virus-barrier-osxI sat down to write a review about Virus Barrier X5, but I think I stumbled on a loophole that not too many people talk about. How the heck do you recommend a virus protection application, and more importantly, how do you test its success?

I mean, it probably works in theory, but unless you’re planning on tossing viruses at your machine, and seeing just how well you fare, you’re probably crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.

Short of downloading a bunch of known viruses and sacrificing one of my machines for an entire day of reinstalls and quarantines, I figured the best bet would be to let you know just what the application does “allegedly”, and let you take it from there.

Oh, don’t rule out the Macgasm computer sacrifice to test an anti-virus application just yet, it’s going to happen at some point in the future, just not today.

For those of you not in the know, the Macheist gang has released a bunch of free applications for charity recently, and today they’ve released a free anti-virus application to go along with the bundle.

Virus Barrier is an acclaimed application, but I, like most of you Mac converts, have been running virus protector free since back in 2005. I feel dirty, and I’m pretty surprised that there haven’t been any emergency visits to the clinic, but to this day I’ve been virus free. Virus Barrier X5 confirmed it. So, I guess that means I’m all good.

Virus Barrier provides real time scans, and internet updates, just like every other anti virus package out there, and it doesn’t seem to be killing my CPU and RAM cycles like some other known packages. That’s a huge plus. The application sits in your menubar and does it’s thing, and goes unnoticed for the most part. The NetUpdate package lets you schedule your virus definitions at any frequency you’d like, which is a huge plus, and it gives you the ability to pick with definition updates you want to download manually, if you’re brave enough to do that.

It’s only been on my machine for a few days, and I haven’t gotten a virus since my last install (about two months ago), so I guess it’s working alright. I’ll probably do another follow up post in a couple of months to see if it catches anything, but until then, I’m as clean as a new born OS, and it’s just the way I like it.

As for the OS sacrifice to the Virus Gods, we’ll do some backing up, and unleash all we can on it to see how well this sucker handles. I just need to make sure I get everything important off it before I infect it. Keep your eyes open for that.