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The AV-Test: What It Means and Why You Should Care

Worried that your antivirus software just isn’t up to speed? The AV-Test can pinpoint exactly where your software is excelling, and where it’s failing.

The AV-Test: What It Means and Why You Should Care

Worried that your antivirus software just isn’t up to speed? The AV-Test can pinpoint exactly where your software is excelling, and where it’s failing.

Ever wondered how your antivirus or security software measures up to others on the market? Ever wanted to know how much of a strain your program puts on system performance, or how many false negatives your malware software identifies? dfndr users should rest assured that their antivirus app not only protects against malware but does so without draining their phone’s performance time or delivering false warnings about sites and programs.

The AV-Test, an independent organization dedicated to evaluating and rating such software, is designed for just that purpose. This research institute bases their certifications on a point-system over several categories, and each certified product must receive 10 points overall with no zero score in any individual category tested. Android users that rely on antivirus software to secure their devices can use the AV-Test to ensure that their security software is up to speed in each of the test’s categories.

Read More: How Effective Is Your Android Security App?

Malware Protection
As the primary function of these antivirus softwares is to defend devices from malware, the primary category for testing is protection. To pass this portion of the test, security softwares are tested by two different suites of malware. The first of these sets includes new and often unknown variants, while the second features samples that have been widespread in the weeks preceding the test. Softwares can earn up to six points during this portion, and Microsoft’s built-in antivirus software is used as a baseline for testing.

Device Performance
One common side effect of intensive antivirus software measures includes significant lags in device performance, which affects the speed and efficiency of daily use. Though a security software may provide extensive coverage from malware, inefficiencies during regular use can make the software close to useless. The AV-Test rates the software’s effect on system performance, again awarding up to six points in this category.

Beware of False Positives
Another downfall of otherwise effective antivirus softwares are cases of false negatives. In instances where a software regularly reports valid programs as malicious, users may begin to ignore the program’s verdicts on Internet safety, even in cases of actual malicious sites. The AV-Test researchers verified the verdicts of antivirus software against legitimate websites and programs in order to identify such false positives. In addition, the institute recorded incidents in which security softwares erroneously warned against activities or blocked them altogether. The total number of points in the category was also six.