One of my favorite sayings is, “You can’t beat free!” It’s not always true of course, but as the industry has learned from the many useful open source tools available today, free is often good enough to avoid paying for a commercial product that does the same job.
So it was in the spirit of getting something for nothing that I tried Panda Software Canada’s new free NanoScan at its InfectedOrNot.com Web site.
The site offers two different scans: TotalScan, which looks for active and latent malware, and the NanoScan, an alleged one-minute scan that looks only for active infestations.
Seeing as I wanted to save some time in order to write this blog entry, I went with the NanoScan. But, does it really only take one minute? With my stopwatch in hand, I accepted the user agreement (and the ActiveX control, which I never feel good about) and I initiated the scan. Despite the disclaimer that it may take longer (…depending on the characteristics of your PC and the speed of your Internet connection…), the scan finished in exactly 60 seconds, and confirmed that my PC is malware-free and running up-to-date AV.
I also liked the site’s “Infex” statistics, which showed (at posting time) that more than 56% of scanned PCs were infected with malware, and 52% of those with malware had active, up-to-date antivirus software.
Ultimately the site didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know, and while it’s hardly unique in offering a free PC scan, infectedornot.com’s effective branding and as-promised quick scan time could make it an effective marketing/awareness tool, especially for SMB users who are often hard-pressed to buy into the complexity of security.