How To Choose The Best
How does a web site go about choosing the top Internet security software? Well, there are oodles of magazines, rating sites, vendors, and testing shops that have their opinions. Plus, there are several operating systems, business versus home users, and various categories of testing that come into play.
Furthermore, the testing labs don’t test every product in every test they do. Sometimes they test the free version and sometimes the enterprise (big business) version. Sometimes vendors don’t want to be tested and ask to be left out. Other times, the lab’s rules will disqualify a product. All of this makes rating them very difficult.
In the end, there are just too many variables to look at, making it impossible to say something so general as, “Double Whammy Internet Security 2149 is the top Internet security software on the market”. So, what do we do???
Well, the target audience for this web site is the average, non-technical home user: grandmas, students, fantasy football addicts, etc. So, I’m coming from the perspective of a home user running Windows 7 (I hope you upgrade if you haven’t already but if you have XP, it’s OK) who wants to install something and then “fagetaboutit”. If that’s you then you’re in the right place.
The Big Three Testing Labs
What I do here is keep up with three of the large testing firms: AV-Test, AV-Comparatives, and Virus Bulletin. Yes, there are more of them but these three are sufficient for our purposes.
These guys do testing under various categories constantly, 24/7 under all kinds of situations that we may or may not ever see. If anyone is going to get close to what we all face every day on the Net, it’s them.
Now, they do different kinds of tests throughout the year such as, “Real-World Protection Tests”, “False Alarm Tests”, “Anti-Phishing Test” and so on. There’s no good way to boil all of these tests down into a single decision as to who is “best”. In my mind, the next best thing is to adjust a simple scoring method to the latest available tests from all three labs that most closely apply to our target audience, sprinkle some magical pixie dust on it and publish the “winners” as a constantly changing list on the home page.
Did you get all that? No? Well, don’t worry, here’s the bottom line:
I’ve applied the magic formula (full disclosure: it’s not really magic 🙂 to as many products as I could in a spreadsheet. I use the latest test available that fits our needs. So, if AV-Test comes out with a new test in July and that test would be applicable to our ratings, we just run the spreadsheet with the new ratings and see where the chips fall. So, the top Internet security software “winner” is always changing.
Even so, don’t put too much weight on any ratings, including those you find here. I would venture to say that if you chose any of the top three at any given time, you’d be as protected as you can reasonably expect to be. So, don’t get too wound up about it all. The really, really important point is to get something, install it and keep it updated (which it usually does itself).
2013 Internet Security Smackdown!
Is there such a thing as “the best security software”? The answer doesn’t depend on opinions, software makers’ claims, or how much money is in it for the reviewer. But independent tests by large testing firms can come about as close as we’re going to get. Read up on this on the Internet Security Reviews page.
What’s more, just installing a security product on your Windows PC won’t allow you to just sit back, smoke a stogie, and bask in the imperviousness of your fortified computer. There’s a LOT more to Internet security and that’s what this site is all about.
You need to learn how to LOCK DOWN your computer from the dark side of the Force Internet. Check out the Best Internet Security pages for more information.
There are literally thousands of new security threats released on the Internet EVERY DAY and you could become a victim in the next heartbeat. Most of us know someone who has lost everything to some horrific virus turning their computer into a paperweight. More on this in the Internet Security Threats section.
I only list the top three suites here under the Platinum, Gold, and Silver award titles. How do I decide the winners? Well, you need to visit the Top Internet Security Software page for that explanation. It’s simple but intriguing reading.