Microsoft Security Essentials fails antivirus tests; BitDefender takes the top-spot

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Microsoft Security Essentials fails antivirus tests; BitDefender takes the top-spot

Microsoft Security Essentials has failed an independant antivirus testMicrosoft Security Essentials has failed an independent antivirus test and certification for the second time, whilst BitDefender Internet Security has taken the top-spot for the second time.

AV-TEST, The Independent IT Security Institute, conducted the tests in December 2012 for Microsoft Windows 7 and looked at the level of protection, repair and usability of 25 different antivirus products and then awarded certification to the products that passed each test. See the table below for the comparison between each product.

For protection against malware attacks, including web and e-mail threats, Microsoft Security Essentials 4.1 scored a disappointing 71% against an average score of 92% for other similar products. However, where Security Essentials 4.1 excelled, was for its usability, scoring 5.5 out of 6.0.

BitDefender takes the top-spot

In the same tests, BitDefender Internet Security 2013 scored 100% protection against malware attacks, including web and e-mail threats, as well as 100% detection of malware discovered in the last two-three months. BitDefender also took the top-spot for the removal of malware, again scoring 100%, against an average score of 95%. Comparing usability, BitDefender Internet Security 2013 scored 5.0 out of 6.0.

Other leading antivirus products that scored a similar high result to BitDefender, include Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 and Symantec Norton Internet Security 2013.

Free antivirus products

Unlike Microsoft Security Essentials, which is completely free, BitDefender do not offer a free equivalent. At the time of publishing, BitDefender Internet Security 2013 can be purchased for just under £45 from their web site. To provide a fair comparison, I checked the results of popular free antivirus products: Avast and AVG.

Avast and AVG were virtually neck in neck. Whilst AVG offered slightly more protection, it provided less repair to Avast.

Compare antivirus products

Product Protection Repair Usability
Microsoft Security Essentials 4.1 1.5 / 6.0 3.0 / 6.0 5.5 / 6.0
BitDefender Internet Security 2013 6.0 / 6.0 5.5 / 6.0 5.0 / 6.0
Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 5.5 / 6.0 5.5 / 6.0 5.0 / 6.0
Symantec Norton Internet Security 2013 5.5 / 6.0 5.5 / 6.0 5.0 / 6.0
Avast: Free AntiVirus 7.0 4.5 / 6.0 4.5 / 6.0 5.0 / 6.0
AVG: Anti-Virus Free Edition 2013 5.0 / 6.0 4.0 / 6.0 5.0 / 6.0

Source: AV-TEST

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