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Internet Security Software Tests


Each year we run several Performance Tests on the top Internet Security programs to see how they impact a computer's performance. See the 8 tests below that we ran on Internet Security Software.


1) Memory Use:



Note: 10 separate readings were taken 1 minute apart while the computer was idling. The average memory usage (MB) is given in the graph below.


2) Reboot Time Increase:



Note: Reboot time after installation was compared to the reboot time prior to software installation. 10 reboots were performed and the average increase in reboot time is shown in the graph below.


3) Installation Size:



Note: The installation size of each program is shown below - updates were downloaded after installation and are included in the results below.


4) Initial Scan Speed:



Note: A 1.0GB set of files was scanned (3000 total files, including Windows system files, media files, and other files commonly found on a computer system), and the first scan after software installation is shown below. The Initial Scan Speed (below) is generally slower than the Subsequent Scan Speed (see test #5) since many files are not scanned in the latter.


5) Subsequent Scan Speed:



Note: A 1.0GB set of files was scanned, and the average scan speed was calculated from 10 scans (not including the Initial Scan) with a system reboot in between each scan.


6) Initial Application Launch Time:



Note: Mozilla Firefox was launched 10 times with a system reboot in between each. The time taken was compared before and after software installation. The average increase in initial launch time is shown in the graph below. Generally initial application launches (below) take longer than subsequent launches (see test #7). Any installed add-ons and toolbars for Firefox were disabled/uninstalled before running this test.


7) Subsequent Application Launch Time:



Note: 10 launches of a web browser (Mozilla Firefox) were compared before and after software installation. The average increase in subsequent launch time is shown in the graph below (1st launch after reboot is not included). As with the test above, any installed add-ons and toolbars for Firefox were disabled/uninstalled before running this test.


8) File Conversion Time:



Note: Conversion time of a MP3 file being converted to several different formats (MP3 > WAV > MP3 > WMA > MP3). The conversion time with Internet Security software installed was compared to the conversion time without any installed, and the average increase in conversion time of 10 trials is shown below.




Overall 'System Impact Score'



Note: The "System Impact Score" is a cumulative score tallied from the above 8 tests. 15 points are given for a top ranking in each of the above tests, while 1 point is given for a bottom/15th-place ranking. The higher overall score the better (120 total possible points).


Internet Security Versions Tested: Avast! Internet Security 6.0, AVG Internet Security 2011, Avira Premium Security Suite 10.0, BitDefender Internet Security 2011, eScan Internet Security Suite 11.0, ESET Smart Security 5, F-Secure Internet Security 2011, G Data Internet Security 2011, Kaspersky Internet Security 2012, McAfee Internet Security 2011, Norton Internet Security 2012, Panda Internet Security 2011, PC Tools Internet Security 2011, Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security 2011, and Webroot Internet Security Essentials 2011.

Test Computer Specifications: Toshiba Pentium Dual-Core T4200 @ 2.00GHz (64-bit), with 3 GB RAM memory and 210 GB Hard-drive running Windows 7 Home Premium. Acronis True Image is used to create a backup image and to restore from before each software installation, so each AV program runs in a similar environment.

Each program was run with its Default Settings.

Graphs compiled October 11, 2011.

Previous Testing: 2011 Internet Security Testing


Other Internet Security Software Tests:

*Also, see our AntiVirus Performance Tests.


Want to know more about our Review Process? Watch this video...




Top Internet Security Software Reviews:

  1) Norton Internet Security 2015 Review
  2) Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 Review
  3) Avast! Internet Security 2015 Review
  4) ESET Smart Security 2015 Review
  5) G Data Internet Security 2015 Review
  6) BitDefender Internet Security 2015 Review
  7) AVG Internet Security 2015 Review
  8) Avira Premium Security Suite 2015 Review
  9) McAfee Internet Security 2015 Review
 10) Webroot Internet Security Essentials 2015 Review
 11) eScan Internet Security Suite 2015 Review
 12) Titanium Internet Security 2015 Review
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