VIPRE Antivirus 2024: Review Summary
VIPRE is ranked #15 of the 28 best antivirus of 2024.
VIPRE has below average anti-malware test scores, falling behind Microsoft Defender. Although it has a minimal impact on the speed of your PC and includes many features, it lacks a password manager and parental controls.
On top of that, if you want the unlimited VPN, it’s very expensive. You will get significantly more value for your money at Norton or Bitdefender.
We therefore prefer Norton 360 Deluxe. It has better test scores, more security features, and a lower price. It’s simply a superior antivirus program.
- Malware protection: 75%. VIPRE detected and removed many of the 1,200 malware samples in our test, but not all.
- Speed impact: 80%. VIPRE’s anti-malware engine is lightweight, but it did have a small impact on the speed of our test PC.
- Features: 80%. VIPRE offers anti-malware, anti-phishing, a firewall, and a VPN. But it misses a password manager
- Price: 50%. If you want the unlimited VPN, you’ll need VIPRE Ultimate, which is very expensive.
If you want the best protection, we recommend Norton.
|Ranking||#15 of 28|
|Operating systems||Windows, macOS|
VIRPE Antivirus 2024: Full Review
We tested VIPRE antivirus and found it to be a solid option with unique privacy features like personal profile protection and a local document scanner. But it falls short in offering extras like performance optimization and parental controls.
In terms of setup, VIPRE splits its features across three apps: VIPRE Advanced Security, VIPRE Privacy Shield, and VIPRE Internet Shield VPN. Unlike competitors like Norton 360 that offer a unified interface, this makes the user experience less smooth.
Under Advanced Security, you get the essential features, including malware scanning, real-time protection, and web security. The Privacy Shield app focuses on keeping your sensitive data safe, from login credentials to personal information. It even scans the dark web for data breaches. The Internet Shield serves as a VPN, providing unlimited data and compatibility with services like Netflix.
While VIPRE covers the basics well, it does miss out on some features commonly found in top-tier antivirus software, such as system cleanup tools. Price-wise, it’s on the higher side after the first year. However, it offers a 30-day free trial and a money-back guarantee, letting you try before you commit.
In summary, VIPRE is a decent choice for basic security and privacy, but it’s not the best all-in-one solution out there.
We put VIPRE’s antivirus scanning to the test and the results were a mixed bag. It offers a variety of scan types: Full, Quick, and specialized scans like Registry and Rootkit Scans. When we placed a malware sample in a critical folder, VIPRE’s Quick Scan caught it right away, urging us to perform a Full Scan.
In our Full Scan test with hundreds of malware samples, VIPRE took a lengthy 3.5 hours but had a minimal impact on CPU performance. It detected 95% of the malware, even revealing a few threats we weren’t aware of. While this is impressive, it’s worth noting that rivals like Norton consistently score 100%.
We also ran a ransomware simulation, where VIPRE managed to block only 65% of attacks. This leaves room for improvement compared to leading brands that offer more robust ransomware protection.
In conclusion, VIPRE performs well in detecting common malware types but lags in ransomware protection. The Full Scan is thorough but takes more time than competitors. It’s a decent choice for guarding against prevalent threats, but there’s work to be done for it to be on par with industry leaders.
We tested VIPRE’s web protection capabilities, and it surpassed our expectations, especially in phishing defense. We disabled browser-based protections on Microsoft Edge, Firefox, and Chrome to isolate VIPRE’s performance. Remarkably, VIPRE blocked 100% of the malicious websites we visited across all three browsers.
The software also offered user-friendly options for whitelisting sites and even encouraged sharing the information about blocked websites to keep others safe.
In summary, VIPRE excels in web protection, particularly against phishing attacks. If strong web safeguards are a priority for you, VIPRE is an excellent choice.
We explored VIPRE’s Firewall feature and found it to be both robust and customizable, making it a strong layer of defense against network attacks. It offers granular control over inbound and outbound rules, along with options like logging events and enabling stealth mode. Additionally, VIPRE provides Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) to safeguard against unauthorized system changes.
The feature explanations included are straightforward, making it user-friendly even for beginners. However, we were disappointed to find the firewall disabled by default, which could potentially leave unaware users unprotected. Unlike some competitors, like Bitdefender, which turn on their firewall automatically, VIPRE requires manual activation.
