4 Free Virus Scanners’ Accuracy Compared

Christian Cawley 08-07-2014

Need to check for viruses on  your PC but don’t want to install a full security suite? Perhaps you think the software has been compromised, or you’re scanning in Safe Mode How To Start In Windows Safe Mode & Its Uses The Windows operating system is a complex structure that hosts a lot of processes. As you add and remove hardware and software, problems or conflicts can occur, and in some cases it can become very... Read More ?


There are several virus scanners available that can be downloaded and installed (better than using an online virus scanner The 7 Best Free Online Virus Scan and Removal Sites Need to check for a computer virus but don't have antivirus software installed? Try these excellent online virus scanning tools. Read More ), their purpose being only to scan and hopefully remove threats – but when the moment of disaster comes, which one should you rely on?

We’ve taken a look at four, AVG, Microsoft Safety Scanner, McAfee Free Security Scan Plus and Kaspersky Free Internet Security Scan, and in this video you can see how they cope with scanning for a fake virus signature on a standard Windows 7 The Windows 7: Ultimate Guide If you are afraid to upgrade from Vista or XP because you feel it is completely different to what you are used to, you should read this new guide. Read More PC (32 bit with 1 GB of RAM and a single core CPU with a fast 20 GB hard disk drive). Although free, these apps are all adequate: the question is, which one will be most useful to you?

We used the safe/fake virus signature known Eicar for testing, saving the file on the Desktop, the Documents folder and the System32 subfolder.

Have you used any of these virus scanning tools? Do you prefer them to always-on virus scanners? Let us know in the comments!

Related topics: Anti-Malware, Online Security.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Brandon R
    July 28, 2014 at 3:34 am

    I personally don't think this would be an effective way to perform this test since I think any smart company creating an antivirus will download free fake virus to test their antivirus software which is why I was shocked McAfee didn't detect it.

  2. Joses L
    July 12, 2014 at 6:22 am

    Oh, look, another 'why is this a video' question here!

    Soo... Why is this a video?

  3. rk
    July 11, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    I have loved Makeuseof articles since I subscribed about a year ago. I was especially interested in AV software reviews. I am not a tech expert per se and I do find these articles useful although I am not a fan of video format for such content. What I do find disturbing is the author's attitude. This is the first I must say, I can't recall having read this author's articles before but then again, I don't pay attention to names as much as the article itself. At first, I thought I was the only one but after reading so many comments, I think it's obvious that the author is sarcastic and arrogant in his remarks. He could keep things professional and earn respect even when some readers are nasty. After all, he is representing Makeuseof.

  4. Yves
    July 11, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Sadly major anti-virus companies are the first to admit they do not catch all Viruses and other nasties.

  5. dragonmouth
    July 10, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Big, Fat, Hairy Deal! So these scanners are good enough to find a fake virus. Whoop dee freakin' do! Can they find REAL viruses? Once they find a virus, do they have the capability to eradicate it or do you then have to run another program to eradicate the virus(es)?

  6. Dang
    July 10, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    I clicked on the bar that said read the full article. So whats with video ?

    As a rule I never open any emails with a video, believe it or not I can read.

    To the people who run Makeuseof, your subscribers are not idiots please do not treat us as such.

  7. pmshah
    July 10, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    @Howard B

    Any virus worth its name will also disable the Microsoft built in tools. In any case if your PC is infected the first thing it will do is disable your internet access so one would be forced to use another PC to download it. In which case the best one to use, which is the most up to date variety of Portable version of antivirus is Stinger. One has to be permanently prepared with a bootable live version of windows run from read only media.

    Just for my understanding how many of the PCs connected to your Win 2000 server had unprotected access to the Internet ? By this I mean is did any of them have any kind of antivirus installed? Of course it would have had to be paid version, being commercial corporate environment!

    I have been using Nod32 for the past 3 years on 4 different machines. I have absolutely never had a single problem even when some of the advertising sites tried to hijack the browser!

    Just as an aside running ANY version of Windows on a single core machine with 1 GB of ram is a joke ! And this includes the SE Asian version - Windows Starter or something like that. One might come across something like this only on a low cost netbook with an Atom!

  8. PlaGeRaN
    July 10, 2014 at 10:50 am

    rather test run it on a live machine than something stuffed together quickly.
    at times when my machine was infected, it would sometimes run for an entire weekend.
    Add a few external drives, and fill in a 250GB drive to 70% rather.

