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#16
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BitDefender Standard Edition Reviewer's Comments
Our number 1 ranked product and "TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award Winner" BitDefender is an outstanding product combining superb ease-of-use with an elegant user interface. McAfee and Norton have both been the dominant players in the marketplace, but Softwin's BitDefender outshines both products in both effective anti-virus protection and price. BitDefender Standard Edition creates a small window called the "File Zone" on your desktop that indicates how many files have been scanned in the past few minutes. You can also drag and drop files into the File Zone to be scanned. The software prepares a report of each completed scan.

We searched the net for the best prices and deals available. Here's what we found. Right now, when you purchase BitDefender Standard 8 for $24.95 from online retailer, Herman Street, you also get #1 rated anti-spyware software Spyware Eliminator for FREE. Even if you already have an anti-spyware program with this deal you can give this freebie away as a gift, add it to your PC for double protection or if you have two PCs use it for the other one. It's a one year subscription for software that would normally cost you $29.99 anywhere else.


Feature Set:

The Live! Update feature checks for product and virus definition updates at either a user-defined interval or manually (default is every 3 hours). When you do a manual check for updates, you decide which updates to install. When the software automatically checks for updates, it can update the files at that time or at a time you previously specified during setup.

BitDefender Standard Edition uses the ICSA Labs certified scanning engines, allowing users to feel secure about their virus protection. A very large folder, 1.5 gigabyte with over 12,000 files took approximately 10 minutes to scan.
Ease of Use:
Softwin has given great attention to the small details of BitDefender, something that has been lost in the other major anti-virus products. BitDefender received a VB100% rating in Virus Bulletin's tests, the highest honor for anti-virus software. The product is well laid-out with an attractive, easy-to-use design that is consistent throughout the product and with the manufacturer's web site. Because it is simple to use and updates itself automatically, you can install it on your system then practically forget it's there; an ideal situation for the home user.
Ease of Installation & Setup:
This product is very easy to install. No problems.
Help/Documentation:
When you purchase BitDefender you also receive one year of virus signature updates and scan engine upgrades. Technical support is offered by qualified support representatives live via Internet or telephone. An online database features answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Effectiveness:
The VB 100% logo is awarded to anti-virus products that:

Detect all "In the Wild" viruses during both on-demand and on-access scanning in Virus Bulletin's comparative tests.

Generate no false positives when scanning a set of clean files.

Bitdefender Standard was awarded the VB100, the Virus Bulletin certification that the product is able to detect all the viruses which are currently existent in the wild. Once again, BitDefender passed with flying colors, and the test team noticed an improvement in the overall detection rates from previous tests.

Summary:
Overall, Bit Defender is outstanding. It is easy to use, easy to install, has a great feature set, and you won't regret purchasing the product. At $24.95, it is a steal. Bit Defender receives our highest ranking of all of the products reviewed.


PC-cillin Reviewer's Comments
Trend Micro's PC-cillin 2005 is an excellent Anti-Virus software product. This is a great choice for those beginners that haven't delved into the Anti-Virus/Firewall world. It is extremely easy to install and easy to use. What really stands out in PC-cillin is that it is the only product reviewed that included a firewall. Most firewalls cost in-between $40.00 to $60.00 by themselves. When you factor in that PC-cillin includes Anti-Virus, firewall, PDA, and wireless protection, all in one product, you can't beat the price. McAfee and Norton have both been the dominant players in the marketplace, but Trend Micro's PC-cillin has surpassed both products.
Feature Set:
PC-cillin anti-virus protection features an integrated firewall, a WebTrap that blocks malicious Java and ActiveX programs, a MacroTrap that monitors Excel and Word files for viruses, and a Site Filter that allows you to block access to specific web sites.

For email, PC-cillin scans both POP3 accounts and Webmail. PC-cillin automatically cleans infected files, but if a file can't be cleaned, the software will place the file in quarantine. You can configure PC-cillin to prompt you every time an infected file is discovered so you can immediately consider your options.

