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Group test: 13 internet security suites compared

Which internet security suite is right for you?

Think all internet security suites are the same? Not even close. Our comprehensive tests show you which of today's suites to trust, and which to skip.

The performance hit

For this year's roundup, we included a battery of tests to evaluate how security suites affect your PC's speed.

Our testing, conducted by German security lab AV-Test, measured 11 key aspects of a suite's impact on PC performance: boot time, application launch time, file copy operations, application installation time, and more.

We also looked at how quickly a suite will scan your PC for viruses and other malware.

Alwil's Avast Internet Security had the least impact on system performance, with faster-than-average scores in all tests, and very good scan speeds.

While top-ranking Norton Internet Security didn't have quite as light an impact on system performance as Avast, it put up very good scores overall, though performance dragged a little more than average in a couple of tests.

Norton also had faster-than-average scanning speeds.

Another big name, though - McAfee Internet Security - was one of the weaker performers here.

It had a heavier-than-average impact on PC performance in most tests, and its on-access scan speed (which simulates how well a suite can scan for malware when files are opened or saved to disk) was the slowest of all the suites we tested.

See also: Group test: what's the best security software?

  1. We look at just how the different suits vary
  2. Which security suite came out top?
  3. The performance hit
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