  9. Johan K
    July 10, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Maybe a list of locations where to download the competent anti-virus tools would be a handy addition to the article?

  10. Sylvaticus14
    July 10, 2014 at 5:42 am

    It is probably good to present information in a variety of formats, at least as a trial, and perhaps some will find the video presentation useful.

    On the other hand, a lot of people will also simply skip a video presentation, for any of several good reasons. I am one of these people. I do understand that you have invested some effort here; nonetheless, a video to me is too much like those irritating and tedious online presentations of information as obligatory slide shows (even worse without thumbnails). All it does is make me want to say, will you just get to the point? Already? So if you want me to participate here, I need to to be able to READ IT, to be able to tackle the information in my practiced professional manner where I quickly focus on the points which concern me. It is what most educated people do. I come here to find good information presented effectively and efficiently. A video won't do that.

    This video, and all other videos, will go unviewed, unappreciated, and after this, also without comment. Post often enough in the form of videos and, simply put, I will not be coming
    back again. This is my response across the board online, too, not just here.

  11. Marid Z
    July 10, 2014 at 5:36 am

    It's an interesting video (albeit useless to me). There are still a great many people with limited knowledge of scanners, viruses and what to NOT download altogether that it still has its potential uses. My father would count toward that list, because he refuses to listen... his laptop is presently riddled with malware and viruses because I refuse to clean it again and he refuses to use a secruity suite such as Comodo. Might send him this. :P

  12. Dave
    July 10, 2014 at 5:25 am

    >> "Your sarcasm and defensiveness seem to be masking
    >> avery unpleasant combination of insecurity and arrogance. ”
    > Hi Carl. I shall make no comments whatsoever about your
    > amateur psychological assessment (although I will pass
    > them onto my shrink…;) )

    Christian, seriously, how old are you? You're not suited for this at all. You keep thinking it's a battle you have to win, instead of making use of the feedback.

    > I didn’t “choose” to make a video. This is part of a larger paradigm
    > of new content types on MakeUseOf, and several other similarly
    > formatted articles have been produced by the same team so far.

    It's a simple fact that only a small percentage of people will watch videos. There's too many sites to check and they need and want information quickly. They don't want to watch a whole video. Plus, how do they reference this fact or that, without having to watch it again and again?

    Your job now, instead of worrying about topping everyone's barbs, is to go to your boss and say; "They don't want videos, boss". Or did you decide for yourself that you get to decide what "MakeUseOf"'s mngmnt gets to know about, while readers (note the meaning of that word) start voting with their feet?

    And btw, the best AV pckgs won't pick up fakes, because they recognize them for what they are. I've been in the game since the very first "virus" and have been in it since. I'm not trying to insult you, but from the way you respond, I'd put you in your 20's and not that knowledgable about this stuff.

    Hint from someone who's learned a few things; Responding by saying you're older, will make you look worse, not better. Now let's see if you can resist the urge to "best" someone, especially when they weren't even attacking you. I think the guys will agree, the odds are not looking good for you. :-)

  13. girarda
    July 10, 2014 at 3:02 am

    Is there a way for readers to filter out of their makeuseof page unwanted authors? I would filter out Christian Cawley. He is so full of himself and arrogant in his comments that the contents of his article becomes laughable.

    • SBME
      July 10, 2014 at 5:39 am

      Yes, a real turn-off.

  14. Norman P
    July 10, 2014 at 2:47 am

    I was looking forward to the article but there was no article. Bad choice.

  15. Paul
    July 10, 2014 at 2:38 am

    This is an article?

  16. RealNeil
    July 10, 2014 at 12:31 am

    I've had good results with Webroot SecureAnywhere. You can find it on sale for very little and it works great.

    I took the time to see the whole video.

  17. BAW30s
    July 10, 2014 at 12:22 am

    Quote from Cnet: "Bitdefender is the only current security software to score 100 percent in the Real-World Protection Test by AV-Comparatives" : I know the article is about simple scanners, but just mention this as there is a free version of this program for home users which I have been using for the last few weeks.

  18. sfw1960
    July 10, 2014 at 12:21 am

    I have both the pay-to-play & Free Avast - I also have Krapersky on my workstation, which I wouldn't use on my own stuff if I had 1000 free copies.
    The Eicar test IS useless - and I didn't waste the B/W on the video either when I know better - I am the one to fix the junk around this household!

