Get The Bugs Out

Watchful Eye

Datawatch Virex 5.7 is the other leader in Macintosh anti-virus software. Virex is also simple to install and run, and can be used on a PowerPC. During installation, Virex asks whether you'd like to scan for viruses. If any are found, it removes them.

Virex offers sophisticated functions for today's virus problems, including protection against Microsoft Office 97 macro viruses. Virex also finds and restores infected Word files that have been converted to template files.

I preferred Virex's interface over SAM because it's simpler to navigate. Not that either program requires much hands-on use: Most of what these products do is automatic. On the other hand, Virex's monitoring of suspicious activities requires more manual work by the user than SAM's. Like SAM, Virex offers virus updates via the Internet and on disk.

Virex installs a "DropScan" icon on the desktop for users to drag files, folders or volumes into for virus assessment. Beware, however: You first need to install the Virex Control Panel before DropScan will work.

Virex's biggest selling point is speed--something to consider when you're in the middle of important work and your anti-virus software stops to analyze what's going on. Virex's SpeedScan definitely does this faster than SAM.

Both SAM and Virex will protect your Macintosh from viruses. In the end, I found that neither is clearly better than the other. SAM's ability to easily monitor suspicious activ-
ities is a plus, while Datawatch's dedication to speed and protection against Microsoft Office 97 macro viruses plays in Virex's favor.

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This article was originally published in the September 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Get The Bugs Out.

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