A new approach to security.
Recently, I came across a program called “Immunet Protect” while browsing around Twitter. Typically, I don’t like to experiment with different software when I don’t have to, particularly those of the computer security genre, but Immunet is different; it’s one of the few cloud-based antivirus programs out there. On top of that, its free. I’ll get into more of that in a second. In addition, it doesn’t waste time scanning inactive files on your computer. Instead, it monitors (actively or passively) your system processes as they start and stop, or as they run, depending on your preference.
Lightweight, yet sturdy.
As I mentioned before, Immunet Protect works through a sort of cloud. When a user using Immunet is attacked by a virus of any sort, the event is logged and sent back to Immunet’s servers. From there, the servers push updated definitions to client computers. This allows every computer to stay up to date with the latest threats immediately, as well as allow Immunet to take care of any specific issues, like false positives (incorrectly identified legitimate files). The program is also rather lightweight; While running one of its scans, the program took up only an additional 2% of my processing power, and 15 megabytes of system memory. Thats what I call lightweight.
File and Process Handling.
Immunet is radically different from what I’ve seen in most other antivirus programs. For one, scanning takes all of 40 seconds to a minute and a half, depending on how many processes you have running. For me, running Windows 7, with a mediocre-at-best laptop processor, I finished a complete “Flash Scan,” encompassing around 4,000 files, in a minute and 2 seconds flat. Immunet Protect doesn’t go through and pick out every single file in your system, scan it, and verify it. Instead, it scans critical files, like active registry keys, startup files, and files being used by processes. It also monitors installations and new files, so that you remain safe. According to Oliver Friedrichs, the company’s founder and CEO:
We scan any new file that is copied to your file system while protection mode is active. A FlashScan will scan all running processes as well as the file that are pointed to by common registry keys. At the moment you cannot scan specific files, but we will be adding a shell extension to allow you to do this in the future.
The one thing I missed in the program, a feature to scan specific files, is already underway. Fantastic.
Asthetics and Interface
One thing that impressed me about Immunet was its simplicity. The program has 4 tabs; Summary, History, Scan, and Settings, all wrapped in a neat chrome-blue window.
The summary tab displays how many Immunet users are online, and a brief overview of the program’s history (clean and infected files).
The history tab allows you to quickly view recent events, with search functionality (something I greatly appreciate).
The scan tab allows you to perform a FlashScan. You can also set whether or not you want to scan running and flashpoint processes.
Finally, the settings tab lets you set… well, the settings. You can chose whether or not to monitor program installations and startups, show notifications, and allow “Active Protection” to run.
Immunet really surprised me. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting anything fantastic when I saw yet another free antivirus program. But the speed and efficiency it yields is quite surprising. If you’re wary of installing a new antivirus program, you can leave your old one on in addition. Although its not recommended to run multiple security programs on the same computer, Immunet works fine in conjunction with Norton Antivirus and McAfee, from my experiences with it. I highly recommend this program for anyone who wants quality security for free.