Windows XP has been with us for well over a decade, and even now it is only just being supplanted as the most popular operating system worldwide. Most estimates put it on between 25% and 35% of end-user systems, with the much more modern Windows 7 on somewhere around 35%. The lab team have been through the process of setting up XP machines dozens, perhaps hundreds of times, so it presented few difficulties. In fact, for this comparative an old image was recycled, refreshed and updated with a few handy tools before the final test image was taken and spread to the suite of test machines.
as usual, AVG provided its premium business suite for testing, with the installer weighing in at a fairly hefty 142MB and the set-up process running through in a fair number of steps, including offers to install a security toolbar and change the default search provider. The whole process was fairly speedy though, completing in just a few minutes, and later online updates were fast too, averaging only three minutes.
Another from the Preventon/VirusBuster stable, Digital Defender is one of the older names on the list, and in this test it appears in both Premium and Pro versions. Differences between the two are minimal though: they use the same installer, and the additional components provided in the Premium edition are activated by the application of a licence key. The set-up, from the 89MB install package, ran through quickly and smoothly, and updates seemed reliable, taking around seven minutes on average.
F-Secure often submits two fairly similar products for our tests, resulting in a rather complex history on our website, but this month only one was entered. It came as a 64MB installer with a 145MB updater executable. The set-up was fairly fast and simple, needing a reboot to complete. Online updates were mostly reliable, but took up to 20 minutes for initial runs to complete. On occasion it seemed to be stuck in a loop, with progress bars hitting 100% multiple times and the process apparently restarting immediately.
Kaspersky once again submitted both business and consumer products for testing, with the corporate version up first. It came as a fairly hefty 248MB installer, with offline updates fetched using a special tool which builds a local mirror of update server content. The set-up process ran through quite a few steps, including building a list of trusted applications on the local system, but took no more than two minutes. Initial online updates averaged around 12 minutes.
The second product from Kaspersky this month is pretty similar in most respects, using the same mirror of updates for the RAP tests, but the installer was noticeably smaller at just 78MB. After 30 seconds or so preparing to run, the actual process only required a couple of clicks (an option to display more advanced set-up controls was provided), and the whole thing took not much more than a minute, with no need to reboot. Updates took around 15 minutes on average for the initial run.
Optenet is a fairly rare participant in our tests, with only two appearances so far. The product includes the Kaspersky engine, but has yet to show results that reach the rarefied heights we would expect to see from such a source. The installer measured 158MB including updates, and took only a few clicks and a minute or so to get set up, with a reboot needed to complete. Online updates were slow and hard to keep track of, with only an on-hover measure from the system tray icon to indicate that the job was still ongoing; there seemed to be no sign of progress anywhere in the main interface. As far as we could tell, the job averaged at least 25 minutes over the several installs performed.
Another Preventon/VirusBuster offering, again with the slightly smaller 85MB installer promising a slightly smoother run. Installation was, as expected, fairly smooth and simple, with updates taking seven minutes or so on average, and the older-style interface proving fairly clear and usable, with limited but sensible options that were easy to find and operate.
The set-up runs along very familiar lines, the installer measuring 87MB, taking only a few steps and not much more than a minute to complete, with no reboot; updates average seven minutes. All the usual issues were observed, and everything else was as expected too, with mid-range speeds, overheads and resource usage, a fair, but not too heavy impact on our set of tasks. 2b1af7f3a8