F-Prot for Windows- a little used AV?

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by Blackcat, Jun 7, 2003.

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  1. Blackcat

    Blackcat Registered Member

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    Part 1.

    I have used F-Prot for Windows for well over a year and I am impressed by this seemingly 'little-used AV'. Compared to other programs, I have seen very few posts about it here at Wilders. So here are some personal observations about it which might persuade some people, at license renewal time, to give this AV a spin.

    Thanks to Tinribs and LowWatermark for their comments on F-Prot.

    Advantages;

    * Amongst the top group of AV programs for virus detection as judged in a variety of test sites, including virus bulletin, av-test org etc. It frequently scores 100% detection of ITW viruses and also has very high 'zoo' detection abilities. Large bank of malware, containing at the present time over 86,000 definitions.

    * Has a very small memory imprint. Only one running process, F-StopW.exe, the running guard, which uses 304Kb of VM and 1.77Mb of memory. It therefore has virtually no effect on system resources.. To support this, I have seen it working without any visible detrimental effects on a lowly Pentium 1, 75Mhz with 16Mb memory. I am sure it can go even lower than this! Overall, this AV has no effect on the speed of your computer and systems remain stable.

    * Updates are weekly, although virus update files are quickly updated when a new virus is found. For example this week, I have had 4 downloads after notification e-mails from the Frisk Alert Service. In addition, they are amongst the quickest of the AV companies in sending out the definition files to any new malware.

    * Support is very good and quick and I have always received a response back within 24 hours, generally within hours. Individuals, not just companies, are well supported, as when I had problems with the automatic updater for one of the versions, they sent me a 'new' updater which solved my problems.

    * Runs happily on all versions of Windows, including 95.

    * No multiple licenses are required, so with the one copy of F-Prot you can load it on all of your home machines.

    * Relatively cheap at $29, but the real bargain comes with multiple licenses for companies/ educational colleges etc. where it can work out as low as $2 for protection.

    * Very easy to set up for newbies as the main GUI is very straightforward. The scheduler is well set out and it is easy to schedule scans and downloads. There are 'normal' and 'advanced' settings to select.

    *Scan speed is fast. For example with all-files selected, I can scan my entire disc in 8 minutes. NOD beta5 takes 4 minutes and KAV takes 17 mins. And I have rarely come across any false positives in over 19 months, except one where I was trialing BitDefender.

    * Includes F-Prot for DOS and Disinfection is said to be very good. Compared to other AV programs, it is a relatively small download (7Mb) which only takes up 9.56 Mb of hard disc space when installed.

    * 3-4 'minor' new versions/updates/year which have recently concentrated upon the scanner speed. A completely new version 4 is due early next year with a number of new features.

    *The uninstaller is very good.
     

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  2. Blackcat

    Blackcat Registered Member

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    Part 2.

    Disadvantages;

    * The program appears a little sparse now for the money, particularly with the recent price rise. There are no settings for the Monitor in Win2000/XP, no quarantine and you cannot exclude any files from scanning. In addition you cannot password protect. Therefore, when compared to newer programs e.g. Steganos, RAV and E-Scan, F-Prot for Windows may now be judged as offering less value for money. However, version 4 will correct these omissions and also include an e-mail scanner.

    * Although virus detection is very good, it has a relatively weak unpacking engine. It can unpack the following; ZIP, ARJ, JAR, RAR, PKG, LZH, TAR, CAB, GZ, TGZ, ACE and LHA. Therefore, it can unpack all the common archives, but it is very weak in unpacking runtime packed files. In addition, trojan detection is not amongst the best.

    * There is no discount for renewing the license and no active forum.


    Overall;

    F-Prot for Windows is an excellent minimalist AV program, suitable for both old and new computers.

    It is unbeatable on low-spec machines, where its small memory imprint and minimal effect on system resources ensures stability on even the 'oldest' computers. Ideal for newbies and the new version 4 will improve its value for money performance.

    It is highly recommended with its powerful underlying scanner, which is part of the F-Secure and Command programs, both of which are respected AV's. With the addition of an AT program, F-Prot for Windows would form an excellent part of a layered defense system.

    The next time you are thinking of changing your AV program and would like one that has excellent virus detection AND virtually no effect on the speed of your computer, give F-Prot for Windows a try.
     

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  3. Blackcat

    Blackcat Registered Member

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    Here is the URL and one more view;

    http://www.f-prot.com/products/home_use/win/
     

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  4. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    Very nice product overview Blackcat, and a really good job putting the posts together!! :cool:
     
  5. SmackDown

    SmackDown Guest

    Very, nice Blackcat, I gave you and LowWaterMark both applauds, you for your post, and LowWaterMark for what he did. ;) ;) ;)
     
  6. Blackcat

    Blackcat Registered Member

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    Thanks Mike for your help with this long (too long?) post ;)

    I am going for a lie down now!!!!
     
