Avira has released a first public “technical preview” of Avira Protection Cloud, a simple cloud-based tool for detecting malware. Development and testing of Avira Protection Cloud was going on for quite sometime, but this is the first public download made available.
And we really do mean simple. There are no menus here, no toolbars, no options, settings anything else: all you have to do is launch the program, click “Cloud Scan” and wait for the results.
Protection Cloud then scans running processes, startup programs, Windows services and other likely targets of infection, calculating a hash (a digital fingerprint) for each one and sending it to Avira’s server.
The Avira Protection Cloud servers then matches the hash with a list of known files hashes which allow them to identify whether the file is clean or infected.
If an unknown hash is found, the file is uploaded to the Avira Protection Cloud where it is scanned using available technologies. Once the uploaded files have been scanned in the Cloud, the Client displays all available results.
As malware tools go, this is plainly rather limited. There’s no real-time detection, no way to scan just a particular file or folder, and no malware removal options, either – if the program does uncover something nasty then you’ll have to figure out how to get rid of it for yourself. Also this program doesn’t have malware detection capabilities of its own when disconnected from the Internet.
Avira Protection Cloud is also lightweight, easy to use and relatively fast, though (after the first scan, at least). The program’s simplicity means it should run happily alongside any other security tool. And so, if you think your system has been infected by something which your regular antivirus package has missed, Avira Protection Cloud could be a useful way to help you find out more.