Trend Micro Internet Security Pro 2010: A Mixed Bag

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Robert Vamosi
PC World
Friday, April 2, 2010; 12:19 AM

Trend Micro Internet Security Pro 2010 ($70 for three users as of 3/10/2010) ranks tenth in our 2010 roundup of security suites. It offers a competitive and complete package for desktop Internet security, but its malware detection lags behind that of our top performers.

Its interface is easy to read and use overall, and it has kept the look and layout used in earlier versions: a left-hand pane for navigation, and a right pane containing configuration options. These options can get quite advanced, but they are easy to configure, and first-time users will find the defaults sufficient to begin with.

Trend Micro found all the active malware infections on our test PC and disabled 87 percent. It completely removed 47 percent of the malware; this seems low, but it's about average compared with the other packages we tested.

The suite was a strong performer at detecting rootkits (stealth malware that is used to hide other infections), but it was a little behind the curve at removing them. It detected all inactive rootkits and 93 percent of active rootkits, and it removed 73 percent of the samples. But on average, the suites we tested removed 87 percent, and our top performers removed all samples.

For detection and disinfection through behavioral scanning (detecting malware based on how it behaves on your PC), Trend Micro was average. Although it detected 93 percent of samples, it blocked only 60 percent, and removed 40 percent. Behavioral detection is a good test for seeing how well a suite can catch new, unknown malware infections, and given the sheer number of new threats, this sort of feature is becoming increasingly important.

Trend Micro was the worst of the group at signature-based malware detection, catching 89.4 percent of samples. Our top performer detected 99.9 percent of samples in this test, and most other products detected roughly 96 to 97 percent. This test isn't as important as it was in the past, now that other, more proactive protection measures have become the norm.

Trend Micro's impact on system performance was mixed: It was a solid performer for the most part, but its scanning engine needs some work. Our test PC started up in 42.4 seconds; that's about 4.5 seconds faster than the average boot time for the sutes we tested. And the suite introduced very little slowing in daily PC operations. On-access scan speeds (how quickly a suite can scan files when they are opened or saved to disk) were significantly slower than average; it scanned 4.5GB of data in 7 minutes, 26 seconds. By comparison, our top performer completed this test in 2 minutes, 51 seconds.

The package includes a full range of technical support options with how-to videos, a searchable knowledge base, and PDF manuals for download. Free e-mail, chat, and telephone support is available during business hours. If you want 24/7 phone support, however, you'll have to pay a fee.

Current users of Trend Micro's suite may be happy with the upgrade, but new users should look elsewhere for more progressive protection.


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