  7. Tinribs

    Tinribs Registered Member

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    Good post BC, plenty of time and effort in that post. :)

    As you know I'm a paid up user of F-Prot and have been for some while now, it is a good product and support is very good, although I currently use it as a backup 'second opinion'I am more than happy to have it running resident.
    It scores very high in most tests and impact is indeed very low on ones system.

    Looking forwars to the new version.


    :)
    Kev
     
  8. Technodrome

    Technodrome Security Expert

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    Great review Blackcat! F-prot is a great antivirus program.

    You didn't mention F-Prot superb heuristics engine. ;)


    Technodrome
     

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  9. Technodrome

    Technodrome Security Expert

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    And Integrity Checker. :D
     

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  10. Blackcat

    Blackcat Registered Member

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    I was not too sure about its heuristics compared to say Dr Web or NOD. Glad to hear it is very good, as well.

    As regards the Integrity Checker, it is no longer part of the default set-up. And the response of Frisk support when I asked about this was;

    "Although the Integrity Checker is still a component in F-Prot Antivirus it will not be for much longer.

    This is due to the fact that in regular windows Updates it is normal for many objects to change and asking F-Prot to fix them might result in the system not rebooting normally. The Integrity Checker will not be available in version 4.0 of F-Prot Antivirus, which is due beginning of next year."

    I must admit, I never bothered using it and was initially surprised when it was not in the default set-up on installing version 3.13. Maybe some people have had problems with it?

    Thanks for posting the extra shots, Technodrome ;)
     
  11. Blackcat

    Blackcat Registered Member

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    Here is the last one showing the updater component.
     

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  12. I_lack_commonsense

    I_lack_commonsense Registered Member

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    Thank you for the very honest review!
     
  13. RAV

    RAV Guest

    I downloaded the trial and may consider F-Prot when my subscription is out on EZ AV or as a second scanner. I realize it is a lot of work, but I would love to see similiar reviews of other AV products. You guys should really start a review site or add on to the Wilder's reviews.
     
  14. Tinribs

    Tinribs Registered Member

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    Glad to hear you're thinking of giving F-Prot a try Rav, I know BC's thoughts in the review were to highlight its great features to those who may never have tried it,or even have heard of it! It does seem to be somewhat overlooked, although it does its job without 'whistles and bells' and does it very well.
     
  15. illukka

    illukka Guest

    hi
    f-prot was my first av, have it on a old 486 box that's still occasionally used for old games... and it's a part of f-secure 5.41, which is now my main av.i think it's used by much more people than you think :D

    hey this type of post would be really appreciated, if someone bothers to post these!
     
  16. Technodrome

    Technodrome Security Expert

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    F-Prot's engine is used by a different av and non-av companies (almost like KAVs). That should tell you something about f-prot quality. ;)

    Yup I agree. Its more used then people think... If F-Prot had better unpacking engine it would be neck to neck with kav. Still it is graded among the best ones... Sure, F-Prot deserved it.



    Technodrome
     
  17. Tinribs

    Tinribs Registered Member

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    I have invited a Frisk rep to attend this forum, it would be good to see them here.
     
  18. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Wow -- professional-grade reviews!

    PCWorld could sure take some *how-to-review-an-AV" lessons from the Cat.

    [My beloved computer remains coquettishly virginal under the stern guardianship of the Icelandic Chastity Belt known as F-Prot.]
     
  19. Paul Wilders

    Paul Wilders Administrator

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    They are most welcome ;)

    regards.

    paul
     
  20. JayK

    JayK Poster

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    Indeed. Hopefully adding another AV rep to the mix the probability of a big pissing match won't increase

    As it is the admins have their hands full when representives of TDS and Trojanhunter snipe at each other. :
    o_O
     
  21. Paul Wilders

    Paul Wilders Administrator

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    JayK,

    Many AV developpers or their representatives show up over here - 99% of the time exchanging info and coments in a rather friendly way ;)

    Seems quite off topic. Besides that, Magnus nor Wayne c.s. are fighting battles over here.

    regards.

    paul
     
  22. JimIT

    JimIT Registered Member

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    Absolutely.

    F-Prot for DOS is in virtually every PC tech's toolbox, as well. If the PC is running w98 or less and has a virus, F-Prot will almost always find it.

    I know it's in mine! ;)
     
  23. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    For the past few weeks F-prot has been doing daily updates, M-F. Does anyone know whether or not this is to be permanent?
     
  24. Technodrome

    Technodrome Security Expert

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    They are adding many new trojans to f-prot. This couds be a possible reason.


    Last change:
     

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  25. Karl_Menshy

    Karl_Menshy Registered Member

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    Would like to add one more pro: Even with its low memory footprint, the on access scanner seems to be able to scan inside some mailbox formats, thus compensating for the missing email protection. I have checked this for plain MIME formats. Maybe anyone has tested OE files?
     
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