New version of VirusBarrier included in test

05. April 2014 Security 0

X8Naturally one day after I update the test I find out Intego has released a new version of VirusBarrier, X8. Serves me right for not paying closer attention. Some of the new features listed are:

  • New:  Revised and polished User Interface to improve the customer experience
  • New:  Low priority scan setting to enhance system performance while scanning
  • New:  Audible alerts on scan completion
  • New:  Scan information available from Mac OS X Notification Center
  • New:  Easy-to-use Setup Assistant for first time users
  • New:  Improved scanning performance and malware detection

I immediately downloaded it, installed it into a virtual machine crawling with nasties and let it rip. Here are my findings:

I like the interface, it’s clean, simple and seems more responsive.
The X8 trial is crippled, meaning it will find malware but any cleaning or quarantine features are disabled. So when malware is found you are forced to “Trust” it as it is the only action available. In my opinion a “Cancel” button alongside the other options would have been better.

After entering a license code and restarting the app the test was underway. Not surprisingly the results are near identical to the previous 2013 (X7) version however I did experience a few more issues with stability. If samples were encountered that could not be cleaned, the status window would just show a spinning gear that simply lasts forever. X8 has to be force quit and restarted. However after a force quit the software becomes mostly useless as it’s suddenly unable to detect anything. So the whole Mac needs to be restarted. This happened a few times while working on the samples from 2007 and 2013.

When dropping multiple folders onto the X8 interface it will give separate prompts for each folder scanned. Occasionally after repairing a found infection it will just continue scanning that folder in the sidebar even though it is already finished. This happens to the last folder that is scanned 9 out of 10 times. Again a restart of the application is needed to clear this up or just scanning something else will cause X8 to snap out of it too.

X8 has issues cleaning .pkg and .app files leaving more than half as much files to be cleaned by the user compared to the previous version.

Overall this new release of VirusBarrier is a little rough around the edges but has great detection results still. Even with the few issues I found and the few samples that were missed X8 is still 5% better (in this test) than the current runner-up, Avast.

Tests with and without the new “Scan with low priority” setting show no differences in CPU usage at all on the quad-core virtual machine. Perhaps older Core 2 Duo machines will see a benefit to using this feature but any Macs with an i5 or newer processor have no need for this as far as I can tell.

For current VirusBarrier 2013 and even VirusBarrier X6 users I’d say hold off on upgrading for a little while until the bugs are ironed out. For those that do want to give it a try you can find it here.

The detection results can be found in the PDF. Current X6 users can enjoy great protection as long as the virus definitions are kept up to date. The only reason these users will have to upgrade to a newer version is incompatibility with future versions of OSX but I hear from X6 users it runs just fine on 10.9 Mavericks. VirusBarrier X6 has proven itself by now so I see no need for future testing of this discontinued product.


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