How we test antivirus and security software
The best antivirus software available does more than just stop computer viruses, it also addresses the myriad and complex modern threats that you’ll encounter. Indeed, from the merged antivirus and anti-malware detection engines to enhancing online privacy controls, security suites are an essential part of Windows and Mac desktop life. And just like driving a car without wearing a seatbelt, you shouldn’t try to get by can get by without using antivirus software just because you can.
Because of their long history of deleterious consequences to system performance, security suites deserve closer scrutiny than any other category of software.
Of course, it’s important to look at how effective security suites are at stopping the bad guys. Any security suite, that can’t hold up its responsibility to ensure your computer’s protection isn’t worth your time. Yet, there’s another factor to consider. No matter how effective a security suite is, if it slows down your system too much you’re not going to want to use it.
CNET currently tests security suites on a Dell XPS desktop running a 3.2GHz Core i7 processor with 8GB of DDR3 RAM, an Nvidia GeForce 8400 GS PCI-Express graphics card with 512MB of memory, a 1TB Western Digital hard drive (WDC3200AAKS), and Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1. Once we install the antivirus softwar… [Read more]
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