Antivirus industry is one of the fastest growing industry these days. Lots of new products are launching and getting better while some fade away with time. while there are only about 40 companies that develop complete antivirus engines there are other companies that licenses those engines and often add some in-house engine to optimize detections. Polish company ArcaBit is one of the company that develops its own engine ArcaVir for Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD platforms. Although this company establishes in the year 2004 as far as I am concerned the stuffs of this company used to develop mks_vir, from Polish antivirus vendor MKS entablished in 1996. ArcaBit went forward to global market and launched their global homepage but still their software ArcaVir is less known. ArcaVir is one of the Microsoft cerfied consumer security software providers and their have recently became Microsoft Partner Silver Independent Software Vendor. ArcaBit recently have launched their launched their website for customers in Asian countries. Lately I was kindly approached by Ravindran the director of their Asian Partner Ravtach Solutions to write a review on ArcaVir products.
Arcavir mainly develops three products for home users, ArcaVir Antivirus Protection, ArcaVir Internet Security and ArcaVir System Protection. The basic difference in the offerings of these three products is shown below.


ArcaVir also distributes a free on-demand scanner ArcaMicroScan which can be downloaded from here [mirror 1, mirror 2] and a free program ArcaNix that allows quick and comprehensive check of computer resources and repair of any infection which can be downloaded from here.

I personally tested ArcaVir System Protection in my virtual test machine running 32 bit Windows XP Professional with 512Mb RAM. My findings are the following:

Installation, Update and System Impact

  • The installer for all ArcaVir products is the same. Its the license code/choice of demo version during installation that differentiate different product. The installer is 157Mb in size and is digitally signed by ArcaBit Ltd. Installation went smooth and took about 5 minutes to complete without asking for restart.
  • After installation has been finished I have found that the software integrates nicely to security center and also have started updating in background. I was asked for a restart after the first update that tool about another 10 minutes with my download speed of 64kbps.
  • Installation do not turn off Windows Firewall. Although the support informed me that ArcaVir Firewall do not interfare with the function of Windows Firewall, it is not advisable to run two software firewalls at the same time.
  • The software has a Registry Monitor, Access Control and HTTP Scanner which are not enable by default.
  • After restart everything was just fine. By default it runs 6 processes at idle time requiring 225Mb RAM and no CPU usage. While during scanning/manual updating it requires 40-45% CPU usage. The software has a registry monitor which if enabled creates another process requiring 5Mb more RAM usage.

Overall I think the system impact is little heavy regarding RAM usage but with current computers with large memory it shouldn’t be a problem. Even in my test system with 512Mb I found it light while not scanning or manually updating.

User interface and Customization options

  • The user interface is nice looking.

  • It has a few scanning profiles and it has options to create more.

  • There is an in-built task scheduler.

  • There are few tools like Backup Manager, Files Manager, Process manager etc.


  • Unlike many other security softwares it has an option to create more than one user profiles to store different  customization options and to password protect those.


  • There is a right click option to send suspicious files to ArcaVir.

  • The tray icon gives lot of useful options like starting scans, updating, backup and other tools, contacting support, training antispam, playing ArcaCoolka game, Updating ArcaVir Rescue Drive etc.
  • Now see the realtime scanner, firewall and registry monitor in action.



  • There are lots of options to customize every module, so its almost impossible to post screenshots of everything (I have collected over 80 screenshots during my review). I rarely used such a highly customizable software. Few important settings for the firewall, antispam, mail scanner, registry monitor and access control can be seen below.

 





  • Unfortunately, no offline help is linked with the software interface. But on pressing F1 key help opens. ArcaVir support have informed me that the offline help will soon be linked with the software interface. Help is  also gettable from online documentation or from Ravtach support website.

Protection

  • I have been playing with this software about a week and have tested multiple times with malicious links. I never have executed those malware files but in my testing of download protection it failed to block any links but have caught around 40% threats through realtime scanning. Here I have to confess that there is no chance that all of my tested malicious links are actually malicious and 40% detection with zero day/fresh malwares is not too disheartening as with few year old malwares its detection is about 95%. Moreover I have found that after submitting them malware files, they respond pretty fast.
  • They haven’t added any so-called cloud and HIPS in their product which they should to stay in the competition. Although registry monitor can be argued to be a component of HIPS. Also by seeing the news that ArcaVir uses Microsoft Azure, it seems quite exciting that Cloud Security will soon be a part of ArcaVir products. Also, ArcaVir have implemented ‘Molecule Technology’ in version 2010 which is essentially an early warning of new infections in the network and collecting information about potentially harmful objects. Furthermore, ArcaVir is currently involved in exchanging malware definitions with other antivirus companies like Sophos, Kingsoft, Microsoft, Norton.

  • The software has somewhat poor self protection as all of the running processes can be killed through Task Manager. I was informed that self-protection will be improved in ArcaVir 2012.

Now the giveaway

Ravindran has arranged total 60 licenses of ArcaVir Products, 25 each for ArcaVir Internet Security and ArcaVir System Protection and 10 for ArcaVir Antivirus Protection. I want to mention few things about the licenses.

  • The licenses can be used on 1 PC only.
  • If a user with a valid license reinstall OS, he will have to reinstall ArcaVir on the formatted PC by entering the same License Key number. It will show the remaining “UPDATE DAYS” from the previous installation and will not consider it as a new installation.
  • Each license has a shelf life upto 18 Oct, 2012.
  • ArcaVir recently have released beta of their upcoming 2012 version of softwares. ArcaVir System Protection will not be available from version 2012 onwards. All the functions and features will be included into ArcaVir Internet Security version 2012. So, licenses of both System Protection and Internet Security will work on v2012 Internet Security.
  • If you have a system running earlier version of Windows 98/ME/2000, there is a supported build of ArcaVir too. Any license can be used to activate that build.

31 day trial of the softwares can be downloaded here

32-bit system

64-bit system

So, if your antivirus license has expired, if you are not feeling secured using %&$ free antivirus or if your are bored using your current antivirus and want to use a well reputed less known security software……

  • Leave a comment below. Please mention what among ArcaVir Antivirus Protection, ArcaVir Internet Security and ArcaVir System Protection you prefer. Better give a preference order. Posts without mentioning the preference will not be counted.
  • If you can please share about this giveaway wherever you can, Blog, Forum, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc etc. Please note that sharing this info will not increase your chances of winning but I will encourage you to do so to let more people know about it.

This giveaway will run for 21 days (upto 17th Nov) and I will then select the winners randomly and send them licenses.

Giveaway Ended

Happy Dewali and Happy Halloween