Consumer Reports rates free PC security software as Best Buy

Makeshift suite beats pricey apps from Eset, McAfee, Symantec and others

Consumer Reports magazine slapped its Best Buy logo on a trio of free security programs for Windows PCs, saying that they offer the "best combination of performance and price" and are a smarter pick than suites from companies like Symantec Corp. and McAfee Inc.

The publication's June issue rated 11 commercial security suites, including high-profile products like Norton Internet Security (Symantec), Internet Security (McAfee) and Smart Security (Eset LLC). Each package was tested against both actual exploits active on the Web as well as others that were modified to represent "threats too new to have been discovered," said the magazine.

Eset's Smart Security led the list with a score of 72 out of a possible 100, with McAfee's and Symantec's suites in second and tied for third, respectively, with 71 and 70 points. (Microsoft's Live OneCare, which will be discontinued June 30, tied Norton with 70.)

The commercial software reviewed by the consumer magazine ranged in price from $40 to $90, with second-year-and-later renewal fees between $40 and $70 annually.

But Consumer Reports's top honors went to a free three-pack of Avira's AntiVir antivirus program, Microsoft's Windows Defender antispyware software and the Spamfighter antispam program.

"These free programs offer the best combination of performance and price. All are recommended," said Consumer Reports in giving the trio its "CR Best Buy" for the category. "[They] could be combined to create a makeshift suite."

PC Tools' Internet Security, a $60 program, came in last of the 11 commercial programs with a score of 47 out of 100.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityantivirusinternet security suites

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?