Get VIPRE AV for free with UnThreat Free AntiVirus 2012 | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Get VIPRE AV for free with UnThreat Free AntiVirus 2012

Protect your PC with a top AV solution for free.

UnThreat Free AntiVirus 2012 is a free antivirus software solution from AVSoftware. It uses the popular, well-received VIPRE antivirus engine, and offers basic protection from viruses, Trojans, rootkits, malware, adware, and other threats, including e-mail protection and antispyware protection. UnThreat Free is based on a premium tool that includes a firewall and other extra features. The freeware omits those and other bells and whistles, and it doesn't need them. Its chief recommendation is the VIPRE engine, which has tested well against a variety of threats and has generally been available only in premium AV software, until now.

When our download finished, we disabled our existing antivirus software before installing UnThreat. Some freeware AV tools will work alongside the competition, and some won't. As with many other AV tools, UnThreat's installation process requires a reboot. A simple, well-designed user interface more or less says "antivirus software," and the only thing notable is the grayed-out entries for the disabled features: Firewall, RoadWarrior, and Web Guard. We started with the Quick Scan, which turned up two low-risk adware bundlers. Clicking View Details confirmed that the items weren't a threat, but we sent them to their doom by selecting Delete from a drop-down menu and pressing the Clean button. In addition to the Scan field, we could view our Scan History and Active Protection History and access the Quarantine Manager. Of course, no AV solution worth its name would omit a system tray icon, and UnThreat doesn't. The tray icon's menu let us disable UnThreat's active protection, check for updates, and start scans. A tree-based Settings sheet offered a surprising number of options, including scheduling, proxy settings for updates, shell extension scans, and excluded files and folders. The Help file is extensive and detailed.

Free antivirus solutions have gotten so good that the premium tools have to offer tons of extras to justify the cost. The popular free versions tend to be safe choices, and safe recommendations, too, thanks to instantly updated threat lists that millions of users rely on. With no-nonsense controls, essential features, and strong protection, UnThreat Free AntiVirus 2012 joins their ranks.

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