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Maximum PC Staff Apr 15, 2010

Trend Micro Internet Security Pro 3.0

At A Glance

Bacterial

30-day money-back guarantee.

Viral

Poor user experience when dealing with website blocking.

The high point of this foul program is its 30-day money-back guarantee

Trend Micro should come with a warning label that reads, “Caution: May be hazardous to your system’s boot time, overall performance, and system security. Use at your own risk.”

Instead, Trend Micro promises “the most comprehensive, easy-to-use protection for your personal data,” which just isn’t true. We have so many complaints its tough to decide where to begin, so let’s start with system performance.

Trend Micro added more than half a minute to our test bed’s boot time—long enough for some PC components to become obsolete. It also turned in the lowest PCMark score, although there were other products with scores nearly as bad.


Trend Micro's dashboard is simple enough, but takes longer to load than other security suites.

We’re far less forgiving of the hoops you have to jump through to visit a blocked site. On one hand, Trend Micro does an excellent job of creating a barrier between you and a malicious website. But if Trend Micro tags a clean site as dirty, you might as well go pound sand. Blocked sites come with a disclaimer that’s supposed to allow you to click through after acknowledging you understand the risk, but in most cases, all that does is reload the same warning message. Alternately, you can label the site as trusted by clicking the green button on the installed toolbar, but you can’t refresh the page—you need to manually type in the URL. Even then, only the main page will load; all subdomains remain blocked. The solution? Fire up Trend Micro’s slow-loading main console, click your way through to the list of approved websites, add the domain, click the “Include all pages of the websites selected” checkbox, apply the changes, and then restart your browser. Egads!

There are plenty of other quirks, like having to close the console before you’re able to view quarantined files, but the worst part about all this is that you’re still susceptible to infection. Trend Micro started off strong, but rolled over and played dead when we unleashed our archive from hell. The Task Manager disappeared, we were cut off from the registry, and a fake AV scanner kept imploring us to cough up our credit card.

Our time with Trend Micro wasn’t all bad, and there were some bright spots, but none brighter than the 30-day money-back guarantee.

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THE VERDICT

Trend Micro Internet Security Pro 3.0

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