To keep our reviews relevant, we regularly update the information on all the products we have tested. Once in 2-3 months, the team re-runs in-house tests to make sure the information is correct and up-to-date. Plus, we regularly compare our results with those of leading third-party testing labs. The list includes trusted websites like:
- AV-Comparatives – we use this resource when reviewing security products for Microsoft Windows 10
- AV-Test – the main goal of this resource is to test and evaluate anti malware and andti virus software
- BBB – helps United States, Canada, and Mexico consumers find businesses and charities they can trust, we use it to find out which brands deserve your attention
- MRG-Effitas – world-leader in independent IT security testing and research
- Selabs – this resource assesses many products and services designed to detect attacks and protect against intrusions.
By cross-checking the results of various third parties, we come up with an average mark for every software/tool. You’ll find quick summaries of these tests in our reviews, giving you the most important info in a brief form (like how the products performed in various tests).
As for our in-house tests, we use 20+ computers with different pre-installed operating systems, along with other instruments. It allows us to come up with objective, average performance results. Overall, we’ve got more than 40 reviews of antivirus products such as Kaspersky, Bitdefender, Avast, Total-AV, McAfee, Norton, Malwarebytes, and more.
Safety, security, and user-friendliness are the main factors in our focus. By testing these features, we determine whether the product is worth your while or not. First of all, we buy the solutions and never accept any free codes from the developers (which allows us to stay objective). Next, we start a series of “excruciating” tests.
Finally, our team goes through the refund procedure to check how it works. Almost all modern-day security software comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. We always take advantage of this guarantee and rate how easy it is to get a refund, how friendly customer service is, etc.
Our main goal is to make sure you get a product that is both of high quality and won’t damage your budget.
Here are some of the products we test:
- Antivirus – primary protection of your device (yes, not only a PC can get a virus)
- ID theft protection
- Web Shield
- Password Manager
- Tune-Up/Cleanup Tools
What Do We Check In an Antivirus Software?
When testing an antivirus product, we look at:
- RTP (Real-Time Protection). Antivirus needs to detect online threats before they infect the operating system. The faster it detects and eliminates known threats, the better. Experts are calling RTP the first and most important line of defense.
- Zero-day protection. We use the term “zero-day threats” to describe malware that isn’t included in any database yet. These are brand-new, and in many ways, cloud-based protection is the most effective remedy.
- Phishing protection. Phishing attacks can happen when you visit a dangerous website or open an infected email. A decent security suit should have no problem blocking these.
- Anti-spam. This one is self-explanatory: by getting rid of spam, you can keep your email clean and safe.
- Malicious URL protection. Unless the antivirus is capable of warning the users before they are about to visit a malicious website, hackers can cause a lot of damage and/or steal private data.
- Parental controls. These are for keeping your kids safe from certain explicit content online.
- Think of it as an additional layer of defense. Its primary focus is on the active network connection.
- System Impact. While most modern-day programs have a very low impact on system resources, this is still an important aspect.
- Password Manager. Some antiviruses come with a built-in password manager. This tool protects your logins-password from keyloggers and helps to come up with more complicated combinations.
How Do We Test Antivirus Products?
Now that you know which factors we consider when reviewing an antivirus product, let’s take a quick look at how we test it:
- First, we purchase the software. As mentioned, this allows us to stay objective. Secondly, we go through the entire process and describe it in our reviews.
- Next, we proceed with the installation procedure. That includes choosing a package, downloading the necessary files, installing the software, and launching it. How easy is it to install the antivirus, does it have a high system impact, which platforms does it support? Those are some of the questions we answer at this stage.
- The third step is real-time protection. RTP is the most important thing when it comes to anti malware protection. We carefully test how the antivirus deals with threats in real-time and compare our results to third parties.
- The Malicious URL test comes next. We deliberately open dozens of malicious URLs to check how the antivirus deals with them.
- The Virus Download test follows. Again, we use a series of malware samples to test the software’s ability to detect and eliminate any possible threats.
- Finally, we check customer support. Is phone support available, is there a live chat, how fast does the staff respond? We answer these questions and more during the customer service test.
- User-friendliness. Intuitive navigation and a straightforward interface are also very important. Along with ease of use, we also check device compatibility.
- Pricing and subscription plans. We talk about the available packages, the differences between them, the company’s pricing policy, and more.
For us, it is more important to save your money than to earn some for us, even though everyone has to pay the bills today, for us customer’s satisfaction is a top priority. Our team is always happy to get the feedback from our readers.