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Offers Internet of Things (IoT) device scan. Prevents installation of unwanted bundled programs. Includes bonus tools. Inexpensive.
Zero results from independent labs. New lowest scores in all our hands-on tests. Flagged components of competing products as malware. No phishing protection.
- Bottom Line
As a standalone antivirus, Reason Core Security is a flop. It's recommended for use alongside your existing AV, but it identified competing products as malware. The app's best feature is its Internet of Things security scanner.
Reason Core Security 22.214.171.124 With Crack Is Here! Reason Core Security With the top detection rate in the industry, Reason Core Security quickly detects and removes more than just malware, including harmful adware and crapware faster than any other single product.
It's not often I encounter a new antivirus product for the very first time. Reason Core Security made it to version 2.0 without appearing on my radar. Now that I've had a look at it, though, it seems that I didn't miss much. You definitely shouldn't rely on it for your primary antivirus protection, and I'm not convinced its 'a required addition to your existing antivirus,' as the company website states. It's biggest saving grace is a handy network scanner to identify all of your Internet of Things devices.
Looking at the company website, you might find yourself confused. The site touts the product as an addition to your existing antivirus, but it also states that the product 'finds and removes all types of harmful malware including trojans, worms, bots, adware, spyware, PUPs and more.' That's a pretty clear promise, but one that is not borne out by our testing.
At least it's not expensive. Your subscription lets you install Reason Core Security on five PCs, and the list price of $44.95 per year seems to be perpetually discounted to $24.95. More than half of my current products ask just under $40 per year for a single license—these include Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Norton, and Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus. That's roughly eight times the single-license discounted price of Reason Core Security.
You can use all premium features for 14 days at no charge. After that, if you don't pay up, it switches to a free edition that flips the usual model on its head. Malwarebytes and many others offer malware scanning and cleanup for free, but require payment for real-time protection. Reason Core Security reserves scanning for paid customers, but lets anyone use the real-time protection without charge.
The program's main window focuses on a big round button that launches a quick scan. A panel below this button nags you to run that scan, if you didn't let it run automatically after install. Panels at the left offer security statistics, and a menu across the top gives you access to all features. The mostly-white main window with its dark blue menu has a pleasing appearance.
Malware Removal Lab Tests Unavailable
Independent antivirus testing labs around the world dedicate serious resources to evaluating the protective abilities of antivirus programs. They can spend a lot more time on testing than I can—it's their business, after all. I'm always interested to see the lab results for the product I'm reviewing.
Alas, there isn't a trace of independent testing for Reason Core Security. TotalAV likewise didn't appear in any of the test results, but I know that it uses technology licensed from Avira. Although the labs state clearly that results apply strictly and only to the product under test, Avira's good grades do at waft a suggestion of success in TotalAV's direction.
My contact at Reason Security explained that they stay away from the big labs, and detailed his reasoning. That conversation was off the record, but I can say that I didn't entirely agree.
I aggregate results from five major labs to yield an overall score, on a scale from 0 to 10. A higher score is good, of course. More labs testing is also good. All five labs include Bitdefender and Kaspersky Anti-Virus, and both consistently earn the best scores. At present, Bitdefender's aggregate score is 9.7, and Kaspersky's is 9.8.
Dismal Malware Protection
In the absence of test results from the labs, all I can go on are the scores in my own hands-on malware protection tests. Reason Core Security achieved new lows in all three metrics.
According to my contact, this product relies mostly on heuristics, behavioral analysis, and machine learning, though it does use some local fuzzy signatures to 'detect 20 percent of known malware families.' If the automated analysis systems can't quite pin down a suspicious file, they send it to the cloud for intensive investigation.
I wasn't at all surprised to find that the real-time protection didn't trigger when I opened my folder full of samples, or when I copied those samples to a new folder. Reason Core Security's detection kicked in only after I launched the samples. That makes sense; behavior-based detection can't function without some behaviors to analyze.
The test process was extremely slow, because after each detection, the antivirus spent anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes removing the malware, and then, in most cases, requested a reboot.
One especially virulent sample got stuck at the 'removing' phase for 15 minutes, after which the antivirus requested a reboot in Safe Mode. Unfortunately, the product offered outdated advice for getting into Safe Mode, not correct for Windows 8 or Windows 10.
