The CA Antivirus 2007 interface is clean and straightforward. The left-hand navigation icons offer a choice of Overview, Quarantine, Options, and Reports. The Overview screen contains Main Tasks (Scan my Computer, Select files, and Folders to Scan), Status, Top 5 Virus Threats, and Latest Threats (which includes phishing and non-viral threats). Like McAfee and Norton, CA offers a one-button Secure Now, designed to bring your security status up to speed quickly.
In the course of our testing, we sometimes needed to stop a complete system scan. In doing so, we witnessed our security status change from a yellow triangle with exclamation point, warning us that we had not completed a system scan, to green, indicating that we had completed a full scan and that our system was clean. We were able to replicate this error several times. We also discovered that CA Antivirus 2007 will run up to seven days before it will flag you that it\'s missing the latest antivirus update. We suspect these are minor interface glitches; however, this problem could expose users to unchecked dangers.
CA offers a guarantee that a system protected with CA Antivirus 2007 will be free of damage from computer viruses and worms--or it will pay up to $1,500 for technical service and hardware replacements (see the CA site for specific rules). Frankly, we see this as a marketing ploy and do not expect other antivirus vendors to match CA\'s offer.
As for technical features, CA Antivirus 2007 offers the same basic features found in competing applications. However, unlike most other antivirus applications hitting the market for 2007, we could find no mention of root kit protection within CA Antivirus 2007--a notable omission, we think.
CA Antivirus 2007 scored well, although the program placed consistently within the middle of the pack in our CNET Labs real-world application testing. While performing a CA Antivirus scan, the iTunes application took 206 seconds to open, and Sorenson video compression took 335 seconds to open--both scores about average. On single-file scans, CA Antivirus 2007 took 102 seconds (fast), and the program influenced system boot time by 63 seconds (above average). To see how CA Antivirus 2007 stacks up against the competition, see our complete CNET 2007 antivirus performance test scores page.
In terms of protecting your PC, we refer readers to two leading independent antivirus testing organizations. In the latest test results from CheckVir.com, eTrust Antivirus v7.1 (the predecessor to CA Antivirus) was one of four products to earn their Advanced rating. Our second source of independent antivirus testing, AV-Comparatives.org, did not test eTrust Antivirus v7.1.
In the past, CA antivirus products have gone under various names, such as eTrust, eTrust EZ, Vet, and InoculateIT; now, under the name CA Antivirus 2007, the company hopes to eliminate brand confusion. Whatever you call it, the CA antivirus engine is good, winning honors from several independent testing labs over the years and providing the AV component to several Internet Security suites from other vendors. But despite its antiviral pedigree and a company cash guarantee to keep your system virus-free, CA Antivirus 2007 still suffers from program interface glitches and poor technical support, details which tempered our overall enthusiasm for the product.