Free antivirus apps part 4: Active Virus Shield

avs.jpgWe’re now nearly to the end of our free antivirus series. Today we take a look at AOL’s Active Virus Shield. Although taking nearly 3 1/2 hours, Active Virus Shield proved to be the most thorough of the free antiviruses we’ve tested so far.

Of the 218.515 elements it scanned, Active Virus Shield came up with 5 new malware that the other applications had not uncovered. The program doesn’t automatically remove malware during scans, but it’ll inform you of whatever it finds and you can take action during scans or wait for it to finish. Active Virus Shield carries out daily automatic updates to a database provided by none other than Kaspersky. Experienced users will also note the similarity in the interface between Active Virus Shield and Kaspersky’s other products: this is, after all, a rebranded Kaspersky program. Detailed events and statistics are available as you scan and the program is automatically set so it won’t run when you have a low battery or high CPU usage. Active Virus Shield will inspect all your folders, startup objects and email and will even look for rootkits, dialers and ‘pranks’.

Despite the longest scanning process of all the free antivirus apps, we were well impressed by Active Virus Shield. Using up 31 MB of memory, the program can discreetly run in the background while you do other tasks. Of all the free antivirus apps we’ve tested, it’s by far the one that scans the most elements. The only nag we have is having to register the program before installing it.

Active Virus Shield test results:

  • Uses 31 MB of memory
  • Full scan time: 3:20:12
  • Scanned objects: 218515
  • The active virus scanner is always on
  • Virus database from Kaspersky
  • Scans startup objects and mail
  • Handles rootkits, dialers, pranks
  • Doesn’t run scans during times of low battery or high CPU usage
  • Daily auto updates
  • Need to register before installing

Free antivirus apps part 1: AVG

Free antivirus apps part 2: Avast! Home

Free antivirus apps part 3: Clamwin

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