PC-cillin also provides mobile users the extra protection needed to stay virus-free on the road, including Wi-Fi connection security for your wireless protection and PDA synchronization protection.

PC-cillin has included a new spyware removal tool into their latest set of features. They also included a few more options such as a vulnerability checker, home network control, and anti-phishing. Phising is when someone uses a fraudulent website or fake e-mails to trick you into thinking they came from your bank, or credit card company for the purpose of obtaining your personal financial data. Their new Anti-Phising feature will make it harder for these e-mails to reach you.
Ease of Use:
The product has a well-designed, logical user interface, although the main screen graphics are out of alignment in a couple of places. The performance is great and doesn't slow down the rest of your system. A very large folder, 1 gigabyte, will take about 2 minutes to scan.
Ease of Installation & Setup:
PC-cillin has two modes of operation: standard mode for beginners who want to install and walk away knowing they are protected, and advanced mode for those techies that want to be able to review and adjust every setting, review logs, or work with quarantined files.
Help/Documentation:
Trend Micro provides toll-free phone support, the only Anti-Virus software manufacturing to do so. They also have great support with their support page, Knowledge Base Search, and FAQs page.
Effectiveness:
In Virus Bulletin's tests with live viruses, previous versions of PC-cillin earned the coveted VB100% percent rating in five of its six most recent Windows tests. The built-in scheduler has three default scans preset. You can edit or delete these defaults in order to personalize scanning tasks targeting specific file types, drives or dates.
Summary:
Overall, PC-cillin is an excellent easy-to-use anti-virus software product. With the inclusion of the firewall and the low price point taken into consideration, this could easily be the best overall product in the marketplace.


AVG Anti-virus Pro Reviewer's Comments
AVG Anti-Virus 7.0 is a great program. It has everything you need in an Anti-Virus program; email scanning to include email attachments, boot scanning, and auto updating of the virus definitions. From the basic interface you can quickly do one of three tests:

. Complete Test - Scans all hard drives on your computer.
. Removable Media Test - Scans floppies, CDs, Optical disks, external hard drives, etc.
. Quick Test -- Scans the most important areas/files on your computer.


Feature Set:
The Virus Vault is what most anti-virus programs call a "Quarantine" area. When the resident scanners find a virus, you can store the file in the Virus Vault until you have time to heal the file and then restore it to its original location.

AVG Anti-Virus also allows you to create an MS-DOS Rescue Disk from the Control Center. Scheduling options include alternatives to run tasks even when the schedule was missed. You can schedule tasks to be performed even when there is no user logged on to the computer.

GriSoft does offer a free version of AVG Anti-Virus but it lacks several features such as:
. No Advanced User Interface
. Disabled Advanced Scheduling of Tests
. Disabled Creating of Your Own Tests
. No Technical Support
. No Advanced Operations with Test Results - (e.g. healing infected files, deleting them or moving them to Virus Vault so you can deal with them later
. No Quick Test Option available
Ease of Use:
AVG Control Center (a.k.a. AVGCC) is the main control component of the AVG system. AVGCC is executed every time a user logs in. Through it you can edit various settings of the AVG system and monitor the status of individual components. The AVGCC system tray icon is multi-colored when all components are working correctly and turns gray if there is a problem. By clicking on the icon you can open main the windows of AVGCC.

AVG Anti-Virus also has an Advanced Interface that gives you a very nice view of tests to run, scheduled tasks, test results, etc. in an easy to read tree layout. This interface is geared more toward advanced users than the novice computer user. It takes a little while to get used to the interface, but once you get the hang of it you will find it logical and easy to maneuver.
Ease of Installation & Setup:
This product is very easy to install. No problems.
Help/Documentation:
They have great support with their online support page, Knowledge Base Search, and FAQs page.
Effectiveness:
The VB 100% logo is awarded to anti-virus products that:

Detect all "In the Wild" viruses during both on-demand and on-access scanning in Virus Bulletin's comparative tests.

Generate no false positives when scanning a set of clean files.

Summary:
AVG Anti-Virus 7.0 is a great program and has received the coveted VB100% rating and is certified by ICSA Labs.


