FAQ: What is a RAP score?

You will often see recent RAP scores in our commercials, below you can find out more information on the RAP score and why it is significant.

The RAP score is a result from a test performed by Virus Bulletin called the VB100. Virus Bulletin is one of the most highly regarded testing houses by the IT industry. They perform several tests a year to determine the protection rates of antivirus products who submit their program for testing. The RAP score is the culmination of this testing. RAP stands for Reactive And Proactive and is a combination of two test scores, the Reactive protection test and the Proactive protection test.

According to Virus Bulletin the RAP testing is described as: “The unique RAP (Reactive and Proactive) tests measure simple static detection rates using the freshest samples available at the time products are submitted to the test, as well as samples not seen until after product databases are frozen. This provides a measure of both the vendors’ ability to handle newly emerging malware and their accuracy in detecting previously unknown malware.” (Link)

Reactive Protection Test – The reactive protection test uses fresh samples and determines if a product detects them while it is connected to the internet and receiving normal updates.

Proactive Protection Test – The proactive protection test disconnects programs from the internet for 2 weeks to freeze the database they currently have. After two weeks fresh samples are pulled and run against the products to determine if they detect them. This test highlights how well products stop unknown samples.

After both tests are performed, the scores are averaged together to give one cumulative protection score for each product. The PC Matic team believes that customers should be aware of how well their antivirus programs actually protect them which is why we have and continue to be publicly tested by third parties.

Why does PC Matic not pass the VB100 test?

Virus Bulletin has crafted their test around passing solutions that don’t have any false positives. If a program has 1 false positive out of the 800,000 clean files from Virus Bulletin it fails. PC Matic uses a globally automated whitelist approach which means only known good files can run. This means that we will likely always have a small percentage of false positives. While some may think that a 1% false positive rate is too high, we choose to offer the best protection and accept this minor inconvinience of a false positive. PC Matic routinely blocks 10-20% more malware than many competitors while only having 2% more false positives.

We firmly believe that taking a few clicks to whitelist a false positive will always be better than suffering a malware infection. 


Below is a table with all of the PC Matic Virus Bulletin RAP scores, as well as the highest, lowest, and average test scores.  You may access each report in its entirety by clicking on the month/year.

PC Matic Historic Virus Bulletin RAP Test Results

Date of TestRAP ScoreRAP AverageRAP HighRAP LowPC Matic Proactive ScoreRAP Proactive Average
April 201495.8087.7095.8066.2092.0078.92
August 201495.9890.8898.2040.8089.6080.55
December 201486.8982.4391.6322.5072.2869.72
April 201592.7983.2394.7914.8487.4976.85
August 201592.5275.5692.5225.1086.1065.72
October 201590.7187.3195.9564.386.4778.56
December 201593.4284.9993.5067.7089.8070.57
April 201687.0777.9087.4031.5087.7063.94
August 201699.9081.0399.9041.9099.9066.60
December 201699.9082.6699.9063.399.9064.35


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