Avast! Free Antivirus had the best single-engine detection rate and the fastest overall scanning speed in the latest AV Comparatives test of antivirus programs.
AV Comparatives, an independent testing agency, threw a battery of over 400,000 malware samples at twenty antivirus programs and charted the detection ability and required scanning time for each of them.
avast! had the best detection rate of any single anti-malware engine program with its score of 98.3%. The avast! score was only topped by G Data – which has a licensed combination of two antivirus engines – and Trustport, also with a multi-engine approach. While multiple engines do incrementally increase malware detection levels, they come with a price of slower scanning speeds. Trailing avast! detection levels were a number of paid-for products such as Eset, Kaspersky, McAfee, Symantec, and Trend Micro – and all free products in the test.
avast! had by far the fastest scanning speed of all tested antivirus programs – both paid-for and free products. Its throughput of 16.3 MB per second was nearly three times faster than the results posted by Microsoft Security Essentials, the slowest program in the AV Comparatives test.
The AV Comparatives test showed that not all free is equal. Microsoft’s Security Essentials and AVG Antivirus Free Edition, two other free products, had very different test results. For detection ability, avast! scored well above Security Essentials and nearly seven percentage points above the 91.4% – and third from the bottom rating – score of AVG Antivirus Free Edition.