The name VIPRE evokes strong images of a predator that strikes in the blink of an eye, but how does VIPRE Advanced Security compare to the best antivirus software (opens in new tab) on the market. Can it live up to that viper image? When it comes to protecting your home computer (opens in new tab) or laptop (opens in new tab) from online threats, most people will default to choosing one of the most popular name brands, like Norton 360 Antivirus (opens in new tab) or Kaspersky Anti-Virus (opens in new tab).
In truth, we’re actually reviewing three separate products here - VIPRE Antivirus Plus, VIPRE Advanced Security, and VIPRE Ultimate Security. While they’re technically different products, they’re more accurately described as different tiers of the same software. The more expensive tiers just come with more layers of security and features piled on top.
VIPRE Antivirus Plus is the entry-level antivirus software that covers your basic online security needs. The other two products, VIPRE Advanced Security, and VIPRE Ultimate Security are competing more in the field of the best internet security software (opens in new tab) - these programs come with additional security on top of the antivirus program, such as firewalls and VPN (opens in new tab) access.
So should you choose VIPRE for your antivirus needs? And if so, which version should you choose? Read our review to find out more.
VIPRE Advanced Security review: VIPRE Antivirus Plus
VIPRE Antivirus Plus is the first rung on the ladder and it’s the most akin to traditional antivirus software out of all the options. It’s also the cheapest of the three options, with prices starting at $29.99 to cover a single PC for one year, with prices rising in subsequent years. You can also cover multiple computers with options for three, five, and ten devices which all cost more, but offer significant savings over buying VIPRE Antivirus Plus individually for each machine.
As you’d expect, VIPRE Antivirus Plus comes with robust anti-threat protection which detects and removes all manner of viruses, spyware, and other malware from your devices. It even scans programs and files as they’re in use so you can be sure it will find issues the second they arise. There are a huge number of settings that you can configure for specific things like email or social media protection, so you can tailor the software to suit your needs.
VIPRE Antivirus Plus also uses machine learning to detect and deal with previously unseen malware to ensure that you’re protected from the threats to come, as well as the threats we already know about.
Beyond that, there is a system of ransomware protection that is designed to stop would-be attackers from encrypting your files, blocking exploits and malicious software from running so they can’t get a foothold on your machine.
There aren’t really any extra features to speak of though - for those you’ll have to upgrade to one of the fancier security suites. While most of the best features are usually locked behind the more expensive tiers, many competing programs do offer a few freebies like limited VPN access and password managers at the lowest level, so it’s a shame not to see any here.
VIPRE Advanced Security review: VIPRE Advanced Security
This is probably the best known of VIPRE’s internet security products and for good reason. VIPRE Advanced Security serves as a fantastic middle-ground between the other two products, with VIPRE Antivirus Plus covering the cheap and cheerful end of the spectrum while VIPRE Ultimate Security is aimed at the premium market.
Prices for VIPRE Advanced Security start at $38.49 to cover one PC or Mac for a year, but you can buy coverage for either three, five, or ten devices too if you need to protect an entire household's worth of gadgets (though sadly it won’t work on smartphones).
But what does this upgrade get you over the basic package? Well to start with VIPRE Advanced Security comes with an integrated firewall to block unauthorized attempts to connect to your devices via the internet.
You also get a spam filter, which blocks pop-up ads and unsolicited spam emails to keep you safe from phishing scams which try to steal your information by pretending to be someone you know, or a company you deal with like your bank.
Finally, VIPRE Advanced Security has a feature called Application Patching, which automatically updates all of your third party software on a regular basis to make sure you have the most recent patches. This means you’ll be safe from any security flaws and vulnerabilities that are found and patched as soon as possible.
VIPRE Advanced Security review: VIPRE Ultimate Security
VIPRE Ultimate Security is the top-tier internet security package on offer here, boasting a whole range of extra features to keep your computer safe from just about any threat you could think of (short of someone hitting it with a big hammer, but that’s kind of outside antivirus software’s remit).
