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Latest AV Comparatives (On-Demand) results – is NOD32 still the best?

The latest set of results from the well known AV-Comparatives is the set of on-demand scanning results. These results show NOD to have a lower than the top rating. The best possible rating is “Advanced+”. NOD32 v3 got “Advanced” instead.

This result was released a good month or so ago. Why I did not comment on it earlier was because I was doing repeating few tests of my own, very similar to the unorthodox tests I did earlier. I wanted to see if NOD had indeed fallen in capability. And though On-Demand scanning has never been NOD’s main strength, it was still surprising that malware was getting through its net where as my results had shown otherwise.

My methods remained the same: install them on some node in my universities malware ridden LAN and see which one brought the best results. Once again, my friends’ PCs were used.

In short, I still gained the same results. For me, NOD was still performing the best, followed at a short distance by Kaspersky. The versions tested were the latest, as of 1/11/08. Other products I tested were AVIRA (the latest to top AV-Comparatives’ charts, which I did not last time around) and Norton. AVIRA lived up to its billing as a powerful and light antivirus, but gave too many false positives, once picking up a harmless Microsoft Word file as a trojan. Norton gave a highly improved experience (which is surprising since there was no major version update), letting only one virus through.

Note that my testing is mainly reliant on pro-active defence. This automatically biases it in favour of NOD32 and Kaspersky, whose heuristics are well acknowledged. After all, if nothing gets through, why should one need to scan?

One point to note: NOD32 has lesser false positives than most of the others.

Endnote

AV-Comparatives’ results show NOD to be poor(er) than expected for the latest set of comparatives, while Norton is clearly a high performer.

But for me, and real-world conditions, NOD32 still tops the range, with Kaspersky on second position.

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