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Ashampoo Anti-Virus 2014: Strong, but high-maintenance, security

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | July 3, 2014
Ashampoo Anti-Virus 2014, which costs US$40 for one year of protection on one PC, is the company's first foray into the antimalware market.

Additional tools are Ashampoo's forte--in this suite you get a secure file wiper, an ADS scanner, an Internet clean-up tool, a start-up tuner, an LSP viewer, and a Hosts file checker. Strangely, because use of tools requires "elevated user privileges," clicking on any tool restarts the application with administrator privileges. I'm not sure why those privileges aren't turned on by default (and once the program is restarted, it will restart for each additional tool you click on).

Ashampoo's options menu lets you change the skin (dark or light theme) and the language, but the more advanced "Scan operation" options are pretty unfriendly for non-advanced users. For what it's worth, Ashampoo does offer up a warning: "These settings should only be changed by experienced users."

Back to the "install and forget" promise: I found Ashampoo to be anything but. After the initial installation, I started up my PC only to see a small, red X in my system tray. I clicked on the X--Ashampoo's system icon--and up popped an ad for Ashampoo. It wasn't until I clicked to close the ad that Ashampoo actually started up and started actively working to protect my system.

Another issue I found during my test-run of the product was the full system scans: Only about 30 percent of them successfully completed. I found myself constantly having to restart the scans after they stopped--not exactly a product I could "forget" about. On top of this, I also found that Ashampoo had problems removing quarantined files and updating its signatures on its own. In fact, I've updated the signatures manually at least three times. Ashampoo told me this is a problem they're working on.

The bottom line

Ashampoo Anti-Virus 2014 offers decent protection, but so do a host of other security products. These days an antivirus product's value often comes down to its interface, and Ashampoo's has quite a few problems, including a lack of user-friendly options in the settings menu, and the need for constant manual maintenance. Until the program can live up to its "install and forget" promise, you'd be better off looking elsewhere for you PC protection.

 

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