It’s a difficult choice deciding which kind of antivirus and anti-adware security software is best to protect your beloved PC from outside invasion. Is it best to go for well-established but pricey brands like Norton and McAfee, or plump for one of the lesser-known names that might hopefully do the job equally well – if not better?
Emsisoft’s Anti-Malware comes in a free variety, but when the full version retails at just £26 (and some download retailers are charging half this), it seems pointless to be stingy. Cleverly the company has integrated its own Anti-Malware program with the Ikarus Anti-Virus engine so that scanning and analysing doesn’t take an age to complete.
Three levels of protection
The software installs swiftly, and the menu is clearly set out at the left of the screen, making it a breeze to navigate to the relevant sections. Three layers of protection are applied before the scan is complete: File Guard compares your files against more than four million known malware types; Behaviour Blocker checks for signs of suspicious, potentially malicious activity, while Surf Protection hunts the Web to block over 100,000 known hostile hosts.
Once offending files are identified, you’re given the option to quarantine or delete them, or to allow them to remain. In addition to the standard detection of trojans, spyware, keyloggers, et al, a separate system analysis programme called HiJackFree is included to safeguard attacks on processes, services, auto-runs and browser plug-ins.
Discussion forums, tutorials and support centres are available to help you, and if you come across a suspect dodgy file you can submit it online for inspection.
In practice, we found Emsisoft’s malware detection rate highly commendable – but it also managed to identify several valid programs as malicious, so there’s obviously a little bit more tweaking to be done – and users would be advisedc to exercise caution, quarantining and checking through the program’s list of suspect files carefully before deleting anything.
- Overall malware detection is very thorough.
- Throws up a few too many false positives.
Compared to some of the well-known big boys in the security software arena, Emsisoft Anti-Malware acquits itself well for user-friendly layout, triple-layer protection and extremely useful HiJackFree system analysis - but the number of false positives needs to be reduced.