The State of PC Security

PC Pitstop Research analyzed 50,258 computers and found the following:

  • 23% of computers have no active security protection.
  • 14% of the computers had some sort of high level threat.
  • Spyware is the most common malware threat followed by Rogue Security Software.
  • Kaspersky protects the best against Rogue Security Software and Trend Micro is the worst.
  • Symantec protects against spyware the best, and Kaspersky the worst.
  • Trend protects the best against keyloggers and Avast fares the worst.
  • Kaspersky protects against viruses the best, and Symantec tails the pack.

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Average Installed Memory – Vista vs. XP

Vista vs XP: Average Installed RAM

Back in May 2006, when Microsoft announced Vista system memory requirements of 512 MB for “Vista Capable” and 1 GB for “Vista Premium Ready” classifications, the average XP system had 833 MB and 659 MB of installed memory for Desktop and Portable systems respectively. Once Vista was released in early 2007, most users determined that “more memory was better” as the average installed desktop memory rose relatively quickly to over 2 GB on Vista systems. In recent months, it is not uncommon for PC manufacturers to market Vista systems with 3 GB of RAM. The emergence of 64-bit architecture has also likely played a role in the increase of average RAM.

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Display, Media and Network Drivers

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PC Pitstop Research took a look at the display, media (sound card) and network drivers for the PCs that ran our on line tests during the month of October 2007. Based on our observations, these hardware classes include devices that are likely to have the most frequent driver updates. When we compared a PC’s installed driver date to the newest driver date for a given device in our database, we were able to determine the percentage of PCs that were not using the newest driver for their hardware component.

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P2P Programs: Popular and Perilous

It’s time for a confession. Many of us have peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing software on our home PCs. Teenagers most often use P2P to search for and download the latest songs from their favorite artists and adults can find the songs of their youth. PC Pitstop research has shown that many of us have P2P programs such as Kazaa, Grokster, and Morpheus.

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DVD Copying Tools Software Trends

The PC has provided the ability for users to make, edit and copy of all types of digital information. PC Pitstop Research took a look at the prevalence of DVD decryption and ripping software found on the PCs running the analytical tests on our website. This type of software makes it possible for a PC user to decrypt and rip a DVD movie onto their hard drive or other digital media. A search of the Internet for DVD coping software reveals a variety of both freeware and commercial applications that a user can use to create backups of their DVD movies. Approximately 15% of the PCs visiting our web site have at least one of the DVD decryption and ripping applications installed.

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A Battle for Hard Drive Freedom

PC Pitstop research has shown that many PC vendors are making a practice of creating a separate partition on a system’s primary hard drive in which to store the systems’ original restoration information. Rob’s new video documents his crusade to reclaim his hard drive space on his new PC. Thanks to Acronis Disk Director Suite he was able to accomplish his goal.

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