I have a low-end PC I purchased new last year in order to use as a test system; this is what I use for testing operating systems and applications. Right now I have Windows 7 Ultimate installed on one partition and Windows 8 on another. I have a variety of applications installed on both Windows 7 and 8. In addition to testing Windows and various applications, I sometimes use the computer to surf the Web or check my email. If the computer’s the nearest one or the most convenient to use at the moment, I’ll use it to check in to various social network sites. I’m not much of a gamer, but on the rare occasion I’ll fire up a game that doesn’t require a more powerful system. The system is always current with the latest Windows updates installed and it’s ready for whatever I throw at it. The only thing it is missing is a better Internet security system. All I’m using right now is a router and Windows’ own built-in firewall software (the latter of which leaves much to be desired).
Since the system is my go-to system for testing real-world (that is, applications most consumers use), rather than resource-intensive tasks such as video editing and multimedia streaming (or as I mentioned, games that might require more high-end components), I really should be using some form of Internet security application on this system. Let me reiterate that, because it’s important. Since this setup is the one I use primarily for testing — which, in addition to building communities, is an essential component of what I do as a career — it is crucial for this system to be better protected than it is. Should some type of virus or malware somehow find its way onto this machine, I would be unable to fairly assess the applications I’m testing. So basically the system would become useless as a test system (if not entirely useless until I resolved whatever issues the infection introduced).
One reason I haven’t had anti-virus software installed on this system is because many anti-virus solutions are notorious for slowing down a system. Depending on the application I’m testing, I sometimes have to take into account the software’s performance. It would be unfair to note a program’s lackluster performance in a review if the actual cause is due to another program, such as an anti-virus application. So I’ve been resistant to installing an anti-virus program, instead being extremely cautious with the way I use my test system. I tend only to visit websites I’m nearly certain are safe (as certain websites are known to make an attempt to install a virus on your system through your Web browser). I never open unsolicited emails, and I certainly don’t open email attachments unless they’re from a reliable source.
I’ve heard good things from trusted friends and associates about the performance of VIPRE Internet Security 2013, however, including the claim that it doesn’t slow down your PC. VIPRE Internet Security is anti-virus software that includes the blocking of malicious websites (that is, websites that contain code designed to infect your computer), a spam filter to protect your email communications, and a better firewall than Windows’ own. So this weekend I installed the application and gave it a test spin. Here’s how it went.
When it comes to installing a new anti-virus program, sometimes the process can be a pain. This is because you have to disable your existing anti-virus solution(s) or remove it (or them) altogether before the new program is even allowed to be installed. In order to perform a thorough test, I installed a competing anti-virus product and used it for a while, performing a full system scan. The anti-virus program discovered no issues with my system. Then, once I was satisfied I had fully utilized the application, I proceeded with my installation of VIPRE, first downloading the software by filling out a simple form to obtain a 30-day free trial of the application. VIPRE immediately emailed me a link to my trial download.
Once I downloaded the software, I ran the installer, which ran me through a simple and familiar install series of dialog boxes, one of which notified me that my existing anti-virus software needed to be removed before I would be able to proceed with installation. VIPRE offered to do this for me, and once this was accomplished (this required a reboot of my PC), I was presented with a satisfying notice that my installation was complete. The entire process took about 10 minutes.
User Interface and Experience
With the application installed, I proceeded to explore VIPRE’s user interface. It’s a quite simple interface, composed of one box that operates as the main menu. Five tabs are available from which to select: Overview, Scan, Firewall, Manage, and Tools. Selecting Scan changes the window to the Scan window, which offers a few choices as to how you would prefer to scan your system. As with most anti-virus applications, you can opt for a quick scan, a deep scan (which can take anywhere from several minutes to several hours, depending on how much you’ve got installed on your system), and a customized scan.
There is nothing about this application that would seem confusing to anyone who has some familiarity with any version of Windows. The application is simple and elegant in appearance, and the tools you need to use are easy to locate and execute. Everything is intuitive and right where you’d expect it to be; there’s no guesswork on the part of the user as to where to find the features needed in order to accomplish desired tasks.
I selected the deep scan option, expecting the program to spend the better part of a day scanning my system. These types of scans are thorough, and the program I’d installed before had taken a full day to go through all my computer’s files, processes, registry items, and cookies to check their integrity. So I expected most of my weekend to be spent checking the status of the scan. To my pleasant surprise, the scan only took a few hours to do its work.
The results of the scan were clear and concise. As I’d expected, the application didn’t find anything major. It did, however, seem to find more than the prior anti-virus software had, reporting that a “risk” (a known threat) had been cleaned (121 traces of the risk had been detected). As a company specializing in security software, it’s no surprise to me that VIPRE would outperform the more generic software I’d been using before (by a company with a wider range of products, but a less focused approach to Internet safety).
Conclusion and Giveaway
Particularly with anti-virus software, consumers have to adopt some measure of faith that the company will stay on top of the threats circulating through the Internet and attempting to make their way to our computers. I’ll admit my experience with VIPRE’s product is limited, but my preliminary findings indicate the software to be already outperforming another very popular solution in two key areas: speed, and probably more important, identifying threats (or “risks”). Over time I will assess if there is any noticeable difference in my system’s performance while using the software and report back my findings. So far so good, though. And with a 30-day free trial of the software available, I feel that I can confidently recommend VIPRE Internet Security 2013. You can find out more about the software at VIPRE Internet Security.
We are also giving away a code for one free year of VIPRE Internet Security 2013. Simply let us know in the comments section why you would want to use the software. We’ll announce the winner in a followup post a week from today.