False Alarm Tests

With AV testing it is important to measure not only detection capabilities but also reliability – one of reliability aspects is certainly product’s tendency to flag clean files as infected. No product is immune from false positives (FP’s) but there are differences among them and the goal is to measure them. Nobody has all legitimate files that exist and so no “ultimate” test of FP’s can be done.What can be done and is reasonable, is to create and use a set of clean files which is independent. If on such set one product has e.g. 50 FP’s and another only 10, it is likely that the first product is more prone to FP’s than the other. It doesn’t mean the product with 10 FP’s doesn’t have more than 10 FP’s globally, but important is the relative number.In order to better evaluate the quality of the detection capabilities of anti-virus products, we provide also a false alarm test. False alarms can sometimes cause as much troubles as a real infection. Please consider the false alarm rate when looking at the detection rates, as a product which is prone to cause false alarms achieves higher scores easier.

About AV-Comparatives

AV-Comparatives is an independent organization offering systematic testing that checks whether security software, such as PC/Mac-based antivirus products and mobile security solutions, lives up to its promises. Using one of the largest sample collections worldwide, it creates a real-world environment for truly accurate testing. AV-Comparatives offers freely accessible results to individuals, news organizations and scientific institutions. Certification by AV-Comparatives provides an official seal of approval for software performance which is globally recognized. Currently, AV-Comparatives' Real-World Protection Test is the most comprehensive and complex test available when it comes to evaluating the real-life protection capabilities of antivirus software. Put simply, the test framework replicates the scenario of an everyday user in an everyday online environment – the typical situation that most of us experience when using a computer with an Internet connection. AV-Comparatives works closely with several academic institutions, especially the University of Innsbruck’s Department of Computer Science, to provide innovative scientific testing methods.
If you plan to buy an Anti-Virus, please visit the vendor's site and evaluate their software by downloading a trial version, as there are also many other features and important things for an Anti-Virus that you should evaluate by yourself. Even if quite important, the data provided in the test reports on this site are just some aspects that you should consider when buying Anti-Virus software.

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