18, only two of those products actually detected 100% of all threats thrown at them. Those two programs were Bitdefender and Symantec.
Several other programs detected 100% of all threats in real world testing, but failed to detect 100% of all threats when tested against a reference set (like older malware programs).
AVG, Avira, Kaspersky, and F-Secure were among the software that achieved 100% in real-world testing but just below 100% in detection rate reference set testing:
BestFree Antivirus Software
All of the top antivirus software above has something in common: you have to pay for the full version (the paid version was the one tested by AV-Test).
AV-Test chose Panda Security’s free antivirus software as the best freeware product, clocking in with detection rates of 99.4% and 99.9%.
To put those numbers in comparison, Windows Defender – the free antivirus software that comes with every version of Windows – scored at 87.7% and 99.5% on the detection tests.
Best Antivirus for Performance
The world’s best antivirus isn’t truly the best if it slows Windows 10 to a crawl.
That’s why AV-Test takes into account the “Performance” category. Avira, Bitdefender, Kaspersky, and Symantec all proved you can offer strong antivirus performance without enormously impacting security.
Meanwhile, antivirus software like ESET, G Data, ThreatTrack, and Quick Heal also performed relatively poorly on the performance test, scoring 2.5 to 3.5 points out of 6.
You can view individual program results and more information about AV-Test’s certification process by visiting the official test result page here.