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Digital Defender Antivirus Free Version 2.1 Download:

Digital Defender Antivirus Free

VERSION:  Windows 7 / Vista / XP, Single User

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Information Below:  Review, Screenshots

Review of Digital Defender Antivirus Free v2.1:

Digital Defender Digital Defender is a recent entrant in the security marketplace - forming in 2008 in the United Kingdom. Usually it takes years for a security product to mature and reach a level of trust that one expects in an antivirus program. Let's see how this relatively new program stacks up against its more experienced competition.

1) Installation:  4/5

The installation process may be the best feature of Digital Defender. On our reference computer*, the application installed in a very speedy 50 seconds, with no operating system reboots required. While Digital Defender could cut down the number of dialogs it presents to the user during the start-up process, its four screens can be clicked through quickly. (See Installation Time Comparison Graph)

*Reference Computer: Windows 7 Home Premium running on a Toshiba Pentium Dual-Core T4200, with 3GB of RAM and a 210GB hard drive.

2) Features & Ease of Use:  4/10

Digital Defender Antivirus Free 2.1 focuses on providing basic antivirus functionality. The Dashboard screen displays your system's current "Health Status," which reports on whether any active infections have been found, and whether your system has been recently scanned for viruses.

Digital Defender Dashboard:

View Larger Digital Defender Screenshots

Beyond that, there isn't much to Digital Defender Free. The application locks down its functionality more than any other free antivirus application we've reviewed. Even scheduling additional scans requires a paid license key. There are none of the advanced features you find in other free anti virus software, such as Gamer Mode, USB drive auto-scanning, and system settings restoration.

Nag Factor: Digital Defender Free doesn't display any pop-up ads or on-screen banners. Instead, it uses a combination of "Buy PRO" buttons and feature locks to remind users that they're using a dumbed-down version of the real product.

Upgrade Incentive: The paid version of the software, Digital Defender Antivirus Pro, supports the following additional features:
  • Removable drive scanning
  • Game Mode
  • Full scheduled scans
  • Telephone support

3) Virus Scanner:  2.5/5

Digital Defender Free offers the three basic scanning options you find from other vendors: Full Scan, Quick Scan (a fast scan of the commonly infected areas of your PC), and Custom Scan. Digital Defender also performs real-time scans of new and modified files to guard against infections between scheduled scans.

Digital Defender Virus Scanner:

View Larger Digital Defender Screenshots

Speed: On our reference system (see above), Digital Defender Free achieved below average results: it scanned an average of 16.2MB of data per second, and processed our 1GB test matrix in 63 seconds. (See Scan Time Comparison Graph)

Updates: Digital Defender Free updates its virus definitions an average of twice daily. The paid version, Digital Defender Antivirus Pro, supports scheduling additional update checks. (See Updates Per Day Comparison Graph)

4) Performance Testing:  5/10

A good antivirus program should not only prevent viruses and malware from infecting your computer but also not impact the Performance of your computer too much. We run each free antivirus program through a series of Performance Tests to see the impact it has on a standard computer. The results of our testing for Digital Defender Antivirus Free are below:

Memory Use: Digital Defender Free v2.1 uses 69.9 MB of system memory. #12 rated of the 12 antivirus programs we tested.

Reboot Time: Digital Defender added 21.6 seconds to our test computer's reboot time. #9 rated program we tested this year.

Installation Size: Digital Defender Antivirus Free requires 202 MB of hard-drive space for installation. #4 rated program we tested.

Initial Scan Speed: Digital Defender scans files the first time at a speed of 16.2 MB/s. #10 rated program we tested.

Subsequent Scan Speed: Digital Defender performs subsequent scans at a speed of 17.9 MB/s. #10 rated program we tested.

Initial Application Launch: Digital Defender Free Version 2.1 added 0.147s to launch a web browser for the first time after a reboot. #3 rated program we tested.

Subsequent Application Launch: Digital Defender added 0.133s on average for subsequent web browser launches. This was the #7 rated program we tested.

File Conversion Time: Digital Defender added 0.34s on average to convert a MP3 file to four other file types. #5 rated program we tested.

System Impact Score: The "System Impact Score" is a comparative score tallied from the above 8 Antivirus tests. Digital Defender Antivirus Free scored a total of 44 out of 96 points when compared to the other antivirus programs we tested. This placed Digital Defender as the #10 rated overall free antivirus program we tested this year - one of the worst programs we tested for impacting your computer's performance.

View graphs of the above Free Antivirus Performance Tests.

5) Effectiveness: (Virus/Malware Detection)  3/15

The most important function of an antivirus program is to keep your computer free from Viruses and other Malware. Below we'll take a look at some of the industry's top Virus/Malware Detection testing and certification.

a) Virus Bulletin's VB 100% Certified. Digital Defender passed the most recent VB100 test (April/11), but in the 5 other tests it's been involved in (dating back to April 2010), Digital Defender has failed 4 out of 5 tests. The VB 100% award is given to antivirus software that detects all viruses "in the wild."
b) ICSA Labs has NOT Certified Digital Defender Antivirus. ICSA is an independent organization that sets standards for security products and certifies anti-virus software.
c) West Coast Labs has NOT Certified Digital Defender. WCL specializes in functionality testing, performance validation and Checkmark Certification of security products.

Effectiveness Summary: Digital Defender has not been included in any major tests in recent years (ie. or, nor has it even been Certified by security organizations ICSA Labs and West Coast Labs. With only a recent VB100 Certification to base our effectiveness scoring on (and not even a good track record with this test), users should be apprehensive that they're getting adequate protection against malware with Digital Defender.

6) Help & Support:  2/5

On-Screen Assistance: The on-screen help guidance is decent, but not stellar. The software is easy enough to use, and the features so basic, that users shouldn't have any problem finding their way around.

Help Manual: Digital Defender does not provide either a local or online help manual.

Support Options: Digital Defender's Web site is poorly written and organized. The only help available for free users is an FAQ and a sparsely populated user forum. You won't find links to these in the Digital Defender Dashboard, however: the Support button on the Account page is grayed out, and the application provides no help icon for navigating to these online resources. To its credit, however, Digital Defender does permit free users to log a support request ticket through the Web.

»Quick Support Links:

     • Support Home
     • Log a Support Request
     • FAQ
     • User Forums


While Digital Defender Free may one day mature into a solid antivirus platform, its mediocre scanning speeds and lack of advanced features left us wondering why we would choose it above its competitors. Even more alarming, Digital Defender hasn't passed a major independent security test such as those of or Anyone considering Digital Defender should be aware that the malware protection they will receive is questionable at best. With so many proven free antivirus alternatives available, one would be much better off choosing one of them instead (such as Avast! Free Antivirus, Avira AntiVir, or AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition).

Overall Rating: Below Average    (Total Score: 20.5 / 50 = 2 Stars)

Misc Info:

    • Version Tested:
    • Release Date:
    • Review Date:
    • Last Updated:
May 23, 2011
    • Previous Version:
Version 1.0

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