Sunday, November 21, 2010

Local developers take on antivirus market


Two Pakistani IT students – Hafiz Usman and Syed Imran Ali – have developed the Instant Virus Killer (IVK), a program that has been touted as Pakistan’s first antivirus software.

The duo were motivated to create the software after their own computer fell prey to a virus. “We ended up installing the operating system several times in a single day in order to fix the problem,” explains Usman. “That was when we decided to develop our own antivirus. Initially, we didn’t plan to release it as a product; however, when our friends and family used and appreciated it, we were motivated to launch it professionally. Afterwards we worked on it more consciously, tested it, and got it registered with the Government of Pakistan Intellectual Property Organization. It took almost two years for completion.”

The developers claim IVK continuously protects the operating system and data from viruses, immediately detects USB viruses, can repair corrupt files and can recover a failed PC in 10 seconds, a feature that the duo consider unique and extremely important. It also protects against worms, trojans, and rootkits and offers dual virus protection.

In a market where free programs, like AVG, Avast, and MSE, are easily available, IVK’s PKR 5,000 price tag seems steep. “We are providing lifetime protection with an additional recovery feature with no annual renewal charges,” says Usman, defending the pricing. “Most free antiviruses do not provide all their features in free versions. Moreover, they have no recovery functions.”

At present, the program only works with Windows – versions for other operating systems are planned for the future – and from everything that its creators say about it, IVK seems promising. In the absence of a trial version, however, one has no way of evaluating the product and can therefore not assess its effectiveness. The developers say they are aware of this issue and have received numerous requests for a trial version which is under consideration.

- Sameen Amer

The Express Tribune - 21 November, 2010

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