Vexira AntiVirus 2005: A Lean, Mean Virus-Fighting Machine

By Adam Stone | Posted June 07, 2005

In a world already well supplied by virus-protection software, Vexira AntiVirus from Central Command has a lot of exclamation points. That is, it literally has a lot of exclamation points! All over the Web site! All over the software!

It's the kind of thing that tends to make one suspicious. A bit of oversell, perhaps? In this case, yes and no.

On the one hand, Vexira does a competent and even excellent job of guarding against viruses and purging the bad stuff that does manage to get through. At the same time, though, the product is not quite as polished or as feature-rich as many of its competitors.

The Vexira AntiVirus for Windows Workstations and Desktop edition starts at $34.95 for a single user and runs to $3,945 for a 500-user license. The server version starts at $349.95.

It's becoming increasingly common for antivirus products to protect against more than just the standard run of attack situations, and Vexira AntiVirus is no exception. Like most in its class, it offer protection from viruses, worms, Trojans, adware/spyware components, and hostile ActiveX and Java applications.

More to the point, though, is the program's ability to sift, sort, and suppress these nasties at an impressive rate of speed. Vexira AntiVirus uses its own high-performance file analysis technology to accurately identify files that may contain malicious code. It flags these files as requiring further identification and keeps them distinct from those that do not need further study, a process that results in a big boost to virus-scanning speeds.

Vexira will seek out viruses and other suspicious activity on local hard disks and floppy disks. It will also scrutinize e-mail attachments and Internet downloads.

High Marks in Ease of Use and Overall Speed
A number of features also earn Vexira AntiVirus high marks in the ease-of-use category. Some have criticized the bare-bones interface, but frankly there is a lot to be said for a control panel that offers less rather than more. A few icons, a couple of menus — we demand no bells and whistles, thank you, as long as we can get what we need. And this interface, while lean, does fulfill the need.

Its easy-to-use navigation allows the user to determine what actions should be taken for a given piece of malicious code: Kill it or keep it; quarantine or delete it. Users can also set the level of scanning depth: quick, extensive, or full. Simple controls make it possible to automatically filter mail, Web pages, and FTP content. A task master allows for scanning on demand or by a preset schedule.

Overall, individual users will find the product easy to learn and simple to operate. Network operators likewise will discover an easy-to-use program in Vexira.

An optional add-on product for network users, Vexira's Central Management Solution (CMS), makes it possible to manage virus control at several physical sites within an organization, all from a single location. The operator can manage configurable settings, logging, reporting, monitoring, and other functions from a central control station.

The cost for the add-on starts at $349.95 for a single server, up to $1899.95 for 10 servers. It comes free with the purchase of 25 or more workstation licenses.

Vexira AntiVirus lacks some of the features offered by competing programs. It won't kill pop-ups, and while this is not strictly an antivirus function, other antivirus offerings do include it, and it's certainly nice to have the function integrated into something you are already running, rather than having to manage it separately. Vexira also lacks firewall protection, and while larger enterprises likely will already have a firewall in place, it does make some sense to integrate this feature into one's other protective protocols.

Central Command offers a vigorous support policy. Online support is free and includes an in-depth knowledge base, live chat, and e-mail support. In addition, fee-based live support is available at a rate of $29.95 per incident for those who have purchased fewer than 25 licenses. Users with 25 or more licenses get free live support.

The bottom line? Vexira AntiVirus doesn't do everything, but it does most things and does them well. For many the tiebreaker will be the price tag, which may be a bit too steep for what one gets in return.

Clean, simple, fast, and effective; easy to use, real-time virus monitoring

Cons: Somewhat expensive price tag, a bit light on functionality, somewhat bland interface, feature-set lags behind some of its competition

Adapted from winplanet.com.

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