FAQ Anti Virus

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I already have antivirus software installed on my computer. How is BitDefender different?

Vuze Plus with BitDefender analyzes your downloads at the point that they enter your system regardless of whether your system's antivirus software is enabled at the time. You cannot accidentally turn Vuze Plus' antivirus protection off, ensuring that you are always torrenting safely. Additionally, while most antivirus software updates its virus database once every day or two, Vuze Plus attempts to update its database six times per day. If new malware starts making the rounds in the morning, by lunchtime Vuze Plus is already working hard to protect your system from it!

I'm confused, are my definitions one hour old or four hours old?

Old? Who're you calling _old_?! We prefer to say our virus definitions are, at most, four hours _young_.

Most other antivirus software updates its definitions on a daily basis (that's only once every 24 hours, for the numerically challenged). For most people this is just fine, since the chance of malware slipping in during the brief period between its release into the wild and the software updating its virus database is slim. But we know that Vuze users are a different breed. You download and consume a lot of content, and you need world-class protection. That is why we partnered with BitDefender to deliver you the best real-time antivirus solution on the market.

Every hour of every day, BitDefender updates its virus database with the latest protection against viruses, scams and malware. Then every time you download a new file with Vuze Plus, its built-in BitDefender protection first checks to make sure it has downloaded new definitions within the last four hours. If not, then it immediately attempts to download the latest definitions and promptly scans your files. Therefore, if you haven't used Vuze Plus since yesterday and you opened it up and downloaded a file, Vuze Plus would update its virus database to the latest definitions - at most one-hour _young_!

If, on the other hand, you have been downloading continuously for a while, we wouldn't want to unnecessarily slow your system down by constantly updating the virus database. In this case, we elected to set an update limit of once every four hours.

And that is why we say that our virus definitions are, at most, four hours _young_.

So, what, exactly, does Vuze Plus with BitDefender protect me from?

Vuze Plus leverages BitDefender's technology to defend your system against downloads that include malware such as computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, backdoors and spyware. About the only thing that Vuze Plus doesn't protect your system from is El Chupacabra*

  • Vuze Plus with BitDefender has not actually been tested against El Chupacabra, and it is therefore possible that it does protect against this also.

Vuze says that the database failed to update? What gives?

While BitDefender releases new antivirus updates hourly, in order to conserve system resources and offer users the most responsive experience, Vuze Plus retrieves these updates every four hours. Occasionally during this process, something goes haywire and Vuze is unable to retrieve the absolute latest update from BitDefender. In this event, you will notice that the AV status of some of the files in your Library will have a small "?" next to them. This means that the files are still waiting to be scanned with the latest definitions. If you attempt to open one of these files, Vuze Plus will warn you that it has not yet been scanned.

What do the different AV statuses mean?

Below is a list of the various AV statuses:

  • "Scan pending" - this means that the file either has not completed downloading and cannot be scanned yet, or that there was an error retrieving the latest virus updates and the file has not been scanned. In either event, attempting to open the file from within Vuze Plus will generate a warning popup to alert you that the file has not been scanned and to proceed with caution.
  • "No threat found" - this means that Vuze Plus has completed downloading the file and has successfully scanned it for malware. It is possible, though highly unlikely, that a scanned file which displays this status contains an unknown threat that Vuze Plus with BitDefender did not recognize. It's possible, but not likely.
  • "Threat detected" - this means that Vuze Plus either detected a threat in that file or suspects a threat may be present in it.
  • "Unable to scan" - there are a number of reasons that a file may fail to scan. Usually it is related to having moved a file from its default download location while it is still in your Vuze Library. Vuze can no longer locate the file, so it cannot scan it for malware. (See "Why does it say "Error: Data file missing:" next to my file" for more info.)

Why does it say "Error: Data file missing:" next to my file?

If you have moved a file from it's default download directory to another location, Vuze Plus has no way to know where the file is and therefore cannot scan it. To resume scanning it, replace it in its original download location and let Vuze scan it before moving it to another folder. Vuze still won't be able to find it again after you move it out of the default directory, but at least you know it's been scanned for malware!

How can I find out more information about a scan failure?

When Vuze fails to scan a file you will be presented with the following indicators:

Av failed.png

(this example shows the case where the file has been deleted while the download still resides in the Vuze library - note the red text in this case)

If you double-click on either the warning triangle icon against the download or the status bar warning, the following dialog will be presented:

Av fail dialog.png

If you click on the "Details" link in this dialog it will show more detailed information about the failure.

Can I force Vuze to update the Anti Virus definitions?

Yes, go to the AV options (Tools menu->Options->Plugins->Antivirus) and select the 'Update Signatures Now' button. If you still encounter problems you can try rebuilding the AV database as well.

If things continue to fail then you can force a re-install of the Antivirus plugin. Close Vuze and use Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac) to the Configuration_directory. Look in the 'plugins' folder for a sub-folder called "aeantivirus_v". Delete this folder and restart Vuze. The plugin should re-install.

An alternative way to attempt this is to go to Tools->Plugins->Uninstallation Wizard and select the 'Antivirus' plugin. Complete the process and then restart Vuze.