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Trend Micro Antivirus Expert Review

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Joseph Steinberg

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    Our Verdict

    Trend Micro is an extremely powerful and customizable antivirus solution that offers a lot of important features. It can protect your devices from all types of malware and the company is known to provide excellent online security to keep your data safe from hackers’ prying eyes.

    More importantly, the solution has great pricing and protects up to 10 devices from malware, email threats, and ransomware.

    This antivirus also has parental control and other added features with the top-tier plan. When considering the pricing and features, Trend Micro represents a true value-for-money deal. 

    Pros

    • Outstanding malware protection
    • Secure browser and payment feature
    • Heuristic antivirus scan engine
    • Strong spam filters
    • Advanced AI learning
    • Protects from email scams
    • Economical pricing
    • Password manager
    • Multi-device protection
    • Extensive URL blocking capability

    Cons

    • Eats up system resources
    • Customization options are complicated
    • Technical support is charged additionally
    • Excessive false alarms
    • Misses out on some common features like a Firewall and VPN

    See It at Trend Micro

    TotalAV Total Security Overview

    Trend Micro is a renowned name with over 250 million users that delivers effective security and a plethora of features. The company has been consistent with all of the recent test results and gives you top-tier protection for 5 devices. With an unbeatable price and value-added features, Trend Micro easily measures up to brands like Kaspersky ($59.95 at Kaspersky) and Norton ($59.99 at Norton).

    It’s an AV-Test Certified Windows antivirus with a 100% protection score against malware infections such as worms, Trojan horses, viruses, and more.

    Although I noticed it misses out on additional features like a VPN and Webcam protection, it still is very much worth the price because of the heuristic core antivirus engine. Additional features with the top-tier plan ensure that you also get all-round protection. 

    How to Set It Up and Uninstall

    Installing Trend Micro is rather easy but there is a small catch. You’ll need to remove and uninstall any existing antivirus or security solution from your device. Once done, do the following:

    1) Go to the official store and download the preferred plan.

    2) Run the installer and click on Yes to proceed.

    3) Be patient, it takes some time to check the compatibility of your system. Next, you might be asked to enter the Serial Key. Enter the details and proceed.

    4) Read the agreement, then click on Agree and Install.

    5) It’ll take a few minutes to install. Once done, fill in the required details on the following screens (computer name, email address, account details, etc.)

    6) After you finish entering the required details, click Finish on the final screen and Trend Micro will be ready to protect your device.

    Features

    Trend Micro has a good list of features. Apart from providing 100% protection against ransomware and other online threats, the Pay Guard feature is especially useful when attempting to bank online securely and avoid frauds or scams.

    Strong malicious URL blocking which also shields your privacy and guards against phishing emails was another feature I appreciated.

    The core antivirus engine is extremely good, but the one drawback is that it slows system performance. 

    General

    Money-back GuaranteeYes, up to 30 days from the date of purchase.
    Free VersionYes
    PlatformWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android
    Parental ControlsYes
    Email ProtectionYes
    ChatYes
    VPN ServicesNo
    Smartphone OptimizerNo
    USD Virus ScansYes
    Automated Virus ScansYes
    Game ModeYes
    Safe BrowserNo
    Passive ModeYes

    Threat Protection

    Anti-SpywareYes
    Anti-WormYes
    Anti-TrojanYes
    Anti-RootkitYes
    Anti-PhishingYes
    Anti-SpamYes
    Adware PreventionYes

    Scanning

    To help defend devices, Trend Micro gives you three scan options: full scan, quick scan, and custom scan. It has a heuristic scan engine that’s able to detect and remove 100% of all types of malware and ransomware.

    The recent Product Review and Certification Report Nov-Dec/2019 by AV-Test awarded it with a 6/6 score for protection against 0-day malware attacks, including email and web threats.

    The industry average was 99.1%, and Trend Micro had a 100% protection rate, while competitors like McAfee ($44.99 at McAfee) had a score of 5/6 and a protection rate of 97.7%.

