Performance and Features
PC Tools AntiVirus Free Edition is a fully-loaded antivirus solution that offers real-time protection against viruses and other forms of malware. While this software is free, a registered version of the product provides you with 24/7 support, including phone support.
PC Tools AntiVirus is a 42 mb download that installs on Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. Installation is basic and the software installed quickly and without any errors. Immediately following the installation, PC Tools began downloading their latest virus definition updates. Windows XP and Windows Vista are not affected by PC Tools using memory. This antivirus software idle uses a little under 700kb of RAM. Scanning, PC Tools only uses a little over 4 mb of RAM. This resource-friendly software is perfect for both new or older computers.
The menu is easy to navigate and offers additional settings for each of the areas of protection. The initial menu offers options that allow for the configuration and scanning of files and folders allowing the user to manually scan on a regular basis. This main screen also gives information on the latest scans and file and definition information.
The scanning options include "intelli-scan" - this is a predefined scan to check the areas of the computer where malware most commonly lurks - and full and custom scans.
The Intelliguard option allows for the real-time protection of files, memory and email from malicious threats. The additional settings enable networks to be added to a Trusted Zone or a custom defined port list. Although most email travels out using SMTP on port 25 and in on port 110 (PoP3), this customization allows you to define custom ports for email servers and clients that use ports outside of the normal range.
In my tests, PC Tools AntiVirus detected 100% of the malware samples that I loaded onto the test machine. The product did not, however, detect zipped viruses until after they were downloaded and opened (but this is not too much of a problem as viruses cannot infect a system while zipped). One feature that I would like to see added is an option to permit manual configuration of a proxy server.