So I am roaming around the Internet when I find this article about anti-viruses and some of the testing done by Consumer Reports. I also discovered in my searching a  an interesting article at the Washington Post in which some of the anti-virus companies and others chastised the way Consumer Reports tested the software. It seems Consumer Reports wrote their own viruses for the testing.

But first I present this statement:

Users who practice careful computing and want to protect their computers without paying fees should consider free software. Consumer Reports testers combined three free online security programs — Avira AntiVir Personal Edition Classic 7, Microsoft Windows Defender, and SPAMfighter Standard — and assembled them into a makeshift suite that actually performed better than some lo-rated suites. The freeware suite lacks the optimal protection and rich features of the best suites, but it provides decent protection, is easy enough to use, and won’t hog much of a computer’s memory.

It seems that Consumer Reports has compiled Avira AntiVir Personal Edition Classic 7, Microsoft Windows Defender and SPAMfighter standard, all freebies, as being just as good as some of the low rated suites they tested. What is also surprising is that Consumer Reports found these three to be easy on memory and not a hog like some suites are. Interesting.

The Washington Post article states that:

Consumer Reports recently came under heavy fire from some in the anti-virus industry for creating some 5,500 new virus variants to see how well a dozen leading products faired in detecting the new nasties. More than 100 security experts and executives from companies like Microsoft and HP as well as anti-virus vendors F-Secure, Kaspersky, McAfee, Sophos, Symantec and Trend Micro signed their names to a declaration denouncing Consumer Reports’ methods, stating that it is “not necessary and … not useful to write computer viruses to learn how to protect against them.”

I do not have a subscription to Consumer Reports so I was unable to find how they rated the standard software most of us are familiar with. If someone could provide that information, it would be appreciated.

I must admit I am surprised about the 3 freebies Consumer Report recommends. I may have to change my thinking about how I protect my personal systems. What do you think? Is what Consumer Reports states on the money? Or are they all wet? Share your thoughts.

Comments welcome.


Washington Post