V-com SystemSuite 4.0 review: V-com SystemSuite 4.0

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Impressive array of system utilities; easy to set up; excellent printed documentation; includes personal firewall.

The Bad Doesn't check outgoing e-mail for viruses; missed a few viruses in our Labs' tests.

The Bottom Line This well-designed system utility suite is the perfect catchall if you're looking for a staggering number of features at a low price.

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If you don't want to pay for a master craftsman, a jack-of-all-trades may get the job done just as well. V-com SystemSuite 4.0 is just such a generalist, with an impressive array of system utilities that handle everything from antivirus protection to Registry maintenance and system monitoring to crash avoidance. The latest version tosses in the NetDefense personal firewall and scans your e-mail for viruses--both valuable additions. (By comparison, V-com's main competitor, Norton SystemWorks 2002, scans e-mail for viruses but doesn't include a firewall.) SystemSuite doesn't excel at any one task, but it's an excellent value if you're on a limited budget and want an extensive bag of tricks at your disposal. Norton boasts higher quality, but since its personal firewall costs $49.95, SystemSuite offers the most bang for your buck.If you don't want to pay for a master craftsman, a jack-of-all-trades may get the job done just as well. V-com SystemSuite 4.0 is just such a generalist, with an impressive array of system utilities that handle everything from antivirus protection to Registry maintenance and system monitoring to crash avoidance. The latest version tosses in the NetDefense personal firewall and scans your e-mail for viruses--both valuable additions. (By comparison, V-com's main competitor, Norton SystemWorks 2002, scans e-mail for viruses but doesn't include a firewall.) SystemSuite doesn't excel at any one task, but it's an excellent value if you're on a limited budget and want an extensive bag of tricks at your disposal. Norton boasts higher quality, but since its personal firewall costs $49.95, SystemSuite offers the most bang for your buck.

Easy installation and access
A single setup program installs all of SystemSuite's utilities, although you can easily pick and choose which ones you want during installation. Once installed, SystemSuite places an icon in your system tray. You can right-click the icon to access commonly used utilities, such as FileUndeleter or Scheduler, or double-click to launch the SystemSuite console. SystemSuite organizes itself for maximum benefit; its two-paned interface offers utility categories on the left (Firewall, Antivirus, Optimize And Maintain, Diagnose, Fix, Recover, Uninstall, Cleanup, and Zip). When you click a category, SystemSuite displays icons for its available utilities on the right. It's a snap to find just the tool you need.

Covers all the bases and then some
We could list all of SystemSuite's features, but it would take up the entire review, so we'll stick to our favorites. The best of the bunch include DataEraser, which creates a bootable floppy you can use to completely wipe a hard drive's contents--a handy tool for IT staff preparing a PC for recycling or transferring to another user, for example. The highly customizable and straightforward Uninstall tool not only deletes installed applications, it also archives them, moves them within a system, or transports them to a different system. Cleanup also offers tools for examining and deleting unwanted Internet files such as cookies, space-hogging temporary files, and extraneous Registry entries. FileUndeleter scans your hard drive, finding hidden or deleted files to recover, a lifesaver if you accidentally delete an important doc. PCDiagnostics runs an array of tests to determine whether your PC hardware is functioning correctly.

New but incomplete security measures
In addition to these old favorites, version 4.0 includes some key improvements over 3.0. It throws in, for example, the absolutely vital ability to scan incoming e-mail for viruses, and it works in almost any POP3 mail client, including Outlook Express, Netscape, Eudora, and even Microsoft Exchange clients such as Outlook. However, unlike Norton AntiVirus 2002, it doesn't scan outgoing e-mail to make sure you're not unwittingly sending out infected e-mail, and it can't check Web sites' JavaScript and ActiveX Controls for viruses. As e-mail-based worms and scripted attacks become ever more common, this could prove a serious chink in your security armor.

By far, though, SystemSuite's biggest and best addition is NetDefense, a personal firewall that protects your PC from intruders and lets you restrict outgoing traffic, prompting you each time a new application attempts to access the Internet. This keeps unknown programs or spyware from sending data over the Internet without your knowledge.

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Where to Buy

V-com SystemSuite 4.0

Part Number: 80SS00000400
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Category security applications
  • Compatibility PC