VIPRE Ultimate Security costs $69.99 to cover five devices, or $76.00 to cover 10 devices but again it only works with PC or Mac, so you’ll need to source another antivirus software to keep your smartphones protected. These prices jump up significantly after the first year too, with the ten device plan climbing to $186 per year in subsequent years, so keep an eye out for that if you’re sticking with VIPRE long term.
But what do you get for all that cash? Well in addition to everything included in the above two tiers, you also get access to VIPRE’s anti-tracking software which can easily and safely remove tracking programs from your computer. Tracking programs monitor your online activities to sell your browsing history and shopping habits to advertisers, while they can also be used by scammers to make fake emails seem more genuine, helping them with identity theft and phishing scams.
If your information is already out there in the more illicit side of the internet, then VIPRE’s dark web scanner will help you to find out by searching for your contact details on the dark web and letting you know if anything comes up. A sensitive document scanner will also look through your files to see if you have any unsecured documents containing private information like bank details so you can properly encrypt them. There’s also a webcam and microphone blocker which stops strangers from spying on you by connecting to these devices remotely.
Finally, you get unlimited access to the company’s VPN service, which means you can browse the internet safe in the knowledge that you can’t be traced or identified, which is especially important if you use unsecured public networks like free public WiFi in cafes.
How good is VIPRE Advanced Security?
As with all our antivirus reviews, when it comes to testing how effective the program is, there’s a limit to the kind of rigor we can subject these programs to in our office during the limited amount of time we have with the software. For this reason, we usually turn to industry experts from specialist websites like AV Test and AV Comparatives. These teams have been testing internet security software for years and are able to assault them with literally thousands of malware samples in their tests, so you can be sure that when one of these companies gives it’s seal of approval to a product, it has been thoroughly tested.
In AV Test (opens in new tab)’s latest evaluation during March/April 2020, VIPRE Advanced Security had a good showing, blocking 98.2% of zero-day malware strikes in March and 100% in April. Zero-day means newly discovered viruses and malware, so this shows how well VIPRE Advanced Security holds up against novel threats. Against more established and well known malware, VIPRE Advanced Security managed even better, blocking 100% of attacks in both months. It also had a low impact on system performance, with only a 7% slowdown noticed when browsing popular websites, well below the industry average.
VIPRE Advanced Security held up similarly well during AV Comparatives (opens in new tab)’ recent Real World Protection Test in February/March, blocking 99.7% of malware that it was tested against, while also only recording two false positive results. These results are well in line with the best antivirus programs out there, and even better than some big names like McAfee Total Protection (opens in new tab).
VIPRE Advanced Security review: Price
Between the three different programs and various device amounts that you can cover, VIPRE’s pricing information can seem a little bit daunting. To help you out, we’ve broken down the pricing of every possible combination below.
Please note that like most antivirus companies, VIPRE offers the first year’s subscription at a heavily discounted rate, so subsequent years of coverage will cost a lot more. Price conscious users will do well to keep switching between several top antivirus software providers to grab the best deals:
VIPRE Antivirus Plus (PC only)
- One device: $29.99 first year subscription, $34.99 after that.
- Three devices: $38.24 first year subscription, $44.99 after that.
- Five devices: $46.74 first year subscription, $54.99 after that.
- Ten devices: $59.49 first year subscription, $69.99 after that.
VIPRE Advanced Security (PC or Mac)
- One device: $38.49 first year subscription, $54.99 after that.
- Three devices: $45.49 first year subscription, $64.99 after that.
- Five devices: $52.49 first year subscription, $74.99 after that.
- Ten devices: $69.99 first year subscription, $99.99 after that.
VIPRE Ultimate Security (PC or Mac)
- Five devices: $69.99 first year subscription, $139.99 after that.
- Ten devices: $76.00 first year subscription, $189.99 after that.
Should I buy VIPRE Advanced Security?
If you’re looking for robust antivirus protection and feel like branching out from the usual name brands then VIPRE Advanced Security is an excellent option. It offers excellent malware protection, doesn’t slow your computer down, and is competitively priced. We think you can probably find better deals than VIPRE Antivirus Plus if you just want a cheap, good antivirus program given the lack of extra features.
But VIPRE Advanced Security and VIPRE Ultimate Security offer the same excellent performance plus a whole host of extra features for only marginally more money.