NB: Please note - I am reviewing the freebie version, not the full one which you have to pay for (the version which you purchase costs US$29.95, and includes a built-in firewall).
After many years of using AVG free anti-virus software, I moved over to Avast when the 2008 update of AVG informed me that my Roxio CD-burning software would cause a conflict with AVG's updates. I didn't want to uninstal Roxio, as I use it a lot - so I decided to visit www.majorgeeks.com** to see what else was available. A few people recommended Avast to me, so I installed it. After a few runs with Avast, I noticed that there were whole sections of my computer it wasn't checking, as it said it couldn't gain access to them - I made a few attempts at contacting the support group at Avast, and nobody there seemed able to pinpoint what the problem could be. Not wanting to leave parts of my computer unprotected, I then visited majorgreeks again, to look for another freebie piece of anti-virus software.
** majorgeeks is a site which tests and recommends a plethora of PC tools, software downloads etc.
Browsing through the few that are free and recommended, I noticed one I'd never seen before....called Rising Antivirus. I visited Rising's website, and was pleased to notice that the software has received 4 awards/certifications, and the information on the site regarding the latest worms, trojans and viruses, seemed reasonably comprehensive. On the majorgeeks website, Rising Antivirus has been given a full five marks out of five for being efficient, and there are six hosts (5 in the USA and one in Australia) where you can download the Rising software from.
This particular version of Rising Antivirus (free) was released on 26.8.08, taking up 54.1MB of hard drive space, and is compatible with Windows 2000, 2003, XP and Vista. The software claims to defend against all types of virus, trojans, worms, rootkits and other malicious programs, plus there is technical support available for the free version. Rising Antivirus free version can also be downloaded from CNET.
After uninstalling Avast, I then got going and downloaded Rising Antivirus. I noticed that the overall download time was longer than that for Avast or AVG - Rising took approximately 10 minutes, from start to finish (this is at my own computer's capability, which is one notch below top broadband speed). The unpacking and installation of the files took about 4 minutes, and in order to activate Rising, your computer must be re-booted.
During setup configuration, you can choose to have Rising's icon on your desktop, plus another little icon on your toolbar - the Rising icon is a little green umbrella shape. One feature I particularly liked, was that each time you want to change any of the configurations on the setup, or on the software once it's installed and running, you have to go through one of those simple security processes whereby you have to type the letters you see on the screen into a little window. This ensures that it's a real person using the software, and not an auto-setup on someone's PC.
The interface of Rising Antivirus software is rather snazzy and professional-looking, in a pleasing, shiny-effect black. The interface is easy to navigate, and you can set a virus check to run at a certain time each day, week or month, or to disable the automatic function and run a full virus check manually, whenever you choose. You can also configure the software to only scan certain parts (you must say which) of your computer, but I personally prefer to do a complete scan of the whole PC, each time. It is also possible to select the desired security level for your computer to low, medium or high. If you do use Rising Antivirus, there is one thing you will notice - each time you switch on your PC, it does a check of your boot-up files (though you can configure it not to do this if you wish), and the first time you see this check happening, it's a bit alarming, until you realise it's only Rising in action.
Once fully installed and configured, I ran a full PC virus check, using Rising. It took about 50 minutes to complete, and it found 3 trojan horses that on my command, it cleaned. You can choose to have items which are located via a check, either sent to quarantine or to be cleaned. Of course I was pleased that Rising appeared to have found 3 items which both AVG and Avast had missed - but when I discussed this with my friend who is a PC genius, he reckons that most of the free virus checkers will clock up a couple of results the first time you run them, to make you believe that theirs is the best, and to stick with them. How true or false that is I have no idea, but it's interesting to note the very same thing has happened each time in the past that I've installed AVG or Avast, so he could be right.
There is a little button on the interface which you can click for support and help, and this is done via email. I did have a query because at first, I wasn't able to get the software to update the latest virus definitions, so I emailed the support staff at Rising (using the appropriate button on the interface), and asked what I was doing wrong. I received a reply about 12 hours later, suggesting that it was my firewall blocking the updates for the latest virus definitions, and that I was to temporarily disable my firewall - update the definitions, then switch my firewall back on again. I tried this, and it worked.
Rising does take a little longer to complete a virus check on your whole computer, but I personally find it slightly less energy-intensive than AVG and Avast.
There are a lot of little features on the free Rising Antivirus software that I'm not sure I understand - I'm not exactly a techno-phobic/techno-thickie, but I'm not au-fait enough with certain aspects of terminology or what they are supposed to mean or do; therefore, I can't give a little report here on those features, as I haven't got a clue what they are supposed to mean. This isn't specific to Rising though; it's in all forms of computer security software that I have used in the past....it's me, not them!
Yesterday when I switched on my PC, Rising Antivirus had become disabled, and I wasn't able to get it to work at all. I was clicking on this, that and the other, but nothing would activate it. Because I couldn't get into the interface, I also was unable to contact the support staff for their advice. Rather frustrated, and not wanting to leave my computer unprotected against viruses, I reluctantly (reluctantly because I believed I'd truly found the virus checker for me) hunted for another freebie piece of software to use.
In conclusion, I can't say if that fault described in the last paragraph is something to do with my own computer (possibly a conflict?) or Rising itself, but it's rather sad as I had become very fond of using this particular piece of antivirus software, which until I downloaded it for the first time when I spotted it on majorgeeks, I had never heard of.
I hope that the above gives at least a reasonable overview of something which I enjoyed using while it lasted. I can certainly say that it is very user-friendly, and if I ever manage to cure whatever stopped Rising working on my PC, I shall certainly download it again and carry on using it.
In the green rating box grid which DooYoo provide (below), I have rated Rising Antivirus according to how it was when functioning. I've not taken account of the problem I had which made it so that I had to uninstal it, just in case it is a specific problem unique to my own computer.
I'd be very interested to hear from anyone else who uses Rising Antivirus, and how happy or otherwise you are with it.......and thanks for reading!!!