Sunbelt recently released version 4 of their VIPRE Antivirus (they’ve dropped the "+ Antispyware" out of the name).
They also released the long-awaited package including their firewall — this package is called Sunbelt Antivirus Premium. The Sunbelt Personal Firewall update is expected to be released as a separate product later this year.
I spent most of this week using the new VIPRE v4 on my notebook computer, which was running VIPRE v3.5 before this. My notebook runs Windows 7, so it hasn’t been able to run Sunbelt Personal Firewall since the upgrade to Windows 7.
The new VIPRE Premium solves that, as it works with Windows 7, 32-bit versions of Windows XP and Vista and 64-bit versions of XP, Vista and Windows 7.
The new Sunbelt Personal Firewall due next month is similarly supposed to support all those operating systems.
After several days of running the new v4 of VIPRE, and not noticing anything out of the ordinary, I decided to run the trial version of VIPRE Antivirus Premium.
Sunbelt hasn’t released their license converter web page yet, but its reported to be available soon. If you have a licenses for VIPRE and a license for Sunbelt Personal Firewall, as I do, we’ll be able to convert those into VIPRE Antivirus Premium licenses.
As we can see on the main VIPRE page, the layout closely resembles that of VIPRE 3.5. With the Premium version, we see the addition of Firewall at the bottom of the window.
The next screen is the options dialog box for Updates, which I accessed via the Edit Settings link on the main screen.
The two keys here are the check in the checkbox labelled Allow Automatic Internet Access and the check on Automatically check for updates.
Notice also that you can change the frequency of the update checks.
The next page lets us change some of the settings used when VIPRE is scanning for viruses and malware.
The next page is the Active Protection tab, which can be used to turn off (or on, but "on" is the normal position) the protections provided by VIPRE.
The section Handling of Unknown Programs has a button labelled Advanced… Click that button.
That brings up the options on how to handle unknown programs.
Most programs recommend that you set the unknown programs to fail, or to ask you what to do. The problem occurs when you select the "wrong" option, especially if you tell the program to Remember That Answer.
Sunbelt’s recommendation is to allow the unknown program to act. They’ve noticed that the many novices, and some experts too, tend to pick the wrong answer. That then prevents Windows from updating, or some other crucial feature.
The next screen configures the email settings, telling VIPRE which program you use. The Advanced button gives you the option to change the port numbers to those your email program uses.
The Power settings tab allows us to control whether VIPRE will wake from sleep mode in order to run a scheduled scan. The default is unchecked, which is my choice also.
We can also control whether VIPRE will run its scheduled scans when we’re running on battery power. This does not affect the Active Protection. But, it controls whether the full-drive scan occurs when you’re running on batteries. The checkmark is the opposite of the above — in this case, checked is the the default and my desired choice.
The firewall settings have a lot on display, and even more hidden behind the buttons. You can see the options I have chosen.
Note also that, while I am currently using Web Filtering, on the Web Filter settings (in the following image), I have the Block 3rd party advertising option turned off.
As a web site publisher who uses Adsense to provide income, rather than selling products or charging for access to my site, I do not like for programs to block the advertising. I think Sunbelt is doing a disservice to the web by including this feature.
Also note from above, when you block the Referrer information in the HTTP request (which tells the web site to which you were going, from where you came), you are disabling some of the security functions of the web.
Many persons selling products on the web use third-party payment processors like Paypal. Then, when you complete the pay transaction, Paypal returns you to the seller’s site so that you can complete the purchase (e.g. download your software).
Part of the seller’s security is to honor the transaction only if the Referrer shows the expected values.
If you block the referrer field, you may block the ability to receive those goods.