Get and read the latest issue of Consumer Reports. They did an extensive
comparison and rated many antivirus suites both free and for sale. They
liked BitDefender very much, were surprisingly down on Norton/Symantec (the
suite I use) and also down on Trend PCCillin, the product I previously used
but found way too slow and buggy.
Why do you say that? For many years, most folks have found much of their
info pretty accurate...the magazine's knee-jerk liberal belief that
government regulation is the answer to all marketplace problems
On 8/12/2008 11:23 AM email@example.com spake thus:
And why is that? Please explain. As I understand it, they actually
*test* the products that they compare, which is more than can be said
for a lot of the idle speculators one hears from, oh, I don't know, in
forums like this ...
"Wikipedia ... it reminds me ... of dogs barking idiotically through
endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it.
Just because I don't feel obligated to spoon feed you, doesn't mean
what I said is not valid.
Consumer reports has made an art form out of comparing items based on
data points that are often of no consequence, while ignoring features
and elements of performance that are vital to a real evaluation. They
also often make GLARING errors that expose their shoddy practices.
No, I'm not going to sit here for hours typing up a synopsis of all
their many gaffsgaffs.
Here's one described briefly:
Two VCR's - one gets top rating and one gets bottom. They praise
certain features on the top rated unit that they casitgate on the
bottom rated unit. Top rated has a much better picture, faster rewind,
and so on compared to the bottiom rated unit. Only problem is....
drumroll... They are the exact same unit internally with slightly
altered cosmetics and a different brand name on the front. They even
use the same service literature and part numbers for servicing. They
are built in the same factory on the same assembly line.
Consumer Reports writer asks as he punches in for work, "Okay, what am
I an expert on today?"
I. for one, put quite a bit of value on Consumer Reports and their reviews.
Since I have been working as a electrical engineer in hardware design since
the 1960s, and have been subscribing to their publication since the early
1970s, I have found their testing approach to be, for virtually all things I
am professionally aware of, scientifically sound, not ":completely
laughable" as you state. Their journalism is also fair and balanced. They
have a substantial testing organization staffed by many engineers, a large
set of laboratories, and a total willingness to go to outside testing firms
including the one I was employed by, to have specific testing done which
exceeds their in-house staff or facilities.
I do not always agree with their outcomes, and also do not always agree with
their metrics or discriminants, since I may personally put a much higher
value on some feature or performance than they do. Such is the nature of
making comparisons. I do, however, find their results often correlate with
my own experiences, and have used them as a buying guide for many major
Dismissing Consumer Reports entirely is a very narrow and unreasonably
dismissive attitude in my opinion. For antivirus software, I put a great
deal more value in their opinions than I do of those computer publications
which often have their own advertising agendas, and favor products which pay
their bills. PC Magazine and others would have you believe that Trend Micro
PC-Cillin is a great product, yet both me and the original poster found out
exactly the opposite after spending $50 or $60.
What gives you that impression of them? If they had advertising, which
they don't, I might have a tendency to agree but without the advertising
I find them to be pretty "straight up" and reliable.
Now, let's hear your reasoning.
Oh, I might trust them on household appliances and similar things, but
when it comes to cars and electronics, forget it. Anybody else remember
their silly rollover stunt with those stupid outriggers that raised the
mini-SUV's CG a foot or so? Like articles in newspapers, whenever they
write about something that I actually have some expertise on or
witnessed, I find myself saying 'that ain't right...' And their
reliability ratings are meaningless, like any self-selected polling pool.
I entirely disagree. They gather annual reliability data from 100's of
thousands of readers through a 4 to 6 page survey form, and publish an
analysis of the results. You may call their ratings "meaningless", but I
will take them any day as a lot better reference than any other source I am
aware of. Can you name a better database of reliability info for consumer
products? For that matter, can you name "ANY" other source of reliability
data on consumer items other than your typical anecdotal opinions of a
salesperson or neighbor?
Hardly!! They have no reliability data whatsoever I am aware of. Any by the
way, can you show me the link to their comparison of PC antivirus software
products? No you can't, because there isn't any such review. They are
profoundly smaller in scope compared to Consumer's Union. They deal much
more heavily with 'Consumer Satisfaction', a very useful metric for sure,
but they are not in the same engineering, publication, or investigative
reporting business as Consumer's Reports / CU at all.
JD Powers makes no claims to measure reliability, a standard engineering
metric used and quantified throughout the engineering world. Instead they
coin their own "dependability" measure, a term they chose which is totally
unused in any quantifiable engineering way. Reliability talks in terms of
specific failure rates, failure modes, time between failures, and other very
concrete and universally accepted engineering measurements and terms used
for at least the 40+ years I have been a professional engineer. It has
specific and consistent meaning to anyone with a technical education in
engineering. Dependability is a phrase which a lot of companies hang their
hats on because it deliberately escapes precise and consistent usage and
meaning. No doubt JD Powers has chosen this to avoid explicit and concrete
definition of terms. Just as Maytag did in the desparate attempt to convince
people they still make 'dependable' appliances.
I have no idea what your point is regarding mechanical failures for PC
antivirus software. Clearly JD Powers is by no means nearly as comprehensive
in their scope of product reviews as Consumers Union. If you are trying to
argue to the contrary, please do so.
I agree with you that the point is determination of reliability via consumer
polling. I again ask you "Can you name a better database of reliability info
for consumer products"?
I see. And so Consumer Reports in their owner surveys determines
"specific failure rates, failure modes, time between failures, and
other very concrete and universally accepted engineering measurements
I'm sorry, but you're quibbling over a point of nomenclature.
You stated that on other organization uses owner surveys to collect
reliability data. That is the point being addressed. When antivirus
software suffers "specific failure rates, failure modes, time between
failures, and other very concrete and universally accepted engineering
measurements and terms" then I will look for someone to be publishing
reliability information for antivirus software.
Can you name _any_ such that measures reliability using _your_
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