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.
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
Context menu scan
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.
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.
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.
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 Ask.com 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 22.214.171.124. 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.
If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.