the internet - NOT SO SAFE AS YOU THINK

VirusBarrier 2.0.1 Review for PROMAC

by Intego
$70 on sale for $50, at the Intego web site:

review by Scott Williams
<> 3/14/00

another Intego product Virus Barrier

Scott Williams <> 7/26/01

VirusBarrier 2.0.1 by Intego
(download, add $15 for CD version)
at the Intego web site:

VirusBarrier System Requirements: Mac OS 8.1 to OS 9 (OS X should out September 2001) ; PowerPC, Powerbook, iMac or G-series; Transport; 16MB memory; 5 MB free disk space; Screen resolution 800 x 600 or higher

How can you get it? Or a CD or download from the web

Though I have Norton Anti-virus at work on my PowerMac G4 running OS X, I needed a new first rate protection for my home compiter, a PowerMac G3 running OS 8.6 (I have programs that don't even run on OS9 much less OS X). I examined Norton Anti-virus, Dr. Solomon's Virex, and VirusBarrier. Their old versions running on 8.1 could not be updated with the latest virus definitions.

I was first attracted to Intego's VirusBarrier for the Macintosh (they also have a PalmPilot version) because I was very pleased with another of their programs, the personal firewall NetBarrier. Indeed the anti-virus utility VirusBarrier uses several of the features I like about NetBarrier.

VirusBarrier is simpler than Norton Antivirus but gives the same protection. Following installation, VirusBarrier will scan your disks for viruses [You do not even have to restart your machine] - it took 12 minutes for my 12 gigabyte hard drive. It found two viruses both my old versions of Virex and Norton anti-virus missed. One of these viruses affected the preferences of Norton anti-virus so that it would update properly.

After the initial scan you can then customize it to your needs before it starts working. The program continuously monitors your entire hard drive scanning files when they are either created or modified. But, unlike other programs, this does not seem to slow the performance of your machine.

You do not need to disable VirusBarrier when you install software!

You do not need to scan removable media separately! (it will scan the files when you drag them to your hard drive).

It catches PC viruses! MACNN in their tests said, "VirusBarrier caught every virus and trojan that we threw at it. It even caught some PC viruses during the drive scan, such as the Melissa virus, which doesn't affect Macs, but could wreck havoc on a PC if the file had been given to a Windows user."

It scans compressed files! This is new in 2.0.1 and answered a previous complaint.

It requires 6MB but only uses 300KB during monitoring and small scanning! VirusBarrier works by constantly monitoring your drive and. While both Norton AntiVirus and Virex can utilize similar features on folders that a user specifies, such as their special designated folder(s), VirusBarrier covers the entire drive, scanning files as they are created or modified, without drain on your speed.

I found no defects. Further MACNN said, "There were also some issues with a handful of trojan applications, which didn't trigger an alert after decompression despite being infected. VirusBarrier stopped our attempts at launching the applications--and thus infecting our system--but this is another case where a file that one could initially be presumed to be virus-free was not."

You can update automatically or manually! To keep up with the latest updates, VirusBarrier offers a version-checking feature that can be set to manually or automatically check for updates. Unlike most anti-virus utilities that release monthly definitions files, Intego releases complete VirusBarrier updates with the new definitions, so checking for new versions frequently is a must.


Pros: fast, constantly scans, does not slow machine, menubar interface, automatic updates of definitions and software

Cons: I don't have any.

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