Antivirus and Antispyware program from Sunbelt
By Terry Currier
October 2008 issue
The computer software world is saturated with antivirus software. If a company wants to bring out another it had better be good. Sunbelt Software makes Counterspy, one of the top rated antispyware software. They decide they wanted to get into the antivirus market, but instead of buying another company as some have done, they wrote their own from the ground up. VIPRE stands for Virus Intrusion Protection Remediation Engine. I can not really test for viruses (and darn sure don’t want to.) The experts at PC Magazine did test it and gave it 4 stars out of 5 - http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2326526,00.asp.
Installation was very easy. A wizard asks some questions and helps set it up. A nice touch in the end, it takes you to a flash video of how to use the program. The interface is easy to use and understand. The Overview tab gives you:
The Manage tab gives you:
You can schedule VIPRE for either full or deep scans for at a specified time on specified days of the week. It will also do scans on demand.
Under the Tools tab there are three useful programs:
As stated before VIPRE was written from the ground up. So the programmers made very good use of the computer memory. It uses only about 31K of memory at startup. Testing was done on my two older computers. One clone, a Pentium 1.7GHz with 512MB RAM, the second was my HP notebook. It has a Celron 1.3GHz with 768MB of RAM. With the notebook using AVG Free version 8 antivirus and antispyware it took 3 hours, 10 minutes to do the scan. With VIPRE it took 1 hour, 5 minutes. That was so fast I had to look to verify it was actually set for doing a deep scan.
The only weakness I could find was with the downloading of updates. By default it’s set up to check for updated definitions every wo hours (you can change that). If you did not turn on the computer for a number of tdays the threat definition would be out of date and it would warn you of this fact. VIPRE waited for the time period to end before checking for updates. It really should get the updates right away if it knows they are out of date. I pointed this out to them, and they agreed and said that will be fixed very soon. They also told me their excellent firewall will be in the next version of VIPRE.
All annual subscriptions include one year of threat definition updates, software upgrades, and US-based toll-free technical support. Pricing:
You can get download a full working trial version at the above link. If you have an old computer VIPRE is something you should definitely look at. Even newer computers though will benefit from it’s memory management.
Something to note
On one of my computers I’m using the Trend Micro 2007 antivirus and antispyware program, along with Spybot. I notice that there were many times the hard drive light was flashing when it should not be needed. Bringing up Task Manager I notice a file - PcScnSrv.exe was using 150Kb of RAM. Searching I found out this is a file used by Trend Micro, but more important it mentioned that it, and Spybot Immunize do not play well together. I followed the instructions from the Trend Micro website and now it is working smoother and the PcScnSrv.exe is only using 42Kb.
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