PROS / VIPRE Antivirus protects against viruses and spyware as well as threats from email, instant messaging and removable media.
CONS / It does not keep up with some competitors in terms of ability to detect brand new malware.
VERDICT / VIPRE Antivirus is good full-featured entry-level protection that effectively detects and blocks prevalent malware.
VIPRE Antivirus is in our review of best antivirus software because of its proven ability to detect and prevent prevalent malware and because of its extensive list of features. Although it is called antivirus software, it also detects and removes spyware, rootkits, bots and Trojans. Furthermore, it identifies any websites known to infect visitors’ PCs with viruses and Trojans.
VIPRE does not quite achieve the highest scores in third-party tests, although it certainly is much better than the security included with the latest version of Windows. One of a couple dozen PC antivirus products continually tested by AV Test during March and April of 2014, VIPRE participated in three tests to measure protection, performance and usability. The protection tests exposed VIPRE to brand-new malware attacks as well as malware discovered within the four weeks before the tests began. VIPRE was able to stop 88 percent out of 138 brand new (zero-day) threats, compared to an industry average of 94 percent. However, during the test with the more prevalent malware, VIPRE detected every single one of 20,646 malware samples, compared to an industry average of 98 percent. The protection did come at the expense of some system speed, however.
While the average system slowdown among the competitors was three seconds, VIPRE slowed performance by an average of eight seconds during activities such as visiting websites, downloading software, copying data, and installing and running applications. In the usability tests to measure whether it would falsely warn about perfectly safe files and websites, VIPRE confused safe software as threats five times during a system scan involving 826,400 samples. The industry average for the same test was zero.
The VIPRE Antivirus feature list is competitive. Even though this product is ostensibly entry-level virus protection, it’s actually much more. It tackles all types of malware, and it can protect you from websites that try to steal your identity. If the attack is via email or instant messaging, VIPRE monitors those points of entry, just as it watches for threats attempting to infiltrate from removable storage media that plugs into USB ports. While you are playing a game on your PC, VIPRE will suspend unnecessary alerts so as not to interrupt you.
When you become a customer, you get access to a support portal where you have access to tools, answers to frequently asked questions, and a user community where you can ask questions. The user forums are organized by product, and the tone of the interactions is supportive. You can send a request to support technicians. And you can even telephone or chat online, which is more access to support than some of VIPRE’s competitors provide.
Third-party testing demonstrates that VIPRE is better than average at stopping widespread malware but not quite as good at stopping brand-new threats. VIPRE’s excellent malware detection comes at some performance cost, however, slowing down the host computer more than the industry average. The feature list is highly competitive. Help and support are excellent and include telephone and online chat access, which are lacking in some of its competitors.