Trend Micro Titanium Antivirus+ 2013 Review
Trend Micro is a well-known antivirus vendor offering products that have long been favoured by plenty of IT professionals.
It took us a few minutes to identify Trend’s entry-level antivirus package amongst the substantial “Titanium” range offered online, but once we had we were quickly impressed. The product is generous in terms of features and, most importantly, cruised through our real life tests. This product deserves a place on every shortlist.
Trend’s range of Internet security products for home users is as extensive as any we’ve seen. There are four different products, all sold under the “Titanium” banner: Antivirus +, Internet Security, Maximum Security and Premium Security.
Here we concentrate on the Antivirus Plus package. It is only available for a single computer, on a one or two year subscription. A one year subscription costs £29.96 in the UK (approx $46 based on the exchange rate at the time of writing). Exact worldwide prices may differ, as Trend only revealed the UK prices from our review location.
This price is at the upper end of average for a plain antivirus product, as some vendors offer multiple PC protection for a similar cost.
Trend Micro offers a 30-day free trial for Antivirus Plus. They also advertise a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Trend Antivirus Plus has an impressive features list, but Trend Micro refrain from overdosing on technical buzzwords and trademarked names for high-tech features.
Key features include the following:
Standard Antivirus Functionality: Trend Antivirus Plus offers all the usual on demand, on access and scheduled scanning functionality. Trend promise “set and forget” protection that minimises pop-ups and interruptions.
Social Networking Protection: Trend place significant emphasis on social networking protection. The product pre-scans links on Facebook and Twitter so you are not led to click anything malicious. In addition, the product features a “Facebook Privacy Scanner” that helps you ensure your Facebook settings are configured appropriately.
Web Threat Protection: In common with many Internet security products, Trend Antivirus Plus integrates with the Web browser to provide notification of malicious pages. This functionality is often a duplication of features now commonly included in browser software.
UI Customisation: A small but unique feature: it’s possible to upload a photo to customise the Trend Antivirus graphical user interface.
Antispam Protection: This is always worthy of mention, as only a few products include antispam in their entry-level product.
Malware Protection: As well as protection from “standard” viruses, Trend claims to protect users from “spyware, worms, Trojans, phishing, botnets, rootkits, fake AV, and more.”
Our initial impression was that of a well-thought out and generous feature set, without any indulgence in bloatware. We proceeded to install the program in the hope that reality reflected the promotional literature.
Installation and Configuration
We made use of the free trial to review Trend Titanium Antivirus+. Out test machine was running a clean install of Windows 7 Professional.
The initial demo download was just under 6MB. As is now often the case, the installer then downloads the most up to date program data, which in the case of Antivirus + was an additional 70MB.
The download took a few minutes to complete, and we were then prompted to close Internet Explorer before the install could continue. Next, we had to choose between entering a license key for the paid version or beginning our free trial.
We chose the trial and clicked “next.” We then accepted the licence agreement and the install continued.
The installation was quick, only taking a couple of minutes. At the end, we were prompted for an email address – this was a mandatory step.
We were taken straight to the program interface and notified of the end date for our one month free trial.
One thing that wasn’t immediately apparent from looking at the GUI was whether the antivirus definitions had been updated during the install.
We right clicked the programs system tray icon and chose “check for program updates.” We did, in fact, find that there was an update waiting for us.
With the update complete, we spent a little time exploring the GUI. Trend Micro have done a good job of nesting the advanced settings so that they’re not intimidating to technophobes, while at the same time leaving them easily accessible to enthusiasts.
We were also pleased to see prominence given to the social networking protection and Facebook privacy scanning features, which both resided under the privacy tab. These were disabled by default and we didn’t test them specifically, however the emphasis on these makes Trend’s product one that will appeal to people who spend a lot of time on Twitter and Facebook!
While we were browsing the settings we noticed a checkbox (ticked by default) labelled “automatically delete files that show any signs of a threat.” This low-risk approach appealed to us, and we were keen to see whether its presence meant our infected USB key would be instantly wiped clean during our tests.
With this in mind, we grabbed the key and proceeded to the real-life tests.
We were very eager to kind out whether Trend Titanium lives up to its anecdotal good reputation. We inserted our test USB key, containing a selection of viruses and malware.
After a few seconds of “installing device drivers,” we were shown the Windows “open folder to view files” option. We were a bit disappointed that Trend didn’t offer to scan the USB device, as we always think this is a nice touch for beginners who wouldn’t necessarily think to do so.
As we always test products as a normal user and not as IT specialists, we clicked on the “open folder to view files” option. Our three infected files were visible:
However, about 10 seconds later, we received an alert from Trend saying that DEFENDER.EXE (a fake antivirus program) had been deleted as it was malicious.
After clicking “OK,” we were still left with our two other infected files. We decided to start with the easiest one, and tried to run EICAR.COM, our test virus from the European Expert Group for IT Security.
Pleasingly, Trend Titanium jumped straight to life and removed the file.
Finally, we double clicked our fake Google Chrome installer, the trickiest of our test threats.
At first, it looked as if the file was going to run, but we then saw a message from Trend saying that suspicious software had been identified, followed by another message saying it had removed the threat.
We were very impressed. Although Trend hadn’t offered to scan our key, it had still managed a 100% success rate against our test threats, and it’s fair to say it would have caught them all had we opted to manually scan our USB key.
Finally, we kicked off a manual antivirus scan to look at Trend’s RAM and CPU utilisation.
Both were actually quite high. Two Trend processes added up to a peak memory usage of about 130MB, and CPU use averaged around 50%, spiking at 99%.
We tried opening a couple of applications and did notice a subjective (but real) drop in performance while the scan was in progress.
Like many modern antivirus programs, Trend Titanium Antivirus Plus has a support button integrated with the program GUI.
In Trend’s case, this in fact causes the vendor’s support page to open via your default Web browser.
We had a good look around the support page and were able to find email and live chat support on a 24/7 basis, as well as phone support during office hours. There were also options for (chargeable) premium support and a host of self-service options including technical documentation and user forums.
- User interface good for technophobes AND enthusiasts
- Perfect real-life test results
- Plenty of support options
- Good features for social networking fans
We weren’t so sure about
- Performance hit during scans
- Pricing slightly above average
Trend’s popularity amongst those “in the know” is well justified. Few products handle all of our test threats with no fuss, but Trend Titanium Antivirus+ had no problems at all.
There’s also good reason to recommend Trend to social networking fans, thanks to a couple of well-considered additional features.
The only small disappointment was a noticeable performance hit while we performed a full scan, but it’s always possible to time these for when the computer’s not being used. As such, Trend Titanium Antivirus+ gets a hearty recommendation for beginners and experts alike.