In spite of the name, Emsisoft Anti-Malware is also an antvirus tool – viruses having been grouped together into the malware category for the sake of convenience. The program’s web pages points out that while the software may not be free, it is low cost and provides a great level of protection that is generally only found in more expensive security suites.

One of the key features of this program is that it boasts two scanning engines, the second of which is provided by security experts BitDefender. Having two scanning engines in place not only means that there is a far greater chance of detecting any threats before they become a problem, but it also reduces the risk of false positives. As well as the new BitDefender scanner, Emsisoft’s own scanning engine has also been optimized for better performance.

Things get off to a great start right from the moment of installation. As soon as installation is complete, the latest viruses definitions will be downloaded and then your computer will be scanned for any viruses or malware that may already be lurking. Once this has been done you can then configure the various real time protection tools such as File Guard which checks the files that are downloaded, and Surf Protection which blocks access to malicious web sites.

There is also the Behavior Blocker component which can be used to effectively block unknown threats based on their behaviour – if suspicious activity is noticed, it can be stopped in its tracks. As well as real time protection, you can also perform scheduled scans of your system so you can be sure that you are always free from infection.

Emsisoft Anti-Malware 8.1 is a minor new upgrade. Changes include:

Lighter real-time protection: Reworked File Guard and Behavior Blocker routines to reduce resource usage significantly, making the software lighter and faster than ever before.
New Hybrid Updates: 95% less update traffic on average thanks to the clever combination of incremental and differential updates.
Broader PUP detection: Special treatment of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), such as browser toolbars and buttons, allow for much more aggressive PUP detection and removal in the future.
Better Malware removal: Improved speed and precision when cleaning infections.
Improved accessibility: Optimized support for screen readers and braille lines.

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A top-class protection tool that offers excellent performance at a very reasonable price.