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Summary Report 2017

Date December 2017
Language English
Last Revision February 6th 2018

Awards, Winners, Comments


Release date 2018-02-08
Revision date 2018-02-06
Test Period January - December 2017

Introduction

AV-Comparatives is an independent test lab, providing rigorous testing of security software products. We were founded in 2004 and are based in Innsbruck, Austria.

AV-Comparatives is an ISO 9001:2015 certified organisation (renewed and upgraded in 2016). We received the TÜV Austria certificate for our management system for the scope: “Independent Tests of Anti-Virus Software”.

http://www.av-comparatives.org/about-us/certifications/

AV-Comparatives is the first certified EICAR Trusted IT-Security Lab http://www.av-comparatives.org/about-us/certifications/

At the end of every year, AV-Comparatives releases a summary report to comment on the various anti-virus products tested over the year, and to highlight the high-scoring products of the various tests that took place over the course of the year. Please bear in mind that this report considers all the main-series tests of 2017, i.e. not just the latest ones. Comments and conclusions are based on the results shown in the various comparative test reports, as well as from observations made during the tests (http://www.av-comparatives.org/test-methods/).

Tested Products

The following vendors participated in AV-Comparatives’ Public Main Test-Series of 2017 and agreed to have the effectiveness of their products independently evaluated.

We are happy that this year’s tests helped several vendors to find critical and other bugs in their software, and that this has contributed to improving the products.

Approved Security Product Award

The products of all the 21 vendors above are AV-Comparatives 2017 Approved Windows Security Products.

APPROVED 

Management Summary

Tests

In 2017, AV-Comparatives subjected 21 security products for Windows to rigorous investigation. All the programs were tested for their ability to protect against real-world Internet threats, identify thousands of recent malicious programs, provide protection without slowing down the PC, and remove malware that had already infected a PC.

Results and Awards

Whilst all of the programs in our test reached an acceptable level overall, some programs outperformed others. For details, please see “Overview of levels reached during 2017” on page 6. In order to recognise those products that achieve outstanding scores in our tests, we have given a number of end-of-year awards that highlight the best results in each test and overall. The Product of the Year, Outstanding Product and Top Rated awards are based on overall performance in the Public Main Test Series; there are also Gold, Silver and Bronze awards for each individual test type. Please see the Award Winners section for more details of the awards. The 2017 Product of the Year Award goes to Bitdefender; the Outstanding Product Award goes to Kaspersky Lab; Top Rated Products are (alphabetically) Avast, AVG, AVIRA, eScan, Tencent and VIPRE.

Overview of tested products

Here we provide a summary for each of the programs tested, with a note of each one’s successes during the year. Although the user interface does not affect any awards, we have noted some of the best UI features as well.

Adaware receives a joint Bronze Award for the False Positives Test. The program interface stands out for its clear, well-thought-out design.

Avast is a Top Rated Product for 2017, and received five Advanced+ awards in this year’s tests. It won a joint Bronze Award for the Real-World Protection Test. We liked its clear, informative alerts.

AVG scored Advanced+ in five of this year’s tests, and is a Top Rated Product. It receives the joint Bronze Award for the Real-World Protection Test.

Avira is a Top Rated Product this year, having received five Advanced+ Awards. It takes the joint Silver Award for the Real-World Protection Test. We liked the all-new program interface, which is as easy to use with a touchscreen as with keyboard and mouse.

Bitdefender wins this year’s Product of the Year Award, scoring Advanced+ in all 7 tests. It additionally receives the Gold Award for the Real-World Protection Test (jointly), Silver for the Malware Protection Test and Removal Test, and Bronze for the Performance Test. We liked the guided tour of the program, which is displayed when you first start the software after installation.

BullGuard takes a joint Gold Award for the Malware Protection Test. Its tiled interface provides a clear overview of the various components.

CrowdStrike received 4 Advanced awards in this year’s tests. Its web interface allows administrators to analyse threats in a company network.

Emsisoft reached Advanced or Advanced+ levels in six of this year’s tests. Its neat tiled user interface makes a wealth of functionality available from the program’s home page.

eScan is a Top Rated Product this year, with 5 Advanced+ scores in the tests. It also receives the Silver Award for the False Positives Test, and joint Bronze for the Malware Protection Test. Its tiled interface makes it easy to find and configure individual components.

ESET takes the Gold Award for both Performance and False Positive Tests. We found it very easy to use, thanks to an excellent user interface and a self-configuring firewall.

Fortinet took four Advanced awards in this year’s tests, and has a very straightforward user interface.

