Lavasoft Enters the AV Business

Lavasoft, developer of the long-time entrant in the spyware detection arena, Ad-Aware, has released a stand-alone antivirus application. The new product, Lavasoft Anti-Virus Helix is based on technology from antivirus vendor Avira.

It's interesting that Lavasoft would make this move shortly after Microsoft's announcement to drop OneCare and replace it with a simplified free product in the second half of next year. Additionally, the AV market is rather crowded, though obviously, the development of this product was long underway prior to the Microsoft announcement.

Pricing is reasonable, with a 1 year license for $23.95. Multi-year and multi-PC licenses are available as well. Right now they also have a deal which gives you Ad-Aware Plus and Anti-Virus Helix for $26.95. Basically you get Ad-Aware Plus for $3, while it normally sells for $26.95.

While obviously a fast way for Lavasoft to get into the AV business, by using another firm's technology, we've never been a great fan of that approach. We mean, we realize it's faster, but why wouldn't an end user buy the original firm's software rather than the rebranded version?

Avira also has a free version of its software, which doesn't include features such as anti-phishing protection, but for many users who aren't in the high-risk category, it and other free solutions from Avast and Grisoft would probably do just fine.

Still Ad-Aware has a great reputation (though we personally use Spybot S&D) and Lavasoft is hoping to capitalize on that.