PassMark Software reveals best-performing 2014 security software

PassMark Software has released its 2014 Consumer Security Products Performance Benchmarks report, the results of in-depth testing on the speed and impact on your system of 16 leading security packages.

First place in the security suite test went to Norton Internet Security 2014 for its excellent scan times, fast launch, and minimal effect on other applications and PC tasks. Kaspersky and Bitdefender Internet Security 2014 were second and third, while products from Avast, G Data, McAfee, Panda and Trend Micro trailed behind.

Norton topped the antivirus test, too, although its minimal scan times helped push AVG AntiVirus into second place. Avast scored well in third, while G Data, Panda, Kaspersky, McAfee and Trend Micro weren’t so impressive.

The rankings need to be evaluated with some care, because although they’re based on the scores of 19 tests, these aren’t all of equal value. PassMark measures the installation time and size, for example, as well as the product’s memory use; these can be interesting figures, but as long as you’ve reasonably powerful hardware, they’re unlikely to make any noticeable difference.

Forget about these less crucial assessments, concentrate on others, and some very different results can emerge. If you look only at the two scan time tests, say, G Data AntiVirus 2014 comes out on top, completing one benchmark in half the time of Norton Antivirus.

It’s also worth noting that the test was run on Windows 7, and other versions of Windows may deliver significantly different results. AV-Test.org’s latest benchmarks also score Norton Internet Security 2014 high for Windows 7 performance, but rank it much lower on Windows 8.

Despite these issues, PassMark’s report is a useful document, which provides a great deal of useful performance information on this year’s top security products. Just be sure to browse the individual benchmark results, as well as the overall rankings.

It’s worth adding that the top performers within the report, namely Norton Internet Security 2014, Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 and Bitdefender Internet Security 2014, are all available, deeply discounted, from the Downloadcrew Software Store.

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