Beyond PC-cillin: Trend Micro Internet Security 2007 Plus TrendSecure

By Wayne Kawamoto | Posted November 13, 2006

For spam, viruses and spyware — and basically any other digital threat that can create havoc on your PC — Trend Micro offers its Internet Security 2007 Plus TrendSecure suite and two standalone products, Trend Micro AntiSpyware and Trend Micro Anti-Spam. If you're not familiar with the Trend Micro name, you've probably heard of "PC-cillin." This year, Trend Micro has changed the name and added powerful new features.

The suite offers all-in-one protection against viruses, spa and spyware, while the standalone products deliver precise protection as indicated by their names. The suite also comes with an innovative new set of online tools, called "TrendSecure," that protect online transactions, safeguard private files in the event a laptop is lost or stolen and secure cell phones against viruses.

The suite is available for a reasonable $49.95 yearly subscription rate. And, taking a page from Microsoft's Windows Live OneCare subscription policy, the Trend Micro subscription covers up to three PCs on a wireless (or wired) home network.

More Than Just a Name Change?
Trend Micro is a venerable player in the utilities arena, with its PC-cillin product commanding a long-standing position as one of the most popular anti-virus tools on the market. The 2007 suite incorporates the PC-cillin engine and comes with new features to handle rootkits, spyware, phishing schemes, spam, hackers, viruses, Wi-Fi attacks and smartphone threats. In execution, the suite covers all of the security bases.

The interface is intuitive and easy to use. A series of vertical tabs provide access to the program's main functions: anti-virus, firewall, etc. Click a well-marked tab and the screen displays status and options for that feature.

For anyone familiar with the prior PC-cillin program, the interface has changed little. The main difference is a button on the upper, right-hand side of the screen that offers access to the TrendSecure online services.

Trend Micro AntiSpyware and Trend Micro Anti-Spam, on the other hand, are separate, standalone products that are designed for those who want to round out their Internet protection. For example, instead of purchasing an entire security suite, users who already own an anti-virus program can purchase Anti-Spyware or Anti-Spam to increase their PC security.

In last year's programs, the standalone versions of Anti-Spyware and Anti-Spam offered superior protection over the same features found in the suite, mostly due to several engine enhancements. This year, however, the security engines are identical, as are the features. As a result, there is no longer a difference between the anti-spyware and anti-spam protection offered in the suite and through the standalone programs.

Viral Threats
As you would expect, the suite's anti-virus engine detects and removes viruses and scans for the latest threats that reside in e-mails (inbound POP3 and outbound SMTP and popular Web-based mail services), Internet downloads, removable media and PCs.

Trend Micro automatically updates the program so that it recognizes the latest viruses and their twisted brethren. The program also performs regular scans of your computer, alerts you to operating system and browser vulnerabilities, and provides access to Windows updates.

The versatile and comprehensive program offers lots of options to schedule scans at different times and intervals, and the options are easy to configure. If you're more concerned about spyware than viruses or Microsoft vulnerabilities, for example, you can quickly configure those scans to occur more often.

Firewall
The suite's personal firewall creates a software barrier between a PC and the Internet to intercept hackers and attacks while also monitoring inbound and outbound communications and snagging programs that are trying to access the Internet (sometimes an indication of a malicious program). To reduce the number of annoying pop-ups, the suite does an admirable job of scanning and identifying most well known programs — essentially pre-screening the programs that should legitimately connect to the Internet.

Useful wireless network monitoring features prevent unauthorized users from accessing and invading your wireless home network. With a single subscription, this feature allows you to manage, configure, and update security on up to three PCs on a home network — a definite plus.

By offering this convenient and reasonable household license, Trend Micro recognizes that many consumers have multiple PCs in their homes — again, a major mark in the product's favor. On the competitive front, Symantec also offers support for up to three PCs in its security suite, as does Microsoft's Windows Live OneCare.

Adapted from winplanet.com.

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