There is a widely held view that the bigger the name the better the product. When you are dealing with a security threat like antivirus software, many people like the reassurance of dealing with a big brand name like Microsoft. But recent independent tests show that by taking this stance, you could be exposing yourself to potential problems.
Major players like Norton AntiVirus dominate the Antivirus market. These companies have been in the market for years. Microsoft joined them in 2006 when they released their Windows Live OneCare service that includes a virus scan. These companies offer well priced antivirus software solutions that are aimed at home users. And judging by sales we seem to love buying their products.
But behind all the glitzy product launches and expensive marketing, the question remains: Do these products work? The fact is that independent tests on antivirus products from respected sources like Virus Bulletin and AV-Comparatives suggest that branded products from some of the big names are not as good as other software. In fact some of these products lag way behind their smaller competitors in terms of their ability to detect viruses.
A quick scan of customer feedback of Norton products on Amazon reveals that customer satisfaction is not high for such a well-known brand. Microsoft fair a little better but there is still a worrying number of people that rate their OneCare service only one star out of five.
The products that have faired better in testing are from small companies that few people on the street will have heard of. The names of Eset and Avira probably don't mean much to most people. But taking the time to get to know them could mean the difference between having a working computer or a worthless heap of junk on your desk.
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