Review: Verify malware scans with NoraScan's cloud-based analysis | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Review: Verify malware scans with NoraScan's cloud-based analysis

Find and quarantine malware with this free tool's ultra-fast scans and cloud-based verification.

Noralabs' NoraScan is a fast-scanning anti-malware utility that uses cloud-based knowledge to verify suspicious files as safe and to quarantine or remove threats. It's not a primary antivirus solution but works alongside your other security software to provide extra protection. NoraScan scans in Safe Mode, too, so it can find and remove rootkits and other stubborn infections that keep Windows from starting. The latest release, v2.3, has improved 64-bit integration and additional warnings when users try to quarantine unverified files.

NoraScan's white-and-blue interface includes all of its options, such as checkboxes to enable Rootkit behavior analysis and verify suspicious files after scanning. By default, NoraScan doesn't check all file extensions, just those likely to hide threats; but you can enable all extensions for a full system scan. NoraScan recommends starting with a Quickscan. Ours finished in just over six minutes and found 23 suspicious items. We could see in the main window that most weren't threats, but we clicked "Upload and Verify" to check. NoraScan uploaded and studied them, and then purged 22 of 23 results. A quick search online verified that the last result wasn't a threat, either, so we clicked "Upload and Verify" again, and it too disappeared from the threat list. The full drive scan uploaded and checked dozens of files surprisingly quickly but also found no threats. The lesson wasn't lost: clearly NoraScan would rather check everything than let something new and unpleasant sneak by, but it's wise to double-check before quarantining any files.

Malware infections are easier to prevent than the common cold yet harder to cure, and they don't go away by themselves after a few days, either. Noralabs' cloud-based analysis works fast and frees you from Ignore Lists, manual updates, and (best of all) the consequences of your own laziness. We're adding it to our roster of effective anti-malware and PC security tools.

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