PC Tools Internet Security 2009 review
A dreadful performer in almost every regard. Avoid.
Review Date: 13 Feb 2009
Reviewed By: Darien Graham-Smith
Price when reviewed: £41 (£47 inc VAT)
Value for Money
Ease of Use
PC Tools has a knack for producing clean, accessible user interfaces, and we found the simple front-end of its Internet Security suite a breath of fresh air. True, it offers only a basic set of components, and comparatively few configuration options, but we have no objection to a minimal package if it keeps overheads low.
Unfortunately, despite PC Tools Internet Security's narrow feature set, it somehow made the biggest impact on boot time and memory of any package here. A full minute after the desktop appeared, system RAM usage was more than 1GB and the CPU meter was hovering at around 20%.
As if to trump this dubious achievement, the suite went on to achieve a malware detection score of just 68% - landing it in last place in this test by a wide margin. Three of the samples it missed were caught by every other package. And more than once it insisted we'd have to reboot to remove infected files, which only OneCare also found necessary.
The web threat test went slightly better: here, PC Tools' suite scored 34%, ranking it tenth in a field of 15. We didn't like the appearance of the browser defender plug-in, though, which added a thick, brightly-coloured bar to the top of every web page.
The suite's best performance was in our network scan, where it revealed the same vulnerabilities as McAfee and Norton. That's still only an average degree of protection.
PC Tools has made some great utilities, and we hope it will again. Internet Security 2009, however, is definitely one to avoid.
Author: Darien Graham-Smith
- Europol warns: public Wi-Fi isn't safe
- Hundreds of NHS sites vulnerable to hackers
- Second Bitcoin site closed after £345,000 hack
- Hackers take Meetup.com offline over $300 ransom
- Child-abuse image sellers demand Bitcoin-only payments
- London firm at centre of hack redirecting 300,000 routers
- Briton charged with hacking US Federal Reserve
- Apple quietly pulls support for OS X Snow Leopard
- RSA: NSA exploits position of trust with security firms
- Google buys UK startup to fight click fraud
- Move over Delia: IBM Watson is cooking tonight
- Eric Schmidt on the double-edged smartphone: friend and foe
- Getty joins the race to the bottom
- Hour of Code: five steps to learn how to code
- Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet review: first look
- Sony Xperia Z2 review: first look
- Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 review: first look
- Nokia XL review: first look
- Samsung Galaxy S5 review: first look
- Nokia X review: first look
- Measuring me: is your body the future of security?
- The top five consumer security threats for 2014
- Windows XP: Microsoft’s ticking time bomb
- The top five SMB security trends for 2014
- Securing the Internet of Things
- My PC is infected: what now?
- When coding becomes a crime
- Mobile web blocking: what it reveals about porn filtering plans
- The men trying to save us from the machines
- Windows 8 picture passwords: are they safe?
- The key to choosing a secure password
- Please stop reposting fake Facebook messages
- Is Facebook safe for business?
- Don't rely on Chrome's password vault
- Facebook Graph Search: don't panic
- Gmail drafts and Pastebin: could they evade the email snoops?
- Applying for a job at GCHQ? Here's your plain-text password
- Google two-step verification: a must for business email
- Yes, I write down my passwords
- How to deal with a ransomware attack