How Much Do Antivirus Rankings Matter To You?

How Much Do Antivirus Rankings Matter To You?

German antivirus lab AV-Test recently tested several security suites. Most of them declined since a few months ago, particularly Microsoft Security Essentials, our our favourite Windows antivirus app. We still love it, but the recent AV-Test makes us wonder: How much do these ratings matter to you?

Microsoft Security Essentials was half a point shy of passingthe AV-Test, due to problems detecting zero-day threats. Other recent tests by AV Comparatives were better, but still mixed. That said, Microsoft Security Essentials has never been the top ranker in these tests (usually the top spots are the paid security suites), but it’s something worth pondering.

What do you think? Does it matter to you?


  • It matters to me. No point having something that doesn’t work.
    (I’m sure it ‘works’ 90% of the time, but if MSE is not picking up zero-day threats, then its hardly protecting you..)

    • All antivirus suites have trouble detecting zero-day threats, that’s the nature of the beast. The last statistics I saw on detection rates had even the best result at only 68% on zero day threats. Neither of the reports gives a zero-day figure that I could find to see how much of a margin exactly is involved with MSE but there’s not enough information here to say it’s definitely ‘bad’ at zero day detection, just not as good as some of its paid competitors.

  • MSE is one of the lowest resource usage, lowest false positives, and least annoying antivirus products around . It’s free, and handles all version upgrades via microsoft update.

    I’ve had plenty of PCs come across my desk where the user has ignored the ‘you must upgrade now’ or ‘time to buy a new subscription’ warnings for a year, but I’ve only had a few where something has snuck past MSE (a few fake antivirus and the TDSS rootkit). It seems like a fair trade.

    Detection rates matter more to me for business use. I’ll be sticking with symantec there for the time being.

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