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Trend Micro Internet Security 2009 review: Trend Micro Internet Security 2009

Trend Micro Internet Security 2009

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Robert Vamosi
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Robert Vamosi

Former Editor

As CNET's former resident security expert, Robert Vamosi has been interviewed on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets to share his knowledge about the latest online threats and to offer advice on personal and corporate security.

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4 min read

Trend Micro Internet Security has made significant gains since last year, although most are under the hood. Trend Micro Internet Security 2009 is a bare-bones, just the essentials, basic Internet Security suite offering antivirus, antispam, antiphishing, and a two-way firewall. Parental Controls are built-in, not optional. In terms of performance, Trend Micro Internet Security 2009 is lighter than last year and more than holds its own against competing products, coming in equal to or better than Norton Internet Security 2009 in CNET Labs tests. In terms of effectiveness, Trend Micro ranks well, although not at the top of the list. Like Symantec, Trend Micro offers free telephone technical support. Our only complaint is that the product could be a bit more feature rich. For more bells and whistles, you'll need to purchase the Trend Micro Internet Security Pro 2009 edition. Still, if you're looking for a very basic and easy-to-use Internet Security suite, we recommend you try Trend Micro Internet Security 2009.

7.5

Trend Micro Internet Security 2009

The Good

Trend Micro Internet Security 2009 is light and fast, and includes Parental Controls, Home Networking monitor, and free telephone technical support.

The Bad

Trend Micro Internet Security 2009 is a bare-bones, just the essentials, basic Internet Security suite.

The Bottom Line

You can't beat the price. For a good, basic Internet Security suite, we recommend Trend Micro Internet Security 2009.

Setup
Trend Micro Internet Security 2009 is available for Windows XP and Vista users and can be used on up to three computers within one household. It supports Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers, and MSN Messenger 7.5 and Windows Live Messenger 8.0 instant-messaging programs. A free, full-function trial is available. This is one of two Internet Security products; Trend Micro Internet Security Pro 2009 includes home networking and mobile features for about $20 more.

Our installation occurred without incident or a reboot. After activation, we were allowed to update the signature database as well as any program updates.

There is an uninstall option, should you decide to remove Trend Micro Internet Security 2009. And we found few traces of the product upon reboot.

Interface
The interface is a refinement of last year's, removing some of the line boxes. Across the top are two tabs, one for the Internet Security suite and a second for home networking. Down the left side are Overview, Virus and Spyware Controls, Personal Firewall Controls, Internet and E-Mail Controls, and Other Settings. Clicking these will open a more detailed view in the right windowpane. In Trend Micro Internet Security Pro 2009, there are additional features that appear in the form of a pop-up dialogue, including protection for mobile phones, system utilities, and onscreen keyboard. Prominent across the bottom are buttons for Scan Now and Update Now. The whole page is color coded and uses the now-standard red for alert, yellow for warning, and green for good.

Features
Trend Micro Internet Security 2009 covers the basics, providing antivirus, antispyware, antiphishing, antispam, Web identity theft protection, two-way firewall, and, unlike other Internet Security suites, includes Parental Controls.

The Home Network feature scans the local network and lets you control the security settings on two additional computers.

The antiphishing feature blocks suspicious sites using a combination of heuristics and white lists. The Pro version includes the "First Visitor" feature that actively scans for malicious code on live Web pages, so that if you are the first one to visit the site after a compromise attack, you'll be protected.

Performance
In CNET Labs' performance tests, Trend Micro Internet Security 2009, in general, scored even with Norton Internet Security 2009 this year. In one third-party independent antivirus test, Trend Micro Internet Security 2008 scored well, in the upper-middle rank. On the CNET iTunes test, Trend Micro Internet Security 2009 came in at a respectable 271 seconds, 3 seconds longer than our test system. On the CNET Microsoft Office test, Trend Micro Internet Security 2009 finished last at 1,415 seconds, better than some standalone antivirus products. In a test scanning a single folder with compressed and media files, Trend Micro Internet Security 2009 had very respectable results, completing this test in 229 seconds, only a few seconds more than Norton. In terms of boot speed, Trend Micro Internet Security 2009, at 30.45 seconds, was much faster than Norton Internet Security 2009, at 33 seconds.

To find out how we test antivirus software, see CNET Labs' How we test: Antivirus software page.

In terms of whether Trend Micro Internet Security 2009 will protect your PC, we cite results from two leading independent antivirus testing organizations. From AVtest.org, Trend Micro Internet Security 2008 found 91 percent of the malicious software and 88 percent of the adware in the September 2008 test. Despite stumbling on the On Demand antispyware portion, Trend Micro Internet Security 2008 scored average or better in the other individual tests performed. AV-Comparatives.org has not included Trend Micro in recent tests and so no past test results are available.

Support
Like Symantec, Trend Micro offers free technical support. Users are first directed to an Answer Guide. If you can't find a solution in the FAQ, then you can search the knowledge base, submit a question via e-mail, conduct an online chat (1 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT weekdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends), or call a representative (5 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays only).

Online there is PDF-file documentation. There is also a video tutorial (which other vendors should supply but don't), an interactive learning guide to the product's features, and a Getting Started manual that covers the basics.

Conclusion
For a good, basic Internet Security suite, we recommend Trend Micro Internet Security 2009. You can't beat the price. However, for better protection, it's worth the additional $20 to get the Pro version.

7.5

Trend Micro Internet Security 2009

Score Breakdown

Setup 8Features 7Performance 7Support 8
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