The latest version of Immunet Protect has just been released (February 9, 2010), and in the development process, this outstanding free companion Antivirus has undergone a name change to – Immunet 3.0 – Powered by ClamAV.
Regular readers here, will remember that in previous reviews of this freebie, I have been very enthusiastic in my recommendations. Now, I have one more reason to be even more enthusiastic.
From the developer’s site:
Toll-Free Customer Support is available for all Immunet Protect FREE users 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through our Immunet Technical Support line at 1-866-891-4480. Immunet Support representatives can help with installation issues, potential virus issues, or even computer performance issues that may or may not be virus-related.
How cool is that?
Immunet Protect 3, is a superior community driven cloud based security application, (now closing in on a million users), which continues to gain increasing popularity – and rightfully so.
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.
A community driven security application like Immunet Protect, does not suffer from this obvious disadvantage of having to chase runway malware. It’s significant advantage is it’s user base community – operating in real time.
Immunet Protect is 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.
Version 3 has increased functionality over previous versions, and incorporates a number of new features.
From the developer’s site:
Offline engine – The 3.0 release will now ship with an ‘Offline’ engine. This engine (ClamAV .97) once enabled, will automatically pull down our latest detection sets and allow for complete detection coverage, even when you are not connected to the Internet.
With our Offline protection we now also have several complex engines for detection native to the desktop and have support for file formats such as .DOC, .XLS, HTML etc. as well as strong unpacking support.
Cloud Recall – Unlike traditional Anti-Virus, or even other Cloud Anti-Virus we constantly reconsider all the data we see or have seen in our community. This ‘Cloud Recall’ ensures that your security is advanced with every new piece of information we become aware of. You will always know as much as we do, when we do.
Custom Signature Creation – With 3.0 we now offer the first Windows Anti-Virus product which allows our users to write their own detections with our engines just as we would.
Users can now hunt threats (or Advanced Persistent Threats if you like) by creating signatures which range from simplistic (straight MD5 matches) to complex (logically chained expressive signatures w/ offset support and wild carding).
You’ll find Immunet Protect straightforward to install, and easy to run without complication. The screen captures I’ve setout below, will help you get a good overall feel for the application.
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.
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 important 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 Protection leverages the speed of cloud computing to deliver real-time protection to your PC. Stay protected against over 13 million viruses and thousands of new threats daily without ever downloading another virus detection file again.
Immunet Protect FREE is ideal for consumers who want fast protection that doesn’t slow down their PC, including students, families, and netbook users.
Small and Light Footprint is up to 35 times lighter than traditional antivirus solutions. Immunet’s low disk and memory use won’t weigh down your PC unlike other solutions.
Companion Antivirus means that Immunet is compatible with existing antivirus solutions. Immunet adds an extra, lightweight layer of protection for greater peace of mind. Since traditional antivirus solutions detect on average only 50% of online threats, most users are underprotected, which is why every PC can benefit from Immunet’s essential layer of security.
Collective Immunity technology leverages the shared intelligence on threats gathered within the Immunet Cloud. Immunet’s virus detection technology continuously improves with each new user who installs Immunet Protect. When Immunet detects a threat on one user’s PC, that threat is blocked from harming all users in the Immunet Community simultaneously, giving all Immunet users shared immunity against computer viruses.
Real-time Detection from the Immunet Cloud against viruses, spyware, bots, worms, trojans, and keyloggers without downloading any virus signature files. Stay protected with Collective Immunity™ and intelligent virus detection technology that doesn’t slow down your PC.
Intelligent Scans effectively detect and remove viruses, bots, worms, trojans, keyloggers and spyware, thanks to the power of collective intelligence and the Immunet Cloud.
Choose from several scan options:
- Flash Scan (Process and Registry)
- Custom Scan (Specific Files and Directories)
- Full System Scan
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
I have no hesitation in recommending this application. I can’t think of another security application that has enjoyed a such a major increase in users in the last six months, like Immunet Protect has. That’s no accident.
Note: Along with Avast Free Antivirus, Immunet Protect is now offered as part of Google Pack.
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