avast! tops AV Comparatives test

Prague, Czech Republic - Avast combined speed and accuracy to top the latest AV Comparatives analysis of antivirus programs.

Avast had the fastest scan time of the 16 tested programs, over two to three times faster than most other programs. Speed was just part of the winning equation. Avast was the only program out of the 16 tested to get a top five finish for both malware detection and low numbers of false positives.

"Fast, unobtrusive, and secure is what users want," said Vince Steckler, CEO of ALWIL Software, makers of the avast antivirus program. "It's very difficult to produce an antivirus product that is not only fast but also effective without false alarms. But this is what users want and need - and what we have provided."

The AV Comparatives rating balanced malware detection with the number of false alarms; rewarding programs that identify malware with a minimum of false positives. Typically programs with the highest detection rates also have the highest numbers of false positives - often creating additional problems for computer users.

"These elements can be mutually exclusive and it is very hard to get top scores in each category," said Steckler. "The best antivirus product is not necessarily the one with the best detection-it is the one with the best blend of these three elements."

Programs recognized by AV Comparatives as "Advanced+" detected least 97% of the nearly 1.6 billion malware samples with 15 or less false positives. Avast was well over this threshold, catching 98 percent of the malware thrown at it. With only five false positives, Avast was just one out of the top position for this variable among the 16 tested programs.

AV Comparatives is respected organization that provides in-house testing of antivirus software. The August 2009 edition of AV Comparatives analyzed the on-demand scanning of 16 antivirus programs, comparing scanning speeds, malware detection, and the number of false positives.

"We really upgraded our ability to reduce the number of false positives-we added over 150,000 files to our known clean set," said Ondrej Vlcek, Chief Technology Officer at ALWIL Software. "Overall, we are showing a fast, progressive improvement in these tests."

For more detailed comments from Vince Steckler, see avast blog.

Additional information about AV Comparatives is at http://www.av-comparatives.org.