VIPRE Security: Virus & Spyware Protection: 96%
VIPRE Internet Security had the most impressive performance during our battery of tests with only two minor issue.
For our first round of intensive tests, we infected our testing PCs with a wide array of malware, such as viruses, trojans, adware, rogueware, and more. We then activated VIPRE on our test computers and ran a full-system scan on each to see how well it would measure up against these threats.
VIPRE Internet Security did well. After the first scan and reboot, only one piece of malware remained in the background. When the malware tried to run, VIPRE quickly caught it and shut it down.
We're not sure why VIPRE couldn't remove it in the first place, but having only one partially get by VIPRE is the best we saw from any other Internet Security suite this year.
The only other minor issue were a few dead desktop items left over from some of the adware. Since none of them would launch since VIPRE had neutralized them it wasn't a big deal.
Yes, we would have like to see them all gone—who wouldn't— but since we ended up with virtually clean PCs in the end it was a success.
VIPRE was so fast at deleting each one, we couldn't even open them fast enough. In fact, we thought something went wrong, so we tried again.
Same story: VIPRE was identifying and deleting them before they could even do any harm to our computers. Nice.
As we raced to open these multiple malware, we were able to finally open a couple of them on our older test PCs with older versions of Windows. But the moment we tried to install them, they were immediately blocked by VIPRE.
Curiously, after reboot, which we always do, there were a couple files that VIPRE hadn't deleted for some reason.
We tried to open them, but they failed to launch because VIPRE had rendered them inoperable.
It would've been better for VIPRE to just delete the files, but given that there was no threat and that we ended up with otherwise squeaky clean computers in the end, it was ultimately a success. Nice job.
VIPRE antiphishing was one of the best antiphishing filters of the year. It's one of the few that scored a perfect 100% in blocking phishing attempts.
And, unlike some competitors who make it easy to miss phishing alerts, VIPRE Internet Security completely blocks the page. There's no chance you'll miss it, and accidentally enter any sensitive information.
(Thankfully, most other antivirus and Internet Security suites have mimicked VIPRE's behavior here and do similar obvious web page blocks.)
Further, while some other Internet Security suites require you to install a separate browser add-on to block phishing sites OR they leave it off by default, there's no such rigamarole with VIPER Internet Security. One you install it, phishing protection is enabled automatically and without any extra steps.
VIPRE Security: Firewall Protection: 100%
Despite being the cornerstone of a good Internet Security Suite, firewall software remains one of the most misunderstood and under-appreciated components.
It's also important to note here that an integrated software firewall is one of the single most important components that's included in Internet security software that isn't in nearly any basic antivirus program.
When we test the firewall, we first conduct "port scans" of the test PCs to see what the computer looks like to a hacker or worm (a malicious virus that automatically wanders the Internet looking for vulnerable PCs.) We expect to see no open access points (ports), which is what we got.
We then crank the firewall software settings up to their most aggressive to see how the firewall does against threats from the inside.
The two most important things in this test are that the firewall block these threats and that outbound Internet access to web pages, email, and other services remains functional.
We do this to see if it's possible for a suspected trojan that the antivirus filter might miss to get stopped by the firewall. In some cases, doing this is a last resort to ferret out malware.
In comparison, some of VIPRE's Internet Security Software competitors caught some and missed some; some missed all of these threats; and some caught the threats but only at the expense of a complete loss of all Internet access.
As far as we're concerned, VIPRE's firewall is in a league of its own.
VIPRE Security: Resource Usage: 94%
During our resource usage tests, VIPRE Internet Security proved to be both fast and lightweight, without any significant system drag.
When running idle in the background, VIPRE was imperceptible.
During a full-system scan, VIPRE only affected our test PCs with approximately 11% resource usage on average, which is within norms.
Interestingly though, it was able to complete scans faster than most competitors (in some cases by about ~35%) with similar resource demands.
Overall, we didn't notice any system drag when doing routine things like downloading large files, or web surfing, even when multiple browsers and tabs were being used.
VIPRE Security: User Interface: 89%
It's unchanged from last year, which isn't great considering it's our least favorite part of VIPRE.
And, although it's easy to use, and although everything is well labeled, the interface is one place where the best competitors are doing a better job.
That said, VIPRE's user interface is easy to use, with a good balance between usability and robust control.
VIPRE Security: Technical Support: 100%
Over the years VIPRE has consistently lead the way with their tech support.
We think highly of it because it's:
- 100% free. No exceptions.
- U.S.-based phone support.
- Staffed by competent professionals
It seems that VIPRE had the philosophy of: if you have a problem, they have a problem.
Whether or not you're a computer whiz, this kind of help can be huge.
Also, very few companies have tech support teams within the U.S., with nearly all outsourcing support to India or Eastern Europe.
Who among us doesn't know the frustration of dealing with outsource/offshore support? It's miserable.
Whether or not you're in the U.S., when you call VIPRE, you're routed to a technician in the U.S.
Throughout the year, we repeatedly test each company's tech support.
Our average wait with VIPRE is about five minutes. (Full disclosure: we have had it go as high as nine.) If you're looking for good U.S.-based support, VIPRE and competitor ESET are the only choices.
(The only downside with ESET's support is that if you get a virus before you're an ESET customer, ESET charges a $50 one-time fee for removal assistance if help is needed.)
With VIPRE, virus removal is free anytime.
VIPRE Security: Review Conclusion: 97%
- Top real-time virus and malware protection
- Best software firewall
- Excellent antiphishing
- 100% free U.S.-based tech support
No antivirus software or Internet Security suite is perfect, but VIPRE earned the highest scores among the competitors in the space. Performance was excellent, resource usage was low, and our test PCs were still usable even during a full system scan.
Its real-time virus protection, firewall, and antiphishing are all top-notch.
Add to that 100% free, U.S.-based technical support with no hidden fees, and VIPRE Internet Security wins our Editors Choice Award.
|Supported Operating System (OS)||Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP|
|Minimum RAM Required||512 MB|
|Minimum Space Required||300 MB|
|Required Processor Speed||1 GHz|
|Money-back Guarantee||30 Days|
|Software Manufacturer||ThreatTrack Security|
|Secure file eraser||Permanently deletes sensitive files so hackers can't exploit them.|
|Social Watch™||Scans your social network feeds for potentially dangerous links and posts.|
|Search Guard™||Helps identify links that could yield viruses or other malware.|
|Active Protection™||Checks for previously unknown threats that could infect your PC.|
|USB scanning||Scans USB devices you connect to your PC. A vital security feature overlooked by many.|
|Auto patch||Automatically updates vulnerable programs on your computer which can be easily exploited otherwise.|