I got around to reviewing PC Tools Internet Security after they scored highly in a recent AV Test the results of which are available here and here. PC Tools is famous for its Spyware Doctor and Firewall and also for ThreatFire and slowly the company seems to be moving towards a full suite of security applications and now all of those are released in its flagship PC Tools Internet Security, which includes “Spyware Doctor AntiSpyware, AntiVirus, Firewall Plus and Spam protection, to provide complete integrated protection for your PC” which basically means if you have PC Tools Internet Security running on your system you will pretty much have everything taken care of without the need for additional antivirus, firewall, antispyware and antimalware products.
How does it perform? Well at the outset this means less demand on system resources and it does mean I can get rid of the antivirus, firewall, antispyware and antimalware on the system but all of that is beside the point if PC Tools Internet Security fails in keeping my PC secure. On that aspect though PC Tools Internet Security has performed admirably well and almost on par with the best on the abovementioned tests by AV Test. Installation was a breeze but it did take a while updating nearly 60 MB worth of signatures on the initial install after which it promptly asked for a reboot. Once the system rebooted there was the mandatory quick scan, which was completed quickly and without incident barring a tracking cookie.
Interface was simple and to the point and very reminiscent of any PC Tune-up Utility with multiple tabs on the left indicative of Status, Start Scan, IntelliGuard, Tools, and Settings. Each when selected will bring up a submenu with further options and settings. The main home screen tab is the Status pane, which will give a report on all the various scanners like anti-spyware, anti-virus, anti-spam, and firewall and whether they are up and running. These various scanners are also accessible with different settings and options from the Setting tab on the left menu. Start Scan lists three scan options Intelli-Scan (checks running applications, startup files, and other common locations where infections are usually found), Full Scan (checks all files, all running applications, startup files, and other common locations), and Custom Scan (which is customizable on what folders you want to scan and also which scanners you want to use). A full scan was thorough and took around 40 min but did flag AVG Antivirus Setup file as malware!
IntelliGuard tab lists different options like Behavior Guard, Browser Guard, Cookie Guard, Email Guard, File Guard, Immunizer Guard, Network Guard, Process Guard, Site Guard, and Startup Guard all of which perform the duty of a real-time scanner. Do note though that if you have ThreatFire from PC Tools installed on your machine then the first option of Behavior Guard will not be enabled since it does the same function as in ThreatFire. Settings tab as I’ve already mentioned goes deeper into the settings of the Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Anti-Spam, Anti-Malware and Firewall among other things and of note there is also “Enable Game Mode” which should to my understanding deactivate all unnecessary process and tasks when playing games, but something I did not get around to testing out.
Any negatives? Yes, PC Tools Internet Security Trial will only scan and notify you of malware but not get rid of them which kind of sucks. Most Anti-Virus and Malware scanners from the major vendors will remove malware during the trial period and in short will be a fully functional copy. PC Tools Internet Security lacks on that front along with Prevx from what I’ve test recently.
In conclusion, PC Tools Internet Security 2010 is feature rich but features that really don’t work in the trial mode, will do a good job of taking care of all your security needs pursuant to its recent good showing in the testing done by AV Test, but whether it warrants its price tag is another matter. Personally considering I’m running Windows 7 64-bit and PC Tools Internet Security is 32-bit the answer is no. Freeware security applications like Comodo are 64-bit and do as good a job and with a different assortment of freeware security applications like Comodo, ThreatFire, Panda Cloud Antivirus, SUPERAntiSpyware, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and then a few more you can have the same level of protection on your PC and which will clean the malware from your system unlike PC Tools Internet Security which does not in its trial mode.