As one of the more expensive suites on the market, Trend Micro Internet Security Pro has to meet some high expectations.
Trend Micro offers all of the expected capabilities, including antimalware and antispam tools, a firewall and other security features. One unusual addition is Trend Micro’s Wi-Fi Advisor, which checks wireless networks for security problems. Also included is a gaming mode, which opens ports in the firewall for access to Internet games, while still retaining its antivirus and antimalware capabilities. That allows users to play games over the Internet without fear of getting viruses or spyware. There are also device access controls that prevent unauthorized USB devices from being used on a PC.
The firewall is simple to deploy. Neophytes can just choose a setting that fits their environment; options include Home Network, Office Network, Direct Connection or Wireless Connection. These all change the firewall rules to different levels and settings depending on the danger associated with each type of connection.
The product’s content-filtering parental controls offer predefined settings for teens, pre-teens and adults; each of the predefined settings can be customized further for users who need to limit or allow access to more sites based upon the profile in use.
Trend Micro offers an integrated browser toolbar that makes searches simpler and offers advice when visiting new Web sites, such as whether or not the site is safe or has any security problems.
The product’s spam filtering capability works with incoming POP3 e-mail and integrates with Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express. As with other product functions, spam filtering is based upon a simple choice of how aggressive you want the antispam component to be. You can set the filtering level to high, medium or low. The high setting will eliminate the most spam but might also block legitimate e-mail, while the low setting might let some spam get through. You can further fine-tune the spam filtering by using a whitelist or a blacklist.
|Company||Trend Micro Inc.|
|Price||US$69.95 for up to three PCs (includes one year of updates and support)|
|Operating systems||Windows XP/Vista/7, Mac OS X 10.4 or later, iOS 2.1 or later, Symbian S60, Windows Mobile 5.0 or later, netbook version|
Operationally, I found the product offered adequate performance, memory usage was low and the product had little impact on processor utilization, less than 5per cent in most cases. However, manual scans did tend to be more processor-intensive and did put a noticeable dent in overall system performance; they would frequently peak at 90per cent processor utilization for very short periods of time — never more than two seconds. This suggests that the application might not be appropriate for lower-powered systems such as netbooks.
Trend Micro has an interesting and useful product. The Wi-Fi adviser can be a handy feature for people who work in unsecured locations such as Internet cafes, and the ability to control device access such as USB connectivity is a good feature to prevent unauthorized individuals from copying information from an unattended PC.
However, I was not impressed with its performance during manual scans, and would think twice before using it on less powerful notebooks or netbooks.
Frank J. Ohlhorst is a technology professional specializing in products and services analysis and writes for several technology publications. His Web site can be found at www.ohlhorst.net.