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Free Immunet 3.0 by SourceFire Review

Wednesday, 09 February 2011 13:52:42 (US Mountain Standard Time, UTC-07:00)

    Today Immunet has just released their 3.0 free antivirus with offline protection.   Many of you may not know that Immunet was acquired by SourceFire.  SourceFire is the open source security company that is also behind ClamAV.  Immunet 3.0 combines the original cloud protection that was offered in previous versions plus definition based protection with ClamAV.  Also, Immunet 3.0 is now included in Google Pack in addition to Spyware Doctor.  So one now has effectively triple engine effectiveness in a simple download.  Immunet 3.0 is known as a companion antivirus and therefore can be used in conjunction with other antivirus without affecting their operation.

    The installation of Immunet 3.0 was troublesome.  I have two identical installations of Windows 7 64bit which is stated as compatible on the Immunet website.   The installer prematurely closed and the program could not start the Immunet service.  Ironically, I called support (free for all users) and they stated that the OS is not supported (contradictory to the requirements page).  Therefore, I installed the program on a 32bit machine and the installer completed successfully.  The ironic thing is that Immunet comes with a 64 bit driver.

    Once the installation completed Immunet 3.0 stared.  The interface is similar to the older version but now has a powered by ClamAV logo on the top.  The downside is there are really a lot of advertisements to upgrade to the full version.  There are three scanning options the flash, custom, and full scan.  The flash scan is looking at .dll’s and .exe’s associated with active processes.   The scan completed in 1 minute and 27 seconds.   There are three active engines that are included in the free version.  They are the ethos engine (heuristic based scanner), the spero engine (the cloud based free antivirus), the clamAV (open source antivirus engine with offline protection), and the tetra engine (rootkit detection only available in the full version). 

    Immunet 3.0 scans for viruses from 2 to 5 megabytes per second.   The program uses about 15 megabytes while idle and about 40 megabytes while scanning.  CPU usage is about 13% while scanning.  These performance figures are definitely on the lighter side for a free antivirus.

    Immunet includes several nifty features.  First the My community area shows who one is connected to via the cloud and presumably sharing virus detection information.  There is a blocking mode which verifies program security before they can be installed and blocks them if necessary.  There is also a quarantine.  One problem with Immunet is that there isn’t mailbox protection.  Therefore make sure to also download PC Tools free antivirus to add this protection (included in Google Pack).    I also think that the interface could use some work to make it more user friendly.