7 all-in-one security suites: Anti-malware for all your devices

We examine how the major security suites compare in terms of features, ease of use and which devices they actually protect.

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Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security

Trend Micro

Price: $44.95/1 yr. or $69.95/2 yrs.

Number of devices: 3

Trend Micro manages to stuff just about every piece of security protection you want into almost all of your devices, yet manages to do it with clean, simple interfaces, as well as a straightforward Web-based dashboard. As with all the other products reviewed here, the most comprehensive protection is for Windows PCs, but it offers solid Android protection as well. It falls short in Mac protection, though, and offers nothing for iOS.

Windows

As with other security software reviewed here, Trend Micro's Windows protection is the most comprehensive in the suite. In addition to the expected anti-malware, it guards against email-borne spam, prevents your system from running malicious scripts on websites, has a firewall, and includes instant-messenger protection, although only for Yahoo Messenger and AIM, not for other services such as Skype. There's also a system tuner, recovery disk, privacy modules and more.

Trend Micro
Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security (Windows version)

Despite the full set of features, Trend Micro's simple interface puts everything within easy reach, with five main tabs: Overview, PC/Mobile, Privacy, Data and Family. Underneath each tab are the individual modules; once you've clicked into a module, it's easy to customize how it works. This simple, clean navigation makes this suite one of the best when it comes to finding all of the software's features.

Trend Micro promises that it can check -- and tweak -- your privacy settings on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter using its Privacy Scanner feature.

After you've installed Trend Micro and log into Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, you'll see a message on the top of the page from Trend Micro, with a button "Check My Privacy." Click it and you'll be sent to the Trend Micro Privacy Scanner page. (You can also get to the page by selecting "Check social network policy" from the toolbar that Trend Micro installs in your browser.) Once there, choose either Facebook, Twitter or Google+, depending on which social network you want to check for privacy issues.

The Privacy Scanner then examines your settings on that social network and warns you about any potential privacy issues -- for example, that "Strangers can easily track you" on Twitter because your Twitter settings let people see your email address, or that "People can download your photos" on Google +. You can fix either an individual setting or all at once.

When it worked properly, I found the Privacy Scanner to be useful. But on several occasions, when I chose which social network that I wanted scanned for privacy issues, it sent me to that social network's settings page and did nothing else. In addition, I was never able to get Facebook scanning to work because it wouldn't register that I was logged in.

Along with the main desktop application, the suite also suggests you download two apps specific to Windows 8 -- apps that may be useful, but aren't particularly powerful. SafeSurfing is a separate browser that offers anti-malware protection and DirectPass manages your passwords (you can use it for up to five passwords free; after that, it's $14.95/yr. for unlimited passwords).

There are at least two other Trend Micro apps available in the Windows Store as well: Security Center, which lists malware outbreaks around the world, and SafeSync, which lets you sync mobile devices. All of these apps are available for free separately from the suite.

OS X

The suite's OS X protection isn't as comprehensive as the Windows protection, but includes the basics: Destroying malware, blocking dangerous websites, guarding against identity theft and managing your online privacy. It's all done from a simple, straightforward screen which lets you choose what you want to do, such as starting a scan and so on.

As with the Windows version, it also includes a feature designed to check your privacy protections on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter via a browser toolbar. Unfortunately, though, I was unable to get it to work on Safari, Chrome or Firefox.

Android

Trend Micro's Android protection is comprehensive and powerful. In addition to anti-malware tools, it can find, lock and wipe a missing device, and scan apps before installing them to see whether any might be privacy-invaders or data thieves. And there are other useful security tools as well, including protection against missing URLs.

Trend Micro
Trend Micro (Android version)

The interface itself is straightforward and basic -- simply tap the feature you want to use. I was impressed by the fact that the main screen itself displays not just the features, but also gives alerts about any action you should take, such as removing privacy risks the app has found or scanning your device if it hasn't been scanned yet.

iOS

There is no iOS protection.

Dashboard

Trend Micro's Web-based dashboard is only moderately useful. It shows you all the devices on which you've installed the software, lets you install directly from it and lets you report a lost or stolen device. But that's pretty much it. It's not nearly as powerful or useful as the Webroot dashboard.

Bottom line

Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security is a fully featured security suite, notable for its clean design that puts all of its considerable power within easy reach. Windows 8 fans will welcome the Windows 8 apps, even if they're not particularly powerful. The social media privacy checks are quite good as well -- when they work, that is. The suite is marred only by its lack of any iOS protection.

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