- Internet & the Web»
- Viruses, Spyware & Internet Security
Top 4 PC Security, and Antivirus Softwares Available; Compare and Decide for Yourself Which Is The Best.
We only have good things to say about Kaspersky One's Internet Security component. On Windows 8, the malware detection success rate ranked right up alongside Trend Micro Titanium and Norton One's Internet Security component. A very slight system slowdown was observed (more so in Windows XP than in 8), but was no worse than what we experienced with Symantec and Trend Micro's offerings. False detections were also few and far between across the different Windows operating systems.
On Android, Kaspersky Mobile Security is an equal match to McAfee, Symantec, and Trend Micro's equivalents - and that means very good malware protection and very low impact on system performance. The anti-theft features worked a treat too, and the web UI is easy to understand. If we were to nitpick, it would be that it's very sparse on the frills, like cloud backup and parental controls (unless you're running old Symbian or Windows Mobile devices). Also, web protection (phishing) works on the default Android browser only (whereas Norton Mobile Security's latest update, for example, has included support for Google Chrome).
1. Kaspersky One
A one-license solution mainly for PC, Mac, and Android protection, the Kaspersky One basically brings together four pieces of software: Kaspersky internet Security (for PC), Kaspersky Security for Mac, Kaspersky Mobile Security, and Kaspersky Tablet Security.
On the PC front Internet Security protects against viruses and malware. detects threats in real time with Intelligence from the cloud, identifies suspicious and phishing websites, protects your privacy, and prevents identity theft - the whole nine yards. It also has pretty decent parental controls that keep your children safe online, as well as a two-way firewall component. On the Mac, the protection features are similar and while OS X is rarely troubled by viruses. It'll also scan for PC viruses and remove them, so that your compromised files won't infect your PC-using friends' systems.
Like the others, the Kaspersky Mobile Security Android app does automatic virus scanning of downloaded apps, and in the event of the phone being stolen, it can do phone tracking, locking, data wiping, and sounding of an alarm through a web portal. You can have the phone take mugshots of the perpetrator and send them to you too. Via a whitelist or blacklist, It can filter calls and text messages. Designed for tablets with larger screens, Kaspersky Tablet Security shares most of the features of Kaspersky Mobile Security, but removes irrelevant features like call blocking.
Kaspersky One Universal Security isn't available in all regions yet but a one-year, three-device license can be purchased online for US$ 79.95. For five devices. It's US$ 99.95. You can go all the way to 10 devices for US$ 149.95.
Virus protection-wise, LiveSafe's Internet Security did a good job for the most part. In particular, it was able to keep up with new threats. Malware detection and blocking success rates were good, and phishing detection was excellent. For us, the default anti-spam settings worked well, as we had no email (and we have a lot) wrongly marked as spam. Our two main gripes would be its so-so performance in repairing an already severely malware-infected system and the slight system sluggishness during real-time scanning.
The Mobile Security app for Android passed our malware detection suite with flying colors, discovering all the malicious apps we threw at it and with no false detection of legitimate apps. More importantly, it didn't slow down our test device (a Samsung Galaxy Note II). The anti-theft, as well as call and message blocking features, were also easy to use and worked as expected. As a bonus, the software can be installed over and over again on different devices, unlike the other contenders. In a nutshell, there's nothing much to complain about here.
2. McAfee LiveSafe
The new McAfee LiveSafe has one major advantage over the competition: There's no limit on the number of devices you can use it on (McAfee won't specify, but says "within reason"). On Windows and Mac, besides protection against the usual fare of nasties like viruses, spyware, and spam, it has useful tools like a two-way firewall, parental controls, and website safety ratings. For mobile, Android support is the strongest (web and app protection, call and message filtering, data backup and restore), but LiveSafe also supports (to a lesser extent) iOS, BlackBerry, and Kindle Fire platforms.
In terms of cloud features, we have McAfee SafeKey and Personal Locker. Both are available as individual apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play store. The former is a cross-device password management tool; the latter a 1GB encrypted cloud storage locker for storing sensitive data.
For a stolen device, McAfee Anti-Theft is able to remotely track its location, lock it, or even wipe its data. Devices using Intel's newest 4th-gen Core processors stand to gain the most (McAfee is an Intel-owned company, by the way), as Anti-Theft combines Intel's anti-theft and identity protection technologies that are built in to these CPUs.
McAfee LiveSafe is available for USS 79.99 on a 12-month subscription. It also comes pre-installed on Dell Ultrabooks and PCs. Technical support - over email, phone, or chat - is free according to the official website, and there's a Security Advisor service that answers questions regarding cybercrime, identity theft, and malware.
