Security suite vendor McAfee debuts its 2010 product line today, introducing an overhauled interface and new features in a bid to remain competitive. The change to its interface is as dramatic a shift as the one that Avast introduced in its 2010 suites, although McAfee's look is drastically different from any major security program currently on the market. Most of the features in McAfee AntiVirus Plus, McAfee Internet Security, and McAfee Total Protection are not new, but the presentation is so radical that the improvements are likely to be glossed over. Users of older McAfee should note that VirusScan … Read more
PC Tools' Internet Security suite for 2010 gets some things right, and frustratingly drops the ball on others. It's hard not to like the feature set, which is robust, and the recent efficacy badge from Virus Bulletin. However, some of the problems in the suite are glaring and will potentially scare aware users who might otherwise find it a good security tool.
The default landing page should appeal to those who like quick glances to ensure everything is running smoothly. Green checkmarks or red Xes make it easy to see if you're at risk. Drilling deeper down to … Read more
Online Armor has a professional feel that is typical of freeware versions of advanced security tools, pared down to its firewall options. The installation is blazingly fast, taking less than 30 seconds from double-clicking on the installer to running the firewall. Once installed, Online Armor defaults to running its installation wizard, which it calls a Safety Check.
In addition to the firewall, which configures as much as possible during the start-up wizard so you're not bothered later, Online Armor comes with a keylogger guard, tamper protection, malicious script and worm protection, and limited autostart protection. The paid versions offer … Read more
The system profiler should poll the hardware and software configuration of the computer to generate the report of the current state of the system; however, a few Snow Leopard users have found that when some firewall settings (specifically stealth mode and logging) are changed they do not appear to be reflected in the System Profiler. Instead, regardless of the settings the System Profiler claims the settings are not enabled, which has confused a number of people.… Read more
Keeping your PC secure requires diligence, common sense, and, perhaps most importantly, software. It's not enough to install antivirus and antispyware utilities; you also need a rock-solid firewall to keep hackers at bay.
Today only (in honor of my birthday, I'm guessing), Check Point Software is offering ZoneAlarm Pro Firewall 2010 absolutely free. That's a $39.95 value, my friends.
(Actually, what you're getting is a free one-year license. If you want to keep using ZoneAlarm after that, you'll have to pony up 40 bucks. On the other hand, this is the second year running … Read more
Ashampoo FireWall Free is an easy-to-use program that lets users to their computers from unwanted connections to the Internet. Though it may not be the most robust firewall available, it's a great choice for novice users who know they want protection but aren't sure how a firewall should be configured.
The program's interface is sleek and intuitive, with its functions neatly organized in tabs. Users don't have to do much to configure the program initially; it will automatically notify users when an application attempts to connect to the Internet and ask whether users want to allow … Read more
Best known for its ZoneAlarm firewall, Check Point Software also publishes two full-featured security suites. ZoneAlarm Internet Security 2010 gives users a robust firewall, antivirus and antispyware, and parental control package for $49.95, while ZoneAlarm Extreme Security 2010 adds Web browsing protection, system tune-up tools, backup options, and antiphishing technology for three computers, which will set you back $69.95. The suite is effective, although not necessarily the best all around.
ZoneAlarm's well-known firewall is included, and after spending half a day with it on a Windows 7 computer we didn't notice any of the usability problems … Read more
If you're looking for a robust feature set from your security suite, and you want an affordable price, you could do worse than Trend Micro's 2010 products. Trend Micro Internet Security Pro, Trend Micro Internet Security, and the stripped-down Trend Micro AntiVirus plus AntiSpyware have been refreshed, with the publisher claiming significant performance enhancements to each.
Trend Micro is claiming that boot times are 20 percent faster than with the previous versions, that the programs use 40 percent less RAM, the download itself is 25 percent smaller, and that the quick scan on Windows Vista and Windows XP … Read more
Comodo has merged its antivirus program with Firewall Pro, creating a free security program that aims to be more to more people. Although this may frustrate some users who want only one program or the other, the installer does let you opt out of either of the components. Users are also asked to install the Comodo SafeSearch and Ask.com toolbars, so be careful if you tend to install on autopilot. CIS requires a reboot.
Resource management is better than before, with hogging all but eliminated. It provides a smorgasbord of information and options for advanced users, but it's … Read more
The list of PC security products never ends. For every name that drops off, two more jump on. In fact, determining the best security hardware and software is a full-time job. Sometimes, you just want to throw up your hands and take your chances.
Maybe I'm just a cockeyed optimist, but I think you can stay safe without spending all your spare time doing research, installing updates, and generally becoming a PC-security expert. Here are five relatively easy ways to improve your security.
Use the firewall that's closest at hand In the computer industry, the reputation of a … Read more