The Best Security Suites for 2011

Security Suite Reviews: Ad-Aware to Kaspersky

Ad-Aware logoAd-Aware Total Security 1.0

$49.95 direct, $59.95 for 3 licenses
The massive Ad-Aware Total Security includes standard security components as well as backup and system tune-up. Most components do a good job, though a few are sketchy. This suite isn’t ready to take on the top competitors.


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Astaro logoAstaro Security Gateway Version 8 Home Edition

Free, direct
Install the free Astaro Security Gateway software on a spare computer and your network gains Enterprise-level gateway security. The only catch: you need serious network skills to manage installation and configuration.

Avast! Internet Security 6.0 : Fix Nowavast! Internet Security 6.0

$69.99 direct for three licenses
Avast!’s suite offers most of the expected suite components plus some unusual features like virtualization, Web reputation rating, and a secure browser. However, the best suites are significantly better at core tasks like protecting against viruses and spam.

AVG logoAVG Internet Security 2011

$54.99 direct, $68.99 for three licenses
AVG’s security suite offers three things the free antivirus doesn’t: a so-so firewall, an accurate spam filter, and a hefty price tag. There’s so much protection in the free product that it’s hard to justify paying for the suite. Frugal consumers will do better to enhance the considerable protection of the free antivirus with a free firewall and spam filter.

BitDefender logoBitDefender Total Security 2011

$69.95 direct for three licenses
BitDefender didn’t score as well as last year in my hands-on antimalware tests. Still, I was particularly impressed by its performance optimization tool, and its phishing protection is excellent. It’s a good security suite with a full-featured backup system.

BullGuard logoBullguard Internet Security Suite 2011

$29.95 direct
BullGuard’s suite looks good, but it doesn’t do the job. The spam filter is good, but core antivirus protection is tepid and the firewall is out of date. 5 GB of online backup may be the suite’s best feature, but others do backup better.

eScan Anti-ViruseScan Internet Security Suite 2011

$65.95 direct for three licenses
The eScan security suite has definitely gotten better since last year, but so have its competitors. The antispam and parental control in particular are just not good. There’s no reason to buy this suite.

F-Secure logoF-Secure Internet Security 2011

$59.99 direct for 3 licenses
Except for its limited parental control, almost all of this suite’s security components are good. Not great, good. Its DeepGuard malware-detection technology keeps improving, it’s true, but you can do better for overall protection.

G Data TotalSecurity 2011 : Behavior MonitoringG Data TotalSecurity 2011

$69.95 direct for three licenses
G Data’s security suite offers strong protection against phishing and Web-based exploits, but not all of its components are up to this high standard.

Kaspersky Internet Security logoKaspersky Internet Security 2011

$79.95 for 3 licenses direct
This suite’s firewall is smart enough to do its job without hassling you, its parental control tops almost all the competition, and it offers some unusual and useful bonus tools.

Kaspersky PURE Total Security : Suspicious Activity Kaspersky PURE Total Security

$89.95 direct for three licenses
Kaspersky PURE Total Security has everything you’d expect in a suite plus much, much more. Other products score better in PCMag’s anti-malware tests, but Kaspersky rates high with the antivirus labs. This suite is a very good choice.