Trend Micro’s antivirus products provide effective protection and a range of useful utilities, but its latest test performance is no better than Windows Defender’s and produced more false positive results for legitimate software, which could lead to faff and stress.
- Protected against 100% of threats in three tests
- Wide range of security and system optimisation tools
- High renewal costs
- High false positive detection of legitimate software
- Review Price: £29.95
- Browser link checking
- Password manager
- Silent detection mode
- Parental controls
- Clients for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
What is Trend Micro?
Trend Micro Maximum Security is the top-tier home anti-malware and computer security suite from a company that’s perhaps better known for its enterprise solutions.
As you’d expect, Trend Micro puts out a variety of program tiers, all based around the same antivirus engine, and your choice should depend on your exact requirements. Currently, both Internet Security for three Windows PCs and Maximum Security, which covers two more devices and adds MacOS and mobile device protection, a password manager and 24/7 support, cost £29.95 for a year’s subscription if you get them direct from Trend’s site. Their renewal prices go up to £59.95 and £79.95.
Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security for a single Windows PC, which lacks the parental controls, social media privacy and system optimisation tools of its more expensive siblings, always costs £19.95 if you buy it direct from Trend. As ever, retail editions are cheaper, so shopping around is strongly recommended.
Trend Micro – Features, set-up and usability
When you install the software, you’re invited to add Trend Micro’s password manager to your PC and set up Folder Shield ransomware protection, which allows you to select specific folders and protect them from being changed by unknown or unauthorised programs or processes, as well as optionally applying the same protections to any connect USB drive.
Maximum Security’s home screen isn’t as info-packed as those of many rivals: instead, there’s a notice to assure you that your system is protected – or in need of attention, as the case may be – an on-demand scan button, and shortcuts to advanced settings and other protection modules.
Quite a lot is packed into those advanced settings, from scheduled scans to spam controls for local email clients and a tickbox to enable Trend’s firewall enhancement and botnet detection features to supplement the Windows firewall.
On top of these features, Maximum Security includes a typical selection of system optimisation tools, a mute mode to prevent your security software from bothering you with alerts and pop-ups – including optional disabling of Windows Update, web privacy and link-scanning tools, a sandboxed browser, and data theft prevention tools that will stop you, or anyone or anything else, from sharing critical information such as addresses or credit card numbers.
Further security options include secure file deletion and parental controls to limit and monitor the software and internet use of your family members’ accounts, including the ability to block images from search results. A rescue disk image is available to download separately.
We’re not great fans of the interface, which feels a little pokey and unresponsive, although everything works well enough.
Related: Best Antivirus 2019
Trend Micro – Performance
|Testing facility||AV-TEST||AV-Comparatives||SE Labs|
|Real-World Threat Protection||100%||100%||100%|
We’ve got a full set of test data for Trend Micro’s anti-malware engine from three independent testing houses. It’s a close match to Microsoft’s default Windows Defender’s performance in tests by AV-TEST, SE Labs and AV-Comparatives, where it protected against all reference and zero-day malware samples, with a similar impact on system performance.
However, in the latest SE Labs test in particular, it was oversensitive to legitimate software, with only an 85% accuracy score in the false positive test that Defender excelled in. But it only picked a single false positive in the latest AV-TEST tests, and a somewhat high 16 in an AV-Comparatives tests, where Microsoft misidentified 38 legitimate programs.
Should I buy Trend Micro?
Trend Micro Maximum Security’s extra features are useful, but only add limited extra value when compared to industry-leading free services, such as LastPass for password management and Microsoft’s own recently introduced enhancements to Windows 10’s built-in parental controls.
While there is support for all the major platforms – that’s MacOS, iOS, and Android, as well as Windows – you only get this with the more expensive Maximum Security package, which includes antivirus protection for up to five devices. While that will be plenty enough for one or two people, or a small family, this might not be enough for busier households.
Trend Micro’s AV-TEST, AV Comparatives, and SE Labs perfect scores are enviable, but the software can be overzealous. This is an otherwise excellent service in terms of protection, but the relatively limited scope of the Maximum Security package means that some families will be better off checking out the biggest Symantec Norton 360 package.