At the LinuxWorld Expo in San Francisco earlier this week, a live test of antivirus products was conducted on the last night.
Billed as an antivirus "fight club," it was conducted in front of an audience by network gateway vendor Untangle. Ten antivirus products were selected and confronted with 25 viruses, of which many were submitted by members of the audience. No zero-day exploits were included in them.
Most of the viruses tested against were your everyday viruses, and some of them have been around for years.
The verdict might surprise some people – only three of the antivirus tools detected and stopped all 25 of the viruses. In fact, the product with the worst showing caught fewer than 10 percent.
Says Dirk Morris, CTO and co-founder of Untangle:
What's surprising about a test like this is how much difference there is between the antivirus products' performance. Some of the products you think will do well don't, and some of the lesser-known products, like open source tools, end up doing well.
Before you check out the results, do go ahead with the poll first will you.
[EDIT: Note that this poll is passe. Check out the latest - and much more detailed one found in Not all AV tools are created equal: Uproar from AV vendors kicks off round two]
Did the result surprise you? What are your personal experiences with antivirus products?
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Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.