I did get to see the Bundle Protection feature in action. These days, when you download and install a game or utility that you want, you may find you've installed unwanted programs or even malware bundled with it. One of my samples is an example of this, and Bundle Protection kicked in, allowing the valid program to install but blocking the unwanted program bundled with it.
Once I finished plodding through the testing, I summed up the results. This antivirus detected 61 percent of the samples, the lowest detection rate for any product tested using either my current set of samples or the previous set. The fact that it didn't thoroughly prevent installation of the samples that it did detect brought its overall score to 4.8 of 10 possible points, also the lowest of all current products. Microsoft Windows Defender Security Center is no longer at the bottom.
Furthermore, among the 39 percent of samples that the antivirus missed were a wide variety of malware types, from simple adware to pernicious ransomware. Indeed, two well-known ransomware attacks completely succeeded in their nefarious acts, without a peep from Reason Core Security.
For comparison, when I tested Emsisoft Anti-Malware against these same samples, it detected 100 percent of them, and earned an impressive 9.4 points. Webroot and Comodo detected 100 percent of my previous sample set, and earned a perfect 10 points.
It's true that the analysis-based detection system used by this antivirus didn't receive all the clues that it would have in a real-life infestation. In particular, it didn't get a chance to consider the URL from which the product arrived, as the samples were already on disk. I did hope for better results in my malware download prevention test.
For this test, I launch a collection of very new malware-hosting URLs and take note of the security product's reaction. Many products don't even let the browser open known dangerous URLs, but Reason Core Security doesn't have that ability. Likewise, it includes no protection against fraudulent (phishing) websites. However, it does scan all downloaded files, and I give the same credit for preventing a malware download regardless of the method used.
Initially, I thought this feature might be disabled, because I ran through dozens of URLs before it reacted at all. After a while, though, I did see that it wiped out some of the downloads. As with the static samples, it spent a good while removing each one, even though these samples had never launched, and hence there was nothing to remove but the malware installer. At least it didn't ask to reboot after each.
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Reason Core Security's protection rate in this test was—you guessed it—the lowest among all current products, just 12 percent. The 37 percent protection rate exhibited by Comodo Antivirus is no longer the lowest. Sonic pdf creator with serial key.
Lest you think this test is just too hard, let me point out that Norton managed to prevent 98 percent of the malware downloads, and Avira Antivirus Pro came in with 95 percent.
Protecting the Internet of Things
Traditional antivirus runs on your computers and mobile devices, but it doesn't do anything to protect smart home devices like your connected doorbell, garage door opener, or refrigerator. For these and other Internet of Things devices, you need the kind of whole-network protection offered by such network security devices as the Bitdefender Box.
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Reason Core Security doesn't compete with those hardware-based solutions, naturally. However, the first step in securing your non-computer network devices is just knowing what they are. Like the free Bitdefender Home Scanner, this product's IoT scanner lists all the devices on your network and flags any that have security issues.
The IoT scanner found 26 devices on my network; a simultaneous scan with Bitdefender Home Scanner found 31. Neither product makes it easy to get a list of found devices, so I didn't try to correlate and identify the differences. That task would have been made more difficult by the fact that the IoT scan only identified the device type for just two of the 26 devices, the local computer and the main router. Bitdefender Home Scanner, on the other hand, nailed down the device type for all but a few of the devices. Bitdefender also lets you give a friendly name to each device when you figure out exactly what it is. The most you get from the IoT scan is the manufacturer name, when it's available.
Bitdefender found issues on a handful of devices, reporting six distinct vulnerabilities for one of them. On the same system, the IoT scan reported issues with exactly one device, the main router that brings me TV, Internet, and telephone service. It found ports 80 (HTTP) and 443 (HTTPS) open, and offered instructions for closing them. That sounded like bad advice to me, and not something I dared experiment with, so I asked a couple of friends with vastly more network expertise than I. Blocking those ports completely would cut you off from the internet. Advising users to only block unsolicited inbound connections would make more sense, but doing so could still cause problems. For example, if you stream from a media server to your mobile devices, it would cut that connection.