  19. Nicholas G
    July 10, 2014 at 12:15 am

    Why is this a video?
    Why is this a test of whether free AV can detect a fake virus? I have to be honest and confess that I am MUCH more worried about being infected with real malware than I am concerned about being infected by fake AV.
    Why is this a video? If I wanted to watch videos I would subscribe to a YouTube channel. I want to receive pertinent information and be able to scan down to the conclusion and go back to the detail if important. Not so easy if everything is now video.
    Is makeuseof going to be renaming the site maditselfuseless?

    In summary I believe videos for the sake of a video is stupid and a waste of time. If a video is going to add anything, by all means create a video. I cannot think of one mediocre reason (let alone a good reason) for doing a comparison of fake AV detection by video. (Also I can;t think of any reason to do a comparison of whether free AV can detect a non-virus).

  20. miztrniceguy
    July 9, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    I use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro, Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Free, and Microsoft Security Essentials on 3 laptops and 2 desktops. All are set to actively protect. I rarely have a problem. This is the combination I also install on every computer I work on.

  21. bruce G
    July 9, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    I didn't mind the video and found the info useful, I find it a shame a lot of people have nothing better to do than bag it.

  22. Robert Brown
    July 9, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Let me join the parade: There was no reason to make this a video...
    it just wastes our time or makes us skip the "article" altogether.
    And I certainly agree: This was the poorest excuse for an anti-virus test that I have ever seen. And the worst "article" that MakeUseOf has ever published.

  23. Kristopher H
    July 9, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Just my two cents but, I'm not a fan of using a video format for the article here either.

  24. beckie
    July 9, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    So the bottom line is?

    I can read but you didn't tell me anything I want to know in a format I can appreciate.

  25. B
    July 9, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Because of the author's wise-ass responses to the comments, Makeuseof's credibility just sunk IMHO :-(

  26. Ruralmandan
    July 9, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    I run a small home business repairing computers and promoting OpenSource software. I feel that the first line of defense against virus or malware attacks is knowledge. If you understand the way a particular OS works (Windows is known for the attitude of "Look how we can enhance your experience by letting other sites control your pc.") That being said the addition of third-party software will 99% of the time have small checkboxes (that are pre-checked) and will trick you into automatically installing additional items that they have partnered with others to install on your pc (browser helpers are notorious) and can aid in your becoming infected with a plethora of unwanted junk. Knowledge about this can make one be sure to look for and un-check these all too often ignored boxes. E-mails and their attachments!... never allow an email to open any attachment on your pc without first running a manual scan on it! Even if it is from someone you know, this is certainly where the active or always on AV helps... but it is not needed if you are careful and perform the scans before opening your mail attachments. If you don't know the Email address that is sending you the E-mail... delete it!

    I have a lot of converts to Linux in my fold, I prefer the attitude of "Look how Linux can prevent others from doing things to your computer." The software channels are secure, and have no "Extras" attached to the installation that you need to worry about. Clam AV is available if you desire to feel the extra security... but isn't really needed, there has been no Virus on the Linux platform for (not sure how many) at least 7 years.

    Knowledge first and foremost will help keep you in the smooth waters... but a full time (or active) security suite is a needed evil f you are not a techie.

  27. Chris T
    July 9, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Also an avid Avast Free user here.
    I understand you may not have any information on it, but I can't find any direct answer to anyone who asked you about it in the above comments. It would be appreciated if you would acknowledge and respond.

    I do see you have been following the comments, and making many responses to other issues. I won't watch the video, but would like a transcript as an option for all video accompanied articles. The videos I do like to watch are usually related to entertainment or DIY purposes. Just my opinion.

    I understand now that you didn't have a choice.
    Hopefully the person or department who does, will take note of all the negative feedback on the format, and work out something different going forward.
    When the users speak, the establishment should listen and consider making adjustments.

    I think you could have avoided a lot of heat, had you given a straight forward answer to the first person's complaint, which was in a sarcastic tone. I understand you basically replied in like kind which is a natural reaction. Of course hindsight is always 20/20.
    As it evolved into the main comment issue, you gave a better answer. Thank you for that.

    I like MSE, for a free alternative basic AV program. The good news for those who like paid programs, is they are often available for free after rebates. I typically consider the major players as equivalent when asked for suggestions, with Kaspersky at the top from my (not very recent) past experience.

    I don't care much for most "Suites" as they are heavier on resources, often add toolbars, and/or take away some screen real estate.

    The issues I see with free AV solutions is they or their sponsors are always trying to get you to pay for an upgrade, and/or sneak in unwanted crapware, which you must deselect before the installation, or uninstall if you don't notice until after the fact.

