Download Immunet Protect 2 – Free Cloud Based Antivirus Application

When I first reviewed Immunet Protect in May of this year ( while it was still in Beta), I was impressed with it’s light use of system resources and bandwidth. Now, with the official release of Version 2, (June 17, 2010), I’m even more impressed.

Immunet Protect is a lightweight cloud based, community driven, antivirus application, (available in both a free, and a fee version), designed to add a layer of protection while working in partnership with the most popular antimalware solutions.

On my principal home machine for example, Immunet Protect lines up with Microsoft Security Essentials and ThreatFire, to shore up any vulnerabilities my system might have to to zero-day threats.

Zero-day threats are those that are defined as malware that has been written and distributed to take advantage of system vulnerabilities, before security developers can create, and release, counter measures.

In real time, Immunet Protect keeps track of the state of security in the collective community (network), and should a member of the network (the community), encounter malware, you (as a member of the protected community), are instantly protected against the threat.

A rather more impressive security solution than having to wait for a malware definition database update. An update that may take several days. Days in which you are effectively open to infection.

The Beta version had limited functionality since it did not provide complete scanning – it acted as a defender only. But, all that has changed with the addition of new features in the final release, which include:

Two active scanning engines

Custom Scan

Scheduled scan

Context menu scan

And more

Just like the Beta, the final release was equally straightforward to install, and ran without complication.

If you’ve used the Beta release you’ll find (as the following screen capture illustrates), a substantially improved user interface, with much more functionality.

Immunet new 2

Setting the operating parameters (the protection settings), is straightforward. In the following screen capture you’ll notice tooltip pop outs which explain the function of each setting. A very cool feature for less experienced users.

Immunet new 3

During my initial full scan, CPU usage ran at roughly 20% on a dual core machine. And, system memory usage was surprisingly low at only 36 MB, as the following screen capture shows.

Immunet new 1

I have a preference for antimalware solutions that include the ability to launch a specific file scan from the Windows Explorer context menu, and Immunet Protect has included this feature.


Should you consider installing, and running, a Cloud Antivirus as supplementary antimalware protection?

If you are uncertain, then consider this:

The Internet is an uncertain world at the best of times

Cybercriminals design specific malware to exploit vulnerable systems without user interaction being required.

No single security application is capable (nor should we expect a single application to be capable), of providing adequate computer system protection. Gaps exist, in protection capabilities, in even the most sophisticated security applications.

Layering (or stacking) security applications, offers the best chance of remaining infection free, by closing these gaps.

A cloud based protective solution, in this case Immunet Protect, is a major step in shoring up any weaknesses, or gaps, and significantly increase your overall ability to detect malware.

Keep in mind however, that even the best layered protection strategy will not make up for lack of experience, and intuitiveness, when surfing the Internet. So, I’ll repeat what I have said here, many times – “knowledge, awareness, and experience are critical ingredients in the escalating battle, against cybercriminals.”

Immunet Protect Fast facts:

Fast Antivirus: Immunet leverages the speed of cloud computing to deliver real-time protection to your PC

Light Antivirus: Immunet is up to 35 times lighter than traditional antivirus solutions

Real-time Antivirus: Immunet provides cloud-based protection that is always up-to-date against viruses, spyware, bots, worms, Trojans, and keyloggers without slowing down your PC. No need to download any virus signature files!

Companion Antivirus: Immunet is compatible with existing antivirus products to help protect you better. Add an extra, lightweight layer of protection for free

Community Antivirus: Immunet’s Collective Immunity technology protects all users the instant that a virus is detected on one PC

System requirements: Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or later, Vista (32-bit and 64 bit), Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit).

Download at: Developer’s site

A final note: I recommend that you approach installation cautiously, since you will be offered the opportunity to install the toolbar. There are reports that some users had the toolbar installed despite their refusal. If, this is the case, Immunet Protect needs to address this issue immediately.

In March of this year, I wrote a piece “We Don’t Want No Stinkin’ Toolbar!”, which drew a large number of outraged comments from readers, aimed at software developers.

So, I’ll repeat, for the benefit of developers, a statement I made in that article –

“Stop with the crapware already. If you’re pissing me off, just consider what you’re doing to an average user. Like it or not, there’s a lesson here. In the long run, your behavior will cost you – big time.”

Update – June 21,2010: Immunet Protect is a highly responsible company which listens to its community of users. And, based on feedback received, the company has chosen to remove the Ask toolbar from the application installer as a recent posting (shown below), on the community site clearly indicates.

“Now that our release is out, we’ve had a moment to sit back and reflect on the feedback we’ve gotten from our community. Some of the feedback we received was clear that our implementation of a build with the ASK toolbar gave some people a degree of discomfort.

As a result we’ve released a new build – Version This new build fixes some outstanding UI issues and completely removes the ASK toolbar. In the next couple of weeks we’ll discuss this issue with our Community to review our next steps.”

