The user, seeking to choose a suitable anti-virus solution and to install not just something, but the product which would ensure a high level of protection from malicious computer programs, is faced with the problem – how to make the right decision?

The best solution would naturally be to turn (refer) to various tests, as professional ones as possible. Do there exist any? The answer (to this question) is yes. Are they numerous (in number)? Alas, they are not. Various computer periodicals hold comparative tests of anti-virus programs quite frequently, when products are tested rather scrupulously and all parameters – from price to quality of customer support service – checked and compared.

These texts, however, cannot be considered comprehensive as far as testing the anti-virus functional is concerned. This is of course evident, as to test the anti-virus component (of the product) in detail a wide range of viruses and Trojans is required, as well as appropriate stands and testing procedures (as there are tens of different anti-virus programs) e.t.c. Thus, a special working group will be needed to collect viruses and test anti-virus programs, which will require relevant funding. It is only natural that all (or the majority of) computer journals do not have all this at their disposal. This explains the fact that the very anti-virus component (constituent) of such tests is far from being perfect, otherwise journalists turn to experts who specialize commonly involved in testing anti-virus products.

There are several experts specializing in comparative testing of anti-virus functional of various products. Their tests provide a rather detailed description of the quality of detecting various types of malicious programs, reaction speed of various anti-viral companies to newly emerging outbreaks, «proactiveness » of anti-virus programs e.t.c. The comprehensive and detailed tests can be used to compare the exactly these features of different anti-virus solutions.

However unfortunately, only the mentioned featured are tested, whereas all the rest – conduct of anti-viruses in «real» situations, for instance, repair of an infected system, anti-virus reaction to the infected web-site, resource intensity and accuracy of check of archives and installators – are not.

This is another problem, arising when one is choosing an anti-virus system – comprehensive tests are not available and the problem of choice of anti-virus solution is vital. Unfortunately, examples of comprehensive testing of anti-virus functional for most typical situations of computer life in the network are either nowhere in evidence or unknown to broad public. The anti-virus industry is rather young and comprehensive comparative testing (as, for instance, in the automobile industry) is yet non-existent.