F-Secure scored at least Advanced in all seven tests this year. The setup wizard makes it easy for parents to configure a device for their children’s use.

Kaspersky Lab receives the Outstanding Product of 2017 Award, having reached Advanced+ level in all 7 tests. Awards for individual test types are joint Gold for the Malware Protection Test, joint Silver for the Real-World Protection Test, and Bronze for the Malware Removal Test. The “live” tiles of the program interface, which show real-time progress of scans and updates, struck us as very useful and innovative.

McAfee obtained four Advanced+ ratings in this year’s tests. Its tiled interface provides a good overview of the features in the program.

Microsoft’s product is integrated into Windows 10. It receives a joint Bronze Award for the False Positives Test.

Panda takes the joint Gold Award for the Real-World Protection Test. We found it very simple to install and use.

Seqrite takes the Silver Award for the Performance Test. It has clearly been designed to be easy to use with a touchscreen as well as mouse and keyboard, and makes a wide variety of diagnostic and maintenance tools easily accessible.

Symantec took three Advanced+ ratings in tests this year. It has a very modern, touchscreen-friendly interface.

Tencent (Global English Version) is a Top Rated Product in 2017, having obtained five Advanced+ awards in this year’s tests. Awards for individual test types are Gold for the Malware Removal Test, and joint Silver for the Real-World Protection Test. We liked the clean graphical design of its user interface.

Trend Micro reached Advanced+ in the second Real-World Protection Test this year, and has a very neat interface with excellent alerts.

VIPRE is a Top Rated Product in 2017, having achieved six Advanced+ awards in this year’s tests. It receives joint Bronze awards for the Real-World Protection Test and Malware Protection Test. Its clean, well-laid-out interface impressed us.

Advice on Choosing Computer Security Software

There is no such thing as the perfect security program, or the best one for all needs and every user. Being recognized as “Product of the Year” does not mean that a program is the “best” in all cases and for everyone: it only means that its overall performance in our tests throughout the year was consistent and unbeaten.

Before selecting a security product, please visit the vendor’s website and evaluate their software by downloading a trial version. Our awards are based on test results only and do not consider other factors, as there are some important factors (such as available interface languages, price, and support options), which you should evaluate for yourself.

Overview of levels reached during 2017

AV-Comparatives provides a wide range of tests and reviews in comprehensive reports (http://www.av-comparatives.org/comparatives-reviews/). Annual awards for 2017 are based on the Public Main Test-Series: Real-World Protection Test, Performance Test, Malware Protection Test, False-Alarm Test and Malware Removal Test.

All the programs tested are from the reputable and reliable manufacturers. Please note that even the STANDARD level/award requires a program to reach a good standard, although it indicates areas which need further improvement compared to other products. ADVANCED indicates areas which may need some improvement, but are already very competent. Below is an overview of awards reached by the various anti-virus products in AV-Comparatives’ consumer main test-series of 2017.

Award Winners

Awards for individual tests

For each of the test types* in the Public Main Test Series (Real-World Protection, File Detection, Performance, Malware Removal, and False Positives**), we give Gold, Silver and Bronze awards, for the first, second and third highest-scoring products, respectively.

Awards for all combined scores of all tests

As in previous years, in 2017 we are giving our Product of the Year Award to the product with the highest overall scores across all of the tests in the Public Main Test Series. This depends on the number of Advanced+ awards received in all the tests. As all products receiving an Advanced+ award are considered (statistically speaking) to be as good as each other, a product can receive the Product of the Year award without necessarily reaching the highest score in any individual test.

As in previous years, where there has been a tie for Product of the Year, we are using the following tiebreaker: the product that has not won the award before, or the product that won it less/least recently, is given the award. However, there is very close competition between two different products this year, both of which received the Advanced+ Award in all of the qualifying tests. Consequently, we are again giving the Outstanding Product Award to the other product that also achieved top scores.

As in previous years, we will also be giving Top Rated Awards to a select group of participating products which reached a very high standard in the Public Main Series tests. We have used the results over the year to designate products as “Top Rated”. Results from all the tests are assigned points as follows: Tested = 0, Standard = 5, Advanced = 10, Advanced+ = 15. Products with 90 points or more are given the Top Rated award, with two conditions. Firstly, any products that failed to win any award (i.e. got 0 points) in either of the Real-World Protection tests have not been considered. Secondly, good results in the Performance Tests cannot make up for weak results in the detection/protection tests.

