Best Internet Security Suites 2011 Buyers Guide

by Reads (67,728)

By Charles P. Jefferies

Over the last several months we reviewed 10 of the latest high-end consumer Internet security suites — today we break down the numbers and pick a winner.

Internet Security Software Solutions

The following Internet Security products are participating in this guide; all are paid-for solutions.

Keep in mind these suites offer more than basic anti-virus protection — they also include more advanced security features such as a firewall, anti-spam protection, parental controls, and utilities such as online backup.

Check out our Best Antivirus 2010 Buyers Guide for basic antivirus solutions; also check out our 2010 Free Antivirus Buyers Guide.

How We Test

The Internet security solutions will be objectively and subjectively rated over five categories:

  • Pro-activeness and Protection (30 points)
  • Ease of Use and Install (7 points)
  • Parental Controls (13 points)
  • Anti-Spam Filter (4 points)
  • Performance Impact and Scan Time (10 points)

Pro-activeness and Protection

Since people buy these suites primarily for security purposes, this section is the most heavily weighted, accounting for 30 points out of 64 points total. It focuses on the following items:

1.     Does the software’s firewall/antispyware effectively block all simulated attacks (15 points)?

2.     How proactive is the software at detecting the virus files (15 points)?

Solution

Blocking Attacks

Pro-activeness

TOTAL

McAfee Total Protection 2010

15

10

25

Webroot Security Complete 2011

15

15

30

BitDefender Total Security 2011

15

13

28

Panda Global Protection 2011

15

13

28

ESET Smart Security 4

15

15

30

Trend Micro Maximum Security 2011

15

7

22

Norton 360

15

13

28

Kaspersky Internet Security 2011

15

15

30

CA Internet Security 2011

15

13

28

PC Tools Internet Security 2011

15

7

22

All of the suites successfully fended off our attempted firewall intrusions and spyware installs; however, the scores varied in the pro-activeness category. The top scorers were Webroot, ESET, and Kaspersky, who did the best job of handling the test virus files; they went so far as to block me from downloading the files and redirecting me off the download page. Trend Micro and PC Tools are in last place; they did not detect any of the viruses while I was downloading and only discovered them after a full system scan. All of the other suites identified the virus files during download but did not receive full points because they did not fully remove them. (Note: Our trial version of PC Tools did not include their Download Guard feature, which may have allowed the software to perform better in these tests. Bear in mind that your own trial of PC Tools may prove equally inaccurate.)



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