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VIPRE, our new combined antivirus and antispyware product, is currently in a private beta. We’re taking it into broad public beta later this week, so stay tuned.

To say that I’m excited about this release is an understatement 😉 I’m not sure when the last new antivirus engine came out, but it’s probably been a decade or so.

I talked about some of the philosophy behind VIPRE in a blog post early last year. But to recap:

  • VIPRE is a completely new, built-from-scratch antivirus and antispyware product. The antivirus engine is our own creation, not licensed from another company. It has been a major undertaking, consuming millions of dollars in R&D costs and thousands of man-hours.
  • The technology itself is next-generation, incorporating a completely new architecture that combines antispyware, antivirus, antirootkit and other technologies into a seamless, tightly-integrated product.
  • It’s very fast and very tight on resources. One of the reasons we decided to “build our own” was because of the enormous performance penalty of cobbling together an antivirus and antispyware engine together. It is one of the fastest products of its class (I suspect it’s actually the fastest, but we haven’t done the final benchmark tests). The definition database structure is also completely different than what we have in the current version of CounterSpy. It is considerably smaller and more efficient.
  • VIPRE is not a “suite” per se — the first release is a combined antivirus and antispyware product. Personally, I’m not a big fan of suites, because it seems you get some good, some bad, all thrown together, and what the user gets is an experience that is less than satisfying (system slowdowns, tons of popups, more potential for system instabilities, etc.). However, we do plan on tightly incorporating our Sunbelt Personal Firewall code into a future release, providing complete firewall, intrusion detection and intrusion prevention capabilities, in addition to antivirus and antispyware.
  • There will be a new version of CounterSpy as well (version 3.0), which will be a subset of VIPRE (VIPRE is technically a superset of CounterSpy, so you do not need CounterSpy running on your system if you have VIPRE.)
  • Enterprise versions of CounterSpy and VIPRE will be following several weeks after the release of the consumer products.
  • VIPRE will be inexpensively priced. We’re currently planning on $29.95 for single user, $39.95 for 3 user. CounterSpy customers will be able to upgrade to VIPRE for a nominal cost.

I’ll be posting something here for you to download later this week. If you can, please join the beta — I’d like as many people as possible beating on this thing before we release it.

In the meantime, here is a chart that explains the differences between VIPRE and CounterSpy:


As always, feel free to drop a question or comment and I’ll answer them as I can.

Alex Eckelberry
(Oh, and in case you’re curious, VIPRE is an acronym for for Virus Intrusion Prevention and Remediation Engine.)