The AV Comparative site recently published a comparison of the major anti-virus software, including free software.
The results of the test has provided some surprises especially about Microsoft Essentials, as decried by the suppliers of business solutions against malware, when compared to their own products.
From a battery of viruses, the site tested each solution to see if it could remove them, and better yet, remove all residues that they could leave including changes to the registry.
|Software||Removal of malwares||Removal of leftovers|
What follows from this comparison is that Microsoft Essentials is the only free product to get a good score next to commercial products such as Symantec and eScan, while many paid solutions offer poor results.
Ranks of anti-virus software for proactive tests:
Microsoft Essentials for example is able to detect 55% of new viruses not in databases yet.
Avast was included in the defunt Google Pack and is still available for free like AVG.
A study of GData June 2011, shows that 48% of Internet users use a free software to protect their computer. Only 4% use none.
McAfee will change its name and will be now Intel Security, that probably has to do with the misadventure of the creator of the software, McAfee, in South America ... That will not change the performances.
Updated December 2013
According to another study of DTL, the best anti-virus software would be Kaspersky, Norton, Avast, AVG which detect virtually all viruses, while Security Essential detects only 61%. This is the worst of 9 tools compared apart McAfee. Microsoft tries to reassure by saying that it nevertheless provides good protection against attacks in automatic mode. However, it would be safer to turn to another free tool like Avast or AVG for manual command.