VIPRE Virus & Spyware Protection: 96%
Even though VIPRE Antivirus isn't our favorite looking antivirus software, it is the best performing.
We ran VIPRE through a series of tests like we do with all the software we review, and VIPRE made its mark in two ways: it was consistent. It was reliable.
For our first battery of tests, we infected our testing PCs with fresh installs of Windows with large malware sets that included viruses, various trojans, adware, rogueware, and the like.
We then activated VIPRE and ran a full-system scan and measured the results.
VIPRE Antivirus found, and either deleted or cleaned, over 95% of the malicious software we put in there. Given that the tests are conducted on several computers with different versions of Windows, this was impressive.
On some installations we found some malware—mostly adware—that slipped through and tried to activate upon reboot.
When these programs tried running VIPRE caught and blocked them from running.
VIPRE had neutralized most of them, rendering them useless, but two activated.
We targeted those for a scans on those test PCs, and VIPRE got rid of them. It's unclear why VIPRE didn't catch these the first time, but compared to the competition, VIPRE Antivirus was better at both virus blocking and malware removal.
On to our real-time antivirus tests.
With a fresh, updated version of VIPRE Antivirus (and fresh Windows installations), we attempted to download and install another large sample set of various malware to assess its performance.
We tried to open and install them as fast as possible, but as we saw other good competitors do, VIPRE was deleting most before we could even click on them. We managed to open a few, but when we tried to install them, VIPRE immediately blocked them. Impressive.
After a reboot, our testing PCs ran as well as before. We did, however, find a few leftover malware samples lying around, but when we tried to open them, nothing happened. Even though the icons remained, VIPRE had neutralized the underlying malware. Still, it would have been better if VIPRE wiped them out completely to begin with.
For a basic antivirus program, VIPRE Antivirus performs better than expected. While we still recommend VIPRE Internet Security for maximum protection, VIPRE Antivirus is still a better choice than most competitors.
One other thing we test that VIPRE aced: USB scanning. VIPRE is one of only two programs we tested (ESET is the other) that automatically scans USB devices and protects against infections that come via USB.
Given that USB devices are everywhere it's baffling to us that outside of VIPRE and ESET this feature is impossible to find.
VIPRE Resource Usage: 94%
During our resource usage tests, VIPRE Antivirus scored well. When running idle in the background, VIPRE was virtually undetectable.
When we ran a full-system scan, overall system resources were affected by about 10%, which is about where the best competitors do, too; however, full scans were done more efficiently, taking significantly less time (as much as 35% in our tests) than most competitors with similar resource use.
As for usability, there was no noticeable system drag or resource impact when performing common computer functions like web surfing or downloading large files. Even with multiple browsers and multiple tabs open, usability remained very good.
VIPRE User Interface: 89%
To be fair, this design is a huge step forward from the previous design, and to some users I'm sure it will seem like we're being overly picky.
That said, the user interface is still modern and easy to use with each section clearly labeled.
Is it the best interface out there this year? No. It's functional. Is it easy to use? Yes.
VIPRE Technical Support: 100%
In a sea where most antivirus companies' support ranges from "mediocre" to "bad," technical support remains one of VIPRE's strongest points.
You may think you'll never need support. Hopefully you're right.
But if you do, getting good support is everything.
When we tested their support, we were always speaking to a technician in five minutes or less.
Wait times are one thing, but competency is another, and here, too, VIPRE impressed us. Whether you need help installing it or help removing a virus, VIPRE's phone support is always free and based in the U.S.
And, while competitors like ESET and Norton also offer free support now, as far as we're concerned VIPRE is the gold standard in this category.
VIPRE Review - Overall Product Score: 95%
- Excellent virus and malware protection
- Fast running, low resource use
- Best technical support
- Easy-to-use interface
Despite our best efforts to thwart its antivirus engine, VIPRE was able to defeat nearly all viruses, adware, and other malware we pitted against it.
We found it to be both fast and lightweight on each version of Windows we tested VIPRE on, with minimal drag on PC performance.
Their commitment to 100% free technical support is commendable in an industry that continues to outsource nearly everything overseas (VIPRE is based in Clearwater, Florida.)
Verdict: VIPRE Antivirus wins our Editor's Choice Award for this year.
|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.|