Having spent several weeks running AnVir Task Manager Pro and WinPatrol Plus side by side, here are some of my thoughts about how they compare in the areas where they share similar functions. They are very different in what they do, but for protection from malware, they offer similar performance. I have to state up front that my bias is toward WP and BillP, even though I like the overall functions of AnVir as much or better; single individual developer, niche product that fills a real (as opposed to fanciful or empty) need, lifetime license with free updates, may be installed on multiple personal computers, no adware (see post #12), very strong developer support, and so on. Cudos to BillP and WinPatrol.
I have been running both programs on XP and Windows 7. Both give me peace of mind knowing that I get alerted to program changes and thus any malware changes are brought to my attention and for that alone I would pay for either one.
When it comes to alerts for program changes, AnVir nearly always notifies me first – often, if I check “no” when it asks if I want to allow the process, WP never even opens. I don’t know how critical the timing is for alerts, but there is clearly a longer delay for WP. However, WP first alerts when a program has been deleted or removed, and WP tells me when AVG, the current anti-virus program I’m running, downloads updates. Not a critical warning perhaps, but AnVir doesn’t seem to notice.
WP Plus gives access to an online database that tells you what the process is for, how safe it is, and whether you can turn it off. This is very useful if you are interested in improving performance and willing to spend a few moments linking from WP to the website to do your due diligence. AnVir has nothing similar.
As far as GUI, both are fairly complicated, but AnVir’s has familiar drop down menus and takes just minutes to get comfortable with, plus its main screen is fairly intuitive and is configurable with different processes. WP does not have a main screen, and overall the GUI feels cumbersome and archaic, it is definitely ready for a revision.
WP has short descriptions explaining the function of each screen which are not overly wordy and are surprisingly useful. While AnVir has a tutorial that is accessible from the help screen, it isn’t that helpful to find specific functions, and overall AnVir takes a bit more guesswork to figure out some functions.
Both programs allow for tweaking of Windows with things like delayed startup, control scheduled tasks, etc. but this is where AnVir really separates itself from WP. Granted, it is a task manager and thus is not totally amenable to side by side comparison with WP – AnVir will replace Windows Task Manager if you want – but the control it gives over the OS is impressive. The tools menu has a function called Tweaker for Windows, and gives you six screens with over 60 check boxes, plus a dozen additional drop down menus for function control, just to enhance the performance of your computer. In addition, the traditional drop down menus that are fixed in the menu bar (file/processes/tools/view/help) give you access to much more OS functions than WP Plus.
As gatekeepers for undesired processes being installed on your computer, both programs perform well and at one time or another, running them individually, they have both warned me when a website tried to install something I wasn’t aware of and didn’t want. If they were priced comparably, and if both offered lifetime licenses with lifetime free updates, AnVir would be my choice – WinPatrol would be duplicative in my experience. But here is where the clear value of WP trumps the extra functions of AnVir. There is something to be said for a one time purchase that will actually give you access to current updates for the foreseeable future, and Windows Task Manager isn’t all that bad, so in the end I can do without AnVir. Plus WP does give me the ability to streamline my computer’s performance, so overall I believe WP to be the better deal.