VIPRE® Antivirus Premium from Sunbelt Software
By Howard Berenbon
Since our first review of VIPRE®, the Antivirus / Antispyware program in September 2008, it’s been running in the background successfully defending my PCs from those malicious malware programs lurking online. Now, Sunbelt Software has a new and improved version, VIPRE Premium, adding more protection and peace of mind. If your computer is for home use and it’s used for anything financial: online banking, online credit card orders, PayPal and more, you need the protection. If you’re running a business, you need to protect your client information as well as your own, and VIPRE will do just that, and do it well. Originally introduced in 2008, VIPRE was the first combined antivirus / antispyware program designed to use very little resources without interrupting your computer from operating normally, even when you’re running a full scan. Most security programs won’t allow you to use your computer during a scan.
What’s New and Improved in VIPRE Premium
- Low overhead 2-way Firewall
- Full email protection: Outlook and Windows Mail
- Works on 32 and 64-bit Windows7, Vista and XP
- Intrusion Protection
- Malicious Link Filtering
- MX-Virtualization™ analyzes malware in real-time
- VIPRE's Active Protection Improved
- Advanced anti-rootkit technologies
- Genscan™ and Cobra™ technologies are super efficient to determine if something is malware.
- Free US-based Tech Support
Installation and Use
VIPRE installs easily and quickly, either from on online download (with a free 30-day trial), or from a CD when purchased at your local software store. In just a few minutes, you’ll have full PC protection. If you’re not sure if VIPRE is the software for you, download it and take advantage of the free trial. If you’re satisfied, you can buy a key online and extend your registration for one year. A single user license is $39.95. If you have a lot of PCs to protect, you can buy their unlimited home license for $69.95 which covers 3 or more computers.
Once installed, the VIPRE Premium menu screen looks very similar to the standard VIPRE. The default is the OVERVIEW screen with vertical buttons on the left labeled Scan, Status, Active Protection, Email Protection, Updates and Firewall. A horizontal menu is at the top with OVERVIEW, SCAN, FIREWALL, MANAGE and TOOLS. If you click on SCAN (either on the vertical menu or horizontal), you get to the Scan screen where you can run a Quick Scan, Deep System Scan or Custom. I started a Quick Scan that worked for about 5 minutes, only to return a few cookies, but I was already confident that my computer was clear because I have been using VIPRE all along.
Clicking on FIREWALL brings up a new menu with Settings (including exceptions and Web Filters), Statistics (network activity and intrusions block), Connections and Firewall History (what was blocked). This is an important addition because it prevents malware from sending data (passwords, credit card numbers and personal information) to and from your computer. After activating the Firewall, I was unable to upload my Website changes using Dreamweaver and had to disable the Firewall until I added a Dreamweaver.exe exception. At the MANAGE menu you can view history reports of your past scans, access all programs quarantined, view risks blocked and risks you allow, and schedule automated scans. Finally, from the TOOLS menu, you can access to the Security File Eraser, History Cleaner and the PC Explorer tool that allows you to view hidden settings.
Now that I checked all VIPRE’s features, new and improved, I was ready to let VIPRE perform a Deep System Scan, which can take a few hours because I’ve got a lot of programs in my office computer. So, three hours later, VIRPRE found nothing, which I expected. After the scan, I had first-hand experience with the Web Filter. I was searching the Web for water filters and clicked on a link of interest, but VIPRE jumped in to warn me this was a bad site. I did not proceed.
Before VIPRE, we were using two well known antivirus / antispyware programs but they failed us requiring the dreaded system re-install with hard drive reformatting, the only way to recover from a severe malware attack. To date, we haven’t had any severe problems.
VIRPE® Antivirus Premium is a professionally written program designed to protect your PC from any malware threat and I am confident that it’s one of the best anti-malware tools around. Active Protection will police your computer while you’re working, the new Web Filter will keep you away from bad Websites and the new Firewall will keep away unwanted intrusions and protect your computer and personal data. If you’re already using the standard VIPRE, I recommend upgrading to the premium version. If you’ve never used VIPRE, you should, without delay.
Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 (32/64-bit), Windows Sever 2008 (32/64-bit), Windows 2000, 512 MB RAM
Software Companies Mentioned
33 North Garden Ave., Suite 1200
Clearwater, FL 33755