If you have seen the news about Unchecky, have used herdProtect or ShouldIRemoveIt then I bet you will have heard about Reason Software.
This thread will focus on its latest product - Reason Core Security.
A bit of background info
Reason Core Security is a Reason Software Company product, powered by a team of very talented programmers, malware hunters and visionaries lead by Andrew Newman. Andrew was the co-founder and chief software architect for GIANT Company Software, acquired by Microsoft Corporation.
The main website is here.
Reason Software is also the creator of herdProtect and ShouldIRemoveIt.
What type of product is Reason Core Security?
Reason Core Security is a cloud scanner that targets a variety of threats with a very strong focus on adware, spyware and PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), however it is not designed to function as a traditional anti-virus engine and does not specifically target file infecting and memory resident viruses as well as various types of rootkits.
This makes Reason Core Security similar to Malwarebytes Anti-Malware in the part that both have to go with an antivirus (MBAM does have rootkit scanning however).
The difference between free and paid version
Paid version provides real-time protection, while free version does not.
Setup used for this observation
- Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Service Pack 1
- Other security software:
Emsisoft Internet Security v10
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium v184.108.40.2068
Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Premium v1.06.1.1018
- Version of Reason Core Security used: 220.127.116.11
Reason Core Security at a glance
- Installation is rather smooth, with no restart required.
- Compatible with other AVs and AMs (I have only Emsisoft and Malwarebytes, but there is a report of RCS working with Kaspersky).
- You are offered to do a custom compability scan after installation. If malware is found then the software will offer to do a Quick Scan.
- Interface looks ok, with a minimal and uncomplicated design - which is always a plus.
- The engine service process is rather light (slightly less than MBAM), but there is another process probably related to the UI eating up quite a bit of resource and stays active at all times even when the software is minimized to the system tray.
- Bundle Protection failed to install on my system for some reason (stating "Execute installer error"). There are also reports of some bugs that need ironing out.
- Protection: Includes the basic Real-time protection (alerts when malware attempts to run) and Bundle Protection which is essentially Unchecky. Reason Core Security uses a "Protection Score" system to evaluate the security status of your computer.
- Tools: Include a program uninstaller, a startup manager, a browser addon manager and a remediation tool.
- Uninstaller: Includes a rating on how much risk an installed program is to your computer's security. Also claims to have an "advanced uninstaller" (which probably removes all traces similar to Revo Uninstaller).
- Startup Manager: Displays everything that start with Windows - including things that belong to Windows and should not be displayed.
- Browser addon manager: Displays all addons, toolbars, search hooks (which is only of importance to malware removal helpers) and menu extensions.
- Remediation tool: Reset some settings to fix damage caused by malware. Don't use this if you don't know what you're doing.
- History: Allows you to view the Quarantine, information on previous scans and logs.
- Scan speed is average. A Quick Scan on my system took 11:48 - which is slower than Emsisoft's Malware Scan (33 seconds) and Malwarebytes' Threat Scan (8:00). I do not know where exactly does Reason Core Security's Quick Scan looks in, however.
Since I don't do malware tests, this will be better left to someone else.
- Live support and contact by mail is available, through I prefer a support forum.
- There is a false positive form that will automatically collect the file's MD5 when you choose to report the FP from the app, which is ok in my opinion.
Pros and Cons
- Pros: Lightweight, easy to use interface, good compability, assist in preventing PUP installations with Unchecky technology.
- Cons: Comes with "bells and whistles" that are unnecessary and can be dangerous if used by inexperienced users, signature detections need some work (see spoiler to know what I mean), no web protection (you will have to use your AV or another AM to cover this).
Reason Core Security is still in its infancy, however it has some potential to become a good AM solution should Reason Software put effort into it.
In the meantime, if you decide to try out Reason Core Security then don't forget to have AV protection, and if necessary additional AM protection from Emsisoft Anti-Malware or Malwarebytes Anti-Malware as a precaution.
Have a nice day!