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SECURITY

Ultimate Security Suites Showdown (Part 2) : Norton Internet Security, Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security 2013

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Norton Internet Security

Symantec’s 2013 edition of Norton Internet Security ($73.5 for one year and three PCs) is a solid performer with a polished, touch-optimized user interface. This security suite didn’t totally dominate its competitors, but it did completely block, detect and disable all malware in our rear-world tests, and it performed well enough overall to snag second place in our round-up.

Symantec’s 2013 edition of Norton Internet Security

Symantec’s 2013 edition of Norton Internet Security

Norton’s excellent showing in our real-world attack test indicates that it should be effective at blocking brand-new malware attacks as it encounters them in the wild. As noted in the F-Secure review, of the security suites we tested, four others were also successful at completely blocking 100 percent of attacks: Bitdefender, F-Secure, G Data and Trend Micro.

Norton produced stellar although not perfect results in detecting known malware. In our malware-detection test, it successfully detected 99.8 percent of known malware samples. Norton also put up a perfect score in our false-positive test: it didn’t mistakenly identify any safe files, out of more than 250,000, as malicious.

Norton does and acceptable job of cleaning up a system that has been infected, but it missed some infections in our evaluation. It detected and disabled 90 percent of infections, and cleaned up 60 percent of infections. This is a decent, but not fantastic showing – seven of our tested suites detected and disabled 100 percent of infections, and six cleaned up all traces of infection at least 70 percent of the time.

The package required just 1 min, 19 secs to complete an on-demand scan, and 2 mins, 55 secs to complete an on-access scan – both time represent better-than-average results

The package required just 1 min, 19 secs to complete an on-demand scan, and 2 mins, 55 secs to complete an on-access scan – both time represent better-than-average results

On the other hand, Norton is a relatively lightweight program that won’t bog down your system. It added about half a second to startup time (compared to a PC that had no antivirus program installed), and also added three seconds to shut down time; in all our other speed tests, it was faster than average when it comes to scanning speeds, as well. The package required just 1 min, 19 secs to complete an on-demand scan, and 2 mins, 55 secs to complete an on-access scan – both time represent better-than-average results.

Norton’s interface is very polished and simple, and the program installs with just one click. The main window has tile-like buttons, which look designed to work well with Windows 8 touch systems. You’ll find four tiles on the main screen: a tile that shows your protection status, along with information about your CPU usage; a ‘Scan Now’ tile; a LiveUpdate tile (which you’d use to install any updates to the suite); and a tile for advanced settings. You can also access the settings via the Settings tab.

The Settings menu is relatively easy to navigate, although it has more options than a beginner will need. Still, Norton does a good job of explaining different features and toggles, and a help button (which takes you to Norton’s online support site) is always located next to confusing terms.

The 2013 version of Norton Internet Security is a good one, especially if you’re a Windows 8 user

The 2013 version of Norton Internet Security is a good one, especially if you’re a Windows 8 user

The 2013 version of Norton Internet Security is a good one, especially if you’re a Windows 8 user.

Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security 2013

Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security 2013 ($89 for one year and three PCs) certainly lives up to its name. This ‘titanium’ security suite didn’t let anything get through in our tests. It earned excellent marks in just about every category. It also has a user-friendly interface and a quick installation process.

In our real-world attack tests, which indicate how well an antivirus program will be able to block new malware attacks as it encounters them in the wild, Trend Micro completely blocked every threat it faced. This means the program should be able to keep you very secure, even when new malware is introduced in the future.

Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security 2013

Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security 2013

Trend Micro nabbed high marks in most of our other security tests, which exposes the program to a collection of malware that had been introduced in the preceding four months, Trend Micro’s package detected 100 percent of known malware samples. In our false-positive which checks to see whether a product mistakenly flags a known safe file as being dangerous, it identified just one safe file (out of over 250,000) as malicious.

The suite also did very well in our cleanup test: it detected and disabled 100 percent of infections, and it managed to fully purge the system of 80 percent of those infections. This result puts it in second place, tied with G Data and Kaspersky, for total cleanup rate.

Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security 2013 is also a speedy and lightweight program – most of the time. In our performance tests, the program added just 0.3 seconds to startup time (compared to a system that had no antivirus program installed), and three seconds to shut down time. However, we found that it dragged down file-copy operations more than most of its competition.

The suite’s scan times were on the slow side, too, with an on-demand (manual scan taking 1 min, 50 secs (as compared to the average time of 1 min, 33 secs), and an on-access scab requiring 5 mins, 41 secs (as compared to the average 4 mins, 50 secs).

The main window has five tabs along the top: an Overview tab, and others for PC/Mobile, Privacy, Data and Family

The main window has five tabs along the top: an Overview tab, and others for PC/Mobile, Privacy, Data and Family

Installing the Trend Micro package is a breeze – you have just three screens to click through and an optional registrations screen (which asks only for your email address). Note, however, that the program does try to install three separate Firefox add-ons; a browser exploit prevention add-on, which blocks malicious code from running; a certificate add-on, which checks the safety of websites, links and wireless network connections; and a toolbar add-on.

Trend Micro’s user interface is relatively easy to understand, although it’s not as polished or attractive as AVG, F-Secure or Norton’s. The main window has five tabs along the top: an Overview tab, and others for PC/Mobile, Privacy, Data and Family. The Overview tab shows your protection status, along with some additional stats (such as how many threats have been stopped). This screen also has a scan button, a settings button and a security-report button.

The PC/Mobile tab shows PC- and mobile-related security features, such as the system tuner and the rescue-disk creator, as well as links to get Trend Micro’s apps for your Android devices and Mac systems. The Privacy tab deals with social networking, the Data tab covers data security along with Trend Micor’s secure erase feature, and the Family tab holds parental controls.

This security suite has excellent performance, a quick installation process, a user-friendly interface and speedy scans

This security suite has excellent performance, a quick installation process, a user-friendly interface and speedy scans

The settings pane, which you can access via the first tab, features basic settings for virus and spyware controls, internet and email controls, and exception lists. You’ll also find a button for other settings, such as system startup, network settings, and the background picture for your main window. Trend Micro’s settings don’t seem to be overly geared toward the advanced user, but the suite could still of a better job of explaining the settings and features found within the program.

Overall, Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security is a great choice. This security suite has excellent performance, a quick installation process, a user-friendly interface and speedy scans. Its settings pane is a tad confusing, but that’s a minor issue considering the protection you’ll be getting.

Other  
  •  Are Your Passwords Safe? (Part 4)
  •  Are Your Passwords Safe? (Part 3)
  •  Are Your Passwords Safe? (Part 2)
  •  Are Your Passwords Safe? (Part 1)
  •  10 Contenders For The 'Ultimate Protector' Crown (Part 5) : Microsoft Security Essentials 4.1, AVG Antivirus Free 2013
  •  10 Contenders For The 'Ultimate Protector' Crown (Part 4) : Norton Internet Security, Avast Free Antivirus Version 7
  •  10 Contenders For The 'Ultimate Protector' Crown (Part 3) : Eset Smart Security 6, Kaspersky Internet Security 2013, Zonealarm Internet Security 2013
  •  10 Contenders For The 'Ultimate Protector' Crown (Part 2) : Bitdefender Total Security 2013, Trend Micro Maximum Security, Mcafee Internet Security 2013
  •  10 Contenders For The 'Ultimate Protector' Crown (Part 1)
  •  A Look At Truecrypt The Open Source Security Tool
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