Emsisoft Anti-Malware Free (Previously A-squared Free) - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Emsisoft Anti-Malware Free (Previously A-squared Free)

CNET Editors' review

A-Squared Free 4 is one of the better free malware removers, but it's not flawless and some users question its efficacy.

The program starts off with a sluggish detection file update that also requires a program restart. This took about 10 minutes. Normally, though, it opens to the Security Status page. From there, you can run scans, update the program, access the A-Squared knowledge base, and choose from among 20 display languages. Program options are arranged on the left nav, and they are Security Status, Scan PC, Quarantine, Logs, and Configuration tabs. Scan PC contains four scanning options: Quick, Smart, Deep, and Custom. Quick Scan is the fastest and most superficial, while the Deep Scan can take several hours.

If you choose a scan that examines your cookies, the app will recommend closing your Web browser. Custom not only lets you choose which folders to scan, but also lets you opt out of heuristic, tracking-cookie, and spyware-remnant scans. There is also a whitelist, from where you can add folders or files, which is accessible at the bottom of the main Scan tab panel. The Quarantine tab uses a spreadsheet-style layout to manage isolated files, and the Configuration tab has options for Context menu scans, Update behavior, and Permissions settings. The Quarantine tab has a neat option to rescan quarantined objects after a definition file update.

There's one annoying design quirk: important options like the whitelist are placed in the bottom left of the active panel, making them accessible only by a text link. For a standalone antimalware program that lacks a built-in scheduler and antivirus features, A-Squared Free 4 is a secure choice.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    3.8 stars

    out of 454 votes

    • 5 star: 179
    • 4 star: 137
    • 3 star: 50
    • 2 star: 29
    • 1 star: 59
  • Current version:

    3.5 stars

    out of 12 votes

    • 5 star: 4
    • 4 star: 3
    • 3 star: 1
    • 2 star: 3
    • 1 star: 1
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 12

  • 3.0 stars

    "This prom has potential."

    March 16, 2014  |   By THE TRUTH TELLER

    Version: Emsisoft Anti-Malware Free (Previously A-squared Free) 5.1.0.19

    Pros

    Blocks malicious websites much like malwarebytes.

    Cons

    Takes way to long to to update and scan boy go out to dinner catch a movie and maybe when you get back it will be done and that instance is on a rig with very little data. A rig with a lot of data you may as well go on vacation.

    To many false positives and slow scans and updates that take forever makes this program sub par.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Doesn't find anything, ever."

    March 19, 2013  |   By ckcomodo

    Version: Emsisoft Anti-Malware Free (Previously A-squared Free) 5.1.0.19

    Pros

    Updated; no out-of-pocket cost; appears to be through examining most every file in computer.

    Cons

    Takes forever to load, update, run. Seems tio use up CPUs. In many runs has NEVER found a suspicious file--maybe I am protected enough. Spybot, SUPERantispyware,etc., even malywarebytes find at least a few nasties requiring nuking from time to time.

    Summary

    Chews up space and time; uninstalled here.

    Updated on Aug 20, 2013

    Update Aug. 20, 2013. Tried new version. It refused to install (blocked by antimalware?) Let's call this a one-star.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "It WORKS! Removed the Trojan.Agent svhost.exe. YAY!"

    February 24, 2013  |   By PlayerCrazy

    Version: Emsisoft Anti-Malware Free (Previously A-squared Free) 5.1.0.19

    Pros

    Free EMSISOFT ANTI-MALWARE will detect and remove the stubborn Trojan.Agent svhost.exe and other Trojans, viruses, etc. I had tried everything and only EMSISOFT worked. My computer is virus free. I did a lot of research, before finding a software that I could trust. Always use an Antivirus software along with an Anti-Malware to keep your computer safe from attacks.

    Cons

    Slow scanning while doing a deep scan, but that's the whole idea. Isn't it?
    To keep it, you have to pay...oh, well...It's WORTH it!
    Update it, if it needs it...my computer was full of Trojans from a crazy guy that, wanted to spy on me. So, the updates and slowness was worth it.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Vapor ware?"

