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:
Three companies got the highest grade, Dennis Tech's "AAA" award:
Dennis Tech also publishes a report for enterprise antivirus solutions [PDF].