In summary, VIPRE’s firewall is a significant upgrade over default options, offering extensive customization and strong security features. But it loses points for not being enabled by default, which could compromise safety for users new to antivirus software.
We tried out VIPRE’s Internet Shield VPN and were generally impressed. It offers a no-logs policy, unlimited data, and supports up to 10 devices across various platforms like Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Additionally, the VPN works well with popular streaming services like Netflix and avoids ISP throttling.
The user interface is streamlined, showing server traffic loads to help you pick an optimal server. With over 80 server locations in 50+ countries, you’re spoilt for choice. The “Best Available” server option stood out, automatically connecting us to the fastest server without any noticeable slowdowns.
In speed tests, VIPRE’s VPN had minimal impact on our download speeds, allowing for smooth HD streaming. While it may not outperform standalone VPNs like ExpressVPN, it’s a solid choice for secure and anonymous internet browsing without sacrificing speed.
We explored VIPRE’s other security features and here’s a quick breakdown:
- Personal Profile Protection: Scans your computer for hidden profiles containing sensitive information. It gave risk scores to these profiles, although it didn’t clarify where this data was stored, making deletion decisions tricky.
- Local Document Scanner: Scanned our PC for unsecured documents containing private information. It found several such files and offered options to move them to an encrypted vault. A useful feature we haven’t seen in rivals.
- Anti-Tracking: Blocks internet tracking via a browser extension. We tested it on Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, and it successfully stopped targeted ads. It’s not as integrated as Norton’s VPN-based solution, but it works well.
- Dark Web Scanner: Checks for your data in dark web breaches. It found instances of our email being compromised and suggested corrective actions. While it’s not as comprehensive as Norton’s service, it offers global coverage.
Overall, VIPRE offers some unique and effective features, standing out in personal and document security. Though there’s room for improvement in details and integration, these features are compelling additions to VIPRE’s antivirus suite.
VIPRE offers an Android-only app, which is a downside since many competitors offer iOS apps too. The app is feature-rich, offering malware scanning, web protection, and other handy tools like app lock and anti-theft features. The malware scan was fast and accurate, but the app is not included in VIPRE’s premium packages, which feels like a miss.
Options include email, phone, and a not-so-helpful knowledge base and community forum. We found the knowledge base lacking in detailed information. The phone support had long wait times and is limited to certain countries. However, their email support was responsive and provided clear answers.
Plans and pricing
VIPRE is on the pricey side and doesn’t offer as many features as competitors like Norton and Bitdefender. Here’s a breakdown:
VIPRE Antivirus Plus – Basic Plan
- Features: Malware scanner, real-time protection, ransomware defense, cloud security.
- Lacks: Firewall.
- Coverage: PCs only.
- Cost: Starts at $32.99/year.
- Our Take: Good for basic malware protection on Windows, but poor value overall.
VIPRE Advanced Security – Mid-tier Plan
- Features: Adds firewall, web protection, email security, app patching, and gaming mode.
- Coverage: PCs and Macs.
- Cost: $36.99/year.
- Our Take: Offers essential features and some extras like app patching. Good for multiple devices.
Ultimate Security – Premium Plan
- Features: Adds personal profile protection, local document scanner, anti-tracking, ad-blocking, webcam/microphone security, dark web scanner, and VPN.
- Coverage: Up to 10 PCs or Macs.
- Cost: $59.99/year.
- Our Take: Comprehensive but pricey. It’s the best VIPRE plan for full-featured security and privacy.
Special mention: The Android app isn’t included in any package, which is odd when competitors often bundle mobile security.
VIPRE offers first-year discounts, a 30-day trial, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Worth considering if you’re after the features it does well but be aware of its limitations.
Plans and pricing
In the table below are the core products with their features and prices.
The prices shown are from the USA. However, most brands have different prices (and currencies) in other regions. So visit the brand’s website to see the price in our country.
Test score comparison
Next to our own anti-malware tests, we analyze those by AV-Test. We’ve compared the results of the 10 most recent tests for Windows 10. The tests were performed by AV-Test, the German anti-malware test lab. They use three factors:
- Protection (1-6): Antivirus protection against malware attacks.