    One visible drawback is that it doesn’t allow you to run multiple scans at the same time as I could with Kaspersky ($59.95 at Kaspersky).

    Pricing

    PlanPriceNumber of Devices
    Top Features

    Trend Micro Maximum Security$39.95 per year5/10 [All Platforms]Mobile-Device Security, Password Manager, Parental Security
    Trend Micro Internet Security$39.95 per year3 [PC only]Pay Guard, Device Optimizer, Social Media Privacy.
    Trend Micro Antivirus + Security$29.95 per year1 [PC only]Pay Guard, Email Protection, Ransomware Protection.

    Discount

    The company is running a discount on all of their plans to entice new users.

    For instance, the lowest-tier plan, Antivirus + Security for 1 PC is originally priced at $39.95. However, if you’re a new customer, you can get it for $29.95 for the 1st year.

    The Internet Security plan is priced at $79.95 per year for 3 PCs, but you can get it at $39.95 per year. Furthermore, if you’re looking for cross-platform protection for a lot of devices, Maximum Security is the best option. For 5 devices across platforms, you’ll pay just $39.95 per year instead of $89.95.

    See It at Trend Micro

    Privacy and Security

    Privacy – The browser extension for IE, Edge, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome blocks malicious websites or search results as well as works in sync with the Password Manager. The updated Fraud Buster feature scans popular email providers like Outlook and Gmail to give you complete email protection.

    It also provides a Folder Shield feature that protects the data either on your device and those on syncing services or cloud storage from ransomware.

    An added feature that really impressed me was Secure Pay. This privacy-conscious tool makes sure that all of your online transactions are secure by forcing an encrypted data connection. Still, it misses out on a virtual keyboard to provide additional protection from keyloggers.

    Security- You will be protected from all forms of malware, ransomware, Trojans, and viruses and the engine matches known-signatures to identify and quarantine threats.

    Additionally, the heuristic monitor keeps a track of suspected behavior in files and programs and constantly updates new virus definitions to keep your devices secure.

    The Parental Control feature included with the Maximum Security and Internet Security plan allows you to block objectionable content as well as schedule your children’s internet usage/screen time.

    However, two areas where I spotted room for improvement are the absence of a two-way firewall and VPN which are much-needed features to match the competition. yet, the Folder Shield and Password Manager features still add value from my perspective.

    Performance and Protection

    The antivirus provides complete protection from malware, but it comes at a cost. It occupies a lot of your device’s resources. In an October 2019 AV-Comparatives performance test Trend Micro had the 2nd highest impact score of 13.7 whereas ESET outperformed all brands with the lowest impact score of 1.3, closely followed by McAfee with 1.9.

    Malware Protection

    Trend Micro received 5 ADVANCED ratings in the 2019 AV-Comparatives tests and it really shows. The antivirus has persistent malware protection and the status reports stand out.

    Moreover, browser extensions do a perfect job of keeping all types of malware at bay. You’ll also find the social media privacy feature to steer clear of suspicious links and ads.

    The advanced threat protection, real-time, and on-demand protection against file-based malware makes it one of the best tools in the market.

    Better still, 100% protection from all types of malware such as Trojans, worms, spyware, viruses, and more adds to advantages.

    Ransomware Detection

    Trend Micro has best-in-class ransomware detection. With a multi-layered anti-ransomware defense system that works in three directions, it gives you complete protection. The first layer is the Folder Shield that prevents unauthorized changes to system folders.

    The second layer is the heuristic monitor which encrypts the files if it detects any suspicious software, and the third layer is backup. It auto-copies essential data and places it in an encrypted folder.

    The company was able to detect 100% of the 331 samples used in the recent Real-World Testing by AV-Test conducted over November to December in 2019.

    Phishing Detection

    You get near-perfect anti-phishing protection. The software detects and blocks phishing sites in real-time. The browser extensions block dangerous websites and other malicious URLs that might attempt to steal your data. You’ll also be able to transact securely with the Secure Pay feature.

