Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security 2012 review
A simple, lightweight suite that offers great protection and useful extra features
If you’re going to pay for a security suite, it clearly needs to offer more than the regular free packages. Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security 2012’s claim on your wallet starts with a perfect performance in our detection and protection tests: 100% of the threats in our test were neutralised, while every one of our network and system tools ran correctly without a murmur. Although several free packages achieve protection rates in the high nineties, none we've seen can equal this performance.
Trend Micro’s suite offers an attractive and accessible interface. It isn’t elegant, with strident colours and bubble-style buttons (you can replace the red theme with a preset or custom image). And it isn’t loaded with advanced settings: techies who like to monitor and tinker with every aspect of security should consider Kaspersky Internet Security instead. But tools, options and reports are all clearly signposted, with no clutter, making it easy to find your way around.
Unusually, Trend Micro doesn’t bundle a firewall. Instead, it leaves the perfectly decent Windows Firewall in place, and adds a Data Theft Prevention module. This intercepts predefined strings, such as email addresses and credit card numbers, whenever anything tries to transmit them, so you can approve or block individual data transactions, just as with a regular firewall connection request. It can’t spot encrypted data, but it’s a reassuring first line of defence.
When it comes to web protection, Trend Micro again keeps things simple, adding no toolbars or icons. You’ll see the software only if you try to visit a dangerous page, in which case an interstitial warning pops up.
This approach saw Titanium Internet Security 2012 add a comparatively modest 155MB to our test system’s memory footprint. With default settings, it didn’t add a single second at boot time, although there was a six-second burst of activity a minute later: if you prefer, you can configure it to load everything at startup.
It also includes a 2GB online backup and sync account, parental control features that can block websites by theme and restrict computer usage by time, and a one-click link to create a bootable recovery CD or USB disk, which can be used to scan and clean heavily infected systems. It’s debatable whether these are worth much: services such as Dropbox and Windows Live Family Safety handle syncing and parental controls for free, and the rescue disc can be downloaded free here. But the integration of it all into one package may appeal.
A three-PC boxed edition of Titanium Internet Security can be bought online for £23 inc VAT, so it works out at around £8 per system – not too offensive for a year. The only black mark in terms of price is phone support, which is via a £1-per-minute 0906 number.
In all, though, Titanium Internet Security 2012 offers a combination of usability and effectiveness you won’t find in any free packages. If you’re willing to pay for that, this is the suite to go for.
|Software subcategory||Internet security|