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Funding

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.

AV-Comparatives was set up with the explicit aim of providing impartial and transparent tests of security software. It offers freely accessible results to individuals, news organizations and scientific institutions. Certification by AV-Comparatives provides an official seal of approval for software performance that is globally recognized. Our tests are conducted by IT professionals who are experts in their respective fields, and our test methodologies are carefully designed to recreate real-life scenarios and ensure that the tested products live up to their makers’ promises. Tests are conducted with strict impartiality, so that no product will be advantaged or disadvantaged by our test methodology.

AV-Comparatives receives funding for its work from a number of different sources.

  • As IT security is a matter of concern to society as a whole, we receive funding for our work from public bodies such as the European Union and the regional government of Tyrol.
  • We also work on joint projects with the University of Innsbruck, which contributes funds to this co-operative work.
  • We perform tests of multiple products commissioned by bodies such as computer magazines and private companies looking for test results of products not yet included in our public tests.
  • As regards individual tests and test series, we distinguish between the “Public Test Series” and “Commissioned Tests”. Participation in the Public Test Series is free of charge, but vendors can subscribe to our post-test consultancy and feedback services, and obtain licensing rights to our logos, for which a fee may be applicable. We reserve the right to include or not include any individual product in these tests, based on capacity, technical limitations, and demand. Commissioned tests are clearly shown as such, along with the name of the commissioning body. This is audited and verified each year as part of our ISO 9001:2015 certification. AV-Comparatives holds a TÜV Austria certificate for its management system for the scope “Independent Tests of Anti-Virus Software”.

As well as making test results and reviews available to the public for free, we also provide other free services to our readers. These include for example our yearly Android research studies of hundreds of security apps, AVC Undroid app analyser, our free security advice and security market overviews and opinions.

We do not take money for advertisements and our website is free of any ads or paid referrer links (so-called “affiliate commissions”).

Subsidies

Subsidies are an important part of AV-Comparatives‘ income. We are supported by academic and public bodies, and the Austrian state. Subsidies may be direct or indirect. They may take the form of financial support for research and development, or the payment of staff costs, or support from academic staff of the universities for specific projects. In co-operation with the universities, bachelor’s and master’s theses are used for working on specific problems.

  • University of Innsbruck, Research Group for Databases and Information Systems
  • University of Innsbruck, Research Group Quality Engineering
  • Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
  • Brandeis University Mississippi, Computer Science Department
  • Management Center Innsbruck

Volunteers and Interns

AV-Comparatives also relies on volunteers and interns, who support our work as part of their studies. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported us in this way.

Future plans

The testing methods of AV-Comparatives are continually developed and improved, in order to keep pace with the latest malware threats. The finance model of AV-Comparatives as an ISO 9001 certified organisation allows the highest technical standards to be met, whilst maintaining strict independence.

Usage of Results

AV-Comparatives‘ development and research results can also be used freely by academic institutions such as universities, and individual academics, e.g. master’s degree students.