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RealNetworks beefs up security package

Company's subscription services now include an array of security tools, including the basics.

RealNetworks, the company best known for its RealPlayer media player, announced additions to its security tools on Thursday.

As part of its subscription services, the Seattle-based Internet media company offers a variety of third-party security products, with PC maintenance tools and a parental controls package being the latest additions to the so-called "Broadband Essentials" package.

"We've got the fun stuff and we want to be sure that we can give our subscribers the safe stuff, too," Matt Calder, a product manager at Real, said Thursday.

Real quietly introduced Broadband Essentials as a benefit for its SuperPass subscribers in May. The security components are McAfee's firewall, antivirus and antispyware software, Pure Networks' Network Magic home networking tools, PC tune-up tools from Iolo and parental controls from ContentWatch.

Real subscribers get the full version of the security products, not trial versions. The SuperPass subscription, which includes access to premium content, costs $14.99 a month, and just Broadband Essentials alone costs $12.99 a month. Both packages include Real's RealPlayer Plus media player.

Real is one of many places providing security tools. Internet service providers such as AOL, Comcast and Earthlink also provide at least the basic protection to their access customers, often at no extra cost. Google includes a trial version of Symantec's Norton AntiVirus and LavaSoft's Ad-Aware antispyware tool in its Google Pack.