To get the Approved Windows Security Product Award (see page 4), at least 35 points must be reached.

*For some test types, there may be two actual tests conducted in a year; the awards are based on the combined score of both tests.

**The False Positives Test is not an independent test, but part of the Malware Protection Test.

Product of the Year 2017

AV-Comparatives’ 2017 Product of the Year award goes to Bitdefender.

Bitdefender

PRODUCT OF THE YEAR

Outstanding Product 2017

AV-Comparatives’ 2017 Outstanding Product Award goes to:

Kaspersky Lab

OUTSTANDING 

Top-Rated Products 2017

AV-Comparatives’ Top-Rated Award for 2017 goes to, in alphabetical order:

Avast, AVG, Avira, eScan, Tencent, VIPRE

TOP RATED

Real-World Protection Test winners

Security products include various different features to protect systems against malware. Such protection features are taken into account in the Real-World Protection Test, which test products under realistic Internet usage conditions. Products must provide a high level of protection without producing too many false alarms, and without requiring the user to make a decision as to whether something is harmful or not.

The programs with the best overall results over the course of the year were from: Bitdefender, Panda, Tencent, Kaspersky Lab, Avast, AVG, AVIRA and VIPRE.

GOLD Bitdefender, Panda
 SILVER Tencent, Avira, Kaspersky Lab
 BRONZE Avast, AVG, VIPRE

For details and full results of the 2017 Real-World Protection tests, please click the link below:
Real-World Protection Tests

Malware Protection winners

The Malware Protection Test evaluates an AV product’s ability to protect against malware coming from removable devices or network shares. Products must provide a high level of protection without producing too many false alarms. In the Malware Protection Test, all samples not detected on-demand or on-access are executed.

Bitdefender, BullGuard, eScan, Kaspersky Lab and VIPRE earned ADVANCED+ in both tests.

GOLD BullGuard, Kaspersky Lab
 SILVER Bitdefender
 BRONZE eScan, VIPRE

For details and full results of the 2017 Malware Protection tests, please click the link below:
Malware Protection Tests

False Positives winners

False positives can cause as much trouble as a real infection. Due to this, it is important that anti-virus products undergo stringent quality assurance testing before release to the public, in order to avoid false positives. AV-Comparatives carry out extensive false-positive testing as part of the Malware Protection Tests. In future, false alarms from the Real-World Protection Test may also be counted for this category.

The products with the lowest rates of false positives during 2017 were ESET (0), eScan (5) and Adaware, Microsoft (6). These figures represent the SUM of the false positives from both FP Tests.

GOLD ESET
 SILVER eScan
 BRONZE Adaware, Microsoft

For details and full results of the 2017 False Positive tests, please click the link below:
False Alarm Tests

Overall Performance (Low System-Impact) winners

Security products must remain turned on under all circumstances, while users are performing their usual computing tasks. Some products may have a higher impact than others on system performance while performing some tasks.

ESET, Seqrite and Bitdefender demonstrated a lower impact on system performance than other products.

GOLD ESET
 SILVER Seqrite
 BRONZE Bitdefender

For details and full results of the 2017 Performance tests, please click the link below:
Performance Tests

Malware Removal winners

A very useful ability for an anti-virus program is the ability to remove malware which has already infected a system.

In this year’s test, three products received the Advanced+ award and scored over 90 points in the Malware Removal Test, these being Tencent, Bitdefender and Kaspersky Lab:

GOLD Tencent
 SILVER Bitdefender
 BRONZE Kaspersky Lab

For details and full results of the 2017 Malware Removal test, please click the link below:
Malware Removal Tests

Product Reviews

For details about each single product, please download our Product Review.

Feature List

Copyright and Disclaimer

This publication is Copyright © 2018 by AV-Comparatives ®. Any use of the results, etc. in whole or in part, is ONLY permitted after the explicit written agreement of the management board of AV-Comparatives prior to any publication. AV-Comparatives and its testers cannot be held liable for any damage or loss, which might occur as result of, or in connection with, the use of the information provided in this paper. We take every possible care to ensure the correctness of the basic data, but a liability for the correctness of the test results cannot be taken by any representative of AV-Comparatives. We do not give any guarantee of the correctness, completeness, or suitability for a specific purpose of any of the information/content provided at any given time. No one else involved in creating, producing or delivering test results shall be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damage, or loss of profits, arising out of, or related to, the use or inability to use, the services provided by the website, test documents or any related data.

For more information about AV-Comparatives and the testing methodologies, please visit our website.

AV-Comparatives
(February 2018)