PC Tools Internet Security 2010 (1 User review: PC Tools Internet Security 2010 (1 User

One such respected organization, Virus Bulletin, tested the previous version of PC Tools Internet Security twice this year against a "wildlist" of malware threats, and tested the current version once. Virus Bulletin's testing methodology can be read here. While PC Tools Internet Security 2009 failed tests on Windows XP Pro and Windows Vista SP2 Business Edition, PC Tools Internet Security 2010 passed its December 2009 test on Windows 7. While it's well-known that antivirus testing methodologies somewhat lag behind the threat landscape, and can struggle to fairly evaluate behavioral detection and prevention methods, the latest score for PC Tools is encouraging.

The ThreatFire behavioral detection engine that is part of PC Tools Internet Security 2010 is well-respected and known for adding an extra level of prevention to your existing security program. It may well prevent an infection before it happens. PC Tools offers it as a stand-alone freeware download as well.

CNET Labs put the suite through our system performance gauntlet, and came away unimpressed. PC Tools Internet Security started up 9 seconds slower than our baseline computer, an unprotected machine that booted in 40.03 seconds. Out of the 19 programs we've tested so far this year, that puts this program at seventh from the bottom. Norton Internet Security 2010, for example, added less than 1 second to the boot time, while ZoneAlarm Extreme Security took more than 19 extra seconds to boot.

Boot time (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
PC Tools Internet Security
49.03 
Standard machine
40.03 

Shutdown time (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
PC Tools Internet Security
35.32 
Standard machine
30.75 

Scan time (in seconds)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Office performacne (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
PC Tools Internet Security
524 
Standard machine
483 

iTune decoding (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
PC Tools Internet Security
194 
Standard machine
187 

Media multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
PC Tools Internet Security
898 
Standard machine
785 

Cinebench
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
PC Tools Internet Security
4,180 
Standard machine
4,217 

Interestingly, PC Tools' Spyware Doctor and Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus, which are both stripped-down versions of the Internet Security suite, fared much better and were both 6 seconds faster than their bigger sibling.

All three of PC Tools' offerings shut down about 5 seconds slower than the baseline computer. Scan times were all in the same range as well, with Internet Security hitting 1,012 seconds, Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus notching 1,035, and the most popular one, Spyware Doctor, marking 1,052 seconds to completion. In our real-world scans, Internet Security completed its fast scan, called the IntelliScan in-program, in 1 minute 40 seconds, while the full scan took 2 hours and 4 minutes. For comparison, Norton 2010 completes its real-world quick scan in less than 1 minute, but its full scan took almost 30 minutes longer than PC Tools'.

In real-world use, navigating within the program was fine, and the quick scan compares well to the competition. Startup and shutdown times, however, were indeed noticeably slower. PC Tools Internet Security has so far been the slowest program we tested in the media multitasking test for 2010 suites, but it was tied for fastest for the iTunes decoding test. Spyware Doctor, with the caveat of not having antivirus, has so far been the fastest at the Cinebench test. However, the Internet Security suite was squarely in the middle of the Cinebench pack. These mixed results reflect that while no single program benchmarks better than any other, on key tests such as startup, shutdown, and scan times, PC Tools Internet Security 2010 could be faster.

Support
Included in the program license, which is good for three computers, is live chat, e-mail, and telephone customer support, as well as a knowledge base, user forums, and online guides. In the program, there's a Quick Start guide and links to the company site and the product site, and the Get Support Now button opens your default browser to a wizard-style questionnaire to help narrow down your problem. These features also match well to PC Tools' competitors, but they don't stand out as unique.

One area where PC Tools suffers compared with others is in its trial period. The trial is 15 days shorter than most competitors, and unlike them, PC Tools won't remove threats it detects. This stands out as stingy when compared with nearly every major suite available, including Norton, Kaspersky, Eset, ZoneAlarm, AVG, Avira, Avast, and Trend Micro.

Conclusion
PC Tools Internet Security 2010 has some important strengths that can be built upon in future versions, but overall falls short when compared with competitors like Norton or Kaspersky. While our complaints about the interface are important, it is serviceable. The performance problems are more severe. The price point makes PC Tools Internet Security 2010 more attractive than it would be otherwise, as some protection is better than none for the average user.

Don't Miss

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy See all prices

PC Tools Internet Security 2010 (1 User, 3 PCs)

Part Number: 20083823 Released: Oct. 15, 2009
Low Price: $18.13 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Oct. 15, 2009
  • Category security applications
  • Compatibility PC
Hot Products