A little while ago I received an email from Andrew Harrison, technical editor for Macworld and several other publications. He mentioned how he was putting together a test of Mac security software and wanted to know if my AV test results could be used. Naturally I gave the OK but in the back of my head I was a little concerned. I rarely agree with security software reviews. They are usually written by people with little to no understanding of the product, the market, the way testing should be done or they just go at it half-assed. Others are biased and/or paid to write a favorable review about a certain product and end up with a page full of nonsense. Come to think of it, I don’t recall reading a Mac AV/Security review I agree with at all.
After a few emails back and forth my mind was put at ease. Mr. Harrison asked the right questions and even found a small flaw in my test results PDF I was not aware of (kudos for going through that entire Numbers document, his eyes must have stung by the time he was done. And that flaw in the results PDF will be fixed asap).
Last week the reviews started to find their way onto the Macworld UK website. On my way to work I spotted the first one “Avast Free AntiVirus for Mac 8.0 review”. I read it and let out a sigh of relief, it was a good and to the point review! Yes, I got excited. To read the reviews have a look at the following links:
• Avast Free AntiVirus for Mac 8.0 review: Comprehensive AntiVirus suite for Mac users
• Avira for Mac review: Good malware-spotting skills with a tidy user interface
• ClamXav 2 review: Free and open-source AntiVirus solution for Mac, Windows and Linux
• ESET Cyber Security for Mac review: Sophisticated security application with good malware detection
• Intego Mac Internet Security X8 review: Consistently scores highly for spotting malware
• Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac review: Relatively capable in Malware protection
Or read the full piece with the reviews included here.
They mention the good and the bad and focus on the things that matter: Company background, Application history, design, features and performance. These are the reviews I’d want a Mac user to find online. The vast majority of Mac users still believe Macs can’t be infected by malware mostly because that’s the most prevalent myth in Mac history. Unfortunately most people don’t question this and when they do they are likely to run into someone that believes in the same myth. The small amount of people that are determined to find out if this myth is true or not will dig deeper and find sites like mine and reviews like those I just mentioned. Freshly unplugged from the Matrix, that’s the kind of content I want them to find first. Of course it’s a battle that is far from over. It’s the internet after all and sad as it is, bullshit and misinformation outnumber the good stuff by many petabytes. Fortunately the Macworld UK reviews may find their way to the printed magazines as well. This should get the information to a good amount of users and at least create some awareness.
Check out the reviews and keep an eye out for others that may follow. A fun fact, the review Mr. Harrison wrote for the Crucial M550 SSD is the one that made me order a Crucial drive. That same drive currently hosts the virtual machines that are used for the antivirus testing 🙂