CyberDefender Launches Free Early Detection Center Suite

CyberDefender Launches Free Early Detection Center Suite Everything-But-Firewall PC Protection, Still In Beta

by Daniel P. Dern (

Vendor: CyberDefender Corporation Product Name: CyberDefenderFREE 2.0, free with small adlets

CyberDefender Early Defense Center, $11.99/year ad-free Availability: Beta now; product release target mid-November Product URL:

CyberDefender Corporation, which recently acquired several savvy senior folks from Panda Software, is taking an interestingly different tack. in its everything-but-firewall CyberDefenderFREE 2.0.

The whole suite, not just one or two components, is free -- supported by a small ad, no worse than the ones that Opera used to sport.

(A free adless version, CyberDefender Early Defense Center -- same engine -- will be available for $11.99/year.)

Like a growing number of desktop security products, CyberDefenderFREE uses both

behavioral analysis and signature updates. Currently, the modules

include earlyVIRUS, earlySPAM, earlySCAN (anti-phishing, hijacking, identify theft), and earlyMONITOR, providing one-screen control over the modules, along with a cookie viewer, password alarm, and PC tune-up advisor.

When I tried it on my test machine, earlySCAN found an MSIE "browser helper" I was unaware of, and, per my OK, deleted it.

One major diffentiator goal for Cyberdefender will be the speed in detecting new threats, with user copies reporting immediately to the CyberDefender Early Alert Center for analysis (with some finessing

to minimize multiple reports). Once a threat has been identified, CyberDefender's earlyNETWORK will distribute updates "usually within

an hour after discovery," using a secure client-to-client architecture.

EarlyDefenseCenter is in beta, evolving rapidly -- the version I downloaded and tested two days ago was already less-than-current -- so keep an open mind if you see any bugs, e.g. reporting "No firewall" when

ZoneAlarm is running.

Speaking of other security utilities, CyberDefense Chief Strategy officer Patrick Hinojosa says that one of their goals is "to have the first suite that can run and co-exist with other suites." (There'll be a performance hit for running multiple suites, of course.)

As a new program still in beta, CyberDefenderFREE is understandably a bit raw in spots --but it's worth keeping an eye on, especially, given the escalating cost of keeping a computer -- or multiple computers -- healthy.