VIPRE Antivirus was a surprise hit with us here at Best Antivirus when we reviewed the 2013 version. The consumer VIPRE product has only been on the market since 2008, yet it performed superbly in our tests.
As such, we had high hopes for VIPRE Antivirus 2014 when we started our review. We weren’t disappointed. This is very similar to last year’s version, but that’s no bad thing, and there are a couple of new features that make it an even better choice. Highly recommended.
VIPRE’s consumer range of Internet security products is minimalist and simple, just like the software itself. As well as VIPRE Antivirus 2014, which is reviewed here, there is also a more comprehensive Internet Security product and a Mobile Security product, specifically for Android devices.
VIPRE’s subscription options have broadened slightly since the previous version, but we were pleased to see that the same generous offers remain, and that the vendor has refrained from increasing prices.
You can buy a single PC, one year subscription for $39.99 (€29.99 in Europe and £29.99 in the UK), which is standard stuff, but you can also get a subscription that covers anything from two to ten PCs for only a little more: $59.99 in the US, €49.99 in Euro countries, and £39.99 in the UK.
There’s also the unusual option of a lifetime subscription option. This costs $79.99 (£59.99 / €69.99) for a single computer and $249.99 (£149.99 / €199.99) for up to ten.
Based on currency conversions at the time of writing, there is a little unfairness in price depending on where you happen to live, but currencies do fluctuate, and VIPRE isn’t subject to the strange regional discrepancies we’ve seen with some other products.
A free 30-day trial is available.
VIPRE’s features list has been enhanced a little since the 2013 version, and the vendor highlights a couple of new functions on their website.
The most significant features of VIPRE Antivirus 2014 are as follows:
Social Watch: This is a newly added feature that scans your Facebook wall for any links that may expose you to malware.
Search Guard: This is the other main new feature for the 2014 version of VIPRE, and it promises to “help you browse the Web safely” by identifying malicious links. We often point out that modern browsers include similar functionality, so while it’s nice to see this added, its addition wouldn’t be enough to influence our view of the software overall.
Easy Install: VIPRE “eliminates potential software conflicts” by removing other antivirus products during installation.
Anti Malware: VIPRE claims to deal well with all kinds of malware, as well as traditional virus threats. Based on last year’s tests it does this very well.
Removable Device Scanning: This automatically scans USB storage devices on insertion.
History Cleaner: This feature is intended to “remove browsing and search histories,” something users can do manually anyway.
Secure File Eraser: Something of a supplementary utility, VIPRE includes the ability to securely erase files from the right-click menu, so they cannot be restored by specialist software.
VIPRE’s features list still isn’t the largest in the industry, but there have been a few enhancements since we reviewed the previous version. In truth, we were glad these were minimal, as the “lean and mean” nature of VIPRE is part of the attraction. VIPRE doesn’t seem to be moving in a “bloatware” direction, which is pleasing to see.
Installation and Configuration
We fired up a standard test machine to test VIPRE Antivirus 2014. This was running a clean but updated install of Windows 7 Professional (32 bit).
As with last year’s version, we had to supply an email address to access a trial download. The install link then arrives by email.
The download file was just over 6MB in size, slightly smaller than last year’s. The first thing we had to do after running it was accept the license agreement.
After clicking “Agree and Continue,” the install progressed, part of which was the download of further program data. Even so, the process was reasonably quick, and pleasingly included the download and installation of the latest virus definitions.
The installation then concluded and asked us to confirm we were happy to participate in the VIPRE’s “ThreatNet” program. As with the previous version, we were also told that “we rock,” which we found equally flattering this time around!
Next, we hit the “Continue to VIPRE” button to check out the user interface.
The user interface was practically indistinguishable from that of the previous year’s version, other than the small addition of a button to activate the Facebook “Social Watch” feature.
The “Settings” screens were almost the same as well, and once again we liked the balance between deep configurability and ease-of-use. VIPRE Antivirus 2014 may not have the most shiny or high-tech interface, but it is clear and effective. We were also pleased to notice that the email protection settings include the ability to block phishing emails.
Having completed our tour of the GUI, we decided to move onto our real-life tests. As the previous version had sailed through these with no problems, we had high hopes.
VIPRE Antivirus 2014 includes pre-scanning of USB keys, which is a default feature we always like to see. Novice computer users may not think to scan these devices, so it is a sensible configuration.
We inserted our usual infected USB key, and waited for the drivers to install.
As expected, a window appeared offering to scan the device.
We weren’t alerted to the progress of the scan, so we went into the program interface. As expected, we were told that three threats had been found.
We took a look at the logs, and confirmed that VIPRE had correctly identified and cleaned all of our three test threats with no problems whatsoever. A quick check of our USB key revealed that it was now completely empty.
Even though we’d seen VIPRE do this before, we were impressed all over again. VIPRE Antivirus 2014 dealt with everything with no hassle at all.
Finally, we moved onto our final test, and started a full system scan to look at VIPRE’s CPU and RAM use.
RAM use stayed around the 60MB mark, CPU use levelled out to an average of about 20% with only occasional peaks. This was broadly in line with what we saw last year, and perfectly satisfactory.
Customer support for VIPRE is superb. There’s really no other word for it. We like what we see when we notice that toll free numbers for phone support in a host of countries are just two clicks away from a vendor’s home page.
There are plenty of other support options too, including live chat, ticket support and a knowledge base. All of this support is also available to trial users.
- Superb real life test results
- Straightforward install
- Great support options
- Great value long-term and multiple PC subscriptions
- Sensible new features for 2014 version
We weren’t so sure about
- The need to access historical logs to view details of threats
We were not at all surprised to find ourselves so happy with VIPRE Antivirus 2014, as the previous version was one of our favourite products.
We won’t try to pretend that much has changed in this new version. The couple of new features are sensible enough additions, but nothing that would cause us to give the product higher marks than before. That’s hardly a problem, however, when the product already sits right near the top of our league table.
VIPRE is a particular bargain for enthusiasts with a number of computers, as the subscriptions covering up to ten PCs are extremely good value. Once again, we recommend VIPRE very highly indeed.
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