If good things come in small packages, then NOD32 is a great little gift to PC users looking for effective virus protection. There's no bloat to be found with this AV package and while it won't win any design awards, it's slim, sleek and effective at what it does.

Its interface may be a little intimidating to less-experienced users, but to be honest this is more of a set-it-and-forget-it type program, exactly as described by the company.

NOD32 consists of a number of different modules, each designed with a specific purpose. AMON is a memory-resident scanner that checks files in real time, while IMON is charged with monitoring Web traffic.

EMON keeps tabs on incoming and outgoing messages, while DMON scans Microsoft Office documents. NOD32 is the on-demand scanner, and the primary tool used in our tests. It didn't disappoint.

Speedy and efficient

NOD32 prides itself on its low resource utilisation and it did have the lowest memory usage of any of the program we have tested by far. Surprisingly, it didn't end up being the fastest in our full scan tests, ending up tied for second at 24 minutes. It easily handled our incoming and outgoing email tests, and picked up viruses on our infected DVD with ease.

There's no question that NOD32 is an effective antivirus engine, having passed the Virus Bulletin VB 100 per cent detection test a record 35 times, more than any competitor.

The price is perfectly reasonable, especially in light of the fact that NOD32 does an excellent job of not over-consuming resources like many AV products. Our only wish would be a friendlier interface.

Less-experienced users may be a little frightened by the technical look and feel of NOD32 - a shame for a product with so much punch packed into such a small package. Dan DiNicolo