Antivirus shoot-out: Trend Micro vs Norton

Raymond Lau
Yahoo! Tech Talk

Now that we live in a world where the only time you’re not online is when you’re sleeping, we should give more thought to security software.

The offerings these days have moved beyond just providing antivirus scanning but provide all-in Internet Security, where threats are identified and stopped before they reach your computer.

In particular, Trend Micro and Symantec last week launched the latest editions of their respective products: the Trend Micro Titanium Cloud Edition Maximum Security 2012 (whew, that’s a mouthful), and Norton 360 all-in-one security 2012.

Both are already very adept at scanning and remove malware, so in what areas do they have an edge over each other?

Note: we’ll be looking at only a select set of features. Feature-sets may differ according to the version you purchase. Plus, this isn’t a scientific assessment of both products – hit up the links for more info.

Ease of use

Security software doesn’t normally have the friendliest of user interfaces, but both companies seem to have done well here. Norton, in particular, has a nifty feature which lets users check and control all their devices with Norton installed from a convenient web interface.

Not to be out-played, Trend Micro also features a more user-friendly interface compared to previous versions. It’s very straightforward, and you can even customise it with your favourite picture. However, there seems to be no way of managing installs on multiple machines from one place.

Winner: Norton takes the cake here. Families with more than two PCs to maintain will find the web interface a boon.

Online safety

Remember those links on Facebook which purportedly tells you who viewed your profile? Facebook and Twitter are full of these fake links which can compromise your personal information.

Fortunately, Trend Micro can scan all the links on your news feed on demand and check them for fraudulent links. The company also keeps an always-updated database of virus signatures online, so you can be sure that you’re protected from the newest threats.

Norton, too, has link scanning features, and it’s available as a Facebook app which doesn’t require you to install anything. Plus, Norton also offers an Identity Safe with its suite to store your online user IDs and passwords in the cloud, which means you can go ahead and set incredibly complicated passwords and have Norton protect them for you.

Winner: Norton. The Facebook app is a particularly great idea, and it’s completely free, so go try it now!
Mobile protection

Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security comes with free licenses for their iOS and Android security apps. These nifty apps help to track lost phones, block malware, and number blocking, and complement our mobile surfing nicely.

Similarly, Norton will be unveiling version 2.0 of their dedicated mobile security apps in the coming weeks, which are packed with features. Plus, it will also offer a dedicated Android tablet app.

Winner: It's a tie! We're increasingly using our mobile phones to surf the web, and protection for these devices are certainly welcome.

Back-up and storage

Trend Micro Titanium comes with 10GB of online sync and back-up, which is a sweet alternative to apps like Dropbox. Your backed-up files are also accessible on Android and iOS devices. All your data is encrypted and secured, and they’ll be kept safe in the event of a computer crash, or if a particularly nasty piece of malware wipes them out.

In comparison, Norton offers a paltry 2GB of space for online back-up.  That’s sounds ridiculous when you can grab a cheap 8GB thumb drive off the shelf.

Winner: Trend Micro. Although most of our music library would easily go beyond 10GB, it’s still much better than 2GB.

Bottom Line

It seems like Norton is in the lead, but no security software is 100% effective. At the end of the day, the best way to keep your computer secure is to be conscious in your usage, and steer clear of questionable websites and downloads.

Nonetheless, both Trend Micro and Norton provides good protection with their own unique offers, and are especially worth a look if you’re purchasing for multiple machines.