4 security suites that protect all your devices

McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, and Webroot offer protection for all your mobile devices plus Web-based management

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Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security, OS X
OS X protection Trend Micro's Smart Surfing for Mac is the least comprehensive of the Mac security software covered in this roundup -- for one thing, it lacks a firewall. It does, however, offer simple-to-use, basic protection. Included is a malware scanner and protection against phishing and malicious software found on websites. The Web threat protection is customizable and can be set to Low, Normal or High. There's also a customizable family filter for blocking sites rated according to sexual content, illegal drug mentions, violence and so on.

Trend Micro's Smart Surfing for Mac is the least comprehensive of the Mac security software covered in this roundup -- for one thing, it lacks a firewall. It does, however, offer simple-to-use, basic protection. Included is a malware scanner and protection against phishing and malicious software found on websites. The Web threat protection is customizable and can be set to Low, Normal or High. There's also a customizable family filter for blocking sites rated according to sexual content, illegal drug mentions, violence and so on.

Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security, OS X: Click to view image

One thing to be careful of: It appears that there are a number of different bundles of Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security 2012, some of which don't contain Smart Surfing for the Mac. (For example, I wrongly thought the version I had included Smart Surfing -- it didn't.) So if you decide to buy the suite and you have a Mac, double-check to make sure it's included in your bundle.

Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security, Android
Android protection The security suite falls short when it comes to mobile security: It's not really the integrated mobile/PC solution it claims to be. I was unable to activate the Android protection it promised on my phone, and you may well have the same problem.

The security suite falls short when it comes to mobile security: It's not really the integrated mobile/PC solution it claims to be. I was unable to activate the Android protection it promised on my phone, and you may well have the same problem.

Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security, Android: Click to view image

In order to install the mobile protection on a smartphone, you're supposed to log into your Trend Micro account on the Web, choose your mobile device from a drop-down list, and then follow instructions for installing and activating your mobile protection on the device. However, when I did that, I found only Symbian smartphones on the list -- there were no Android devices, iOS devices or Windows Phone 7 devices.

After a significant amount of searching on the Trend Micro site, I found instructions that said to install the protection software on the device yourself as you would any other app -- for example, in the case of Android devices, straight from Google Play. After you install the software, you type the suite's registration key into the app and then enable it. Only then will the full version of the software work. (A stripped-down version, which only scans apps for malware, is free -- you can also try the full version for 30 days.)

However, the app refused to accept my registration key. Eventually, I downloaded the app as an .APK (Android application package) file from the Trend Micro site, transferred the file to my Android device, installed it and then used the registration code, and it turned into a premium version with no problems.

The premium version includes the ability to locate a lost Android device, wipe it remotely and make it "scream" to chase away the person who's found it. In addition, it has parental control features and can block specific websites, phone calls and text messages. The app-scanning and remote security features are standard for Android security tools; parental controls and the ability to block specific websites, phone calls and text messages are nice extras.

Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security, iOS
iOS protection The iOS portion of the suite (called Smart Surfing, like the OS X module) is, like Webroot's iOS app, pretty much a one-trick pony. As its name indicates, it's a secure browser that protects against malicious websites and any evil that can result to one's gadgets from visiting those places. Even if you don't buy the suite, you can download and use it for free.

The iOS portion of the suite (called Smart Surfing, like the OS X module) is, like Webroot's iOS app, pretty much a one-trick pony. As its name indicates, it's a secure browser that protects against malicious websites and any evil that can result to one's gadgets from visiting those places. Even if you don't buy the suite, you can download and use it for free.

Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security, iOS: Click to view image

To get that benefit, users must do all their Web surfing via the Trend Micro app on their iPhone and not use Safari or another browser. In one case, Trend Micro blocked a legit site that I was able to enter via Safari (and, luckily, it turned out to be a legit site). Users can set, and later change, the danger level of the spam filter.

In my admittedly limited testing, Smart Surfing appeared to protect well enough against sites that were either virus-laden or spammy in some sense. In these cases, Trend Micro took me to a screen on my iPhone that said that visiting this site might put my security at risk, and that the Web page was rated "dangerous."

At the same time, though, the app allowed me to access "adult content" sites. So it didn't block everything, just what it deemed dangerous to the wellbeing of my smartphone if not my psyche.

--Johanna Ambrosio

Bottom line
If you're looking for a PC-protection program, Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security 2012 offers a comprehensive set of tools. It's all presented in a neat, clean, easy-to-manage package. But the Mac protection is the least comprehensive of all those I tested, and I encountered problems installing the Android version. Its Web-based dashboard leaves much to be desired as well.

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