Kudos to Immunet Protect, for taking this responsible position that other companies should learn from, and emulate.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Cloud Computing Applications, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Anti-malware Software, Free Internet Protection, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Software, System Security, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

41 responses to “Download Immunet Protect 2 – Free Cloud Based Antivirus Application

  1. abhijit

    Hi bill,
    Thank you for very good description, i tried the previous beta but removed after Panda cloud AV came , now i m gonna try this one.

  2. Liam O' Moulain


    I’m always looking for a way to reduce the strain on my system when running AVs – some of them are just hogs!

    This one looks as if I might just do the trick for me, so I’ll try it right now.



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  4. Ranjan

    Finally, it’s out of Beta. Thanks for letting us know, Bill.
    I’ll be trying it out.
    Btw, below are two giveaways for the PLUS edition… Thought to share, just in case if anyone wants to try his luck..


  5. Ranjan

    Not a problem, Bill.


  6. Marcus


    I used to run everything I could, but was told that that is not the way to run security.

    At present I use continuously A2 antimalware, and run Malwarebytes and Superantispy periodically….

    What else should I run?

    I’ve also heard about ‘hooks’, that there is a moment before your antimalware kicks in, when you are vulnerable……

    • Hey Marcus,

      The answer to that question depends on what you use your computer for, the type of Internet surfer you are, your level of computing experience, and much more. I could write a book just on that question.

      A good place to start is Don’t Know These Basic Computer Security Precautions? -You’re In Trouble, on my site.

      If you’re concerned about “hooks”, and I think you’re referring to this in relationship to Rootkits, then read Free Tizer Rootkit Razor – Detect Kernel Mode Trojans or Rootkits, on my site.

      As well, my site has a “search” function – just type in keywords, and press enter.


  7. Mister Reiner

    Great write-up Bill!

    I think it would be good if you added a separate WordPress tab that explained your process for testing these products. Do you take an unpatched system and surf malicious Websites? How about using Metasploit? Do you connect a unpatched system to the Internet and let hackers attack it?

    It’s hard to gauge the effectiveness of a product, if a system is fully patched and a person only surfs safe Websites – which is what the average person is most likely to do. In my opinion, putting a test computer in a real or controlled “danger zone” helps paint a true picture of a product’s effectiveness.


    • Mister Reiner,

      I appreciate your input, but keep in mind, I do not run an antimalware test lab. Nor, do I have the time, nor the inclination to do so; I have enough on my plate in real life.

      I have done my fair share of structured antimalware testing in the past, and I failed to see the benefit. This type of testing produces nothing more valuable than a snapshot in time, which can change on the spin of a coin. This is a common assessment which is held by many IT professionals.

      The overriding consideration in Internet safety is, and for the foreseeable future, exercising care, caution, and common sense. You eluded to this in your comment – an average person runs a fully patched system, and surfs only safe Websites. Neither one of which I agree with, by the way.

      You’d have to explain to me the benefit of using an unpatched system to surf unsafe websites, or using the same unpatched system to attract hackers. Isn’t the result, in either case, a foregone conclusion?

      What matters is, not the machine; but, the person at the keyboard. If you want to read an article on a year long antimalware test, in which the use of care, caution, and common sense were the overriding criteria, please read An Anti-malware Test Common Sense Wins, on this site.

      Here’s a comment from another IT professional regarding this test – “Common Sense wins every time Excellent, excellent, excellent demo (and dedication) to prove a point; AND, really this is a reliable test (or better) than any lab could perform.



  8. Mister Reiner


    Thank you for your response to my comments. I always enjoy and appreciate your perspective on what I have to say.

    I’m not sure what your foregone conclusion is with respect to putting the anti-malware software in harms way. If anti-malware software works as advertised, nothing should be able to survive on the system for more than a few seconds. If the malware doesn’t protect a system from a specific Website or kill the malware in a timely manner, then it’s just like all the other software out there that can only protect a system against known threats.

    The features of this product definitely sound high-tech, and the screen shots look awesome, but does this product really deliver on it’s promise to protect a system from compromise and detect malware? That is the answer I’m looking for.

    You’re absolutely right when you say that the person behind the keyboard needs to use care, caution and common sense, but as you know, what Websites were safe yesterday may not be safe today – and email from friends, family and co-workers are not always what they appear to be. If one makes an assumption that anything and everything may be malicious, where does common sense come into play?


    • Mister Reiner,

      Thank you for your additional comment – lets continue.

      Next to the auto industry, the antimalware industry is perhaps the best at using creative hyperbole. You and I both know, there is no single antimalware solution that will protect against all possible malware and penetration attempts. So, we should use a layered defense that includes a heuristic based antimalware application, to protect against new/newer threats.

      Immunett Protect uses a different concept than heuristics – a community based approach, as the article explains. Whether this is better than a behavior based approach is uncertain, and remains to be proven. But, I’m certainly willing to continue to give this approach a chance, as I have done, since the initial Beta release.

      Antimalware developers love to brag about their 90 -95 – 99% detection ratios. But, they often neglect to divulge that these results are based on 7 day old, or older, malware samples. They further neglect to divulge, that on newer samples, detection rates often fall to 50% or less. That’s only part of the problem – removal rates can be astonishingly low. Taking these facts into account, I am quite prepared to continue to use Immunet Protect, trusting that thier community based approach will be advantageous.

