Our method for assessing which software is best for protecting against malware.
A computer in our internet security testing lab has a tough life. We install a security package, then bombard it with thousands of the worst malware attacks. After that, we reset the computer, install a different package, and do the whole thing again.
We aim to test popular security products you’re likely to hear about, plus some you might not be aware of. We want to capture new developments in the market and make sure the products we test will stay available after we publish our results.
We install each internet security package on a newly installed and up-to-date Windows 10 PC and use Google Chrome as our browser. For Mac products, we instead use the latest version of Mac OSX and Safari. Any built-in security filters in the browser are switched off. Then the attacks begin.
Our overall score for security software includes assessments for:
Our protection assessment includes:
We complete this section of the test four times over four months and take an average. This better represents the ongoing protection over the course of a subscription.
We assess the ease of:
We measure how the security software affects the time it takes to perform tasks such as loading web pages, opening Microsoft Office documents, downloading from the internet and installing software. We also measure the hard drive space and RAM used up by the program.