Norton 360's internet security component is one of the better ones we've tested. Be it virus, web, or email attacks, it very rarely let our deliberate attempts to Infect our test PC succeed, it also did a very good job nursing a heavily infected Windows XP system back to health. The firewall proved to be very resilient as well. Performance when engaging common activities, like browsing the Internet and moving flies around In Windows Explorer, was very slight and was the least noticeable compared to the rest.
The Norton Mobile Security app on Android is clean-looking and complements Android's standard Holo system theme. Malware protection was excellent and performance impact was non-existent. The mobile security web portal also worked flawlessly when we were testing the anti-theft features The Sneak Peek feature is especially useful for capturing a picture of the perpetrator, but that's provided your phone has a front-facing camera. Parental controls are something we hope to see In future versions.
3. Norton 360 Multi-Device
Norton 360 Multi-Device is a security suite that brings together Norton 360 Premier (for Windows), Norton internet Security for Mac, and Norton Mobile Security (for Android and iOS devices) to enable multi-device protection.
For Windows, you get protection from viruses, malware, phishing and unsafe websites, data and identity thefts, and tools like a two-way firewall, automatic local or cloud backups of your photos, music, and files (25GB online storage is provided), parental controls, and system tune-ups. Protection on the Mac Is similar; the main difference is you don't get the backup, tune-up, and parental control management tools.
On Android, it's able to block fraudulent websites, though like the others, this doesn't work on third-party browsers, only the official Android browser. Also, if s able to automatically scan downloaded apps (even the SD card), protecting your device from viruses, malware, and the like before they strike. You can block calls and text messages, and via a web portal or using SMS, remotely track, lock, and wipe a stolen device.
With Sneak Peek (which snaps pictures using your device's front-facing camera), you can see who has taken your device. For iOS, remote locating the device and backup and restoration of contacts are about all you can do for now.
A one-year subscription of Norton 360 Multi-Device costs US$ 59.99 and protects up to five devices. As long as your subscription is valid, Symantec will provide free 24/7 phone, chat, and online forums support, so you'll always have help if ever anything goes wrong.
On Windows, we found the Trend Micro Titanium to offer a very good balance of protection and performance. Not only did it detect all the security risks that we Introduced to the test system, it also had a very small impart on day-to-day system performance, coming in just behind Norton 360. Equally impressive is how it managed to almost totally clean up an infected system. It did, however, let three spam emails (out of 100) slip past.
Like Norton's mobile app, the slick-looking Trend Micro Mobile The Norton Mobile Security app on Android is clean-looking and complements Android's standard Holo system theme. Malware protection was excellent and performance impact was non-existent. The mobile security web portal also worked flawlessly when we were testing the anti-theft features The Sneak Peek feature is especially useful for capturing a picture of the perpetrator, but that's provided your phone has a front-facing camera. Parental controls are something we hope to see In future versions.
4. Trend Micro's Titanium Security
Trend Micro's Titanium Security (now in its 2013 edition) includes all trie features in the company's Windows antivirus product, the Titanium Antlvlrus+ (or Titanium internet Security if you're on a Mac). You get protection from viruses, spyware, worms, Trojans, phishing, botnets, rootkits, fake AV - the usual stuff. Unlike most of Its competitors. Titanium has no dedicated firewall, instead, It Integrates a Firewall Booster with the built-in Windows Firewall.
Protection also extends to social networking sites. For example. Titanium can automatically scan your Facebook wall or Twitter timeline for malicious links. This also works on Google+, Linkedln, Pinterest, and Sina Weibo. It can even offer Facebook privacy settings recommendations. A very decent set of parental controls is provided; though if you want to track your kids on social networking sites, the Trend Micro Online Guardian is required and is a separate install.
Data can be protected in various ways: Secure Erase for file shredding. Trend Micro vault for encryption and remote file lock, DirectPass for password management, and SafeSync for online storage There are also Windows 8 apps like Trend Micro SafeGuard for secure browsing and Go Everywhere for finding lost devices. And let's not forget Trend Micro Mobile Security for Android. Trend Micro Titanium Security comes in two editions: Maximum and Premium. The former has a one-year, three-device subscription plan that costs USS 44.95 and comes with 5GB of SafeSync storage. The Premium edition costs USS 69.95, which is a sweet deal for multiple-device users, since it expands coverage to Ave devices and SafeSync storage to 25GB.
Summary and Comparison Table
Support And Price
No of Devices
PC, Mac, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, Window* Mobile US$ 79.95 (One year)
PC, Mac, Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Kindle Fire US$ 79.99 (One year)
Norton 360 Multi-Device
PC, Mac, Android, iOS US$ 59.99 (One year)
Trend Micro's Titanium Security
PC, Mac, Android, iOS US$69.95 (One year)