We then used another computer to remotely lock our TrendSecure vault; however, even with the vault locked, we could still see the contents of the TrendSecure vault within Windows Explorer. We also were able to open the "locked" documents. Thinking that the laptop needed to reboot (after all, all thieves reboot their stolen laptops), we did find the vault to be secure. The secured vault required a password for access, and we could no longer see the contents within Windows Explorer. Trend Micro confirmed that our observations are correct. One niggling issue, though: the secured vault still advertises itself on the desktop and within Windows Explorer. By comparison, Steganos Security Suite creates encrypted vaults that are invisible to outsiders and are not displayed within Windows Explorer.
Another optional feature, Trend Micro Mobile Security, protects up to three different smart phones from mobile viruses and malware. This is advanced protection that is not found in any competing Internet Security suite product. We had no problem with this feature.
A final TrendSecure download feature, Transaction Guard, protects online transactions by enabling a real-time spyware monitor and installing a secret onscreen keyboard on a remote PC. Transaction Guard is designed for use on public computer terminals, not necessarily your home terminal. The idea behind the onscreen keyboard is that you evade physical keyboard key strokes that spyware loggers intercept to steal passwords and other private information. That's the idea. The reality is these onscreen keyboards don't always work as advertised; keystroke-logging spyware can still record the typed text from an onscreen keyboard, clipboard, or other resources within Windows. Also, some spyware applications capture screen images. Trend Micro knows this and concedes Transaction Guard is just a first step in providing secure online transactions. By providing real-time antispyware protection along with the onscreen keyboard, Trend Micro hopes to detect and remove any known keylogger applications from the remote system being used.
Missing features include parental controls, a way to secure your wireless router with WEP or WPA, a way to back up files, real world identity theft protection, and a data file shredder. Perhaps next year we'll see some or all of these added.
In terms of antivirus protection, Trend Micro Internet Security 2007 scored in the middle range, falling behind Norton and McAfee and well short of our best performer, Kaspersky Anti-Virus in our performance test results. On our iTunes test, it gained ground compared with last year, taking 199 seconds as opposed to 236 seconds the previous year. On our Sorensen Squeeze test, Trend Micro Internet Security 2007 also improved, taking 285 seconds compared to 303 seconds last year. The application also showed improvement with individual file scans, taking only 150 seconds this year as opposed to 188 seconds last year. And in terms of boot speed, Trend Micro Internet Security 2007 improved, taking 63 seconds over 68 seconds last year. To find out how we test, see CNET Labs' How we test antivirus software page.
To determine how well a product will protect your PC, we refer to test results from two leading independent antivirus testing organizations. CheckVir.com ranked PC-cillin as one of four products to earn its advanced rating, which means the product was tested on finding and removing antivirus threats. PC-cillin was not reviewed by AV-Comparatives.org
In informal testing, Trend Micro's antiphishing technology was adequate but not as aggressive as the tools bundled within the latest releases of Firefox and Internet Explorer. For our tests, we looked at five recently identified phishing sites posted on www.DSLReoprts.com/PhishTracker. Trend Micro identified two of the three sites as suspicious; Firefox and Internet Explorer both identified four of the five as suspicious; and only the NetCraft Toolbar identified all five as potentially suspicious. By comparison, in previous tests Symantec and McAfee SiteAdvistor came the closest to matching NetCraft's standalone success.
Check back to read about our CNET labs testing of the ZoneAlarm firewall and antispyware protection in the coming weeks.
A truly unique feature of Trend Micro is its free technical support. McAfee, Symantec, and ZoneAlarm all charge for their live telephone help, whereas Trend Micro offers free live phone conversations. No other security vendor offers that. Also, like ZoneAlarm, Trend Micro includes a tutorial, which McAfee and Symantec do not. However, we found the Trend Micro online-support site cumbersome to use, with little practical information within its knowledgebase.
Despite repackaging, Trend Micro's PC-cillin Internet Security 2007 feels like a grab bag of security tools lacking a central focus. The addition of online-only content from TrendSecure further muddies the water. We've often had trouble slotting PC-cillin products against standalone antivirus products, given its bundled firewall and other applications, yet it doesn't quite equal the ease of use or the breadth of protection offered in competing Internet security suites. In our opinion, ZoneAlarm Internet Security 7 remains the only Internet security suite that strikes the right balance between overall ease of use and the right tools for today's threats.