Worried about Computer Viruses?

excellent
key review info
application features
  • Internet Monitor
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In the past I had some problems with viruses, but I was never afraid of them. The number of dangerous ones in the wild wasn't extremely large and once a beast was out, most informed people knew everything about it (remember One Half?). That was the past, but the present is completely different.

Once the Internet got more and more users and connection speeds started jumping from kilobytes to megabytes, the viruses kept up with them. There are more computer viruses families than before, their propagation rate is much higher with each day and the number of dangerous viruses is also pretty high, of course. Powerful enemies need powerful weapons to be faced with, so the antiviral solutions market is growing each day in quantity and quality.

Today's target is not a virus, but a product that targets viruses and other threats to your computer's integrity, and its complete name is NOD32 Antivirus System. I'll call it only NOD32 from now on, and I hope that's OK with you.

Let's stop wasting time and get straight to the install process. You can choose Typical, Advanced or Expert mode. As usual, I will go along with the one that allows greatest customization, and that's the Expert install method. For most of you Typical should be enough, but I will tell you more about the last install mode now, so that you can see what you're missing.

Before everything, I must remind you to uninstall any antivirus program that you may have on your computer, to avoid software conflicts.

First custom option is the destination directory, then we can change the Internet Connection settings.

Next, you can change the Automatic Updates settings.

Setup parameters can be protected by a password and most program messages can be supressed enabling the Silent Mode from the General Settings screen.

The interfaces supported by the program are the standard Windows interface and Eset custom, which is the default one. In the same screen you can choose whether to show or hide the NOD32 splash screen.

Warning Distribution can be done through email or the Windows Messenger system. Sounds like an excellent feature to be kept updated about the actions performed by the antivirus on a system, even when you are away! If you choose to use one of the previous features, you will be asked to enter your POP account data or the computer name that you want to send messages to, so keep this data close.

ThreatSense.Net Early Warning System can be enabled to send statistics data and suspicious files for analysis, but all sent data can be logged so you don't have to worry about privacy. Even more, take your time to read more about the subject before using it. If you can't trust your antivirus, what can you say about anything else?

Real time file system monitoring is an old method to keep viruses away. In the past it was known to make your computer crawl due to the high system resources required for this, but today things got a lot better, so if you think you need it (and most of us need this for everyday protection), just check that radio button and move on.

On-demand scanning can be integrated into the context menu and the NOD32 icon can be placed onto the desktop using the On-Demand Scanner Integration screen.

Microsoft Office document protection screen allows you to enable protection of your Office documents against viruses or malicious scripts infiltration.

Internet Monitor provides protection against threats coming from the Internet through HTTP and POP3 protocols, and was designed to work on workstations, so be careful not to enable it on servers (just think about blocking your POP mail server traffic because of this...). This monitor can also check your emails and append notifications to the messages. The mail monitoring also has a special module designed especially for incoming and outgoing Microsoft Outlook messages.

Now the configuration is complete, and I am sure that during this Expert installation we have discovered most features of this program. I am sure there must be more to NOD32 than these, so I'm moving on. Of course, first we need a system restart to allow all modules to be started properly...

The system restarted and I fired up Total Commander, OpenOffice Writer and Maxthon without any significant delay. Looks good so far. The system boot time didn't increase either.

When double clicking the System Tray icon, the NOD32 Control Center opens. Its interface is clean and easy to use, just as it should be. You can see all the modules that we talked about so far here.

Now, let's talk about one of them - the Internet Monitor. Click on the IMON inside the Control Center once and you will open its status window, then its setup options are just one click away (it's the Setup that you must click on, of course!). For each module it's the same, easy as one-two-three!

Advanced features? Let's seeĀ… what do you think would be useful to you? Scheduled scans and updates? Logged intrusion attempts? Quarantine for suspicious files? They are all here, don't worry.

The rest of it can be checked while installing the program in Expert mode, as I have shown you, or at first program start. There's a lot more than the options available in the Expert mode, for example scan exclusions, adware/spyware or heuristics scan, confirmations for every action that can be performed automatically and much more.

I hope you got the main idea, because I'll leave the rest for you to discover... NOD32 is fast, light, highly customizable and has the features required to please even the most demanding users. It has a very good price and I can only advice you to try it now, for free.

The Good

NOD32 is fast, has a nice and easy to handle interface and is extremely customizable. Everything that can be set up in this program is only two or three mouse clicks away. It has almost every feature that you can require from an antivirus program.

The Bad

I heard about NOD32 a long time ago and everyone who told me about it had only good things to say, and I lived with the idea that NOD is a very good free antivirus... guess what struck me today? It's not...

The Truth

More and more people start using NOD32, and they are not doing it just to be trendy. I always said that there's no such thing as "the best antivirus" and I still think that way. From what I've experienced with this trial version of NOD32, I can say that if you are one of those still looking for "the best antivirus", you should try it. There may not be a "best of all" around yet, but NOD32 is the "best choice" for a lot of people. Will you join them?

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:


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user interface 4
features 5
ease of use 5
pricing / value 4


final rating 5
Editor's review
excellent
 
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