    I did notice that the software misses out on advanced features to defend against keyloggers for instance, but it does a great job of keeping your protected from cyber threats.

    It was able to block 97% of phishing websites with zero false alarms in a June 2019 AV-Comparatives Anti-Phishing Certification.

    Spyware Detection

    Trend Micro has established itself as one of the best core antivirus solutions. The advanced threat detection uses non-signature based mapping techniques to keep your devices protected from all new types of spyware.

    The AI-based heuristic engine constantly adds and updates new virus signatures to the database to keep your devices protected round the clock.

    It has proven its worth in the November 2019 AV-Test where it was able to detect 100% of 20,428 samples of widespread and prevalent malware.

    Firewall Protection

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a two-way firewall or any such advanced firewall features. Although I was slightly disappointed that the antivirus contains an extremely limited firewall feature, that doesn’t mean that it is any less secure.

    Honestly, it isn’t a firewall but a booster for the default firewall available from the Windows OS.

    Specifically, it offers enhanced protection against botnet attacks and warns you of potential hazards every time you connect to a suspicious wireless network. If you’re looking for advanced firewall and customization, Trend Micro likely won’t live up to your expectations.

    Lab Test Results

    The company was awarded the AV-Comparatives APPROVED Anti-Phishing Certification and was able to block 97% of 509 URLs without any false alarms. It’s performed well in the same lab’s September 2019 Malware Protection Test where it recorded a 97.9% online detection rate and a 100% protection rate to outperform brands like Panda, Avira ($35.99 at Avira), and F-Secure ($35.99 at F-Secure). However, in the same test, it raised 14 false alarms.

    In another AV-Test held between November and December 2019, the company encountered some issues with the performance scores. While the industry average was an 18% decline in performance when opening 50 websites alongside the antivirus, Trend Micro slowed down Standard PCs by 20% and the launch of standard apps by 19% (industry average 10%). It was rated a 5.5/6 on the usability parameter under the same test.

    It was one of the three antiviruses that offered 100% protection when tested against 10556 recent or prevalent samples and reported just 3 false positives. Based on the tests, AV-Comparatives awarded it with the ADVANCED Malware Protection September 2019 rating. The only reason it missed the ADVANCED+ rating was the higher false alarms when compared to AVG and Avast.

    Ease of Use and Interface

    Unlike many antivirus tools that make you download a lot of add-ons, Trend Micro keeps it simple. The installation is simple, and you’ll be guided through each step of the setup. Once installed, you’ll see a minimalist interface with a white, red, and gray interface. On the center of the screen, you’ll find a Scan button and the checkmark that means you’re protected.

    To fire up a Quick, Full or Custom scan, press the arrow next to the Scan button. Next to that are links to the Security Report and the Settings page. Other directly accessible links from the dashboard are device, privacy, data, and family.

    You can schedule scans every day, week or month at a set time, or instead focus on the functionality of the Smart Schedule to automatically scan when appropriate for doing so. You’ll also be able to configure network settings, authentication, background and animation, and smart network security. It shows your membership status and helps you to add additional devices.

    You can switch off the auto-renewal feature of your subscription and access free security software.

    Customer Support

    The company offers 24/7 support but you have to subscribe to a paid plan for technical assistance. In addition to premium support, you can also use the Standard support that’s available Monday to Friday from 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM PST. 

    Email and Live Chat are other options that you can use to reach out to the support team. Additionally, the support team also responds to inquiries on social media platforms, which made it easier for me to get in touch and ask questions.

    Further, the company has maintained a detailed library of resources like in-depth guides, tutorials on setting up and customizing the available features. 

    Unfortunately, their profile on Better Business Bureau (BBB) is not yet accredited and the Trustpilot profile hasn’t been claimed either with a less impressive Trust Score of 3.4/5 (Average).

    Nonetheless, I did find a lot of resources online designed to help fix small issues related to the product. The forums and FAQs I visited are also helpful, especially if you’re looking to troubleshoot a problem before connecting with customer service.