capsule review

AntiVir Personal Edition Classic 6.32

At a Glance
  • AntiVir Personal Edition 6.32

    PCWorld Rating

Personal Edition Classic 6.32
Artwork: Rick Rizner, Chris Manners

Of the three free antivirus programs we tested for "The New Virus Fighters" AntiVir's Personal Edition Classic 6.32 performed the best and got the best overall rating. But when compared with the whole set of paid and unpaid programs, what you get is pretty average.

AntiVir provides a clean user interface that's easy to use although visually rather plain. It also lacks some key features included in most of the other nine products we tested for "The New Virus Fighters" such as the ability to scan incoming and outbound e-mail for infected file attachments and the ability to quarantine infected files. AntiVir also lacks telephone technical support, as do all the free antivirus applications we tested.

Among the ten products in the test group, AntiVir ranked below average when conducting an on-demand scan, although it performed the best of the free programs. While able to detect more than 90 percent of the threats in our collection of backdoor programs, bots, and Trojan horses, it ranked near the bottom of the pack when it came to detecting unknown threats by using heuristics, catching less than 25 percent of worms and backdoors using one-month-old virus data. AntiVir did perform fairly well in our scan-speed tests, finishing fourth overall.

Missing features, middling performance, and the lack of telephone tech support put AntiVir in seventh place overall . However, the new AntiVir Personal Edition Classic 7, currently in beta, offers a new user interface and a new heuristics engine.

AntiVir's free protection is better than no protection at all, though the program's performance and feature set could be better.

Tony Bradley

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Pros

    • Best free AV software (as of 3/01/06)

    Cons

    • Missed some old macro viruses
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