Testing is done using a freshly installed and updated version of Windows 10 or macOS. For Windows testing, Google Chrome is used as the default Web browser, but with its built-in URL filters (anti-phishing, antimalware) disabled and without signing in to Google. For macOS, Safari is used but with its built-in URL filters disabled. Each test computer includes the latest version of Office, Acrobat Reader VLC, Firefox and 7zip.
The overall score
comprises protection (65%), ease of use (25%), and system impact (10%).
Ease of use assessment takes into account the installation, configuration and normal day-to-day use of the product; the clarity and simplicity of the user interface; built-in and online user help such as guidance, help menu and options; and ease of keeping the software up to date.
Protection Score testing includes on-demand scanning, both connected to and disconnected from the internet; real-world protection, using known malicious websites including so-called drive-by websites, plus malware infections from connected media such as a USB flash drive; current malware detection, which includes the speed at which software is updated to address emerging threats; URL protection, which includes blocking online malware, especially phishing websites such as false banking and social media sites; firewall effectiveness; alerts and quarantine.
System Impact Score is the result of assessing the software's use of disk space and memory, plus its effect on boot time and common tasks such as program launch and use, file copying and file compression and decompression.
All mobile security apps
are tested by specialist independent security test lab AV-Test
. Tests are conducted in a worldwide unique, fully-automated Android test system and using the latest smartphones.
Scoring is based on how well the app protects from malware and takes into account system impact – its effect on device speed, memory use and battery consumption, plus other features.
Testing includes on-demand scanning, invoked by a user at any time, and dynamic detection, which identifies and remedies malware as it occurs. Tests are run while simulating typical real-world user activities such as installing apps and launching websites, plus usage of everyday apps such as Adobe Reader and YouTube.
The overall score comprises protection score (50%), system impact score (50%). The protection score covers how effectively it shields the device from malicious software (malware). The system impact score reflects the extent to which running the software affects overall performance. A higher score is better.