NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, July 2007
Free PC Security Suite from eEye
By Ira Wilsker, APCUG Director;
Columnist, The Examiner, Beaumont, TX; Radio & TV Show Host

(click to email author)

http://www.eeye.com - Blink Personal Internet Security
http://www.eEye.com/blinkfree - Blink free download

One of my recently retired coworkers informed me that the subscription to her internet security suite was about to expire, and asked for my recommendation on what to do. She could renew her current product, purchase another competing major product suite, or try a fairly new free product. Since safe computing is paramount in my mind, I would normally be suspicious of a new security suite, especially a free one, and would research the new suite before putting it on a computer. I found positive reviews of this new free product, published by some of the major computer periodicals, so I decided to give it a try. Soon, I will confidently install it on her computer. That product is the Blink Personal Internet Security with Antivirus, from eEye Digital Security, an Orange County, California, company.

I first found out about Blink Personal Internet Security with Antivirus when one of my radio show listeners emailed me, inquiring to see what I knew about it. At that time I had not heard of it, but a little research taught me that the product and company was for real. A review of the “Clients” link on the eEye website at http://www.eeye.com showed that eEye products were currently installed and protecting an impressive list of over 9000 commercial clients, including several of the Fortune 500 companies (such as Verizon), over a dozen major universities (including Harvard and the University of Miami), major financial service companies (including Dow Jones, E*Trade, Merrill Lynch, Visa, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York), several U.S. and Canadian government agencies (including the U. S. Department of Justice), healthcare agencies, major manufacturers, and technology companies (including Kodak, Adobe, Intel, and Microsoft). With a client list like this, I reasoned that eEye must be for real, and have something positive to offer.

eEye produces a variety of computer security products, one of which is its Blink Personal Edition with Antivirus. eEye is currently offering a free one year license for this comprehensive suite (for personal use only in the U.S. and Canada) with the hope that users will either upgrade to the more sophisticated Professional version, or renew the Personal edition at the completion of the initial free year of service. After the first year, the renewal fee is quite reasonable and competitive at $24.95 for a single computer license. For those with multiple computers, eEye offers a three computer license for $29.95, which comes out to less than $10 per computer for a year of service, a real bargain when compared to its more pricey commercial competitors.

The Personal Edition contains an antivirus component that was recently awarded the prestigious VB100 award for successfully blocking 100% of “in the wild viruses” with no false positives.

Internet security is more than just antivirus protection, and Blink Personal Edition contains a full suite of security products. Blink includes anti-spyware, a system firewall, anti-phishing (online identity theft), application firewall, host based intrusion prevention, buffer overflow protection, system registry protection, application execution protection, protection from new “zero-day” threats, and a vulnerability assessment utility. The selection of security features is more comprehensive than its major commercial competitors. Despite offering complete multi-layered protection at a great price (free), Blink Personal Edition is easy on system resources, only taking up about 60 megs of hard drive space (compared to over 300 megs for some of its competitors), and only consumes about 60 megs of RAM with all features loaded and running. This compares quite favorably to its better known competitors utilizing up to 226 megs of RAM. Using less RAM frees up system resources so other applications can run more efficiently. This free Personal Edition offers totally automated daily updates which will keep the virus signatures and other security features up to date.

Blink Personal Edition will run on Windows 2000, Windows XP (32 bit versions), Windows Tablet PC, and Windows Media Center. A version for Vista will be out later this year. Because this Personal Edition is not a resource hog, there are only minimal hardware requirements, such as a 233 MHz processor, 60 megs of hard drive space, and 128 megs of RAM, meaning that this will run well on almost all 2000 and XP series computers.

Downloading is easy, and only requires a simple online registration prior to the download. eEye only asks for an email address, and country, to download the software. eEye also offers an option to subscribe to free industry and technical newsletters, as well as eEye security alerts. Subscribing to these email lists is not an eligibility requirement for the download.

According to the eEye website, over 23,000 free copies of Blink Personal Edition were downloaded since the current version was first released in April.

For those who have been using one of the other free antivirus utilities, Blink Personal Edition with Antivirus may be a good replacement since it offers a complete security suite, rather than just virus protection. For those who are currently using a commercial security suite, and are looking to renew their current suite, or who may want a change from the resource hungry utilities, Blink Personal Edition with Antivirus may be worthy of serious consideration. The price, at least for the first year, can not be beat.

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