Quick, name the three antivirus vendors with the biggest market share worldwide. Did your list include Symantec? McAfee? Microsoft? If so, the actual results may surprise you. According to the latest report from OPSWAT the top three are Avast, Avira, and AVG. The Czech Republic plays home to Avast and AVG, while Avira originated in Germany. All three offer fully functional antivirus tools for free, which may in part explain their popularity.
OPSWAT’s researchers didn’t go out and survey people about what antivirus software they use. Rather, they took advantage of data gathered by the company’s free AppRemover tool. AppRemover is designed to remove all traces of an existing antivirus installation and thereby avoid any conflict with installation of a new antivirus program. If the user opts in to sharing data, it sends a list of which antivirus products are installed back to OPSWAT. Over 350,000 such lists went into OPSWAT’s report; apparently quite a few people opted in.
Worldwide and U.S. Winners
As mentioned, Avast, Avira and AVG topped the worldwide market share list. The rest of the top ten, in descending order, were: Microsoft, ESET, Symantec, Kaspersky, McAfee, Panda, and Trend Micro. Together the top ten own almost 88 percent of the market. Any individual vendor not in the top ten has a market share lower than Trend Micro’s 2.22 percent.
In North America, Symantec rules the roost with 16.09 percent market share, followed by Microsoft, AVG, and Avast. Between them the top four own more than half the market. The remaining top ten, which range from just over 7 percent down to just over 3 percent, are: ESET, McAFee, Avira, Kaspersky, Panda, and Trend Micro.
The previous stats reflect market share for a vendor, including all of that vendor’s products. Looking at specific applications, the results are slightly different. In North America, OPSWAT found Microsoft Security Essentialson 14.58 percent of test systems. avast! Free Antivirus and AVG Anti-Virus Free hovered around 9 percent, and Norton AntiVirus, the first non-free product in the list, appeared on a bit over 7 percent of responding systems.
Worldwide the most prevalent applications were avast! Free Antivirus, Microsoft Security Essentials, Avira Free Antivirus, and AVG Anti-Virus Free. ESET NOD32 Antivirus and Norton Antivirus took the fifth and sixth slots respectively.
It’s worth noting that the percentage of those using something other than one of the top ten is much higher in this list than in the list of market share by vendor. Over 35 percent worldwide and over 37 percent in North America use a product not in the top ten.
What’s Your Windows?
AppRemover also reports which operating system is in use, and the report shows that Windows XP is still going strong. They found XP on almost 47 percent of North American computers and almost 49 percent worldwide. Windows 7’s percentage was roughly 46 percent in both groups, while Windows Vista limped in with 6 percent in North America and a bit over 4 percent worldwide.
We Like Free
It’s true that the audience selection for this survey isn’t random, since it consists solely of AppRemover customers. The percentages actually reflect market share among users competent enough and aware enough to locate and install that utility. OPSWAT also notes that “not every security application is included in this report.” Even so, it’s very clear that free antivirus is popular, and I’d be very surprised if a survey using a totally random sample set suggested otherwise. Click here to view the full report on OPSWAT’s website.