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'To the Cloud'

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Category: Software Published on Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Trend Micro Titanium Provides Maximum Security, But . . .

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, titanium is: "A strong, low-density, highly corrosion-resistant, lustrous white metallic element that occurs widely in igneous rocks and is used to alloy aircraft metals for low weight, strength, and high-temperature stability." So, it stands to reason, you'd expect anything with titanium in its name to have super powers, right? Well, maybe not!

Titanium Maximum Security 2011 from Trend Micro ($79.95) is the latest in a new breed of products that uses "the cloud" to keep your computer safe from viruses and other scourges of the Internet. But there are a few holes in its white metallic surface.

Truthfully, when it works, it's as good as, or maybe better than, most of its competitors at dealing with current threats. And, when combined with SafeSynch ($59.99/year), which is Trend Micro's online backup product, the total package is pretty tough to beat.

And, because it uses the cloud, it is able to block threats before they get to your PC and uses less of your computer's memory and disk space. This also enables it to run unnoticed in the background without slowing down your computer.

It also includes a few great tools, including:

  • Parental Controls that let you block websites, chat rooms, etc. that you don't want your children to access.
  • Data Theft Prevention, which protects sensitive, personal data if you shop online.
  • A System Tuner that allows you to tweak your computer's performance at the click of a mouse.
  • The Trend Micro Vault, which secures confidential digital files.
  • Secure Erase, which you can use to "shred" sensitive files.

Now for the downside:

The most prolific problem occurs when you boot up your computer and you're greeted by a grey icon notifying you that your security software did not load and you have to reboot. This, unfortunately, became a constant annoyance and, frankly, did not instill confidence that my computer was being protected.

Apparently, this is a common problem and can be rectified by reinstalling and updating the program before activating Secure Erase and the Vault. Unfortunately, I discovered, once you reactivate those two tools, the problem reappears every time Titanium downloads updates from "the cloud."

Although I really have no way to test its effectiveness against malware infested computers, a quick scan of other reviewers' comments reveals that Titanium worked great at extinguishing new threats, but was less than perfect in dealing with older ones.

The bottom line? This is a great product if you have a "clean" computer and want to protect it from the new wave of threats. But, if you have a computer that contains an older virus, you may want to look for something else.

Check out Trend Micro's website at http://us.trendmicro.com/us/home/ for more information.

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