AOL discontinues Active Virus Shield
A year ago AOL started offering Active Virus Shield, a free anti-virus package based on Kaspersky antivirus. The company has now stopped distributing this software. The Active Virus Shield web page now only shows the information: "We're Sorry! AOL® Active Virus Shield is no longer available."
However, AOL has not abandoned its antivirus initiative, but merely switched suppliers. Their security page now offers a special edition of McAfee's VirusScan Plus, free of charge. Users with a valid AOL user name can download the program from AOL; those without can register an account for free.
In the latest c't test, McAfee's virus scan software lost points due to delays in distributing new signatures – Kaspersky (and with it Active Virus Shield) were the fastest in this test. The detection rate scored in midfield. The AOL version supports Windows 2000, XP and Vista.
Those looking for a free antivirus solution may be better off with the response times and detection rates of Antivir, which is free for private users, combined with a free anti-spyware solution like Spybot Search & Destroy or Lavasoft's Ad-Aware.