- Performance (1-6): System slowdown caused by the antivirus.
- Usability (1-6): Frequency of false alarms and disruptions.
We used their results, and this formula, to calculate the final score:
Final Score = 60% Protection + 20% Performance + 20% Usability.
Brands not listed in the table haven’t participated in the analysis by AV-Test. This is usually not a good sign. Because most reputable brands, except Panda, ESET, and Sophos, partake in the test.
We’ve compared the prices of the top antivirus products for Windows. To make it a fair comparison, we looked at what it would cost us, to protect a single Windows PC with the most essential features:
- Anti-phishing (web protection)
- Password manager
- Unlimited VPN (no data limit)
A few notes:
- Some brands are missing features, lowering their value for money.
- Prices are second-year prices in the USA, without first-year discounts.
- Prices are rounded up for readability (e.g., $99.99 becomes $100).
Brands have different prices outside the USA. See those on their website.
We’ve compared the user reviews of all antivirus brands. We’ve used the scores and review count of TrustPilot, a leading user review platform. However, take these results with a grain of salt, as some brands actively attempt to increase their ratings.
Personally, we are wary of exceptionally high scores. Especially those by brands such as TotalAV, known for aggressive marketing and sales tactics.
We consider scores between 4.0 and 4.5 good and realistic. Higher scores are dubious, and lower scores indicate that the brand might have a poor product or customer service. McAfee’s scores, for instance, are worrying.
How we test antivirus software
Below we describe how we run our tests. For even more details, visit our blog posts on how we test antivirus software.
Anti-malware protection test
We analyze antivirus software’s capability to detect and eliminate known and unknown malware, using heuristic analysis for behavior monitoring.
We conduct in-house tests and analyze those from labs like AV-Test, SE Labs, and AV-Comparatives to determine the best malware protection.
Malware includes adware, keyloggers, ransomware, rootkits, spyware, trojans, viruses, worms, and more. Other cyber threats, usually not classified as malware, are (zero-day) exploits, hacks, identity theft, phishing attacks, scams, and social engineering.
False positives test
False positives occur when antivirus software misidentifies legitimate software, files, or websites as malicious. We rely on AV-Test’s large-scale analysis of false positives in its usability test to guide our evaluations.
System performance test
We measure the CPU load during antivirus software system scans and consider AV-Test’s performance results on the slowdown caused by antivirus software when opening websites and handling software.
We evaluate two-way firewalls that filter incoming and outgoing data and allow users to set rules to regulate data streams. We use the ShieldsUP! test to determine if the antivirus software blocks all ports.
Password manager test
We assess password managers’ ability to create, store, and autofill secure passwords, as well as additional features like two-factor authentication and biometric login.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) test
We evaluate built-in VPNs on their security, privacy, speed, compatibility with streaming services, unlimited data access, and support for peer-to-peer networks and torrent clients.
Parental control test
We examine parental control features, such as screen time rules, website/app blocking, and real-world location tracking. We test these features on a device and attempt to circumvent them, checking if the activity is accurately reported in the parental control admin.
Anti-phishing protection test
We evaluate antivirus browser extensions that block phishing sites by installing them and attempting to visit dangerous URLs.
Ransomware protection test
We assess security suites’ ability to prevent data encryption through exploit prevention and behavioral detection during ransomware attacks.
Bonus features test
We test any additional cybersecurity tools such as:
- Ad Blocker
- Dark web monitoring (identity protection)
- Email protection
- File encryption
- File shredder
- Gaming mode
- Microphone protection
- PC maintenance features
- Secure browser (hardened browser to protect your online banking)
- Secure cloud storage (cloud backup)
- Spam filter
- Startup optimizer
- Tune up tools
- Virtual keyboard
- Webcam protection
Ownership and reputation test
We analyze the trustworthiness of antivirus companies, especially concerning customer data. We read press releases, news articles, and privacy policies to determine their reputation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are the most frequently asked questions.
Is VIPRE a good antivirus program?
How do we test antivirus software?
We analyze the protection from malware, the performance impact on a PC, and the number of false positives. On top of that, we test various security features such as the firewall, password manager, VPN, and more.
Author: Tibor Moes
Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab