Will it slow down my system?, is a question antivirus vendors are often asked by worried customers. Indeed, antivirus utilities are infamous for having an adverse impact on system performance. A new report released by Av-comparatives a leading antivirus software testing firm, provides us the answer to this oft-asked question.
Av-comparatives used 16 popular antivirus utilities and measured the impact they had on various activities like file copying and downloading. Fully defragmented hard disks were utilized on each occasion and external factors like network and temperature were neutralized as far as possible.
None of the antivirus utilities had a significant impact on encoding/transcoding and archiving/unarchiving speeds. However, eScan, FSecure, G DATA, Microsoft and Trustport slowed down file copying significantly (more than doubled the time required to copy a file). Thankfully, due to fingerprinting technologies, all of them but eScan performed impressively on subsequent runs.
When it came to slowing down application installations/uninstallations Bitdefender, G DATA and Trustport were the biggest culprits. Trustport also increased application launch times by more than 100%. These three were joined by AVG in the file downloading hall of shame. AVG, Bitdefender, G DATA and Trustport more than doubled file download durations.
Throughout the tests Avira performed admirably and this was reflected even in the WorldBench scores. eScan, Trustport, Bitdefender and G DATA once again found themselves at bottom of the pile.
Thanks to an outstanding all round performance Avira was the overall winner. Kingsoft, F-Secure, Sophos and Kaspersky were the other products which made it to the top five.
Antivirus Name – Score (Higher is better)
- AVIRA AntiVir Premium 9.0 – 199
- Kingsoft Antivirus 9 Plus – 196
- F-Secure Anti-Virus 2010 – 195
- Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2010 – 193
- Sophos Anti-Virus 9.0.1 – 193
- Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0 – 190
- avast! Free 5.0 – 188
- Symantec Norton AntiVirus 2010 – 188
- ESET NOD32 Antivirus 4.0 – 183
- McAfee VirusScan Plus 2010 – 174
- Norman Antivirus & AntiSpyware 7.30 – 169
- AVG Anti-Virus 9.0 – 164
- BitDefender Antivirus 2010 – 154
- G DATA AntiVirus 2010 – 152
- eScan AntiVirus 10.0 – 137
- Trustport Antivirus 2010 – 125
The full report can be downloaded from Av-comparatives.org.