Review | VIPRE Antivirus

VIPRE AntiVirus AntiSpyware

Antivirus Without Affecting Performance

Can SunBelt Software Keep Their Promise?

In a market that’s as important to the IT industry as money is to a banker it’s nice to see the IT Security market get a new entrant to shake things up a bit with an offer of something that’s going to get noticed – antivirus that doesn’t make your PC perform like it’s got a screwdriver wedged into the hard disk.

This latest title from SunBelt promises not to slow down your PC using by using a new antivirus and antispyware engine over traditional methods. 

So how did it fair in our tests.

What’s Good?

Clean, Web 2.0-ish Interface

You don’t need a degree to figure out this application.  It’s interface is clean, well laid out and simple to navigate.  It has that Web 2.0 (buzz word of the year without a doubt) look ‘n feel and is sure to be popular as it’s responsive and easy on the eye.  Simply navigate through four tabs at the top to access all the major functions.  There’s only a few ‘Advanced..’ button’s to speak of which is refreshing and the scan’s and tools have a simple wizard feel about them.

VIPRE Antivirus and AntiSpyware Interface


Well SunBelt are shouting about it so I’m writing about it.  Yes, VIPRE performs well and doesn’t seem to slow the machine down as advertised.  This could be due to the default protection settings being set to ‘Low’ but that’s the setting I always set my antivirus to anyway.  This is the setting that allows me to actually use my PC while having an antivirus installed which is kinda why I have a PC in the first place – to use it.  So SunBelt have got it about right here.  I’m sure there are some engine tweaks also which allow it to run fairly silently and unobtrusively.

It’s Reliable & Trouble Free

I haven’t had to touch a setting, close and error message or visit tech support.  Always welcome.

You can download a free trial of VIPRE here Antivirus Software


VIPRE Antivirus ScreenshotVIPRE Antivirus Screenshot

Review | Cyberduck FTP for Mac OS X

Cyberduck Icon

What is it exactly?

This is the mother of all FTP clients for MAC.

It’s an open source (yes free!) client that supports FTP, TLS, SFTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3 and Rackspace Cloud.

Need I say more?  Well ok then…read on.

What’s Good?

Cyberduck has a clean Finder like interface, it’s easy to understand and configure and won’t drain your resources.

I particularly like the Synchronize feature.  Basically, you can sync a folder on your Mac with a folder on say your FTP site.  So you can use that feature alone for a whole host of uses from back up to working on your website to sharing files with friends.

It’s browser may as well be Finder and even supports Quick Look live from the remote server you’re connected to.  As well as that Cyberduck will let you open the file in the browser which will show the actual URL.

Cyberduck also has external editor support for a myriad of editors including Text Edit and about 15 others besides.  The full list is on the authors website.

It has all the usual features for bookmarks and history and they work as you’d expect but it does have one very neat feature that utilizes Apple’s Bonjour protocol.  I started Cyberduck up on my corporate network earlier and a selection of FTP servers automatically appeared in my CyberDuck Bonjour tab.  Sweet.

What’s Bad?

  • Random crashes – A few times Cyberduck has just died in the middle of a transfer.  It’s infrequent.
  • Unexpected Behaviour – The button that normally collapses the toolbar common to most OS X windows minimises the program.  That’s a bit strange.
  • The Synchronize feature can be a bit clunky to get set up but once you have it it works well

Where to get it?

Cyberduck is available for download under the Open Source licence from the author’s website

Dropbox Free Online Storage & Syncing Made Easy

Dropbox Free Online File StorageWhat’s Dropbox?

Dropbox is a simple online storage solution that can sync files on multiple computers running Windows, Linux or Mac.

There’s also an iPhone app and whilst it doesn’t sync files to your iPhone, it does allow you to view and work with your files via an internet connection.

Basically you have a folder on one computer and that folder magically syncs with the same folder on another computer or multiple other computers. It’s up to you.

What’s Good?

It’s Simple

It has an easy to use approach with no complicated software to install and configure.

Just a simple, small footprint application that sits in your Windows system tray or your Mac menu bar.

The only thing you’ll notice about this little application is when the little icon syncs automatically and seamlessly.

Just set it and forget it.

File Sync

Dropbox isn’t only online file storage.   Yes, your files will be stored online or ‘in the cloud’ as it’s now known but they are also synced on whatever PCs or Macs you choose to install Dropbox on.

This makes it perfect to say synchronize certain files on your home and work PCs or to share photos with your family if you live far away.

No messy uploading to FTP sites or online photo sites; just simple drag and drop file operations right in Windows Explorer or your Mac Finder just like any other file or folder operation that you’re used to doing every day.

It’s Reliable & Trouble Free

I haven’t had to touch a setting, close and error message or visit tech support since I first installed Dropbox over 3 months ago.

What’s Bad?

Not much.

Currently the Pro version has an upper limit of 100GB.  That’s not even that bad. 🙂

What Can I Use It For?

Well apart from online file storage and syncing, Dropbox can act as an online backup for your sensitive files and photos.

Recover Deleted Files

The folks at Dropbox will keep anything you delete from your Dropbox securely on their server for you to retrieve if the need arises.

This is of course configurable through you account and so is the length of time you want to keep deleted stuff.

You can even set this length of time to unlimited!

Use it for sharing files with your friends and family easily as Dropbox allows you to have public folders or control access to individual folders for individual users.

They don’t even need to install the application if they don’t want to as the folders they have access to will appear on the Dropbox website for them to download directly through their favorite browser.

The web interface also makes it easy for you to access your Dropbox from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

Handy for when you’re travelling and you need to access a scanned copy of your passport after you lost it or you could always upload all your traveling photos to your Dropbox in an internet cafe for your family to see and that’ll let you take more too and save you buying a new memory card!

The number of uses is extensive.

All I can suggest is that you try it out for free.  They have a 30 day trial for the Pro version.

It’s worth trying the Pro version first for free and if you don’t want to continue with the Pro version after your 30 day trial then you can just downgrade automatically to the free 2GB version.

You’ve nothing to lose, except your files if you don’t try it!

Click Here to get Dropbox free version.

Quick Review: NewsFire Free RSS Reader

newsfire rss reader logoDescription:

An easy to use, feature packed RSS reader for OS X that’s free for all since May this year.

What’s Good?

You can post articles you like straight to your Twitter, it has great integration and a clean, well designed interface.

What’s Bad?

Doesn’t validate feeds. If you add a dud feed, it just lets you.  So no guessing!

Feature List:

  • Supports
    • Atom
    • RSS
    • Podcasting
  • Features
    • Groups
    • Labels
    • Smart Groups
    • Search
  • Integration
    • iTunes
    • Post to Twitter
    • Spotlight
    • Blog editors
    • Import and export to/from OPML


David Watanabe from Canada.  Sounds like a nice guy. 🙂  Check out his blog