McAfee VirusScan Home Edition Reviewer's Comments
The McAfee VirusScan 9.0 provides very good antivirus protection. McAfee is an industry leader in computer protection and its products are backed by a good company. VirusScan comes with a ScriptStopper and WormStopper. Scripts are used quite often by virus writers to propagate the virus from one computer user to another via email programs. The ScriptStopper and WormStopper helps to stop this. It is also important to update your email program and OS with the latest patches to help reduce this threat.
Feature Set:
McAffe VirusScan offers a rich list of features. You can set VirusScan to scan your computer at a preprogrammed scheduled time. I wish you could add several tasks to the Scheduled Scan, maybe one for all files once per month and another for only program files weekly, etc.
Ease of Use:
Using the default settings makes setup a breeze. The default settings provide very good protection against viruses, Trojans, worms, malicious ActiveX controls and Java applets.

The SecurityCenter has several tabs besides the VirusScan tab. There is one for Personal Firewall+, Privacy Service and SpamKiller. These are other programs offered by McAfee. I found the interface a little busy and confusing with these other tabs when all I wanted was anti-virus protection. I'm not saying these other programs aren't important, but I would like to see the SecurityCenter auto-detect what modules are installed and display tabs/options for only those programs.
Ease of Installation & Setup:
I found the download process a little confusing, going from the web site, to waiting for an email, then back to the web site. It took me several tries to download/install a working version of VirusScan.
Help/Documentation:
McAfee's Help is very extensive and helpful.
Effectiveness:
McAfee VirusScan 9.0 automatically downloads up-to-date virus definitions from the Internet on a regular basis. Staying up-to-date will dramatically decrease any possibility of being infected by a virus. It also boasts one of the best virus detection records.
Summary:
McAfee VirusScan 9.0 is a great anti-virus solution. It includes a one-year subscription to McAfee's virus-definition service. After the first year, the service costs $34.95 per year. Scanning your hard drive with VirusScan 9.0 is faster than with NAV. Scanning a 1GB took about 1.7 minutes.


F-Secure Anti-Virus Reviewer's Comments
F-Secure Anti-Virus is a great anti-virus software application that relies on its real-time scanner to keep your files clean when they are being accessed. Most other AV software programs will have a scheduler along with real-time scanning to protect your files. You still have the option to manually:

. Scan all local hard disks
. Scan Diskette
. Select folder to scan.

Feature Set:
F-Secure scans files as they are opened. They don't offer email scanning per say but they recommend you save email attachments and Internet downloads to your hard drive before opening them. This ensures they will be scanned for viruses. The package lacks a firewall, something several of the other packages like McAfee, PC-cillin and Panda provide. But Windows XP has a built in firewall that can easily be enabled. F-Secure also has a firewall product called Distributed Firewall that can be purchased separately. There are no manual options for updating virus definitions.
Ease of Use:
The interface is very user-friendly and extremely consistent. It's a very good anti-virus program especially for the computer novice.
Ease of Installation & Setup:
F-Secure Anti-Virus 2005 installs easily and setup is incredibly straightforward. After you download a 6MB install program, you must connect to the server and download the remainder of the program, which is an additional 13MB for a total of 19MB. My initial install/download seemed slow. I was on a 1.5MB T1 to the internet and downloading the 13MB Security Apps took about 18 minutes.
Help/Documentation:
F-Secure offers no phone support for home and small-office users but it does offer free e-mail-based support with answers to questions within two to eight hours which is reasonable.
Effectiveness:
F-Secure claims your "PC is protected within a few hours after a new virus has been found in the world" by providing updated definition files every time you connect to the Internet. Our test showed that it is an excellent virus detector.
Summary:
F-Secure Anti-Virus installs easily and setup is incredibly straightforward. The interface is very user-friendly and extremely consistent. It's a very good anti-virus program especially for the computer novice.


