Nano Antivirus is a brand new free antivirus designed in Russia. The program offers a real time shield, and huge virus database, and an attractive interface. While the program is technically in beta, we didn’t find any bugs and the software appears ready for release. And the best part, the program includes a free license.
The Nano Antivirus download was small at only 41 megabytes. The installer installed quickly and without a hitch on the test system’s 64 bit Windows 7 OS. After installation, the program prompted to get a free license. One simply needs to put their email address and name and hit activate. Activation took about 4 seconds. The program then prompted to update the software. After installation, Nano Antivirus already included over 900,000 virus signatures and after the update had over 1,200,000. It’s nice that Nano Antivirus included a large amount of definitions by default meaning that it could provide excellent offline protection right out of the box. Most free antivirus come with a small installer that may not include any initial offline protection until one downloads a 200 megabyte update.
Nano Antivirus offers several scanning options including the express test, complete system test, and the media test. The media test is unique to Nano Antivirus in that its designed to scan removable hard drives, flash drives, and DVD's etc. for viruses. The Express test is a quick scan and is actually quick completing in about 1 minute. What’s nice is that the scanning status is extremely helpful. There is a counter for the remaining time until completion, skipped files, the amount of megabytes scanned for viruses etc. A user can also take any virus scan to the background to conserve system resources. During scanning Nano Antivirus used about 100 megabytes of RAM and only about 2% CPU power compared to about 85 megabytes while idle. RAM usage is kind of high compared to other free antivirus. However, the low CPU usages ensures that daily computing tasks are significantly affected.
Nano Antivirus has a few notable features that make it stand out from its competitors. First the updating system is by default is set to update every 4 hours. This is in complete contrast to AVG’s once every day update limitation. Next, the whole antivirus can be password protected against unauthorized access. Again, this is normally associated with retail versions like Panda. Next, I really like how the Actions page is presented. This lets a user customize any of the antivirus functions. However, I would have liked to have seen the scheduling option displayed more prominently. Nano Antivirus comes with two separate themes. Users can even customize where the alert bubble are displayed on the screen. Finally, Nano Antivirus includes a quarantine in which a user has the option to send virus samples to Nano corporate for investigation.
In summary, it’s hard to believe Nano Antivirus is in beta because the antivirus feels more like a paid version rather than a free antivirus. I want to note that the developers paid attention to a lot of details when designing the software and really put together a high quality free antivirus. Update: Nano Antivirus includes full Windows 7 integration and a resizable interface.