Will NOD32 compete with the Giants ?

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PC users with bulky anti-virus systems that show visible delay while scanning documents and running a complete system scan should give NOD32 a whirl and experience the difference. It's an anti-virus product that runs smoothly on relatively slower systems and consumes far fewer resources on fast machines. This can be a boon for gamers as the product is extremely light on resource-grabbing, yet effective against current threats, both online and offline.

Although NOD32 is relatively unknown and somewhat overshadowed by the anti- virus giants Symantec and McAfee, it has been around for a while and features regularly in Virus Bulletin's top slots. So what's different about this AV? For one, its size (a 7MB download) is fairly small. Secondly, the scanning speed and installation are both quite fast. The protection it provides is advertised as "Advanced Heuristics" and though details are scarce as to what this actually does, it sounds like a built-in artificial intelligence. The idea is to have a system with the ability to detect new and future viruses, worms and trojans when other 'industry strength" products are busy publishing a fix.

There are several sob-modules within the application: the program includes an on- demand scanner that may be activated at any time to perform a complete scan of the system. Also present is AMON (Antivirus Monitor), which runs in the background and checks current system activities to detect the presence of malicious code and monitor file activities. Next up is DMON, which specifically scans Office documents. IMON monitors internet traffic and keeps an eye on flies being downloaded as you surf the Web and e-mail coming through a POP3 server, so you know exactly what enters your system. And finally, there's EMON, an on-board mail scanner that will check e-mails coming through MAPI interfaces such as Microsoft Outlook or Exchange for virus and worm activity. The enterprise edition is geared specifically for corporate or business environments and feature administrative controls that allow you to monitor and scan over both local and wide area networks.

A wide variety of operating systems are supported. Based on neutral performance and detection tests, developers claim that NOD32 is the best anti-virus product available today. According to them, it's also the fastest and most resource-friendly AV available.

visit the NOD32 website www.nod32.com

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