Norton AntiVirus Reviewer's Comments
The Norton AntiVirus 2005 is very easy to install and set up for novices, although it was slow, taking longer to install than most other packages even after the pre-scan was finished. The interface is logical and easy to use. The default settings provide excellent protection against e-mail viruses, SMTP worms, and Trojan horses by scanning both incoming and outgoing e-mail and repairing any infected files.
Feature Set:
It scans file downloads in MSN, AOL, and Yahoo IM applications. The Quarantine feature isolates infected files in a protected area of your hard disk until they can be repaired. Scanning your hard drive can take a while. Norton is slow at scanning; a 1.5GB folder took 13 minutes to scan.

The computer uses the LiveUpdate feature built into Norton AV 2005 to download the latest AV definitions of all the latest known viruses automatically when you are connected to the internet. Staying up-to-date will dramatically decrease any possibility of being infected by a virus. After installing and registering the program you will have 1 full year of free AV definition file updates. After one year you must renew your subscription or upgrade to the latest program. Without the updates, new viruses could infect your computer.
Ease of Use:
The interface is logical and easy to use. The default settings provide excellent protection against e-mail viruses, SMTP worms, and Trojan horses by scanning both incoming and outgoing e-mail and repairing any infected files.
Ease of Installation & Setup:
The Norton AntiVirus 2005 is very easy to install and setup for novices, although it was slow, taking longer to install than most other packages even after the prescan was finished.
Help/Documentation:
After installing and registering the program you will have 1 full year of free AV definition file updates. After one year you must renew your subscription or upgrade to the latest program. Without the updates new viruses could infect your computer.
Effectiveness:
In Virus Bulletin's tests with live viruses, previous versions of Norton AV earned the coveted VB100% rating in sixteen of its most recent Windows tests. You have to go back to September of 1999 on a Windows NT machine with Norton AntiVirus v5.02.01 for the last time it didn't pass Virus Bulletin's tests. In other words, it has a good track record.

The default settings provide excellent protection against e-mail viruses, SMTP worms, and Trojan horses by scanning both incoming and outgoing e-mail and repairing any infected files.
Summary:
If you plan to download this product via a dialup connection be aware that Norton AntiVirus 2005 is larger than most other antivirus software products out there. It is about 25MB compared to 4-23MB for many other antivirus packages. The download time might be worth it, seeing as how it does a very good job protecting your data. Although I haven't noticed any compatibility problems with Norton Antivirus software I have talked with others that have had issues with previous versions of Norton AntiVirus conflicting with applications they use. However, Norton Antivirus 2005 is rather new. I have noticed that it is smaller than previous versions and I hope they have solved the compatibility issues.


F-Prot for Windows Reviewer's Comments
F-Prot for Windows v3.16b is an easy to install and easy to use anti-virus program. It has a nice interface although it would be better if the options were available from the Taskbar instead of from the Start Menu or desktop. The options are straight forward and practical. They include right-click, on-demand, on-access and scheduled scanning.
Feature Set:
The options are straight forward and practical. The F-Prot claims their scan engine uses very low system resources and therefore runs under Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000 or XP. With the resident scanner and scheduler running in the background, I noticed my system (a 650MHz P3 w/192MB RAM and WinXP Pro) required about 5-6MB of memory resources which is slightly less than other anti-virus programs I've checked.

The RealTime Protector scans all files accessed by your system for viruses. The built-in Scheduler automates tasks such as updating the virus definition files and scanning. It is simple to configure, but still gives you plenty of options. The on-demand Scanner is used to manually scan your files/folders/drives.
Ease of Use:
F-Prot for Windows v3.16b is an easy to install and easy to use antivirus program. It has a nice interface.
Ease of Installation & Setup:
F-Prot was also easy to install and set up.
Help/Documentation:
The Help is not as good as it could be. An online database features answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Effectiveness:
F-Prot did do a good job as far as effectiveness. A 1.5GB folder on my PC(PIII/650MHz) took 12 minutes to scan; not too bad.
Summary:
You can also scan a file, folder, or drive from within Windows Explorer by right-clicking and selecting "Scan". I didn't notice much of a performance hit during normal PC usage.