    I get many customers with PC software/slow PC/Malware issues having toolbars and other bloat that they don't have a clue where it came from, much less ever use, taking up resources and screen space. It's bad enough even when it is harmless add-ons selected by default from Adobe, Java, Google, et al. I am used to being more aware than the average Bloke what I opt in or out of.

    Of course that's just a clever marketing scheme, without which many companies would not offer freeware. They need the gullible.

    • Christian C
      July 9, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      Hi Chris

      I have addressed the matter of Avast Free, although not explicitly. You may notice in the second paragraph of the article: "their purpose being only to scan and hopefully remove threats"

      Basically, the four tools profiled here are scanners with modest threat removal facility, if at all. Avast Free is a competent, multi-featured anti-virus tool, which is why it isn't included.

  28. Bill Holland
    July 9, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    I've tried most of these but I have found none of them come close to AVAST! The other thing with Avast! is their wonderful support - ALL PART OF THE FREE PACKAGE for non-professional use!!! I won't change soon - Thank you Avast!!!!!

  29. Bniedem M
    July 9, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Why come down so hard on Christian? Criticise, by all means. but be thankful and polite. A barrage of the same or similar criticism is rude and uncalled for. How would you feel if you were in his shoes? The poor guy did his best. If his best was not what you expected, move on. One or two 'nails' would have been enough to send the message. But this was almost a crucifixion!

    Thank you Christian. Some of us appreciate your work. We are not all against you.

  30. Bob S
    July 9, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    From: bobsaf
    IMHO, too many comments contain unwarranted flak. Too bad many users don't follow: "Don't look a gift-horse in the mouth." MakeUseOf provides loads of info; doesn't oblige anybody to read or use any; and titles of items make it east to select what may be of interest.
    Although I skipped the video, I found your article helpful in that it: 1. suggests optional virus scans 2. reminds us of EICAR test and 3. boils the dozens of free scanners down to just 4 recommendations. Thanks.

  31. rob
    July 9, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    I don't believe I've seen this question enough times yet: WHY is this a video? The teachings of the Yahoo school of journalism seem to be spreading.

  32. Danny Z
    July 9, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    for Romanian only ( I think), there is a free version of bitdefender (only antivirus, no firewall or other protection, only antivirus), it's good and free

  33. Robert Y
    July 9, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    I have been using Avast Free for close to 10 years. No virus issues yet. Not sure why it wasn't reviewed?

  34. Brian
    July 9, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Hello, Mr. Cawley -

    I don't understand the negativity toward you and your efforts. I for one found your video informative and helpful.

    • Christian C
      July 9, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      Hi Brian

      Thanks for your comment, I'm delighted you were able to MakeUseOf it!

  35. gergn
    July 9, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    The video is at moments boring when it provides information I am not interested in at the moment. It does not answer the question how these four products perform with other known viruses. It does not answer my personal question whether the free Avast! I use would pass your test.
    The video starts with the second product in your list, Microsoft. I would prefer text and video to be in sync.
    Luckily the video lasts as long as a commercial break on Dutch television. So my wife did not object to you voice interfering with the weather forecast.
    I have to rely on my memory that you advise Kapersky.
    off topic: do you know why Avast! sometimes sees Cameyo portables as infected files?

  36. BB
    July 9, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Great job Christian...and you folks whining about a video being made? Get a life!

  37. Joan G
    July 9, 2014 at 5:45 pm


    If you have the text of the video, would you consider posting the text as an article? Thanks.

    • Christian C
      July 9, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      Hi Joan. I'm hoping to make this happen soon.

  38. Carl C
    July 9, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    "So you’re making personal comments now. I won’t be responding further."

    Your entire personality indicates otherwise.

  39. crape mail
    July 9, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Haha - pretty much unanimous - no one wants to have to watch a video - especially for a topic is that much better and easier scanned and considered in text - i too just scanned the comments and have zero interest in watching a video on this topic

    so to contribute to the comment section, most technically adept users prefer an on-demand scanner - Housecall, Avira, Clamwin (and maybe Malwarebytes, though it is overaggressive) all fit the bill well

    Jotti and Virustotal are good online file checkers - but Anubis (google it) is really useful if you don't want to boot up your v-machine or sandboxie to test

  40. Larry Sessions
    July 9, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    If videos are part of the new paradigm at Makeuseof, I may need to look elsewhere. I agree with the (civil) remarks about the video. Having to sit (or "sift," which is a perfectly appropriate use of the word) through it was annoying and ultimately unenlightening.

