The best antivirus software? Kaspersky, Bitdefender and Microsoft lead in latest tests

The AV-TEST Institute recently tested the most popular Windows 10 client antivirus products on three primary criteria: protection, performance, and usability. Only five of the 18 products tested earned a perfect rating of 6 for each of those criteria: Bitdefender Endpoint Security 6.6 and Endpoint Security Elite 6.6, Kaspersky Lab Endpoint Security 11, Kaspersky Small Office Security 6, and Microsoft Windows Defender Antivirus 4.12 and 4.16. The top 13 antivirus offerings shown here in alphabetical order scored at least 17 points out of a possible 18, 

The downloadable infographic below summarizes the results, along with earlier test data for Windows 7 and Windows 8. You can drill down on the full results at The AV-TEST Institute’s website. Here are summaries of the top ten Windows antivirus products.

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This infographic summarizes tests of Windows client antivirus software conducted by the AV-TEST Institute. The AV-TEST Institute

1. Avast Antivirus Business 18.5

Avast Antivirus Business 18.5 could have had a perfect score with just a slight improvement on performance. The biggest issue was with slow-downs when launching popular websites. It was 4 percentage points slower than industry average. Otherwise, it had perfect scores for data protection and nearly a perfect score for usability. (It had 2 false detections of legitimate software as malware out of about 1.4 million samples).

2. Bitdefender Endpoint Security 6.6

One of five products with perfect scores for protection, performance and usability, Bitdefender Endpoint Security stopped all zero-day malware web and email attacks tested, and all malware discovered in the last four weeks. Performance degradation when using applications and websites was minimal to moderate, with the worst being a 26 percent website launch slow-down on a standard PC. For the latest round of tests, the product gave no false positives.

3. Bitdefender Endpoint Security Elite 6.6

The results for Bitdefender Endpoint Security Elite are nearly identical to those of the standard Bitdefender product. The main difference is that it did slightly better in some performance categories.

4. Check Point SandBlast Agent 80.84

A newcomer to the top 10 list, Check Point SandBlast Agent had perfect scores for data protection and usability. For the latter, it had no false warnings or blockages, and it did not flag any legitimate software as malware. It did perform significantly slower on launching popular websites than the industry average–a 30 percent decline in speed versus 18 percent on a standard PC, and a 16 percent decline versus 13 percent on a high-end PC.