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Every day the dangers that lurk on the Internet get worse and worse. This is especially evident with the new wave of virii that seem to hit the net like clockwork every month. Your best defense against virus attacks is smart computing and running good antivirus software all the time.
An anti-virus program is essential to the safety and well being of your computer by protecting it against any known virii. However there is almost an overwhelming number of virus scanners on the market, some very well know and others much less advertised and thus not known to the majority of computer users. One of the best and least known is AVP or AntiViral Toolkit Pro.
AVP was created by the Russia based Kaspersky Lab, and is sold by a variety of different companies worldwide. The fact that AVP hails from Russia may concern some people, however I feel that this concern is unfounded. Kaspersky Labs and AVP have been ICSA certified and it has received Checkmark Level 1, 2, and Trojan certification. Avp has received numerous European awards including being chosen by Secusys as the best anti-virus program of 2000. In addition to that AVP has been certified by Microsoft for Windows 95, 98, and NT. No less of an authority than John Dvorak has recommended AVP. I feel the above should put to bed the ‘it’s from Russia’ worries.
AVP is offered in three basic packages for Windows based systems: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. All versions offer both an on access scanner (AVP Monitor) and an on demand scanner (AVP Scanner). AVP Monitor works in the background and scans files on access based on the settings you have set for it. AVP Scanner works in a similar way except that it only scans on request. It does integrate well into Windows Explorer for easy scanning access. The Silver version is made for Windows 9x only while the Gold and Platinum include NT and 2000 support. The Gold and Platinum versions also offer the AVP Control Center which allows you to automatically run the updater and to set up system scans to be run whenever you like. The only difference between Gold and Platinum is that the Platinum version allows for the scanning of network drives, which is not of much concern to most home users.
Almost all the current anti-virus programs use dedicated databases which allow them all to detect the most common virii that are known to be in the wild. The big problem with current virii is that one can spread so fast that current databases do not have them included. This is where Heuristic scanning comes into play. Heuristic scanning looks for files that look like they contain possible virii. Almost all major anti-virus programs have Heuristic scanners but the one in AVP is, in my opinion, the best of the bunch. Known as the Code Analyzer, the AVP heuristic engine has proven in major tests to be the best available. But don’t take my word or AVP’s word for it. Check it out yourself at the Virus Bulletin’s 100% awards: http://www.virusbtn.com/100/.
Keeping your anti-virus program up to date is very important and AVP makes it very easy with its built in Updater. It updates the virus definitions as well as program updates without any hassles. One of the most amazing things about AVP is that not only do they do the standard weekly updates but they also have daily updates! I don’t know how they find the time to do so but it helps put my mind at ease knowing that AVP and Kaspersky Labs are that dedicated to their product. Updated virus definitions are free for as long as your license is valid.
With AVP Monitor running, AVP offers full e-mail scanning and can actually scan saved e-mail databases for virii. AVP will scan any file you try to download before it gets saved to the local disk and alert you if it detects something.
I have used AVP on Windows 98, NT, and 2000 and am very pleased with the results I have gotten. For test purposes I downloaded several binary virii and ran AVP on them. And as expected AVP caught every one of them, including a triple zipped virus that Norton did not find until it was fully unzipped!
As I mentioned before there are several companies selling AVP. In my opinion the best is Swiss distributor, Metropolitan Network. They are located here: http://www.avp.ch/
AVP is offered with a 30 day trial that I urge everyone to try out. AVP Gold is available for $49.95 and includes a 2 year license which includes free updates and product upgrades.
Most anti-virus programs offer similar features to those found in AVP. However AVP offers much better virus detection and offers better Trojan protection then any of its competitors. I have yet to have AVP cause any system errors, which is a vast improvement over my experiences with McAfee, nor is it a resource hog like Norton. AVP is by far the best anti-virus program I have ever used and it gets the highest recommendation I can offer.
Submitted by: Zenwolf