We review antivirus software, so that you can decide which is the best for you!

How we test

Reviewing antivirus products based on functionality alone is highly subjective.

What you really need to know is whether the products actually work, and for that reason here at Best Antivirus we have a rigorous testing process for each product we review.

To start with, we use a completely fresh installation of Windows 7 Professional to test each product. This is the 32-bit version of Windows 7 running in a virtual environment. The image we use is of a completely standard Windows install with no additional software, but with all the latest updates installed.

We then install the antivirus product we are testing and insert a USB key containing three real-life viruses. In order of complexity, they are as follows:

1. A test virus developed by the European Expert Group for IT Security

2. A rogue antivirus product referred to as Trojan.Fakealert.AFJ. This is a program that falls into the category of “scareware,” where users are led to believe that their computer is infected when the fake antivirus product is, in fact the infection. These infections can be notoriously difficult to remove.

3. We try to run an executable file that professes to be the installer for the Google Chrome browser, but that in fact contains a selection of malware including a search hijacker called Delta search and a range of other nuisance programs including adware known as Desk365. This combined threat is a serious challenge for any antivirus product

After releasing these infections on each product, we report on our findings in the “Real Life Testing” section of each review.

Obviously, our hope is that the “on-access” scanning features of each product detect the infections, but if not we attempt a full system scan before giving our verdict.