Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security
Annual fee: $53.00
OSes protected: Windows, OS X, Android, iOS, Symbian
No. of devices protected: Three computers (PCs and/or Macs) and an unlimited number of mobile devices
As with the other suites reviewed here, Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security 2012 offers a host of tools that pretty much covers everything you might want, including malware protection, a firewall, parental controls and quite a few extras. It protects Windows-based PCs and Macs, along with Android, iOS and Symbian devices.
The software falls short when it comes to having an all-in-one dashboard for managing your protection on all of your devices. From your Trend Micro account on the Web, you'll be able to see what software is installed on each device and install the software on other devices, but nothing beyond that.
Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security, Web interface: Click to view image
As befits software with a six-word name, Trend Micro packs just about every security-related tool into it you can imagine, as well as some useful non-security related ones.
Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security, Windows: Click to view image
It goes beyond the usual malware/spyware/Trojan scanning and includes parental controls, a firewall, a tool to protect important files from being erased, another that password-protects important folders and a system tune-up tool. You also get 10GB of free backup.
With all these features, you might expect a packed and confusing interface, but that's not the case. The software takes a layered approach to its options. The main console is made up of a relatively small window that shows the current security state of your system as well as a security summary that offers info such as what threats the software has taken action against, and links to the Parental Controls and System Tuner modules. In addition, you'll see when your subscription expires. The console is clean, neat and easy to follow.
For more in-depth information, head to the bottom of the screen, where you'll find a compact set of icons for performing a variety of actions, such as initiating a system scan, viewing a security report or gaining access to the program's many other tools.
I found the security report especially illuminating. It displays a graph showing you what actions the software has taken to protect you over time; for example, finding and killing spyware. You can view similar reports for Parental Controls and the System Tuner.
Parents who believe in Parental Controls will be particularly pleased to see that the report shows the categories of sites blocked (i.e., whether they are sexual in nature, violent, drug-related and so on), as well as specific websites that have been blocked.
I didn't expect a great deal from the System Tuner, because I've tried many types of this kind of software and they frequently do less than they promise. I was pleasantly surprised, though -- Trend Micro's version does all the right things, such as cleaning out the Registry, deleting unnecessary files and checking to see whether unnecessary programs launch on startup.
As set up, the software's security settings worked quite well, but those who like to fiddle are able to. There are not as many options here as dedicated tweakers might like, but it does well for the basics. For example, you can choose how aggressively the program should check for Web-based threats (three settings: Low, Normal and High), and you can similarly decide whether you want it to attempt to filter spam and threats in emailed attachments. You can also exclude folders from security scans.