How to see if your antivirus is actually working

05. June 2013 Security 0

This is tricky. Many AV companies claim to be the best but how can you test your AV product? Many sites will refer you to the EICAR website where you can download a file that should be recognized by your AV as a virus. Mind you, the file is not an actual virus but has characteristics that should trigger your AV to report it as such. While this is a safe way of testing your AV, it is also fairly useless. As seen from my own testing, even the worst AV products detect the EICAR test file. Instead look for tests online that test AV products against a large pool of actual virus and malware samples but pick your testers wisely as there are many tests out there that have been provided by the AV companies themselves, these will always have favorable results and outcomes for a specific product. This is why AppleSerialNumberInfo.com performed their own test back in 2012, to provide real world, unbiased test results of all available AV for Mac. And this is why i was proud to take over this project and have been enhancing it to make the results even better. I test AV products against a pool of samples that continues to grow. Detection rate, impact on system performance, features etc are all taken into account when giving the final score. I have not been paid off by any vendors (like Zeobit / MacKeeper, who love to pay folks and make them change their tune about the product), i do not work for any AV vendors and have no personal preferences or vendettas towards certain vendors. So, how will you know how good your AV product really is? Just have a look at my test results and the different pages in that section. It’s much safer than doing it yourself and far more reliable than the EICAR test file. Feel a (Mac) AV product is missing or have questions/feedback, just let me know by leaving a comment.


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