  41. Carl C
    July 9, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    "No: what I did was make a joke."

    If you have to explain that you were joking, then the attempt at humor failed.

    "I don’t have a shrink, I’m British."

    Interesting. Do all British people have trouble taking constructive criticism? If so, do you think actually visiting a shrink might help with that?

    • Christian C
      July 9, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      So you're making personal comments now. I won't be responding further.

  42. A&L
    July 9, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    @ Christian C
    I will start supporting this site again when your no longer part of it.
    The only "sorry one" here is you

  43. excentric
    July 9, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    I'm always fascinated by the people who choose to comment on everything except the actual contents/point of the article, video, or whatever. Useful info is a good thing, regardless of it's means of delivery. You can always google for similar info if you're not happy with the delivery method. I was pleased to have this info available. I used McAfee in the past, won't use it again.

  44. Carl C
    July 9, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    "Hi Carl. I shall make no comments whatsoever about your amateur psychological assessment (although I will pass them onto my shrink…;) )"

    Hi, Christian. And yet, you did exactly that! Thank you for exactly proving my point.

    • Christian C
      July 9, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      No: what I did was make a joke.

      I don't have a shrink, I'm British.

  45. sheryl douglas
    July 9, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    I have a tarantula and its considered to be in the spider family and it has 8 legs not 7. So i am not sure where the 7 legs came in. Also, I thought the video was good. Some of it was hard to understand because of the thick accent but for most part it was understandable. I am ADHD and have a very hard time understanding anything that i read. I learn better from the "show me" approach. So thank you for the video. Of course this is only my opinion but to the other ADHD and ADD people out there, I am sure they too will agree. Again, thank you for taking the time to do this video because i am sure you had better things to do with your time as well.

    • Christian C
      July 9, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      Hi Sheryl

      I'm thrilled you found it useful. Apologies for the accent - I'm usually a lot broader than that, it was produced in my best "general English" voice :)

    • Howard B
      July 10, 2014 at 12:43 am

      All arachnids have 8 legs. Some may have large front appendages (like a scorpion's claws) that are not "legs" but are large enough to appear as such.
      Don't know why the spider in the video only has 7.

    • Howard B
      July 10, 2014 at 12:46 am

      "Don't know why the spider in the video only has 7. "
      Edit: In the listing image; thought someone was commenting on an AV logo in the video.

    • Howard B
      July 10, 2014 at 12:48 am

      @Christian C: "I didn’t 'choose' to make a video. This is part of a larger paradigm of new content types on MakeUseOf, and several other similarly formatted articles have been produced by the same team so far."

      Then why not say so from the start, and ask for (constructive) criticism in the subsequent comments, instead of just repeating "Because it is." and "I don’t think anyone expected you to be baking or working in a quarry while watching it." That's something I'd expect from Ricky Gervais, not someone at MakeUseOf.

  46. A&L
    July 9, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    I've been reading makeuseof for years and receive their emails, but.. after Christian C comment "sorry bunch of comments from the readers"
    I will no longer white list or click on any ads on this site

    Maybe he should re-read this:

    comment constructively,
    stay on the subject of the article, and
    respect the opinions of others


    • Christian C
      July 9, 2014 at 5:18 pm

      "comment constructively"

      I'm not convinced your comment is constructive, A&L - a slight overreaction to a post you don't like, don't you think, refusing to support the website at all? How is that being constructive?

      The first comments on this article are a "sorry bunch". I make no apologies for describing them as such. It's just a shame none of the authors bothered to think about actually being constructive with their feedback before hitting the post comment button.

  47. Stephen
    July 9, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    After reading many comments, it is my humble opinion that too many people have too much time on their hands to criticize others. Get a life.

  48. Christopher W
    July 9, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    I prefer having an "always on" solution, and save the scanners for verifying them. Better to never have them on my comp.

    I'd also like to see an article on the "off-line" scanners, like Windows Defender Offline, that you run from a bootable disk or USB stick. I think they do the best job of finding rootkits.

  49. kg4jup
    July 9, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    For what it's worth, I NEVER bother with any email or Web posting that is presented in a video. My time is too precious. Just give me the facts in text if you want my attention.

