Top 3 Best Antivirus Programs in Real World Tests

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Written by: Natalie Mootz | Best Company Editorial Team

Last Updated: February 24th, 2020

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Is your antivirus software really protecting you? It's hard to know, right? You do some research, trust some experts, and then cross your fingers and hope that your computer is protected. Unfortunately, most people only find out that their antivirus software wasn't up to snuff after they get malware. If you've ever had to replace hard drives or motherboards after a virus attack, you'll know how much trouble they cause in time, money, and identity security. If you haven't lost any documents or hardware to viruses, trust me, you don't want to go there.

All the better to have an independent lab like Dennis Technology Labs do some real world testing on antivirus software to see how they perform. Dennis Tech recently released their latest ratings for home PC antivirus software [PDF].

Dennis Tech describes itself as "an independent testing facility that evaluates personal and business technology." They specialize "security testing, using a world-class anti-malware testing framework." Translated, that means Dennis Labs simulates real-world situations and grades the software on how well it handles those situations. It tries to emulate an everyday user's experience by presenting it with real viruses and actual malware-threat websites.

Some of the things that Dennis Labs tests for:

  • Can the software detect threats?
  • After the threat is detected, can the software protect your PC from infestation?
  • If your PC is infected, how well does the software remove the damaging traces of the malware?
  • Does the software go too far over-aggressively identifying legitimate software as a threat (false positives)?

Three companies got the highest grade, Dennis Tech's "AAA" award:

  • Kapersky Internet Security 2015 got a perfect score
  • Norton Security
  • ESET Smart Security 7

Dennis Tech also publishes a report for enterprise antivirus solutions [PDF].

If you'd like to know more about antivirus software, check out our other antivirus reviews to see which one will work best for you.

The Top Antivirus Companies

company logo
#1 McAfee chevron_right
7.1 Overall Score
3.5
starstarstarstar_halfstar_border
(94)
company logo
#2 NortonLifeLock chevron_right
6.1 Overall Score
4
starstarstarstarstar_border
(41)
company logo
#3 AVG chevron_right
5.6 Overall Score
4.1
starstarstarstarstar_half
(53)

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