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Immunet v2 update on the way: adds multi-engine malware and virus scanning to cloud-powered core

You may not be familiar with Immunet, the Canadian startup who burst onto the scene last year with a light weight, community-driven Windows antivirus app. Immunet's user base is rapidly approaching 300,000 -- pretty phenomenal growth considering this screenshot from August of last year when I was one member out of 64.

Immunet v1 has been a success, and the company is already hard at work on version 2. Now in closed beta testing, Immunet 2 will feature some big-time improvements to its antivirus and antimalware defenses. Thanks to a partnership with Sourcefire -- makers of the ClamAV -- and the introduction of Avira's scanning engine, Immunet 2 will be the first Windows antivirus app to sport multi-engine scanning.

That's not the only thing which sets Immunet apart from other free Windows antivirus programs. There's one other giant difference: Immunet is free for use anywhere -- including commercial environments. Yes, you can run Immunet's antivirus defense on all of your SMB's machines without spending a dime. The same can't be said of apps like Avira, Avast, AVG, Comodo, or even Security Essentials.
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Immunet is, however, going to bring a paid version to market which will incorporate additional engines for even greater defense. I've been testing the new version, and the additions haven't come at the expense of system resources -- Immunet v2 is still one of the lightest antivirus apps I've ever used, and it runs nicely in tandem with Microsoft Security Essentials.

The paid version also gets you additional scanners: email, archived or packed files, and deep scan. Both versions offer scheduled scanning, exclusions, and blocking mode -- which prevents application installs temporarily until they are determined to be safe.

The new version also adds a community display which lets you see the users you're connected to as well as your "protection factor" -- the number of people in your network times the number of threats blocked. Immunet's Alfred Huger, for example, is much better connected than I am -- dwarfing my 30,960 with a PF of over 840,000. It's something of a fun feature and it helps encourage users to share Immunet to help boost their own PF -- which is in turn good for the whole Immunet community.

Immunet version 2 looks very promising so far. If you're interested in getting your hands on a beta version to try out, stay tuned -- I'll be doing my best to secure access for some lucky Download Squad readers.

Tags: antivirus, clam, clamav, cloud, community, immunet, malware, scan, security, virus, windows