A recent test performed by an AV testing firm suggests that customers are better off running Microsoft’s free security solution for Windows instead of wasting the money on paid antivirus which Microsoft Security Essentials end up outperforming.
NSS Labs tested no less than 10 security products including: AVG Internet Security 9, ESET Smart Security 4, F-Secure Internet Security 2010, Kaspersky Internet Security 2011, McAfee Internet Security, Microsoft Security Essentials, Norman Security Suite, Panda Internet Security 2011, Sunbelt VIPRE Antivirus Premium 4, Symantec Norton Internet Security 2010 and Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security. (via Forbes
NSS Labs tested the solutions enumerated above in both malware blocking and exploit blocking scenarios.
“Overall, the Trend Micro and McAfee products are well ahead of most of the competition in protecting against web-based socially-engineered malware.
“F-Secure also ranked fairy high. Perhaps surprisingly, Microsoft Security Essentials, a free product, ranked higher than half of the competition (paid products), including Symantec’s market leading product,” NSS Labs wrote in the report. Microsoft Security Essentials
managed to block 75% of all malware thrown against it, and some 60% of the exploits it came across.
For this, NSS Labs put Microsoft Security Essentials on top of solutions from Panda, Symantec, Kaspersky, Eset and AVG.
Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security blocked 90.1% of all malware to nab the first spot, despite having stopped only 19% of exploits.
McAfee Internet Security is runner up with an 85.2% malware blocking score and 73% for exploit blocking, followed by F-Secure Internet Security 2010 in the third position with 80.4% and 75%.
“In general most product protection declined slightly over the last twelve months, with a couple of exceptions. McAfee was the only product to significantly improve (+3.6%). The biggest declines were posted by AVG and Kaspersky at 18.5% and 16.5%, respectively. Even top performer Trend Micro slipped 6%,” NSS Labs stated.
MSE bested Panda Internet Security 2011 with 73.1% malware detection, Symantec Norton Internet Security 2010 with 72.3%, Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 with 71.3%, ESET Smart Security 4 with 60% and AVG Internet Security 9 with 54.8%.
“Socially engineered malware attacks trick users into downloading and running malicious programs disguised as movie files, codecs, and other utilities.
“This web-based vector represents over 50% of the malware in circulation today. Detecting and preventing threats continues to be a challenge as criminals become more aggressive."
“Anti-virus researchers detect 50,000 new malicious programs per day on average, and malware proliferation statistics for 2009 and 2010 show an acceleration of this trend,” NSS Labs said. UPDATE: Corrected Norman Security Suite.
Microsoft Security Essentials is available for download here.