  50. Carl C
    July 9, 2014 at 4:18 pm


    Your sarcasm and defensiveness seem to be masking a very unpleasant combination of insecurity and arrogance. The fact that people were put off by the format you chose isn't a personal attack, but an indication of exactly why this format was ill-considered: video is the absolute worst format you could have chosen for this kind of article, specifically because no one wants to sit through a video to get information that would be better presented in a list format. I assume that you actually want people to listen to you (and if not, why are you wasting our time and your own?), and choosing this format guaranteed that very few people would. No one cares how much time you spent putting it together: if it isn't appealing, we aren't going to watch it, so you're basically ensuring no one listens to what you have to say. If you can't deal with people pointing out these basic truths to you, you have no business making your work public. Listen, learn, try to do better, and leave the snarky comments at home.

    • Christian C
      July 9, 2014 at 5:08 pm

      "Your sarcasm and defensiveness seem to be masking a very unpleasant combination of insecurity and arrogance. "

      Hi Carl. I shall make no comments whatsoever about your amateur psychological assessment (although I will pass them onto my shrink...;) )

      I didn't "choose" to make a video. This is part of a larger paradigm of new content types on MakeUseOf, and several other similarly formatted articles have been produced by the same team so far.

  51. Wayne
    July 9, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Sorry dude i have to agree with Nadia

    July 9, 2014

    You could try being less sarcastic with your readers, and listen more to their concerns if you want them to keep reading you. All they’re doing is giving you free feedback.
    It takes a maximum of a few seconds to scroll down on one of this page’s usual articles, to decide if we want to read it, or to just find the bit that interests us the most.
    Myself, once I realised it was in video form, I scrolled to the comments for the conclusions.

  52. Jonathan McRobert
    July 9, 2014 at 3:35 pm


    Thanks for taking the time to put this together. With all the constant changes in anti-virus software, it's nice to see a light overview of some of the available products.

    It was surprising to see that a couple of them were so inadequate, given their supposed high rankings. It definitely pays to evaluate them regularly and not get stuck in a rut using the same solution just because they offer a prettier interface or some other socially-engineered inducement.

    I appreciate all of the helpful tips and tricks offered by MakeUseOf. While they are not all relevant to me and my needs, the fact that they are available to share with others is a wonderful thing.

    Please keep up the good work!


    • Christian C
      July 9, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      Thanks Jonathan, glad you found it useful :)

  53. Bud
    July 9, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Get a Mac and be done with all of THAT bovine feces !!! Once in a 'blue moon' I'll use ClamXav or Sophos AV and get an occasional blip, and when I do, it's a minor nuisance that is quickly deleted and no longer a bother !!! And since Apple OS has a smaller 'footprint' on the world scene, a helluva lot less hassles, too!!!

    • Tim
      July 9, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      My google chromebook doesn't get viruses either.

    • Howard B
      July 10, 2014 at 12:40 am

      Yep. Get rid of viruses and almost any software that isn't "professional" (Adobe's Creative Suite comes to mind; Final Cut; a few suites like that).
      For gaming, you need Windows; there's no way around it. Half of the top-tier games of the past few years don't get ported to Mac.
      Oh yeah...and the premium price you pay for a Mac comes to mind, as well. For half the price of a Macbook I can get a top-tier gaming laptop.
      I also loathe OS X's look and feel.

  54. DieSse
    July 9, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Failing to detect as a virus something that isn't actually a virus is not exactly a test one way or another. The Eicar test pattern is only detected if the AV scanner writer decides to do so by testing for that particular fake pattern. Did you think to ask the provider their attitude to this - there has been controversy about it in the past.

    The only really useful test is a test using real world virus samples. The point of the Eicar test is so that a user can see how AV software reacts to finding a virus, without actually exposing them to a virus.

    I would accept that AV software should react in a predictable way to Eicar - but it says nothing whatsoever about how well it finds real viruses.

    • Christian C
      July 9, 2014 at 5:11 pm

      Hi DieSse

      Appreciate your comments. Contacting the developer was not within the scope of this article, although when we revisit the topic it is something I think we will look at.


  55. John Hall
    July 9, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    You know - I've read through most of the comments, many of which are carping and unnecessarily harsh on Christian. Most of the stuff that HTG, MTE and MUO put together is incredibly useful ..... and COSTS NOTHING!! Christian's attempt at levity was possibly a little misplaced but given the time that he clearly put into the review, I don't blame him. How else is he or other authors going to find out if a different format will be well received other than by trying it out? Do get a grip people! The very encouraging thing for Christian must be the high response rate - showing that a lot of folks read his material. Keep up the good work Christian!

