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Trend Micro Internet Security 2010 review:

Trend Micro Internet Security 2010

The Other Settings tab offers more information about the Trend Micro subscription; Automatic Updates and a definition file scheduler; toggling the Trend Micro Smart Protection Network, which controls the behavioral information your computer submits; security warning pop-up controls; password protection to keep Trend Micro from being used by others; and logs access. Its interface scheme, with a simple-sentence drop-down explaining what a feature does as well as links to dig down for more settings, backfires here. Most of the options in this tab only contain one settings link, meaning that what should take one click takes two.

Frustratingly, the update scheduler can't be set to check for updates more often than once an hour.

Features only included in the pro version of the suite are: protection for mobile phones, the Trend Micro toolbar that installs on Internet Explorer and Firefox, a system tuner for recovering disk space and defragmenting of hard drives, and a password-protected vault that seals if your computer is stolen and accessed. The mobile protection is available only for Symbian- and Windows Mobile-based phones, and because of the variation of models, it requires configuring a download for your specific model. Mobile threats are growing, so being able to prevent browser-based attacks on your smartphone for the same cost of protecting your PC might appeal to some users.

Trend Micro has published a comparison chart so you can see which features made it into which products.

Although there were no problems navigating within Trend Micro, and there were no noticeable slowdowns to the naked eye, certain Trend Micro performance hang-ups did appear. For one, the suite had a difficult time respecting the default Web browser setting on our Windows 7 laptop. Sometimes it would open internal program links in Firefox, our default browser, but more often, it would open them in Internet Explorer. These links, opening into either browser, took much longer to load. It wasn't clear whether this lag was because of the main suite or the Trend Micro toolbar scanning the links before loading them.

CNET Labs' benchmarks reveal that all three of Trend Micro's 2010 products had an uneven impact on computer performance. Trend Micro Internet Security Pro and Trend Micro Antivirus with Antispyware slowed boot time by 4 seconds, while Trend Micro Internet Security only affected boot time by 1.5 seconds. The Pro version also dramatically slowed down shutdown performance, by nearly 8 seconds, while the basic Antivirus dragged on the shutdown cycle by less than 1 second, and Internet Security added 1.65 seconds.

The benchmark of Trend Micro's full scan was quite slow, with the Internet Security Pro and Antivirus with Antispyware products taking 19 minutes, and the standard Internet Security taking 20 minutes. The nonbenchmarked quick scan compared favorably with industry standards, coming in at 53 seconds. The full scan took an average amount of time, at one hour and 28 minutes. Besides potential hardware conflicts, keep in mind that these differences can often be attributed to the generally clean state of the benchmarking computer's hard drive, versus the numbers programs and files that reside on a real-world machine.

Trend Micro's results were also uneven on processor-intensive tests. On Microsoft Office tests, the Pro suite was, again, the slowest, followed by the stripped-down Antivirus. The basic suite, Trend Micro Internet Security, was the fastest of the three, running an average of 18 seconds slower than an unprotected computer. This pattern repeated with our CineBench tests. However, in iTunes decoding tests, all three notched nearly identical scores. In the multimedia test, the basic Antivirus was faster than its two siblings were by 20 seconds.

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Trend Micro AntiVirus with AntiSpyware 2010

Multimedia multitasking (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Trend Micro AntiVirus with AntiSpyware 2010

iTunes decoding (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Trend Micro AntiVirus with AntiSpyware 2010

Microsoft Office performance (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Trend Micro AntiVirus with AntiSpyware 2010

Performance speed times (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Scan time  
Shutdown time  
Boot time  
Trend Micro Internet Security 2010
Trend Micro AntiVirus with AntiSpyware 2010
Standard machine

Unfortunately, Trend Micro's efficacy is debatable. It no longer participates in the trials run by, and the most recent data from is for the 2008 version. Keeping in mind that the data is for a test from September 2008, but the 2008 release is actually from fall 2007 because of the security industry's naming conventions, Trend Micro had lukewarm results. It was able to detect between 90 percent and 95 percent of malicious software on demand; and it detected between 85 percent and 90 percent of adware and spyware on demand, but only it notched one to two false positives.

Trend Micro offers free customer support, although if you're looking for help through the program, it will merely shove you via hot linked FAQs toward the Trend Micro Web site. The Product Help link will keep you on your computer, but the rest jump you online. Once there, Trend Micro offers prerecorded video help, manuals, online chat service, and phone service. The phone number is only listed on the Web site behind several links, and is difficult to find.

Trend Micro looks and feels like a professional security suite, but it's worrying that it doesn't participate in the major tests that their competitors are comfortable with. At the same time, it includes behavioral detection, which is becoming more important for catching more complicated threats. The mobile support is worthwhile for peace of mind, and for reminding users that just because you're on a cell phone doesn't mean you're risk-free. However, that's only available in the most expensive of Trend Micro's three packages. Overall, Trend Micro gives users a lot for their money, but lacks the verification from independent testers to be considered your best bet.

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