Results of McAfee-sponsored West Coast Labs anti-virus test

West Coast Labs report, sponsored by McAfee

Allow me to blow Sophos’s trumpet for just one second, in a rather cheeky way, by talking about a recently published anti-virus test.

This malware detection test is a bit different from others – as it was sponsored by one of our competitors, and shows some interesting results.

Our friends at McAfee commissioned respected testing body West Coast Labs to run a comparative test of various anti-virus products against a new version of their own McAfee VirusScan product “with Artemis technology”.

Products tested besides McAfee included solutions from such illustrious names as ESET, Kaspersky, Microsoft, Sophos, Symantec, Trend Micro, and others.

The report explains how West Coast Labs evaluated the performance of the different anti-malware products, and that they used viruses, Trojan horses and spyware from their own collection as well as supplementing it with over 100,000 pieces of malware straight from McAfee’s virus labs.

Introduction to McAfee-sponsored West Coast Labs test

The first piece of good news to relate is that none of the products false alarmed during the tests. That’s really important – as false alarms, particularly in the corporate workspace, can be a right pain in the behind.

What has really chuffed the guys in Sophos’s labs and development teams around the world though is that our detection rates were shown by West Coast Labs to be higher than any other product when tested against the independent collection maintained by WCL.

But don’t take our word for it – download the report for yourself.

You can download the full 14-page PDF report for free from McAfee’s own website at

For some reason they don’t appear to be promoting it too prominently. I’m not sure why..

If that link on McAfee’s website is no longer available for any reason it can also be downloaded directly from West Coast Labs.

Some small print: the sample size used in these test (51,263 samples from West Coast Labs, 105,324 from McAfee’s own collection) isn’t as large as some of the other tests out there, and to be fair to our friends at McAfee, they did beat us by 0.87% when testing against their own virus collection (although Avira outshone both of us).

We’ll do our best to up our detection rates even further in future.

Furthermore, West Coast Labs only tested on-demand scanning – not the on-access scanning functionality that most people use at their desktops.

Okay, enough with the self-aggrandisement. Normal service will now resume on the blog..