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DefenseWall HIPS Antivirus 3.09 Review

Saturday, 08 January 2011 18:47:06 (US Mountain Standard Time, UTC-07:00)

     DefenseWall is not a traditional antivirus in the sense that it does not rely solely on the scanning of malicious files.  While the program has an automatic update system, virus definitions are not necessary for protection.  The program has a HIPS or heuristic real time shield to actively detect threats. The program has two main modes a basic and expert mode.  For the purposes of this review, I enabled expert mode.  Another unique feature is DefenseWall’s logging capability where one can undo any action made by a system process (aka sandboxing).

    The installation of DefenseWall went without a hitch.  The program download is a compact 4.12 megabytes in size which may only be eclipsed by the Prevx (the unofficial smallest antivirus available, under 1 megabyte) .  64 bit systems are unfortunately not supported so I had to install the program on a netbook.  This will also give one a clearer idea  of the resource impact, and via a preliminary test, is very low.

    Upon launching the program for the first time, DefenseWall detected 3 untrusted processes.  They were all related to Hotspot Shield which tends to get a bad rep because of their url redirection.  I frequently talk about how this program is detected as malicious by most antivirus.  I would grade DefenseWalls untrusted (blacklist/whitelist) detection as phenomenal.  It is really one of the few programs that correctly detected all safe programs as safe without false positives.  For example, programs like comodo will mark programs like Skpye etc. as untrusted.  However, DefenseWall properly detected iTunes, Filezilla, Firefox, and Skype etc. etc. as all safe.   This is really a rare accomplishment only found in programs like Norton Antivirus.  DefenseWall takes the process one step further.  It records all changes made by any process whether it was modifying a service, file, or the registry.  Then the user has the option to rollback any action done by untrusted or trusted processes.  This means that with DefenseWall system restore has possibly become  obsolete.

    DefenseWall is also light on the resources.  As stated before I installed the program on a netbook with 1 gigabyte of RAM. System performance was not visibly affected.  Also the program only used 20 megabytes of RAM.  CPU usage is a point of contention.  When the interface is utilized it can spike up to 40%, however when idle its 0 to 1 percent.

    DefenseWall includes many other protections.  They are screen recorder, system restart (prevents certain processes from restarting the computer), resource , download areas (successfully detected Opera’s download area), secured files protections and more.  Also, DefenseWall has full password protection capability. 

    DefenseWall is so feature rich that it could definitely be used as a core security program.  Hopefully the author will do a 64 bit port soon.