    August 7, 2012  |   By crsecon

    Version: Emsisoft Anti-Malware Free (Previously A-squared Free) 5.1.0.19

    Pros

    Who knows?

    Cons

    Takes forever to load. Takes forever to update. Takes forever to run. Never finds anything. When a new version becomes available, must remove old version entirely, fine, but in the time several universes appearand die doing THAT, no installer ever appears for the newer version you thought was going to download and it is as if it had been unfriended off windows permanently.

    Summary

    NO THANK YOU> MY TIME IS WORTH SOME SMALL PITTANCEWASTED HERE< YOU KNOW.

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Way too many false positives"

    August 4, 2012  |   By MollyFlan83

    Version: Emsisoft Anti-Malware Free (Previously A-squared Free) 5.1.0.19

    Pros

    To quote another reviewer, it installs.

    Cons

    Quantity of finds do not equate to quality of results. Emsisoft software has a reputation for too many false positives and that is true in this version as well. I took it for a test drive on my newer, malware-free computer and it found a list of problems, all related to cookies or the registry and none that could not have been removed by emptying the browser cache (cookies) and the others were non-harmful or needed registry keys.

    Summary

    Be careful what you allow this program to remove.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Best free malware scanner & remover"

    August 3, 2012  |   By cnetguy7

    Version: Emsisoft Anti-Malware Free (Previously A-squared Free) 5.1.0.19

    Pros

    -quick
    -stable, doesn't crash unlike malwarebytes
    -excellent detection & removal
    -removed infections that AVG, Avast, Malwarebytes failed to remove.

    Cons

    none I could find

    Summary

    Almost on par with hitmanpro which btw uses Emsisoft & Ikarus engine.
    Hitmanpro free only scans the system, doesn't remove the malware.

    Updated on Aug 5, 2012

    EDIT: REPLY TO NEW REVIEW.

    I used it on two different laptops XP & VISTA and had ZERO false positives although I will admit both systems were clean of tracking cookies as I had used Ccleaner before the scan. Reporting cookies as adware is NO big deal! HITMAN PRO does it too. As long as it doesn't affect system critical files which in my experience on two different versions of windowsit didn't, I'm OK with it.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "The Big Kahuna of Scanners"

    July 13, 2012  |   By Marksill

    Version: Emsisoft Anti-Malware Free (Previously A-squared Free) 5.1.0.19

    Pros

    This is a must have if you are heavily infected, this is one of the best scanner/removers for malware. This is one of the most sophisticated scanners and is not a Resident protection. It is as close to Kaspersky as you can get.

    Cons

    Nothing negative, besides the updates may take longer than expected. The scan is incredibly slow, but its because it's a very huge database of possible infections.

    Summary

    Use if heavily infected.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "No real time protection"

    April 12, 2012  |   By PHILX

    Version: Emsisoft Anti-Malware Free (Previously A-squared Free) 5.1.0.19

    Pros

    Good detection rate

    Cons

    Like Malwarebytes, no real time protection.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Ok scanner and remover."

    January 20, 2012  |   By The1980

    Version: Emsisoft Anti-Malware Free (Previously A-squared Free) 5.1.0.19

    Pros

    Scanner and remover.

    Cons

    "Protect your PC from harmful threats", they cannot say this unless it has realtime protection which the free version does not have.

    Summary

    It does not protect, it removes. Once you're infected and the malware has done it is suppose to do, whats the point of this remover being protecting the system? They should change the link describtion.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Seemed to work for me"

    December 8, 2011  |   By DWK1703

    Version: Emsisoft Anti-Malware Free (Previously A-squared Free) 5.1.0.19

    Pros

    Found a great many malware files, much more that Super Antispyware or AVG.

    Cons

    Deep scan took about 6 hours.

    Summary

    I used this in conjunction with RKill to recover from the "System Fix" Trojan, which is really nasty. It was the latest 30-day free trial (not actually free) version. It found and removed 78 malware files while Super AntiSpyware (free) and AVG (free) found only a handful. I'll probably buy it at the end of the 30 days.

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Results 1-10 of 12

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