    • Welshtraveler
      July 9, 2014 at 10:38 pm

      I support this point of view. If everyone presented information the same way we would never discover the best format to get specific information across to the audience. In most cases this would not have been targeted to those who probably already know the best way to address the virus security issue ( like most of the commenters on this article seem to be) but rather at those who actually need to know this information and can best assimilate it via the medium of a video!

    • SBME
      July 10, 2014 at 5:30 am

      @ John Hall - "The very encouraging thing for Christian must be the high response rate – showing that a lot of folks read his material" - The high response rate does not show that a lot of folks read his material. The high response rate indicated that many people were interested in the subject , that they wanted to read the article, but they did not want to watch a video. Many people (I included) skipped the video and went straight to the comments. Plus, If you feel that Christian's responses were humorous, and not defensive and sarcastic, I suggest you (and he) reconsider.

    • C.Mitra
      July 13, 2014 at 8:12 am

      I agree with John. I quote SBME " If you feel that Christian’s responses were humorous, and not defensive and sarcastic".....well Mr.SBME, the same goes for the others as well, including YOU. and some of the posts are outright disrespectful. You need to respect others in order to be respected.

  56. Sreeraj R
    July 9, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Thank you very much, I have been looking for an article like this...

  57. jack
    July 9, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    This amateurish joke was a complete waste of time!
    You could have pointed to professionally done AV tests & maybe summarized them.
    If you are gona make it as a blogger you have a long way to go.

    • Christian C
      July 9, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      Jack: I'm sorry that you feel that way. We decided that this would be a good topic: the scanners featured are just that, scanners, not AV suites, and are tools that a lot of people rely on that are generally not found to have reviews online; we certainly haven't reviewed any of them recently.

  58. BobC
    July 9, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Very disappointed also that this is a video and not an article.
    More disappointing is the authors rudeness and lack self control as a "professional".

    Hopefully your superiors view this and take action .

    • Christian C
      July 9, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      I'm afraid I don't follow your comment about "rudeness". I've attempted to address questions about the video and add some levity to what is a sorry bunch of comments from the readers.

      Speaking personally the criticism has been taken on board. I spent a considerable amount of time putting this together.

    • Iamallright
      July 9, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      Why on Earth would you do a video review???

  59. Nadia
    July 9, 2014 at 11:47 am

    You could try being less sarcastic with your readers, and listen more to their concerns if you want them to keep reading you. All they're doing is giving you free feedback.
    It takes a maximum of a few seconds to scroll down on one of this page's usual articles, to decide if we want to read it, or to just find the bit that interests us the most.
    Myself, once I realised it was in video form, I scrolled to the comments for the conclusions.

  60. Todd
    July 9, 2014 at 11:42 am

    This was just a waste of everyone's time (including the author).

  61. Loray
    July 9, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Yeah, unfortunately I agree with people wishing this was an article. Up until recently I did all my 'interneting' at a library where I couldn't hear any sound. And right now I'm on the phone, where I can't be listening to something, but could be reading it. *shrugs* It's just more convenient much of the time to read rather than watch.

    • Loray
      July 9, 2014 at 10:51 am

      Nevermind. Wonderful accent makes everything forgiven. In fact, I may watch it again.

  62. Scotty
    July 9, 2014 at 3:58 am

    ...and why does the spider in the top right have only 7 legs?

    • Ken
      July 9, 2014 at 5:16 am

      Really?!?! A video? is makeuseof afraid that it's viewers can't read, or were they taking their cues from Yahoo News?

    • Guy
      July 9, 2014 at 3:00 pm

      Because it is! LOL

    • Scott
      July 9, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      Spiders sometimes lose legs,they usually get them back during their next moult

    • Tim
      July 9, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      IDK, but it's the same one they used bottom center. eek!

  63. John C
    July 9, 2014 at 12:56 am

    As most everyone else has stated already; video? No thank you, stick to what gets you the most views, it's certainly not the videos.

  64. David
    July 9, 2014 at 12:20 am

    I didn't even bother watching the video. Decided to view comments instead.

    • Bogdan C
      July 9, 2014 at 5:10 am

      Me too...

    • Mad
      July 9, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      Me three

    • Jadjad
      July 9, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      Same here. We're not allowed to stream any videos here in the office.

    • Kimchi R
      July 9, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Ditto...might as well created a slew of pics to scroll through like on news sites. Waste of time.

