AV-Test has once again tested a range of popular antivirus products and Microsoft Security Essentials has once again failed the test.
The German-based antivirus testing company released the results of its antivirus test pitting 28 popular programs against one another. Some of the software was free, while other software was paid.
The software was tested using 153 pieces of zero-day malware (i.e. unknown malware) along with 12,327 pieces of known malware. The software was installed on Windows 7 machines and judged on three different categories: Protection, Usability, and Performance.
The tests were actually performed in December 2014 but were only released today.
MSE Comes Last Among 28 Competitors
When we say Microsoft Security Essentials “failed” this latest test, we don’t mean that it “just failed” or “almost passed.”
Instead, we mean that Microsoft Security Essentials came in last on a list of 28 antivirus programs. Here’s how MSE scored:
-Malware Protection: 0 out of 6 points
-Performance: 4 out of 6
-Usability: 6 out of 6
Wait, that’s not so ugly? Microsoft did pretty well on the last two categories.
Alas, we don’t judge malware on its ability to look good and be easy to use. We judge malware (mostly) on its ability to fight off malware threats. And in that category, MSE did as bad as you could possibly perform.
Microsoft hasn’t yet responded to the 2015 AV-Test. In the past, however, they’ve stated that AV-Test doesn’t accurately reflect real-world conditions.
In a blog post from 2013, Microsoft’s Joe Blackbird said that AV-Test’s malware threats wouldn’t normally be encountered in the wild:
“Our review showed that 0.0033 percent of our Microsoft Security Essentials and Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection customers were impacted by malware samples not detected during the test. In addition, 94 percent of the malware samples not detected during the test didn’t impact our customers.”
In other words, Microsoft protects customers from threats that matter: not these weird, laboratory-made tests that nobody cares about.
Best Antivirus Software of AV-Test 2015
Okay, it’s no secret that Microsoft Security Essentials and AV-Test don’t get along. MSE routinely fails AV-Test’s certification standards, and Microsoft routinely seems not to care.
But which software does perform well during testing? Here are the top-rated software according to the 2015 AV-Test (they received perfect scores during testing):
-Avira Antivirus Pro 2015
-F-Secure Internet Security 2015
-Trend Micro Internet Security 2015
These three software progras blocked 100% of both known and new malware attacks during the test. That’s impressive.
Of course, if Microsoft is to be believed, then AV-Test skews results in favor of paid antivirus software while failing to accurately test the effectiveness of free antivirus programs. But isn’t that exactly what you would say if your software routinely failed AV-Test certification?
You can view the full list of test results here: http://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-windows/windows-7/december-2014/