Microsoft's Security Essentials last in real-world safe browsing test

Microsoft Security Essentials scored the lowest protection rate in a monthly antivirus test from well known antivirus test lab AV-Comparatives. The antivirus software is one of the most popular free antivirus solutions but takes the last place in a test that should indicate how well antivirus products protect users against malicious links.


AV-Comparatives performs monthly tests of antivirus scanners in a so-called 'real-world protection test' where consumers antivirus products are tested how well they protect against real infected links and drive-by downloads on the internet. This should test the effectivity of antivirus scanners with threats that users in the real world come in contact with.

The scores of all monthly tests from February to Juni show that Microsoft Security Essentials missed to protect users against 104 out of 1868 malicious links. This means the software has a protection rate of 94.4%, the lowest of all tested software.

F-Secure and Trend Micro were the only ones with a perfect protection rate, they protected users against all 1868 malicious links. Bitdefender scored a protection rate of 99.9%, the software didn't properly detect a malicious link 2 times. The third place is taken by Kaspersky Lab and Avira with both a protection rate of 99.7%. Kaspersky Lab's actual score is a bit better, the software protected against 1 more malicious link than Avira.

AV-Comparatives also tested for false positives. In this test Microsoft is on the 6th spot with 6 false alarms, an above average score. While F-Secure and Trend Micro took the number one spot in the previous test, they are amongst the worst in the false positives test. F-Secure falsely alarmed 46 times for malicious links and Trend Micro falsely alarmed 52 times.


Based on these results the antivirus products receive a certification from AV-Comparative. The best performing products are eligible for an Advanced+ certificate, followed by an Advanced, Standard and Tested certificate. Bitdefender, Kaspersky Lab, Avira, AVG and ThreatTrack all received the highest possible certificate called Advanced+. Microsoft has received the Standard certificate which is the lowest possible one. Also Sophos and McAfee received this certificate.

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