      I’ll repeat what I said earlier with respect to putting antimalware applications under duress with live malware samples. We already know, that results are artificial, and should not be relied upon as being indicative of future responses. It’s all part of the marketing technique/con. In the final analysis, an antimalware solution might protect a system today, and then fail to protect that same system, at a later date (forums are full of these complaints). But, that reality should not inhibit a user from selecting any one particular product. The caveat always being, of course, that a layered antimalware defense is in place.

      With respect to common sense – it seems to me that given the state of the Internet, one should make “an assumption that anything and everything may be malicious”. This type of behavior fits within my definition of common sense.



      • Mister Reiner

        Great follow-up response and insights! Perfect!

        • Mister Rainer,

          Well, I think the readers got some valuable lessons, from both you and I, in the course of that exchange. So yes, you’re right – the whole exchange was perfect, and I very much appreciate your thoughtful contribution.

          Synergy in action. 🙂



  9. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    I will give this app another go. As I mentioned not long ago, I use an older version of Zone Alarm which, unfortunately, didn’t run well with Immunet. Hopefully, this new version of Immunet has the bugs ironed out, because it is a great program.


    • Hey Mal,

      Hope you had a good weekend. It’s Monday morning in Australia – yes?

      Now that you mention it, I do remember you had a problem with the Beta and ZoneAlarm. Apparently this was an across the board problem, and I don’t know if its been corrected.

      You’re right; it’s a great app so let’s hope the ZA kinks have been worked out. If you have a chance, let me know.



  10. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    Looks like that issue still exists, I can’t see any connection to the cloud. Ah well, no point crying about it, that’s just the way it is.

    It certainly is Monday morning here, a horrible drizzly day, and I certainly did have a great weekend, recovering from my night out on Friday. I had a good time Friday (I think lol).

    Hope you had a good one too.


    • Hey Mal,

      I’ll do a little digging around on this – I know one of the developers at Immunet, and I’ll let you know.

      Give me a couple of days.

      Party on man!


  11. GregT

    Hi Bill,
    I have been subscribed to your blog for some time now and have feasted on the information within daily. Although ‘stumbling’ on to this site initially when researching security options. I now reccommend it to many others as a great learning tool to bring them into the light regarding their habits of buying one off the shelf security option with set and forget in their minds, only to have the need to get the resultant mess cleaned up by someone who does look a bit deeper. Not an IT Pro but through constant research and testing am certainly more aware now. I have given the new version of this a go and found no problems (so far) with an install of ZoneAlarm, complemented with Zemana and scotty the dog, along with all the usual on-demand additions that you normally recommend. Thanks for the wide informed debate you provide rather than preaching demanded company loyalty, because as you say each day is different and the coming year will certainly bring new challenges with it.

    • Hi Greg,

      Thank you for recommending my site – I very much appreciate your trust.

      You’re quite right, in your observation that Internet security is a continuing series of challenges. Just trying to stay even, is more difficult than it might appear..

      Always good to hear from you.



  12. azziz

    thanks to this article my Immunet didnt alerted the availability of a new version. Well I use the free version together with avast, one thing is sure that no virus database update is necessary, this is also good for game play mode. It will be good if you can have some free licence to the comunity as a giveaway.

    • Hey Azziz,

      My Beta version didn’t notify me of the new release either – sure surprised me!

      Actually, my “real life” schedule is too full for me to get involved in any more giveaways. They’re far too much work.


  13. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    I took the time to look at the Immunet site, it says that Immunet is incompatible with Zone Alarm on an XP Service Pack 3 system, and that is exactly what I am running. Ah well, I still feel fairly secure, running MSE, Threatfire, Zemana, and on demand scans with Malwarebytes and Superantispyware. Also browse using Sandboxie. I think I am fairly well covered.


    • Hey Mal,

      Yes, you’re right – major bummer. But, you’re very well protected as is. Besides, along with me, you’re a founding member of the “Internet Paranoia Club”. 🙂



  14. Excellent review. We have had Immunet since it had 6000 users and have been impressed with it’s capabilities. Somehow we missed version 2 but thanks to this great review, we are adding it to the blog.

    • Hey Steve,

      Good to hear from you.

      Immunet is a top notch company, that listens to the customer. They have decided to remove the Ask toolbar, as a goodwill gesture to those who were less than enthusiastic about its inclusion in the installer. That, says a lot.

      Thanks for the pingback, BTW.



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  16. After installing Immunet, icons in my Notification Area (aka System Tray) started vanishing – especially MSE. So I disabled the Monitor Program Start option and it seems to have helped. Even the Immunet icon disappeared occasionally. I’m hoping they’re now all back for good.

    Dave K

  17. Thanks for this post. I’m gonna give this a try

  18. Thanks for the updates on Immunet Project, I think this is the future on security solutions

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  21. billy roy

    Hi Bill, I am going to give immunet a try, I must say that I find all your tech thoughts really helpful

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