• Simple to use
• Light footprint
• Great at identifying potential threats
• Comes with multiple home licenses
• Lengthy scanning times
• Annoying update notification pop-ups
VIPRE Antivirus isn't quite as comprehensive as other antivirus software on the market, but it's still very effective at detecting viruses and other malware without negatively impacting your system's performance.
VIPRE stands for Virus Intrusion Prevention Remediation Engine. VIPRE is a fairly new product on the antivirus market but it combines antivirus, anti-spyware and firewall protection for a good quality security offering. The software is written from scratch by Sunbelt and runs smoothly on your PC. We think the product is worth a look.
It took us around 14 minutes to install the VIPRE software. This wasn't the quickest installation we found, but it wasn't the slowest either. The download process is actually very simple, although it requires a restart, and you’re unlikely to feel overwhelmed at any point.
You need to remember to uninstall any other antivirus software programs you have running on your PC. If you install VIPRE with another antivirus you will experience significant performance problems. The software doesn’t take up much space on the disk and you’re unlikely to notice any slowdowns although it doesn’t match up to some of the other programs.
During the setup period you can view a demonstration of all the features available. Although it might be tempting to get stuck right into the product, its worth watching and the demonstration brings with it some useful tips.
VIPRE Antivirus currently comes with an unlimited home license. This means all the computers in your home can be protected with one subscription – really useful for a house with lots of technology. We don’t know how long the offer will last, but at the moment it is worth looking into.
The VIPRE system uses integrated antivirus and anti-spyware technology, and a two-way firewall, to protect your PC from viruses, malware, adware, worms, spyware, phishing attacks and rootkits. The FirstScan system bypasses the Windows operating system to scan the hard drive for malware by using advanced heuristic detection, including MX-Virtualization.
Internet - The website filtering service is something we wouldn't recommend using (not, at least, until Sunbelt develop it further). It’s a nice idea, but it was far too keen to block downloadable files from even the most reputable of websites - great in theory, but not so good in practice.
Email – VIPRE Antivirus scans and detects malicious links and attachments embedded within email messages and supports Outlook, Outlook Express and Windows Mail plus any email that uses POP3 or SMTP.
IM – VIPRE monitors any links and files coming through instant messenger in order to evaluate them and save them to disk or browser if needed.
VIPRE picked up the vast majority of viruses that we passed its way during tests. Although a relatively new antivirus on the market, VIPRE Antivirus has already received the checkmark certification from West Coast Labs for effective anti-virus protection – West Coast Labs certifies that VIPRE catches a set of old and prevalent viruses from the “Wild List”. VIPRE has also been evaluated by ICSA and passed VB100 tests to achieve the VB100% award.
Scans & updates
The VIPRE system runs in real time to monitor and protect against known and unknown threats. The system runs within the Windows kernel and is pretty effective at stopping any malware before it has the chance to attach itself to your system.
The quick scans VIPRE antivirus performed were lightning fast, however the deeps scans were pretty slow compared to most other antivirus software we tested.
VIPRE Antivirus updates are scheduled to run automatically, once every few hours, but you can manually set up a scan for updates if you want to. VIPRE does like to tell you through a very annoying pop up when it’s updating new virus signatures and installing updates, which is the price you have to pay for regular protective actions.
The VIPRE Antivirus system is light on features and we would have liked to see some extra modes for easier operating, such as gamer mode and laptop mode. The software gives good basic protection but the addition of extra features would elevate it to the next level.
Ease of use
The VIPRE interface is clean and easy to navigate - you'll find it very easy to switch between the basic and advanced features, and between the Simple and Learning modes. You can set scans to a schedule or let the software take over and run in the background, scanning your computer automatically. This process requires very little input on your part.
If the update alert balloons are driving you crazy, you can turn them off quite easily by un-checking the “show balloons” option in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. When you do this the pop-ups telling you that VIPRE is doing something will not appear.
VIPRE Antivirus includes tools that are easy to use and which bring benefit to your browsing and computer use, such as a secure file eraser and an action to erase your online history securely.
Help & support
When you buy the VIPRE antivirus system you get free access to a US-based toll-free phone line for technical support. The support for this antivirus software is pretty good, and the technicians are experienced and knowledgeable. There is also assistance available through the in-program help files, the user guide and the knowledge base.
We were very impressed with VIPRE Antivirus. There are other antivirus products which contain more useful features, but VIPRE does its job effectively without overworking your computer. The VIPRE software offers all the essentials and it does solid work to deliver a complete security package. We think this provider is worth a look – with the unlimited licenses the package is competitively priced.
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