Test: virus scanner for Windows 10

Windows protection alone is not enough

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The best virus scanners 2020 in the test

All computers with Windows 10 also have virus protection on board, the Microsoft Defender. Quite a few users rely on it. But is this a recommended strategy? The current CHIP test shows: preferably not. Most of the virus and malware guards tested by CHIP can do more, even the free ones. We present the most important test results, present winners and price recommendations and provide insightful tips and background information on the subject of viruses and virus protection.

Virus protection is one of the basics of Windows security alongside updates and backups. That is why Windows Defender is part of the standard equipment of Windows as a virus scanner. Microsoft also put a lot of development work into them last year and is now in the test better than before. But how well does Windows Defender compare to other third-party protection programs? We have for the virus scanner test 2020 Products selected by major manufacturers that are particularly important for the German market. The spectrum is wide, in addition to Windows Defender with Avast , AVG and Panda represent three other free virus scanners that are popular with many private users. In addition, there are the ten most important security packages subject to a fee. Three licenses cost between 25 ( Sophos , TrendMicro ) and 60 Euro ( F-Secure , Kaspersky ). For the extensive tests, CHIP works with the specialists from AV-Comparatives together.

In advance you can see here the top candidates from our test: The three programs on the podium of the virus scanner best list and Panda Free Antivirus as the best placed free program:

Top virus scanner 2020 in the test

virus scanner Grade price per year To the shop

Avira Antivirus Pro

very good (1,2)

approx. 13 Euro (3 devices)


Symantec Norton 360 Default

very good (1.5)

approx. 18 Euro (5 devices)


Bitdefender Internet Security 2020

very good (1.5)

approx. 19 Euro (3 devices)


Panda Free Antivirus

good (2.0)



Test winner: Avira Antivirus Pro

1st place: Avira Antivirus Pro

  • Source: Avira

    Avira Antivirus Pro

    Avira Antivirus Pro provides the best protection in the test and also performs well in the other disciplines. Overall, the most coherent virus scanner package 2020.

Best protection in the test
Hardly any false alarms
Brakes Windows system only slightly
Brakes weaker PCs comparatively strongly

With Avira Antivirus Pro gets e the test win in German virus scanners. It is the only virus protection that survives the important real-world test with virus attacks under real conditions without damage. Avira Antivirus Pro stops every 1. 455 attacks, and that independently and without irritating questions from the user. This is how a virus scanner should work. He gets the top grade in the important protection category. Avira Antivirus Pro is also impressive, even if it is no longer enough for the best in the other two disciplines.

There is a “very good” for the False alarms: In the real world test there are only two false alarms, with the file scan test at least 10. 556 Test cases we only get a false report. Avira Antivirus Pro does not have to worry about excessive system load, although weaker PCs are slowed down a bit more than other programs. For performance there is therefore a “1.6”, which is just short of “very good”. On a moderately strong computer, the braking effect of the scanner activities is still wearable.

Family-friendly and strong protection – Symantec Norton

2nd place: Symantec Norton 360 Default

  • Source: Symantec

    Symantec Norton 360 Default

    Still a “very good” overall performance in the virus scanner test Norton 360 Standard from. He should only turn off the many false alarms.

Strong protection
PC hardly brakes
Too many false alarms

At Symantec Norton 360 Default you do not have to be content with the usual 3 licenses as most other packages provide. Here you can for around 35) secure five devices per year. And they are also very well protected: in the virus scanner test 2020, the runner-up achieved the overall rating of “very good” and received the rating 1.1 in the important protection rating – only slightly exceeded by the test winner Avira Antivirus Pro . Translated this means that he can only be tricked once in the real world test.

With the system load it is even a bit more frugal than the test winner, so it should be on a standard PC Do not brake the working speed noticeably. The candidate, on the other hand, falls somewhat out of the role with the false positives, i.e. the false alarms. Here Norton beats 360 Standard for our taste too often. In the real world test, this means after all 28 false evidence of threats that do not exist; that can unsettle users.

The third on the podium – Bitdefender Internet Security

3rd place: Bitdefender Internet Security 2020

  • Source: Bitdefender

    Bitdefender Internet Security 2020

    Bitdefender has often taken the test victory in recent years, it works not quite this time, but nevertheless the grade is “very good”.

Hardly brakes the computer
Few false alarms
protective effect not optimal

The Bitdefender Intern et Security often won the test in recent years or at least took second place in our tests. This time it doesn't quite work, although the bottom line is that the grade “very good” remains. You can get the virus scanner without hesitation or if you are already on the road, you can also use the 2020 use version. With the false alarms and the performance rating, Bitdefender also behaves first-class as usual and confidently achieves the grade “very good”.

But the test victory leads to a large extent (50%) about the protection rating, and here are test winners Avira and also Symantec Norton 360 Standard better this year. Ultimately, the protection rating is “good”, which means in the real-world test that Bitdefender has overlooked three pests this time.

