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Overview and Features
When it comes to protecting yourself online, there are a few simple things you can do to keep your computer safe. Simple things like installing and using anti-virus software is a cheap and easy way to stave off issues caused by a virus or malware infection. I was recently made aware of the AVIGen free spyware scanner for Windows computers.
The developers of AVIGen – the vbBeGo Team are developers who run an educational programming site in Indonesia where users can share source code and comment and question on other’s applications. It’s a great idea and obviously a close-knit community, but how does AVIGen stack up?
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Installation and Usage
Before I dive into the details, I have to make it clear - AVIGen is not usable in its current state.
You can have the best looking and most feature rich product, but in the case of anti-virus solutions, you absolutely must have up to date virus definitions. Commercial antivirus vendors continuously update their definitions as new viruses are released on a daily basis. Several commercial products offer hourly updates ensuring you’ve got the latest up-to-the minute definitions to protect your computer. Unfortunately, AVIGen hasn’t seen an update in two years, thus making this program nearly useless.
Making things worse, when AVIGen was released in 2008, it only included detection for a paltry 330 viruses. Considering most commercial anti-malware applications can detect and remove over 4,000,000 types of malware, AVIGen can’t be taken seriously.
Since I would very strongly suggest you don’t use AVIGen for protecting your computer, I did not perform any detailed performance tests. The application seems to run fine – scans ran quickly and the user interface worked well.
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AVIGen reminds me of a basic antivirus program from the late 1990s. There is no web integration, no real time scanning or even automated updates. These are all basic features you can find in free antimalware solutions like Avast or Microsoft Security Essentials.
With more resources devoted to providing virus definition updates, AVIGen could be a really nice product. AVIGen has some great ideas behind it including:
- Application footprint – at only 1.8MB, AVIGen has to have one of the smallest footprints for an antivirus application I’ve ever seen. I wish some of the commercial vendors could trim their applications down a bit more.
- User Interface – the UI for AVIGen is simple and easy to use. There are no pop up windows – everything is performed on a single screen. Initiate a scan and the scan status displays in the main window. Some commercial antivirus vendors require you to go through layers of configuration pages or numerous pop up windows to perform a simple scan.
- Unique tools – AVIGen has some nifty power tools for people that like to tinker with their registry. For example, AVIGen has a list of 37 registry tweaks you can easily enable or disable. Some examples include showing hidden files, displaying Windows classic menus and showing the full path in the title bar of a window. This is a great idea and makes it easy for those that like to tinker to easily perform these tasks without the need to look up specific registry keys. Is it appropriate in an antivirus solution? Probably not, but still a great idea.
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Again, it’s unfortunate the vbBeGo team doesn’t support AVIGen as it has some nice unique features that would make it stand out in the crowded antivirus market. In its current state and lack of support, I’ve got to recommend you stay away.