To measure F-Secure's impact on system performance, CNET Labs used BAPCo's SysMark 2002, an industry-standard benchmark. The Internet-content-creation portion of SysMark measures a desktop's performance running off-the-shelf applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Windows Media Encoder, and Macromedia Dreamweaver. (We did not run the Office Productivity portion of the benchmark because it incorporates McAfee VirusScan 5.13.)
Our test system was a Dell Dimension 8200 running Windows XP Professional, with an Intel Pentium 4 1.9GHz processor and 256MB of RDRAM. With PC-cillin running, our test system scored a perfect 100, meaning there was a no reduction in overall system speed. Only one other antivirus product, EZ Antivirus 2005, also scored a perfect 100. By comparison, F-Secure Internet Security 2005 scored a 95, or a 5 percent reduction, while Norton AntiVirus 2005 and McAfee VirusScan 9.0 each scored a 94, or a 6 percent reduction. (An Internet-content-creation score of 100 represents the performance of our test system without any extraneous software running.) In a test of scanning speed, PC-cillin averaged a speedy 2.4 minutes, again rivaled in speed by only EZ Antivirus 2005.
In past VirusBulletin tests since November 2000, the Windows desktop version of PC-cillin has been tested 6 times and has passed 5. By comparison, over the same period, Norton AntiVirus has been tested 10 times and earned the coveted VB 100 percent title each time. Norton AntiVirus is one of the few products we test that consistently wins the VB 100 percent award. Previous versions of PC-cillin have also been certified by the independent antivirus testing laboratories at West Coast Checkmark, ICSA Labs, and Checkvir.com.
In informal testing, PC-cillin's firewall received a thumbs-up from ShieldsUp, the Gibson Research Corporation site that tests a PC's protection against unwanted intrusions via the Net. PC-cillin protected our test computer's data during the test. In comparison, VirusScan no longer includes a firewall, and Norton AntiVirus, which never included a firewall, comes instead with a limited port-blocking technology that proved not as secure as a full-strength firewall in ShieldsUp testing.Trend Micro delivers what the rest of the antivirus pack won't: free phone support. And since the company also provides a toll-free number for its U.S. customers, the call's on their dime, not yours. We found wait times to be very brief--a minute or less--during regular business hours, and the Trend Micro tech staff was polite and knowledgeable. Phone support hours are weekdays, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT.
Unlike McAfee, Trend Micro doesn't offer online chat, but its e-mail support is available 24/7. E-mail queries are addressed quickly; in one instance, we received a reply within 11 hours. The PC-cillin support site is well organized and contains the usual assortment of tech tips and virus alerts.