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CA Anti-Virus & Anti-Spyware - Nothing Fancy; It Just Works

written by: Mojave Media Group•edited by: Aaron R.•updated: 2/19/2008
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CA Anti-Virus Plus Anti-Spyware 2008 doesn't offer anything flashy, but rather serves as a solid security product backed by the experience of a security software vendor that has been around a long time.

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    Introduction

    CA Anti-Virus Plus Anti-Spyware 2008 is a basic yet effective solution to meet the needs of average PC users. Viruses and malware continue to be a concern for computer users. CA Anti-Virus Plus Anti-Spyware 2008 will protect Windows workstations from viruses and spyware through real-time, on-demand, and scheduled scans of the workstation. While not a complete Internet security suite, CA Anti-Virus Plus Anti-Spyware 2008 is an effective antivirus and anti-spyware product. It combines a simple, consistent interface with ease of use.
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    Price to Value

    Rating AverageOverall, CA Anti-Virus Plus Anti-Spyware 2008 is a reasonable solution for the price. It doesn't have any special bells and whistles, but it does its intended job. Users with experience in CA products will not be disappointed in the value.
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    Performance

    Rating AverageOn demand scans were effective and allowed the user to continue working. Real-time scanning did negatively effect performance a little on Vista, but it was negligible on Windows XP.
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    Product Features

    Rating AverageAs expected, CA Anti-Virus Plus Anti-Spyware 2008 provides real-time and on-demand scanning for protection against viruses and spyware. Scans can be scheduled as well. [See images 8 and 15] The anti-spyware scan can also be assigned to run at startup as well.

    Reporting is a weak component of CA Anti-Virus Plus Anti-Spyware 2008. The anti-spyware logs offered a button to save the log to a text file, but the antivirus logs didn't offer the equivalent. [See images 12 and 17]

    Antivirus and anti-spyware applications are only as good as their most recent updates. CA offers automatic and scheduled update options for this application. The user can manually initiate an update check as well.

    With anti-spyware scans, the user can exclude applications that may be valid, but questionable. [See image 18] Some adware or remote access software, such as VNC, might fall into the gray area.
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    Installation & Setup

    Rating AverageCA uses a classic installation mechanism. The user can install CA Anti-Virus Plus Anti-Spyware 2008 after entering a valid license key. [See image 1]  While this application's title is CA Anti-Virus Plus Anti-Spyware, the user can select either or both components for installation. [See image 2] After installation, the application dowloads the appropriate updates to the engines and data files. [See image 3] Though a couple of reboots are required, it's a simple and pain-free process. [See image 4]
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    User Interface

    Rating AverageThe interface is simple and easy to use for the most part. CA offers a more complete suite (see http://www.brighthub.com/review/CA-Consumer/Paul-Pardi/article/405.html) and reminds the user of this in the Security Center by showing the other feaures as unavailable. [See image 5]
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    Images

    CA Installation License KeyCA Installation Component SelectionCA Post-Installation UpdateCA Post-Update RebootCA Security CenterCA Antivirus Advanced OptionsCA Antivirus QuarantineCA Antivirus OptionsCA Antivirus ReportsCA Antivirus ScanCA Antivirus Custom ScanCA Antivirus On-Demand Scan LogCA Antivirus SnoozeCA Anti-spyware OverviewCA Anti-spyware OptionsCA Anti-spyware ReportsCA Anti-spyware Scanner LogCA Anti-spyware Modify ExclusionsCA Anti-spyware Quick ScanCA Anti-spyware Quarantine Message
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    Suggested Features

    During installation, CA prompts for the installation of the Yahoo! browser toolbar. I would like to see that removed. Also, the Security Center does not need to show the unavailable components in the interface so prominently.

    When viewing log reports where there is no log archived yet, the window is blank, leaving the user unsure if they are waiting for content to display. A simple notification would be beneficial.

    There should be more descriptive integration with email as well. Though the CA interface indicates that the user's email is protected, it seems the user may not even know until a virus attachment arrives. There doesn't seem to be any indication from the email clients (Outlook, Windows Mail, or Thunderbird) that there is any external protection.
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    Conclusion

    CA Anti-Virus Plus Anti-Spyware 2008 is a quality product by one of the oldest retail software vendors. There is nothing spectacular about this offering but you get a stable and valid option for protecting your workstation.
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    Related Products

    Norton Antivirus 2008, Spy Sweeper, Trend Micro PC-cillan, McAfee VirusScan, Kaperksy Antivirus, Panda Antivirus