Learn more about how one would Evaluate Antivirus utilities and Security Suites

Securing your PC from internet threats has come a long way from a simple antivirus (AV) then to antimalware and now Security Suits. Over the years malware has become difficult to detect or grasp by the mind and mostly tries to trespass into the PC in the form of Trojan.

The seemingly innocent files like a thug through user-error, an accidental click on the wrong fraudulent web address, you have given someone a backdoor to your system.

The malware just silently sleeks into yours PC and as a consequence, it will bring mayhem to your PC without you even knowing that something is wrong.

Security is the priority and it is essential to use a fully featured security suite that will proactively detect the viruses and assists and defends your web browsing as well.

How we test security suits:

You should have as many PCs as you possibly could to test the long list of security suits and in this way, it could possibly speed up the process. The initial step is to prepare for rigidly accurate, strict, stringent and tight testing.

Prepare the test PCs:

Here, you can choose for two, four or six or more identical indistinguishable PCs. Go for mid-range configurable PC. The PC configurations as follows:
Intel Core 3, Custom branded motherboard from the hardware manufacturer, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 160 GB SATA Hard

Disc Drives:

Fully format the hard disc drives and then install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and this has been done to the entire test PCs. Then essential software like that of WinRAR, TeraCopy, Video Lan Player, Google Chrome, Opera and Firefox latest builds were installed on all the PCs.

Then take the complete system snapshot using Norton 360 and then that image installed to the entire test PCs to make certain of each and every system is consistent. Use the benchmark tool such as the PCMark vantage with two to three runs or the PC Doctor to ensure and limit the performance within the four percentages of each PC.

The starting of the test process:

PCs first restored to the system snapshot and then install the security suite to be tested and allow it to update to its latest definitions. Install the security suite in its fullest capacity including its toolbar, add-ons, windows gadgets supplied with the security suite.

You have to test the security suits considering its performance and productivity issues. It is advisable to run the productivity tests on security suits first then followed by performance tests. After each security suit was tested, the system was again reverted back to the system snapshot to make the benchmark fully satisfied.

Productivity tests:

It is the test of system resources and these tests are designed to measure how much a system is influenced by the presence of the security suite.

Run the peacekeeper benchmark on the test system before and during a scan. The benchmark will measure the browser’s performance, video playback, image editing and compare it with the various predefined benchmark with the real world scenario settings.

File transfer:

Transfer a 3GB file from the partition to partition and then compare it to the time taken to transfer the same files before and after the security suite is installed.

File compression:

Compress the same 3GB files with the standard zip option and compare the time of compression and the load on system resources before and after the security suite is installed.
Total system scan:

Run the full system scan on your test PC, if any security suite has the option of RAM optimisation then that security suit will get the higher marks.
Boot time:

Run this test to measure security suit’s impact on the boot time booting. Use the Window Software development suit’s Windows Performance Analysis Tool to measure the boot time delay.

Performance tests:

Here, the performance of security suit in detecting and preventing the malware intrude in the system.

Virus samples:

From an online virus vault download virus and Trojan samples, remember to download the most recent version of the virus and put it on a new pen drive or a completely formatted pen drive.

Drive the full scan on the pen drive with the security suits and save the log files at the end of the scan to know more about the scanning statistics and verify the number of the infected file actually detected by the security suits with that of the viruses you have downloaded.

Malware domains:

First, compile the list of all the infected domains from fanboyz list and then employ the inbuilt URL link scanners which are available with almost all the Security suits. The response time of these Security suits to these sites to be noted and rated.

False positives and Malware zoo tests:

Whether a Security suit mistakenly flags and notifies virus any known safe file as being potentially dangerous and unsafe. Malware zoo tests are the sole indicator of how the Security suit response time to any upcoming threats.

The response time to new malware threat is most significant in order to fight with the computer threats.

System remediation:

This test determines how well the Security suit can detect, disable, disinfect and wipe out malware infections in the test PCs.


It is that part of the computer virus which performs some malicious action and cut down yours RAM usages. After scanning with the test Security suit it is imperative to scan yours test PC with Microsoft Malicious Software Tool, which is updated each month, a stand-alone application to find whether the existing suit has missed any potentially unwanted programme.


After all the tests are finished, it is time to go back to the drawing room and compare the statistics, also go for the pricing factor, best buy feature and every possible feature you can think off.

Make data diagram and comparative study, give the details of the PC scan and USB scan and your network connected LAN scan and find out the best in the business.

Compare the pricing factor with that of Security suits performance and feature offering and last no the least the additional image making option and free online data back up option give the added bonus to the Security suit rating.

Finally, there’s no “perfect” way of testing security products, try to innovate and go with the time and current security development parameters to gain most out of Security tests.

While considering the security parameters in terms of then us usability pattern always remembers that the easiest to use security suits would not do you much benefit if it cannot block malware.

Sources and References:

  • http[:][//]www[.]firewallguide[.]com[/]suites[.]htm
  • https[:][//]www[.]pcworld[.]com[/]article[/]248974[/]how_we_test_antivirus_software_and_security_suites[.]html

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