Norton Power Eraser

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Norton Power Eraser

Aggressive scanner with file reputation technology to beat malware

4

Our rating: 

4

Pros & Cons:

Very fast scanning speed, doesn't require signature, fully portable, multi-boot scan, Norton's file reputation to detect malware/PUP's, strong at detecting malicious registry keys, auto restore point creation, cloud lookup, option to undo previous fixes.
Aggressive scans hence prone to false positives, no progress bar for scan status, poor log reports, requires multiple scan types, mostly reputation based scans.

Our Review:

Installation: 
NPE doesn't require installation and is a small 9MB download. It's completely free and doesn't display pop-outs/banners to upgrade. However it's very powerful and should be used with caution. It asks to accept license agreement on execution everytime because of this.  
 
Interface: 
The user interface of NPE is easy on the eyes and to the point. The Main GUI lets you run different scans: Risk scan, Unwanted Application Scan and various Advanced scans like Reputation scan, Multi-boot scan and normal System scan. Provision to undo any previous fix is available right from the interface which is a handy feature. The log files generated by NPE aren't so intuitive however. For some reason NPE crashes for me everytime just before showing scan results. 
 
Features:
NPE turns on rootkit scanning by default which requires computer restart everytime before you run the risk scan. This can be turned off in the settings, however other scan parameters like Multi-boot scan (if you are running multiple Windows OS) can be turned on from the same page. Norton has an Unwanted Application scan feature that detects unwanted softwares as well as browser plugins on your system. The Reputation scan feature performs a Norton cloud lookup feature for files/folders you specify. It's based on number of users using the software, how mature the product is through release date and finally favorable ratings from public. 
 
Usability:
Note that since NPE is extremely aggressive, it might detect legitimate programs to be infected/unwanted, so caution must be excercised. The scans performed are extremely fast, and auto creates a restore point before any system changes. There's also a cloud lookup feature to send files to Symantec in case there's not much information. NPE works best on highly infected systems. NPE is fully portable, can detect malicious registry keys, detects new malware from reputation analysis, works good against fileless malwares and doesn't require signatures. However scans don't have a progress bar and require multiple scan types for a thorough check.


Norton Power Eraser was reviewed by on based on version 5.3.0.47.