Dilbert, the technoverse's personal hero, treats other users' USB drives like rats carrying fleas infected with bubonic plague. We sympathize: you don't know where that thing has been and what it might be carrying. The same is true if you carry a USB drive with important (maybe life-saving) data; you may be 100 percent sure your flash drive is virus-free, but can you say the same thing about the PCs you plug it into? No, and that's why you should have ClamWin Portable on your USB drive, CF card, or other high-capacity media. ClamWin Portable is the … Read more
The bottom line: McAfee takes aim at blocking bots in its latest version, although weak test scores mean that we don't recommend this year's McAfee suite.
Review: McAfee released a major overhaul to its security suite back in 2010, coming up with a new vertically oriented interface that made navigating much easier. Since then, the annual updates have been incremental at best, improving the feature set yet not making substantial changes overall. McAfee Total Protection 2012 adds some new features, but these are frankly more about keeping up with the Joneses--or at least, keeping up with the Nortons … Read more
The bottom line: An aggressive redesign aimed at making its best-known suite more accessible than before, Avira Free Antivirus 12 combines fast scans with above-average protection for a solid security combo.
Review: Free antivirus maker Avira debuts a laundry list of changes in its latest major update, basically repositioning the suite to remain competitive in the face of tougher competition from other free security suites and a renewed emphasis on performance from paid competitors. From the new breezy installation to the modernized interface and reputable security, the suite has a lot going for it.
However, it notably lacks some features … Read more
The bottom line: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2012 comes with some solid basic security features, but they're more comparable to free suites than anything else. Still, Bitdefender's new AutoPilot is great for people who want top-rated security that doesn't annoy.
Review: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2012 presents a convincing alternative to its better-known competitors. It's a strong program, with all the major tools that users expect, and some additional useful tricks in its arsenal. Bitdefender is held back by some major problems on system performance, specifically boot up and shutdown time, so if you're cool with those … Read more
Periodically I get e-mails from readers wondering about various viruses and malware on OS X, especially given recent malware attempts like MacDefender that have disguised phishing schemes as fake antivirus software that scares users into installing it. Besides phishing schemes, viruses, and worms, some readers have asked about keyloggers and whether or not they are legitimate threats on OS X.
Malware for PC systems comes in all shapes and sizes in order to steal information, wreak havoc, or take control of systems, be it in the form of a phishing scheme like the MacDefender scare, as worms or viruses (of … Read more
The bottom line: Following on last year's big overhaul, Trend Micro makes a series of smaller changes to this year's Titanium security suites. AntiVirus Plus contains the core features, but it's really on a level with free competitors--and that's a hard sell.
Review: Last year was a headliner for Trend Micro's security suites. Overhauled with a lightweight interface and cloud-based detection, and rebranded as Trend Micro Titanium, the changes made the suite competitive again. The 2012 version builds on those improvements, so this year doesn't have a lot of big changes. Still, there are … Read more
The bottom line: The new Kaspersky Anti-Virus for 2012 introduces a dual cloud-and-local security system bundled under an overhauled interface that's both easy to use and familiar. The suite's scans aren't the fastest, but it definitely will protect you.
Review: Kaspersky Anti-Virus continues to provide users with a high level of protection that includes security tools not offered by many competitors. The 2012 version won't change the face of personal computer security, although this particular package of security options has attracted enough devotees to make it a best-selling program, both in and out of the security … Read more
The bottom line: Low-impact performance, strong security, and useful features are the hallmarks of Norton AntiVirus 2012, one of the best antivirus suites available.
Review: Editors' note: Portions of this review are based on CNET's review of Norton Internet Security 2012.
Over the past few years, Symantec has completed a course reversal for its Norton consumer Internet security suites. The massive package of security tools works better than it ever has before, with an impressive set of features, some useful new tools including remote management and download stability analysis, and third-party security efficacy benchmarks that are at the top … Read more
Just in time for back to school, you can now save 50 percent on the all-new Bitdefender Total Security 2012 and get it for just $34.95 (reg. $69.95). As is often the case, you get a piece of software and you don't know how to customize the settings to fit your needs. Actually, with Facebook continuing to roll out new features, I always feel the need to check my privacy settings to make sure they haven't changed. I just want it to be easy--pick the right level of protection and leave it, forever.
Well, that's … Read more
The bottom line: Low-impact performance, strong security, and useful features are the hallmarks of Norton Internet Security 2012, one of the best security suites available.
Review: Editors' note: Portions of this review are based on CNET's review of Norton Internet Security 2011.
Over the past few years, Symantec has completed a course reversal for its Norton consumer Internet security suites. The massive package of security tools works better than it ever has before, with an impressive set of features, some useful new tools including remote management and download stability analysis, and third-party security efficacy benchmarks that are at the … Read more