VIPRE Antivirus 2013 is priced right at $39.99 for home users. As we’ll see in this review, it performs very well at providing basic security for home PCs — including antivirus and antispyware protection — while also giving you some extras.
VIPRE is GFI Software’s security lineup. The $39.99 pricetag for VIPRE AV 2013 is about $10 lower than some competing solutions, such as Norton AntiVirus 2013. Buying a multi-computer license for VIPRE is an even better deal. $59.99 covers 10 computers for a year. Multi-year licenses are available, too; naturally, this type of license brings down annual cost.
VIPRE AV 2013 includes VIPRE’s Active Protection, which works to prevent threats before they infect the computer. You also get some extra utilities, such as a history eraser and secure file delete tool. What this software does not include is a firewall and a malicious website scanner. You’ll find these in VIPRE Internet Security 2013 instead.
The 2013 edition is the first to support Windows 8. (Meanwhile, of course, Windows 8 supplies a minimum level of protection through its built-in Windows Defender.) For those who haven’t yet moved to Windows 8, VIPRE AV 2013 also runs on Windows 7, Vista, and XP. For e-mail protection, the AV package supports the following e-mail clients: Microsoft Outlook 2000 or newer (including Outlook 2013, new in Microsoft Office 2013); Windows Mail on Vista; Outlook Express on XP; and other email products which use SMTP/POP3 for sending and receiving messages, such as Windows Live Mail and Mozilla Thunderbird.
An Internet connection is required to install VIPRE as the installer downloads all necessary files from the company’s servers. This setup works for most people, but those who prefer to do offline installs (me included) will hit a roadblock with this setup. GFI promises an easy install process and they’re more than right; VIPRE is on par with Norton for an easy, no-nonsense install. It takes about two clicks to install VIPRE AV 2013.
User Interface (UI)
VIPRE might not have a futuristic-looking interface like some competing solutions, but what it lacks in form it makes up for in function. In any case, the green checkmarks (or red Xes) produce an excellent contrast against the white background.
Scanning the computer takes two clicks; go to the Scan category and click Scan Now.
The Manage section allows you to schedule scans, something I highly recommend, especially if you’re installing this software for a friend. You’re also given a history of events such as blocked attacks, plus the ability to manually update the software. VIPRE automatically updates in the background, so manual updates are unnecessary for the most part. Still, it’s nice to have the option.
Lastly, the Tools section offers some handy utilities, including a history cleaner which allows you to remove not only Internet history but history stored in other programs, such as Adobe Reader.
There’s also a secure erase tool. This is excellent for deleting files permanently. A “file delete” in Windows only marks that place on the hard drive as “writeable” instead of actually deleting it, meaning that a file “deleted” through Windows could be recovered. In contrast, VIPRE’s tool makes sure that the file actually gets deleted (e.g., made unrecoverable).
Use and Effectiveness
VIPRE ran in the background and required no unnecessary user intervention during my testing; it prompted me once to ask permission to scan an external hard drive I plugged in.
To test the effectiveness of VIPRE Antivirus 2013, I downloaded several test virus files from an IT security website. These files are easily detectable as viruses, but the trick for AV software is to prevent the files from downloading — or being able to infect the computer — in the first place.
Here, VIPRE performed as advertised, detecting the files as malicious before the download even started. I tried to download them anyway, but VIPRE prevented the files from ever reaching the drive. This is the kind of proactiveness we like to see.
My computer’s performance was unaffected by VIPRE. Startup and shut down did not increase by more than 10%. Also, according to a before and after run of a Futuremark PCMark system benchmarking program, the total performance impact was less than?5% – or not something that a modern PC user would notice.
Time it Took to Perform a Full System Scan
It took VIPRE Antivirus 2013 just under 19 minutes to scan 277GB/28,000 files in our test system, which is a great time. In fact, this is faster than most of the competing solutions we’ve tested, which tend to place between a half hour and a full hour.
VIPRE Antivirus 2013 represents a very nice value. It includes all of the expected features in an antivirus suite, in addition to some extra utilities. VIPRE had no noticeable impact on our test computer’s performance, and scanned data very quicky. It was proactive at protecting our computer from threat.
At $39.99, VIPRE manages to outdo or match its competitors. The multi-computer licenses reduce the price per PC even more. Overall, we can’t say enough good things about GFI’s VIPRE Antivirus 2013.
- Low pricing
- Good protection, with little performance impact
- Extra tools
- Installation requires Internet connection
- No firewall or malicious Web site scanner