The free alternative – Panda Free Antivirus

Price tip: Panda Free Antivirus

  • Source: Panda

    Panda Free Antivirus

    The best free virus scanner in Test is Panda Free Antivirus. He lands in 6th place overall and gets the grade “good”.

Best free virus protection
hardly loads the computer
Protection only “good”
Too many false alarms

Panda Free Antivirus is our price tip, because this virus scanner is the best free solution in the test. He not only leaves the Windows Defender behind, but also the popular virus scanners from Avast and AVG . In our test with 14 Candidates landed Panda with a grade of 2.0 at least 6th, which is very remarkable for the free solution , As a top virus scanner, however, it does not go through. In the individual rating categories, Panda gives an excellent picture, especially in terms of performance, hardly any other virus protection has so little influence on the performance of the overall system.

In terms of protection, Panda is Free Antivirus is also good, unfortunately it delivers too many false positives in the test. In the real world test he reports 37 Sometimes wrong and also in the file scan test it is 21 False positives. And yet Panda slip out of the 1st 455 Test viruses a total of seven. It's not a top performance, but some of the paid candidates are even noticeably worse. So is Panda Free Antivirus a good alternative for everyone who wants to replace Windows Defender with a free virus scanner.

From the test laboratory: How CHIP tests virus scanners

Testing virus scanners is a full-time job that the experts at AV-Comparatives have been doing since 20 years. For meaningful test data, CHIP uses the two large test series from AV-Comparatives back.

Real World Test: This test is the heart of the whole comparison, it does 80 percent of the protection grade, because he works in a complex scenario over 8 months with real threats from the Internet. Contaminated websites are visited with a fully patched Windows without virus scanners. If the PC is infected, in whatever way, the experts have found a real threat, which the virus scanners are presented in the test. During this period, 1. 455 collected exploits with which the candidates were confronted.

File scan test: In addition, a mass test is carried out in which AV -Comparatives tests the protection when running malware on the system. This covers, for example, the case that a contaminated USB stick is connected. In the test were 10. 556 malware samples used.

These two test runs give the grade for the protective effect, this rating category makes 50 percent of the overall grade.

Performance and false alarms: In addition, we always check to what extent the background operation of a scanner can slow down a Windows system. Finally, we register the false alarms that the user is confronted with during the test. Performance and false alarm rate go with each 25 percent in the final grade.

We clarify which factors play a role in these last test runs and how this can help you in choosing the right program:

All virus scanners can be tricked

What the current test confirms again is the fact that no virus scanner is 100 percent protects. All test candidates can be tricked if you only do enough effort, which we took to the extreme over eight months in the test. But one should not conclude from this that it does not matter which virus scanner you use, because there are clear differences. We focus our attention on three areas when testing:

By far the most important thing to us is the protective effect, i.e. how well it is recognized and, above all, how well the virus scanner stops malware attacks. But even if protection is the real purpose of a virus scanner, this is only half the battle for us in the test. We also measure how strongly individual virus scanners affect the performance of PCs. Virus scanners that brake too hard with real-time protection, background service, multiple scan engines and cloud access are switched off by users more often and can then no longer perform their protective function. As a third rating category, we look at the false alarms. In the best case, virus protection should work quietly in the background and only report if there is really a security problem. There is a worse rating if the scanners annoy with false positives.

Windows Defender delivers too many false positives. CHIP

Error Defender Windows Defender

Like a good bodyguard, a virus scanner should also be alert and protect, but otherwise stay in the background. However, not all of the virus scanners tested can restrain themselves. Windows Defender is the best example of virus protection that often overshoots its target: in the real world test, it delivers 132 False alarms, so-called false positives. In the file scan test it is 13. Also F-Secure , Panda , Symantec and Trend Micro have set their antennas too sensitive. Primus in this discipline is Kaspersky , in none of the tests there was even a single false alarm.

Too often, G Data wants to know what to do from the user, but there is a devaluation. CHIP

All virus scanners brake Windows

Virus scanners are delicate programs because they nest deep in the system in order to examine all processes on the computer. As a rule, a guard is always running in the background. If desired, files, folders or the entire system can then be specifically searched for pests. Either way, a virus scanner brakes because it looks into every action, whether at Windows start-up, when you copy a file, install a program or open a website – there is always a delay due to the protection. The lower the impact of virus protection on the performance of the overall system, the better of course.

In extensive performance tests, we measure the effects of the test candidates on two systems: On the one hand, we use a high-end PC with a Core i7 CPU, 8 GB RAM and a fast SSD, which is intended to simulate the effects on a modern computer. We also use an older test system with less CPU power, less RAM and slower SSD. In a first part, the effects on standard tasks such as copying files, unpacking and unpacking archives, installation time of programs, start delays and download speeds are measured.

