Review: Trend Micro’s All-In-One Cloud Security Is Titanium Strong

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Trend Micro’s latest antivirus does more than your typical home security software, and does it more discreetly than the rest. The true beauty of Maximum Security Titanium is that is runs almost unbeknownst to the user or even the CPU.
If you’re looking for bang for your buck, Trend Micro throws in its reworked, cloud-based solution to the typical antivirus software from last year (which runs more efficiently) alongside simple and mostly comprehensive controls that sit neatly in one of the easiest user interfaces you’ll come across. The value-seeker will find 10GB worth of cloud storage, remote security features, network safety, PC tuning, Android and iPhone compatibility and more in a sea of small features that make a big difference in the overall package.

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Straight off the bat, the software installs quickly with nary a prompt beside an email registration. Once installed, it runs smoothly in the background without sapping up CPU attention. From here, it’s straight onto the simple layout that throws up a Security Summary of previous scans, Parental Controls with a set up prompt, the System Tuner tab with stats on previous tune-ups, and the status of your subscription. Each of these tabs features a collapsible bar underneath in a very neat fashion. Up top of the small window is a giant icon giving you the status of your PC’s virus protection, like ‘Protected’. This top bar is customisable for the aesthetically-minded users out there, from a range of different patterns and colours or even your own uploaded image. Not the most poignant addition, but a nice touch.

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The real meat sits below, with the scan functions, settings, stats and more advanced tools all a click away. Much of the speed of the virus scanner comes from the cloud-based detection system that allows the software to run more efficiently with less locally-installed components and to run without the need to constantly manually update. From the main window, a quick scan from anywhere between a few minutes and under a minute can snoop around for spyware, viruses, malware and other web threats while a full scan can give a comprehensive can of your whole computer in up to or over an hour (depending on how big your directories are).

 

What first came to mind when thinking of a cloud-based antivirus was the idea: ‘What if I want to scan my computer without an internet connection?’ Well, if you’re in a sticky situation where you either can’t access the net or don’t want to jump online or onto a network because of an infection, the Rescue Disk tool has you covered. You install the little piece of software onto a CD, DVD or empty USB drive so that in future you can reboot your PC, bypass Windows altogether in the BIOS screen and run the software which then finds and removes the peskier viruses and rootkits that bury themselves deep into your system.

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The advanced tools (including the Rescue Disk feature) sit in an easy-to-reach blue ‘Tools’ bar on the bottom left corner, bringing up six app-like boxes for the more advanced add-on features. There’s the Parental Controls, Data Theft Prevention, System Tuner, Trend Micro Vault, Secure Erase and Rescue Disk. These value-adds give the software that extra edge over the straight anti-virus programs it competes with.

The parental controls are simple to configure but comprehensive. Here you can block certain types of sites for particular age groups and set time limits that block out internet use at designated times. On the graphical interface, a metre is highlighted across the 24 hour day to pick and choose which times your kids can access the net, and for how long. Data Theft Prevention similarly safeguards kids online from sending their personal details to strangers. Simply type in the details of what you want to guard like an email address, name, part of a phone number or credit card number, and the software will prevent its exposure to spyware latching onto your sensitive digits (or even credit card details) or your kids emailing their number around. Coupled with browser-enabled malicious link protection, you can be sure that your children won’t stumble upon viruses while you’re away.

While the software already runs smoothly and without leaving a footprint on your CPU as it runs seamlessly in the background, it can also do a bit to boost your computer’s performance. The System Tuner feature will create a restore point for you, scrub disk space by scraping out files from temp folders and the recycle bin, and clean out your Windows registry to give your machine a kick-start from out of the clutter. It’s all mostly things you can do through native Windows tools, but it’s conveniently packaged together and runs quickly in under a minute.

 

The Trend Micro Vault creates a password protected folder to store your confidential files. While the safeguarded folder will block out unwanted users, it’ll also block out thieves in the event of you losing your laptop and precious data. The data can be remotely wiped by notifying the company of your loss. So even if someone tries to gain access with your password, they’ll be blocked out. Extra peace of mind is delivered with the Secure Erase feature. While deleted files will still be recoverable from a hard drive since the actual data is still present, this feature overwrites the deleted files with random data to ensure it is really deleted. Permanent Erase will go a step further and write over the data seven times to ensure it’s permanently erased. When turned on, users right click a file and select the Trend Micro delete option – as simple as the rest of the software.

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Another significant value-add is the 10GB cloud storage thrown in with SafeSync. In a similar web layout to the Optus SmartSafe, the software allows you to set up folders and organise files like you would in Windows Explorer. You can drag and drop files straight onto the page, and can view videos and play songs straight out of the page. Latching onto the mobile user is support for iOS and Android which protects phones with mobile tracking and anti-virus software tailored to smartphones, and also integrates with SafeSync.

There are plenty of little extras that come with this software, and they’re easy enough to enable through the simple layout for anyone to take advantage of, whether it be boosting your existing Windows firewall or adding an extra layer of spam protection to your email. This 2012 suite runs smooth and out of the way, and the biggest compliment I can lend it is that it’s almost unnoticeable. Barely any drain on your computer’s resources, no unruly updating, and plenty of features to cover most of your security needs. It could have more depth for exploring blocked threats and cover manual file deleting, but with its comprehensive protection, it won’t disappoint.

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