eTrust EZ Antivirus Reviewer's Comments
eTrust EZ Antivirus 2005 Version 7 does a good job protecting your files. Its interface takes a different approach than other Anti-Virus software. The interface uses an Explorer-like file tree, which you use to select individual files and folders for scanning. I find this interface a little cumbersome.
Feature Set:
EZ includes a nifty new feature called Snooze. This feature disables the program's real-time protection for a user-specified period (from 1 to 99 minutes)-which is great for new software installations or to troubleshoot a system performance glitch or problem. In previous versions of EZ Antivirus, you had to reboot after disabling virus monitoring. Not anymore. To deactivate Snooze, simply click the Wake Now icon in the System Tray. If you forget, the timer will automatically turn off Snooze after the allotted time and restart the EZ Antivirus protection.

EZ Antivirus real-time scanner operates like most other AV software, running in the background, and does it without much of a performance hit. EZ is lacking a "Quarantine" function for infected, uncleanable files. This is a feature that is common on many other AV packages.
Ease of Use:
This product is very easy to use.
Ease of Installation & Setup:
The interface takes a different approach than other AV software. The interface uses an Explorer-like file tree, which you use to select individual files and folders for scanning.
Help/Documentation:
They have great support with their support page, Knowledge Base Search, and FAQs page.
Effectiveness:
In Virus Bulletin's tests with live viruses, previous versions of eTrust EZ Antivirus earned the coveted VB100% rating in seven of its eight most recent Windows tests, very respectable. The only test that didn't receive 100% was while running on the Window ME operation system. EZ has passed ICSA Labs testing for August in both the OnDemand scanning tests and OnAccess tests. Its compressed file detection is limited though and it only scans email when you open an attachment.
Summary:
eTrust EZ Antivirus is an inexpensive option for protecting your computer. However, there are other options available that offer a larger feature set and better protection.


ESET Nod32
ESET's Nod32 has excellent detection rates. In Virus Bulletin's tests with live viruses, previous versions of NOD32 by ESET earned the coveted VB 100 percent rating in eight of its eight most recent Windows tests. It has a very fast scan engine and uses little system resources.
Feature Set:
The most important function of antivirus software is to detect and block viruses, and NOD32 does an excellent job at that. NOD32 claims that not only did it detect and block big-gun viruses like CIH, Melissa, LoveLetter, etc. a long time before any competitor, but also the "gnomes" in the ESET virus lab are extremely fast and good in analyzing viruses and releasing blocks and fixes well before competitors do. This degree of protection makes NOD32 a clear winner. With my 650MHz PIII PC, scanning a 1.5GB folder took just 7 minutes, FAST!

There are several scanning methods in the Control Center:

• AMON - the resident (running in operating memory at all times) or "on-access" antivirus monitor. This program is the most crucial antivirus defense tool.

• NOD32 - (also referred to as the "on-demand" scanner) this is the scanner executed manually by the user, or automatically by the scheduler.

• IMON - this scanner provides the first line of defense by monitoring Internet traffic (smtp, ftp, http and other Winsock protocols).

• EMON - the NOD32 Mail Scanner provides protection from email-borne viruses
Ease of Use:
ESET's Nod32 is very easy to install and simple to use when you get use to it. I found the Control Center layout and modules a little confusing at first. The terminology is also very technical.
Ease of Installation & Setup:
ESET's Nod32 is very easy to install.
Help/Documentation:
The installation guide, manual and POP3 scanner manual are downloaded separately and it does have an FAQ section on the Internet.
Effectiveness:
ESET performs great as far as effectivness goes. The gnomes in the virus labs are extremely fast and good in analyzing viruses and releasing blocks and fixes well before competitors do. However, we noticed a performace hit during the on-access scanning.
Summary:
Overall, NOD32 is a first-rate antivirus program that offers several levels of superior protection. However, the product is hard to understand because of the technical jargon. It's not targeted to home users.
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#17
mjcaluza

mjcaluza

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thanks keith for that in depth explanation of all the antivirus!!!surely now i'm just amazed how you guys have chances to help us thanks!!! more power to gtg.!!!
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