Immunet launches fast, free layer of real-time antivirus protection

Palo Alto’s Immunet announced today the release of Immunet Protect Free 2.0the latest version of its free, real-time antivirus software for Windows users. Immunet Protect provides “a layer of cloud-based protection that can be used alone or on top of existing security software, offering real-time security that does not require updates to be downloaded to your PC.”

“For anyone who spends time online – whether it’s for work, play, or staying in touch with others – viruses are a real problem that carry a much greater threat than simply a crashed PC,” said the Canadian Oliver Friedrichs, Founder and CEO of Immunet. “Immunet Protect is the world’s first security product to combine the power of social networking with light-weight cloud-based antivirus software.  The best way to remain virus-free is to protect those that we communicate with the most frequently.  Immunet Protect let’s you do that.” The University of Manitoba graduate and C100 charter member added, “We believe the combination of these two technologies is a major step towards making the Internet safer for everyone.” 

Immunet Protect is “designed specifically to protect consumers and their social network against threats in real-time.” Unlike traditional security products, Immunet says its protection software is compatible with conventional antiviruses to provide added protection. Immunet Protect “significantly improves” the detection of threats on any Windows PC by combining the speed of cloud computing with the benefits of Collective Immunity. It has been in active use by over 250,000 beta users since August 2009.

The company’s Collective Immunity technology offers members a network of protection that keeps their personal PCs and the computers of their friends and family safe online. Each time a virus is blocked on one computer in the Immunet Community, all other PCs are instantly protected from the same virus. According to Immunet, this collaborative approach leverages “strength-in-numbers” to grow stronger with each new community member.

At least two out of five PC users will catch a virus this year, while 50% of consumers worldwide continue to have inadequate or outdated antivirus protection, according to stats by Immunet. Immunet Protect’s integrated Community feature allows members to extend virus protection to their most trusted friends and family members. Immunet says that, once shared, members can view the protection status with those contacts who have also installed the product, giving them confidence when sharing links, photos, and other information online. Community members can view the total protective power of their network, indicating how many viruses they have collectively blocked.

“The speed of malware today puts great pressure on traditional anti-virus detection and signature distribution systems to keep up,” says Eric Ogren, principal analyst at the Ogren Group. “Innovative cloud-based approaches that leverage intelligence gleaned from a vast network of consumer PCs now augment anti-virus, providing consumers with rapid protection against new attacks.”

Traditional antivirus products take 1 to 14 days to gather, analyze, and deliver updates, while today’s viruses breakout and expire long before then, Immunet says. The company claims it has designed a fast antivirus solution that does not require updates and is low on resource usage. Immunet Protect is “up to 35 times smaller than traditional products”. 

According to the company, Immunet Protect is less than 10MB to download; it takes about 30 seconds install; it uses minimal CPU resources; and it uses minimal memory resources.