In addition, in the second part all virus scanners had to run the extended test of PC Mark 10 Professional Suite exist. From all these individual tests, we calculate a performance score for easier comparison. The lower the value, the less a tested virus scanner brakes. Make the slimmest foot in the test ESET and McAfee Internet Security , but also Kaspersky and the two free scanners Avast and AVG load the system only slightly. Sophos on the other hand presented itself as a real drag anchor and brakes the most. It is always surprising how high the resource consumption of the Windows Defender , in the test it returns the second worst value

ESET has the leanest virus protection in the test. CHIP

Virus scanners also protect Windows 7

The end of support for Windows 7 has now been reached. Anyone who is still on the move with classic Windows will no longer get security updates. But currently a little more than a quarter of all desktop systems use Windows 7 (as of early December 2019) and different from Windows 10 there is no virus scanner there yet. The customer base for virus scanner providers is huge and therefore all tested virus scanners support Windows 7 except Windows 7. The test results can be transferred 1: 1 to Windows 7.

But our most important tip is: Switch to a more current Windows or an alternative operating system as soon as possible. Quite apart from the virus threat, Microsoft has since 14. January basically no more support. The contribution shows how to make the switch Update Windows 7 completely free of charge .

Update Windows 7 completely free of charge

Many virus scanners have their special talents – including the Microsoft Defender

No virus scanner provides perfect protection, but quite a few providers do a good job and keep improving their products. This also applies to Microsoft with Windows Defender especially in the real world test. The Defender shows weaknesses when it has to work offline, it also causes far too many false alarms and shows high resource consumption. If it is with you under Windows 10 but not annoying with false positives or causing your system to stutter, you can at Stay Defender.

The top virus scanners in the test 2020 is only available for cash. Avira Antivirus Pro is a earned one Test winner with the best protection, very good usability and low braking effect. Kaspersky often falls short of protection, but shows the competition how to work inconspicuously. ESET is the most inconspicuous scanner in the test with practically imperceptible braking effect, but a better placement spoils due to poor protection performance. If the virus scanner absolutely has to be free, shows Panda Free Antivirus the best overall package and beats Windows Defender in each of our three disciplines. But Panda needs his online skills to perform well.

Windows antivirus programs (November 2019 ) in the test

AVIRA Antivirus Pro Offer from BestCheck

  • False alarms (1,1)
  • Protective effect (1,0)
  • Performance (1.6)


Symantec Norton Security

Symantec Norton Security BestCheck offer

  • False alarms (2.4)
  • Protective effect (1,1)
  • Performance (1.5)


Bitdefender Internet Security

Bitdefender Internet Security BestCheck offer

  • False alarms (1.3)
  • Protective effect (1.7)
  • Performance (1.3)


VIPRE Advanced Security

VIPRE Advanced Security BestCheck offer

  • False alarms (1.5)
  • Protective effect (1,9)
  • Performance (1.1)


Trend Micro Internet Security

Trend Micro Internet Security BestCheck offer

  • False alarms (2.8)
  • Protective effect (1.4)
  • Performance (1.9)


Kaspersky Internet Security

Kaspersky Internet Security Offer from BestCheck

  • False alarms (1.0)
  • Protective effect (2.8)
  • Performance (1.2)

Panda Free Antivirus BestCheck offer

  • False alarms (2.9)
  • Protective effect (1.8)
  • Performance (1.4)

Tencent PC Manager Offer from BestCheck

  • False alarms (1.5)
  • Protective effect (2,7)
  • Performance (1.2)


currently not available

price estimate

Very cheap (1.0)

F-Secure SAFE BestCheck offer

  • False alarms (3.0)
  • Protective effect (2.2)
  • Performance (1.4)

Avast Free Antivirus Offer from BestCheck

  • False alarms (2.1)
  • Protective effect (3.1)
  • Performance (1.2)

AVG Free Antivirus Offer from BestCheck

  • False alarms (2.1)
  • Protective effect (3.1)
  • Performance (1.2)


McAfee Internet Security

McAfee Internet Security BestCheck offer

  • False alarms (2,3)
  • Protective effect (3,4)
  • Performance (1.0)


Microsoft Windows Defender

Microsoft Windows Defender BestCheck offer

final grade



  • False alarms (4.0)
  • Protective effect (2.0)
  • Performance (2.8)


ESET Internet Security

ESET Internet Security BestCheck offer

final grade



  • False alarms (1.3)
  • Protective effect (4,4)
  • Performance (1.0)

Sophos Home Premium Offer from BestCheck

final grade



  • False alarms (2.6)
  • Protective effect (2,6)
  • Performance (3.5)


Total Defense Essential Antivirus

Total Defense Essential Antivirus Offer from BestCheck

final grade



  • False alarms (1.9)
  • Protective effect (4,2)
  • Performance (1.4)


currently not available

price estimate

Expensive (3.7)

G DATA Antivirus Offer from BestCheck

final grade



  • False alarms (1.3)
  • Protective effect (4.8)
  • Performance (2.7)

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Joerg Geiger

Joerg Geiger

As a technology expert, Jörg Geiger is interested in software, hardware and services. Almost everything is tried out, but besides, he also pours many topics into real tests.



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