Reviews of Security Suites for 2011

September 30, 2010

Here at RackNine we can never stress it enough how important it is to protect your computer from insidious attacks. Our technical department can protect your websites, Content Management Systems, Customer Relationship solutions and other on-line software whose management and maintenance our customers have trusted us with, but protecting your personal computer is a personal task and choosing the right software to do so is a personal choice. A choice that can become overwhelming, specially for the non-technical user, given the large number of available options, all claiming to be the best security package.

To help you decide what of the many security solutions available is best for you. please read the reviews put together by PC Magazine on some of the most important 2011’s Security Suites, that are designed to keep your computer safe from viruses, spyware, hacking attacks, spam, threats to your privacy, and many more evil threats.

Even though 2011 is still 3 months away, marketing guidelines have pushed the majority of brands to release already a 2011 version of their security suites. Some notable exceptions are ZoneAlarm Extreme Security, Norton 360 or McAfee, that deserve to be taken into consideration once they are published.

In the meantime, click on the links below to read the reviews for the rest of 2011’s Security Suites, courtesy of PC Magazine:

Ad-Aware Total Security 1.0

$49.95 direct, $59.95 for 3 licenses
The massive Ad-Aware Total Security includes standard security components as well as backup and system tune-up. Most components do a good job, though a few are sketchy. This suite isn’t ready to take on the top competitors.

Astaro Security Gateway Version 8 Home Edition

Free, direct
Install the free Astaro Security Gateway software on a spare computer and your network gains Enterprise-level gateway security. The only catch: you need serious network skills to manage installation and configuration.

BitDefender Total Security 2011

$69.95 direct for three licenses
BitDefender didn’t score as well as last year in my hands-on antimalware tests. Still, I was particularly impressed by its performance optimization tool, and its phishing protection is excellent. It’s a good security suite with a full-featured backup system.

F-Secure Internet Security 2011

$59.99 direct for 3 licenses
Except for its limited parental control, almost all of this suite’s security components are good. Not great, good. Its DeepGuard malware-detection technology keeps improving, it’s true, but you can do better for overall protection.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2011

$79.95 for 3 licenses direct
This suite’s firewall is smart enough to do its job without hassling you, its parental control tops almost all the competition, and it offers some unusual and useful bonus tools. Its performance in my anti-malware tests didn’t come up to the glowing ratings from independent labs, though.

Norton Internet Security 2011

$69.99 direct for three licenses
The 2011 edition of Norton Internet Security fine-tunes its already-excellent protection. In addition, a new interactive panel makes the suite a clearinghouse for information from Norton’s web-based services. Norton remains our Editors’ Choice for security suite.

Outpost Security Suite Pro 7.0

$49.95 direct for 3 licenses
The unusual experts-only features in this suite make it attractive to the true expert user. However, its core ability to protect against viruses and other malware didn’t shine in my testing. Non-expert users should probably choose another suite.

Panda Internet Security 2011

$81.95 for three licenses, direct
Though it looks different, Panda’s security suite hasn’t changed much since last year. You’re better off sticking with the full virus and firewall protection in Panda’s standalone antivirus—the suite’s remaining features are good, not great.

PC Tools Internet Security 2011

$49.95 direct for three licenses
Spyware Doctor’s antivirus and antispyware scores are right up there with the best, especially against rootkits. The firewall and antispam aren’t of the same caliber. You’d do better to adding top-notch free firewall and antispam components to Spyware Doctor.

Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security 2011

$79.95 direct for three licenses; $59.95 for one
Trend Micro’s 2011 suite does its protective work without hassling or slowing down the user, and its online backup system is stupendous. Weak malware removal abilities bring down its score, however.

Webroot Internet Security Complete 2011

$79.95 direct for 3 licenses
This suite offers simple but powerful antivirus protection, a remarkably flexible backup and file sharing system, and a top-of-the-line password manager, among other impressive features. The one feature that needs work is the firewall, which will bombard you with warnings about both good and bad programs.