Looking on the bright side, a user who's savvy enough to set up a media server probably knows enough not to totally close those ports. And a less-savvy user wouldn't get past the first instruction, 'Log on to your router's administration site.'
I approve of knowing just what devices connect to your network, and, to an extent, this scan gives you that knowledge. However, the scan could help a lot more by identifying device types. At the very least, it should be able to flag computers, printers, and mobile devices as what they are. And if it's going to suggest cutting off the router from HTTP and HTTPS traffic, it should clarify that it only means to block inbound traffic, and warn about the possible consequences.
To run this test, I had to install Reason Core Security on a physical test system connected to the network. Testing in a virtual machine would have been silly. At installation, it ran a quick scan that identified three threats for immediate removal and four PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) for recommended removal. All seven were components of Symantec Norton Security Premium! That's some bizarre behavior for a product whose website exhorts users to install it alongside your existing antivirus.
Choosing Applications from the main menu brings up a page that offers a collection of activity trackers and tools. Clicking Current Activity gets you a display much like that of Task Manager, showing all running processes and their CPU and memory usage, along with a threat level for each process. Unlike the similar feature in Quick Heal AntiVirus Pro (and in Task Manager itself) this list doesn't let you kill off unwanted processes.
Clicking Network Activity brings up a similar display of processes that are using your network connection. For each one, you see the name, publisher, remote connection, and threat level. The average user doesn't need this, but it could provide helpful information for a tech support agent.
Quite a few antivirus products include a startup manager that lets you reversibly disable launch of startup programs, or delay launch. Norton and BullGuard Antivirus are two examples. Reason Core Security Suite's startup manager goes far, far, beyond these, and not in a good way.
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There are many ways nonessential programs can launch at startup, such as Registry entries, links in the Start Menu's startup folder, and scheduled tasks. The Startups page reports all of these, and it's fine for users to tweak startup behavior for nonessential programs. But the list on the Startups page continues into dangerous territory. Among other things, it lets users disable Services, Drivers, Context Menu Handlers, and Credential Provider Filters. I'm not even sure what some of the categories mean, but a user could cause big self-inflicted problems by wildly disabling services and drivers.
The Uninstaller component, like the similar feature in TotalAV, doesn't do anything you couldn't do with built-in Windows components. Well, it does list the threat level for each program, but that's it. I did enjoy the message I got when I tried to have it uninstall itself: 'Silly rabbit, you cannot use Reason Core Security to uninstall Reason Core Security.'
When I hit the Browsers page, I got a surprise. This page lists the extensions in all your browsers, and rates their threat level, but the threat ratings made little sense. In Chrome, it rated Google's own Bookmark Manager as a medium threat, and flagged quite a few others as low-level threats, among them Dashlane, Skype, and Evernote. And on the Firefox page it identified Norton Safe Search as a search hijacker, a high-level threat. These errors don't instill a feeling of confidence.
Don't Rely on It
I'm a firm believer that there are times when running additional security programs alongside your existing antivirus is a good thing. For example, I have two free ransomware detectors (Cybereason RansomFree and Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware) supplementing my Norton protection. But Reason Core Security's promotional materials suggest that it focuses on spyware, adware, and other Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs), and that it can supplement your antivirus utility's handling of these. The thing is, just about every antivirus takes care of PUPs along with more virulent malware types. They don't need help. And when I did install this product alongside Norton, it flagged some of Norton's components at malware.
The website also states that this product finds and removes all types of malware, but in my testing it didn't demonstrate this ability. Reason Core Security achieved a new low score in all three of my tests. It does include a scanner to identify all your Internet of Things devices, and flag any that have issues. However, in testing it missed some devices found by a competing product, and its advice on fixing problems needs some work.
There are plenty of better choices for your antivirus protection. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus and Kaspersky Anti-Virus consistently get top marks from the independent labs. McAfee AntiVirus Plus won't protect your IoT devices, but one license lets you install McAfee on every Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS device in your household. Symantec Norton AntiVirus Basic does well in testing, and offers some useful security bonuses not typically found in a standalone antivirus. Like Reason Core Security, Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus focuses on behavior-based detection, but my testing showed it to be much more effective.