Windows Security Analyzer
key review info
- Application: Security Analyzer 188.8.131.52
- Reviewed on:
- Check Windows firewall status
- (3 more, see all...)
If you need to know about the current security enabled in Windows through its default modules, Security Analyzer is perfect for the job. It is designed to scan the system and give you the rundown of the components that are actively working to keep you as safe as possible.
Windows 7 ushered in a new, polished standard with regards to user protection through inherent protection. With UAC originally introduced in Vista and the various security feats brought in through Internet Explorer 9 as well as the free Microsoft Security Essentials make for pretty good basic protection.
Security Analyzer is not designed to keep your system safe, but it can look at the current security set up of the computer and point out the areas that are not configured with the recommended settings.
The application weighs in just a little over 1MB as a ZIP archive so the download does not take too long to complete; extract the contents and you’ll have a 1.61MB folder with a portable application you can use on any computer you run it on.
With no installation required you’re ready to launch the application as fast as double-clicking the executable. But first you need to extract its files to a location of your convenience, through its own extracting program. Choosing the working language of the program is also done before the system check.
Security Analyzer then proceeds to reading the security settings of the system in an instant. The entire procedure is not time consuming (it took about 5 seconds on our test machine) and you’ll receive details on the current state of Windows Firewall, updates, virus protection or UAC level.
The interface is as simple as can be, with a single panel hosting all the details. Each component is marked with a specific color, depending on its status: red means completely disabled, green shows the modules that require no attention from your part and yellow is for elements calling for attention.
All results are added up into a status bar showing overall security state of the system. Unless this bar is filled up and green from Security Analyzer’s perspective there are still issues to attend.
Besides putting the security issues of the system on display, the freebie also provides the knobs to make the necessary amends in order to reach the full green status bar. For instance, you can turn Windows Firewall on from the main application window, as well as enforcing UAC protection.
Despite being this simple there are several things that could improve at least how the information perceives the security state of the system. As such, the status bar could show the sum of the results in percentage.
On the same note, UAC level can be set only to the recommended value, which is not always what the user wants. It would be nice to have all the options at hand, or at least more than one, just like in the case of Windows Updates settings.
Setting up System Analyzer is nothing complicated, because of the lack of options. These include only the language options, which has already been set when the program runs for the first time. Your choices are between English, German and Swedish.
It also seems like the app is not exactly 100% stable, as during our tests on two test machines it presented some problems. On one of them it simply crashed out of the blues some time after scanning the security configuration of the machine. The interface was up and running and all of a sudden we were hit with Windows’ crash dialog.
On the other we were served the “unhandled exception” screen after initiating the scan and trying to correct the issues. The alternatives at our disposal were to either to keep the application going and face the same dialog when attempting to adjust the security settings or quit it.
The problem Security Analyzer had on the second machine was that the account we logged in was that of a standard user and administrative rights were required to make the necessary changes. As such, this is not too much of a problem since the security adjustments brought forward by the app are not user specific, but affect the entire operating system.
It is easy to handle and requires no installation. The results are displayed within seconds. You can make the recommended security settings straight from the interface of the program. If you have an antivirus program on the system it will detect it.
The application is extremely simple, yet there is still room for improvement. The overall security status bar would provide better information if it were converted into percentage as well. Also, as far as UAC is concerned you can only turn it on to its recommended level.
On a standard user account the app will display the “unhandled exception” dialog if you try to adjust the security settings.
Security Analyzer does a pretty good job if the requirements for its proper functioning are met. This means that you have to run it on an administrative account and bring the security configuration to the recommended levels.
However, running it on a standard user account does nothing for you. It would be nice if instead of the “unhandled exception” screen it would display a message directing the user on how it can function as intended by the developer.