    • SBME
      July 10, 2014 at 5:08 am

      @Christian C: Instead of snarky, sarcastic, disrespectful retorts - I would prefer that you either address the readers of this blog with sincere or straight-forward answers to their (our) questions - or remain silent. Your attitude is offensive.

    • Claus
      July 10, 2014 at 9:39 am


      15 seconds reading the summary of an article vs. 5 minutes watching a video I do not know beforehand if I will get the answers I am looking for in the end. Minimal time investment plus obvious effectiveness vs. considerable time investment plus unclear effectiveness.

      Why did I write this comment and invest even more time? (no, I didn't watch the video)

    • David M
      July 10, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Videos are great and I love them! But I didn't think I video was necessary in this case.

  65. Tyler
    July 8, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    Why use Eicar? Its the most inaccurate way to test an AV. All of the major name brands detect the Eicar. This is useless.

    • Howard B
      July 9, 2014 at 11:00 am

      Because a virus scanner that DOESN'T detect Eicar doesn't deserve the name. Eicar is a harmless test case for virus scanners, just like doing surgery on a cadaver is practice for a beginning surgeon. Or would you want to be operated on by someone who never practiced?

    • Tyler
      July 9, 2014 at 11:11 am

      Makes sense with a ton of no name softwares. However that is not the case. In this case they picked a bunch of brain surgeons that have been doing this for 15 years.

  66. allen
    July 8, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    I dont use any AV on Windows 7 and 8. I never get any virus, etc...

    • bacon
      July 9, 2014 at 3:54 am

      how could you know the presence of a virus when you dont even have tools to detect it

    • Howard B
      July 9, 2014 at 10:58 am

      Then you're a fool. Microsoft's built-in tools are a last resort when you don't have anything else.

      And saying you "don't surf scammy sites" isn't a defense, either, as many Internet worms can infect a PC when it's not doing anything at all but being connected to the Internet.

      I've seen a Windows 2000 Server infected with a MIRC bot (for botnet command & control), fake user accounts, and viruses "just sitting there" serving files and printers to my company's users because "there was no budget for server-grade antivirus" (that changed my boss's mind in a hurry, even though I had warned him in advance - don't blame me!)

  67. ReadandShare
    July 8, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Question that comes to mind... in case it hasn't been asked... why make us sift through a whole video??

    • Christian C
      July 9, 2014 at 9:37 am

      I don't think anyone expected you to be baking or working in a quarry while watching it.

      Unless you mean "sit" through the video, and you feel the 5 minute duration was too long for you. If this is the case, perhaps you should have asked us not to point that gun at your head.

      Oh, that's right, we didn't ;)

  68. Zack McCauley
    July 8, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    True. This could easily be covered in an article, with simple points and numbers.

    What about Trend Micro's Housecall.
    That has been by far the single greatest scanner utility I have ever had to use. It has found things when AVG, McAfee and many others have failed (looking at you Kaspersky and you too Norton (excuse for an antivirus)). I have never been let down by it's scan in my life. Short of booting off a disc or usb, and using the tool else ware.
    Avast Free is a far better tool than any listed as well, but that is my opinion.

  69. likefunbutnot
    July 8, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Why is this a video?
    Why use a known fake rather than a real world sample of threats?
    Why not include products with a broader feature set such as Avira or Avast?
    Finally, why is this a video?

    • Kotonaru
      July 8, 2014 at 9:22 pm

      Also, because it hasn't been asked enough:
      *Why* is this a video?

    • ????? ?
      July 9, 2014 at 7:17 am

      Cool :D

    • Christian C
      July 9, 2014 at 9:35 am

      To answer your questions in order:

      Because it is.
      Known fake was chosen because it is the lowest baseline point of reference. The fact that one of the apps tested failed to pick it up should be of more concern to you than the use of the fake.
      The point of the video, as described, was to focus on scanners with a narrow set of features.
      Finally, because it is.

    • Kelvin
      July 9, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      Or, they ignored it because it's a known false positive and they didn't sign up for a fake eicar test. This isn't how you compare virus scanners anyway. Rather than giving people a conclusion based on an unsound test, direct people to a proper testing firm:

    • gzuckier
      July 9, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      Because the people who read this blog can't read?

    • sigman
      July 10, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      Sorry, adequate is not good enough. When you can get a 3 user Norton 360 for $20 to $30 on the internet why would I go for an adequate. Get the best. With adequate will get you life stolen before you know it happened. Once gone, you can't get it back.