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Prevx 3.0 Free Antivirus Review and Download

4. December 2009
Prevx 3.0 Free Antivirus Main Screen

Prevx is a UK antivirus based on the premise of being light weight and fast. The company’s concept is that an antivirus shouldn’t be bulky and resource hogging with the ability to run a full system scan once a month. Rather, an antivirus scan should be run extremely frequently even upon every system boot up or before accessing a bank website. I personally like the notion as I am indeed a fan of tiny, efficient, and effective programs.

Free Antivirus Statement:

Prevx 3.0 can scan and detect malware for free and it does an excellent job at doing so. However, if a user wants to remove malware automatically, the program requires registration. I feel that this situation is not the end of the world because PC tools free antivirus has no problem coexisting with the software. Simply install both free antivirus and disable real time protection on the PC tools antivirus. If Prevx detects a virus, simply run a scan with PC tools free antivirus.

Prevex Antivirus Installation:  

The claim holds true because the whole download for the antivirus was less than one megabyte (this runs contrary to the advertisement on the website of less than 900 kilobytes.) The install of the program was very quick I only had to click next on three menus. Prevx antivirus will then perform a learning scan were by the software determines the best locations to scan. This process only took about 2 minutes and 57 seconds.

Prevx antivirus scanning my computer

Resource Usage

The software only uses about 4 megabytes when idle and about 100 megabytes during a scan. While the later is definitely on the higher end, the program completes a full system scan in just 59 seconds (if the learning scan has already been completed.) Therefore, while the memory usage is ridiculous during a scan (easily 3 times the average free antivirus programs scan memory) the software is definitely making efficient usage of the scanning.

Virus Detection and Technology:

I am really pleased that Prevx 3.0 initially scans for rootkits and devotes about 20% of a scan to this process. There are very few free antivirus programs that actually detect root kits in the first place. Prevx also doesn’t utilize traditional definition files. Rather, the program is completely based on heuristic or suspicious behavior detection. Prevx takes a few things in account during this process. The first is the antivirus software considers a files age. Prevx utilizes a database of all of the program’s active users to quickly identify which files are malicious and fairly new. If a program is deemed malicious of sorts, the antivirus will run an isolated test in a sandbox environment to see how the program behaves. If the program fails the sandbox check, then the .exe etc. is marked as malicious. I have one problem with this approach. The first is that viruses have been known to modify NTFS date stamps to make the file appear that it’s actually older than it is. If a virus utilizes this technology it will defeat one of Prevx’s main antivirus checks. Read more about this here.

Realtime Engine:

All versions of the Prevx antivirus include the real-time scanning engine.  The engine is pretty effective and intuitive.  I opened upon infranview to see these screenshots and was instantly alerted to a realtime protection scan.  The taskbar stated the location and the status of the file in a pop up form. 

Conclusion:

Prevx scans extremely fast and is an excellent program to be used as a first line of defense tool. However, I recommend that you pair the program with a traditional antivirus as the scanning technology has potential to be defeated. Download Prevx 3.0 here