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Full screen operation
No full computer scanning
Lacks apps for iOS and Macs
Does without phone support
No firewall or defense against webcam hijacking
At $25 a year, Zemana AntiMalware 3.0 Premium is cheap and continually looks for threats using the cloud, but it lacks many defenses (firewalls or parental controls) that other security programs provide.
Let's cut to the chase here: Zemana’s AntiMalware 3.0 Premium may only cost $25 a year, but it's also lacking must-have items like a Virtual Private Network (VPN), firewall or apps for phones and tablets. Rather, it relies heavily on the cloud for analysis and updating. As soon as a threat is identified, the company’s cloud lab springs into action to tear a sample apart, figure out a way to neutralize it and then distribute a fix to all its users. It’s ironic that with its heavy emphasis on the Web, AntiMalware lacks an online account. Others provide this to track the health of all your systems and distribute software to new systems.
The Free version is basic in the extreme and lacks background scanning. The only upgrade is the paid Premium version, which adds real-time protection with the company’s Neural engine. Lean and light, AntiMalware tries to deliver top-notch protection without slowing the system down too much.
With that said, we put this antivirus program through the paces and tested its performance, so read on to see our full thoughts.
AntiMalware 3.0 relies on next-generation protection that goes beyond traditional scanning. Based on machine learning, its ability to find new malware should improve as time goes on and it gains more experience with the multitude of threat vectors in use.
Designed to stop everything from a slew of known viruses to the latest ransomware attack, AntiMalware is at its best when confronted by a new threat. Others will let it pass because it doesn’t resemble anything seen in the past, but AntiMalware has a good chance of identifying and stopping it based on how it attacks your computer.
Unlike others in its class, AntiMalware is minimalist and lacks several important modern defenses. They range from a firewall to block unauthorized access and browser extensions that warn of dangerous sites to a dedicated defense against the hijacking of a webcam or microphone. There are no parental controls to limit a child’s screen time and keep his or her eyes away from objectionable material.
Based on machine learning, its ability to find new malware should improve as time goes on.
AntiMalware 3.0 Premium might not have many of the latest features, but it does make scanning individual files for rogue elements easy. The app has a Scan button upfront and lets you check on any file by right-clicking on it in the Windows Explorer and selecting Scan with Zemana AntiMalware.
When it comes to scanning, forget about quick- and full-scans. There’s only one choice here: Zemana’s Smart Scan. It’s on a par with the quick scan options of others. In other words, there’s no way to check every single file of the system.
You can also forget about scheduling scans to run when the computer isn’t being used. That’s because AntiMalware lacks the ability to schedule scans.
Because Zemana AntiMalware relies heavily on the cloud for protection, it is not limited to dealing with traditional attacks, such as trojans, ransomware, rootkits, worms, and others. In other words, it has been designed to quickly react to new threats.
The product’s real-time scanner uses behavioral monitoring to keep an eye out for rogue code attempting to break your system’s defenses. It can block adware, phishing attempts, and fraudulent websites. The system stops the installation of Potentially Unwanted Apps (PUAs).
Using AntiMalware can be like a breath of fresh air compared to the competition. To start, the Home screen can run as any size window on the desktop or full screen; others don’t allow full-screen operation.
About as simple as it gets, the main screen has a large green checkmark up front to show that everything is protected. Below, the app’s major protective tasks are in your face and ready to help. In addition to Realtime Protection and Browser Cleanup, there are links for how much time is left on your license and a link to the support staff at Zemana. On the left is a column of major defensive categories, like Quarantine (for captured malware), Safelist (for marking items as safe) and Reports (a list of recent activities). Safelist might be marked as Whitelist, although that is an outdated term.
Using AntiMalware can be like a breath of fresh compared to the competition.
The Settings section provides some customization of the program. It includes things such as Scan details, the current version of the software and the ability to check for new software. Its Tasktray icon is rudimentary at best with the ability to see the software version and open the main program.
Missing are things such as setting different scan intensities, a slider control to adjust the program’s defensive posture and something as simple as a full scan option.
Zemana AntiMalware 3.0 is simple and quick to install. After getting the 12.1MB installer file from the company’s website, the program automatically loads the Free version. If you have an activation code from purchasing the full version, you’ll need to enter it in the upper right corner of the main screen where it says Activate. It took only four minutes to install and start protecting a new computer.
While it was quick and easy, there’s a major limitation. Most of the competition have online accounts and portals for not only monitoring the security of systems but often allow the e-mailing of the links to the needed security software to install it on a new system. Zemana lacks this.
The big benefit of having AntiMalware’s intelligence in the cloud is that it can react quickly to a new threat or vector. Once a new attack is defined, Zemana sends out an update to its program. The updates are automatic and are invisible to the user. On the downside, it lacks the ability that Avira Prime has to update key apps as well as its own program.
Zemana AntiMalware is unique in the antivirus world by lacking the differentiation between a full and quick scan. Its Smart Scan took 1 minute and 14 seconds to plow through a two-year-old Asus P2520L with a Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive, which had 119GB of files.
That’s much shorter than the competition but it only looked at 1,950 files, leaving the vast majority of the system’s files unscanned and vulnerable to attack. Other malware programs examine upwards of 1 million files in each scan of rogue code.
While scanning the system remained usable. There were no slow-downs, freezes or problems.
While the competition loads their security suites down with everything from performance optimizers and password managers to VPNs and firewalls, Zemana keeps it simple with just one included add-on. The Premium version adds a Browser Cleanup feature that can not only keep your Web journeys clean but sites from adding extensions, adware, and unwanted toolbars.
The one additional Zemana tool is its AntiLogger program, which can foil a keylogger program that’s out to steal your log-in passwords. The good news is that it includes a lightweight scanner, real-time protection and costs $34.95 a year or $69.95 for three years. The bad news is that you can’t use AntiMalware and AntiLogger at once.
Its Smart Scan took 1 minute and 14 seconds to plow through a two-year-old Asus P2520L with a Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive, which had 119GB of files.
While the AntiMalware Free edition comes without personal support, the paid Premium version adds support options. The company has staff standing by 24/7 to answer your questions. All you need to do is start a support ticket by describing the problem or question. Feel free to send them an e-mail or log into the support forum, but Zemana lacks phone support.
Over a week we sent them five questions about the product and how to use it. Only four were answered five days later. Most of the replies came the next morning but one arrived in a matter of minutes. The answers were authoritative and helpful.
On the other hand, compared to its competitors, Zemana’s support section is disappointing at best. Its forum has only eight current items, two of which were months-old and never answered. There’s also a small list of FAQ questions, but not much more. There are no videos to help with installation and getting the most out of the program and many of the examples the company uses to explain the product are from the program’s previous generation and just different enough from the current software to confuse.
If all this sounds like it’s the right amount of protection at the right price, Zemana has two versions of AntiMalware 3.0. The Free version has a simple scanner that can block the most popular and dangerous threats but not much more.
For $25 a year, the paid version of AntiMalware 3.0 Premium adds a real-time scanner, ransomware protection, and Browser Cleanup. If you have five systems, the price of protection is $70.95 but Zemana doesn’t offer any unlimited plans for those with large digital families. There’s a 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee.
Basic and inexpensive.
It may do without the bells and whistles of the more complete security suites, like Bitdefender Total Security and Avira Prime, but Zemana AntiMalware 3.0 Premium provides basic protection. And it does something the others can’t: defend your computers from malicious software while continually looking for threats for just $25.