Vipre has quietly made a name for itself as an effective security suite that can hold its own against the big boys. The latest update addresses issues with speed while simplifying some basic tasks, but its one killer extra may not be enough.
Available exclusively today from Download.com, Vipre Internet Security 2013 (download) and Vipre Antivirus 2013 (download) offer a solid set of Windows security tools. The most notable is a new feature only available in the premium Internet Security called Easy Update.
Easy Update streamlines the update process for your other programs. You won't have to accept any EULAs, and the User Account Control in Windows 7 and Vista has been bypassed as well. It basically creates a system for patching software that doesn't require active input. "In all cases, Easy Update runs the patches from a thread running as SYSTEM, which already has the proper elevation permissions. So even if the EXE is manifested to require full elevated Administrator privileges, the process will get them without the need for a UAC prompt," Mark Patton, GFI Vipre's general manager for its security business unit, explained in an e-mail to CNET.
Patton noted that there might be problems updating programs that have been installed on a per-user basis, but he said that's a rare occurrence. If you're familiar with GFI's enterprise software, the Easy Update feature is based on the LANguard SDK.
Both Vipre Internet Security and Vipre Antivirus come with improved root-kit detection; a new Easy Install feature that automatically removes competing security suites; a new Rapid Scan for chopping down lengthy scan times; and some interface tweaks.
Vipre has a good reputation for being effective at protecting you from both AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, in the sense that it has repeatedly been certified. But they've also found its protection to leave room for improvement. Preliminary CNET Labs results indicate that it probably has a very small impact on both boot time and shutdown time. A CNET review of Vipre 2013 will be available soon.
Firewall, antispam measures, and a Web filter are restricted to Vipre Internet Security, but for more robust security features like password manager, parental controls, or an online management console, you'll have to look elsewhere.
One thing that Vipre does offer is a unique pricing structure. Vipre Antivirus 2013 runs comparable to competitors at $40 for one computer, but then gives you more bang for your buck at $60 for 10 PCs, and $100 for a lifetime license. Vipre Internet Security is priced below many competitors at $50 for one computer, and then scales up nicely at $70 for 10, or $120 for a lifetime.