AntiVirus – Top four of the newest releases tested: McAfee All Access 2012,F-Secure Internet Security 2012, Kaspersky One

4/28/2012 9:02:31 AM

McAfee All Access 2012

Not a flawless antivirus solution but a promising attempt at protecting all your many devices

McAfee All Access 2012 - a promising attempt at protecting all your many devices


Price: $112.5 for one user for one year

Key features: PC, Mac, smartphone and tablet protection, anti-phishing, content filtering, mobile lock, remote data wiping, backup and restore

Things are changing rapidly in the antivirus world. A few years ago we mainly accessed the internet through desktop PCs or laptops, which would almost certainly have antivirus software installed. Now, more and more of us are accessing the internet through many different devices as diverse as tablets, smartphones, games consoles and even televisions.

McAfee All Access 2012 is a suite that’s designed with this change in mind. It offers location tracking, remote locking, data wiping and mobile security for Android, BlackBerry and Symbian phones and tablets, alongside the usual antivirus tools. Protection for iOS is conspicuous by its absence.

McAfee has also acknowledge the changes in how we use the protection feature doesn’t just block inappropriate websites – it can also prevent the previewing and downloading od explicit videos and music on iTunes.

While these new features show an impressive grasp of new trends and potential threats in technology, a few ‘old school’ quirks did pop up. And when we say ‘pop up’ we mean it literally. Time and again McAfee popped up windows and messages letting us know what was going on. Informative, but an annoyance most antivirus tools now avoid.

The desktop interface is packed with more text and dropdown menus than other, more user friendly products. Still, it’s easy enough to run a full scan of a computer, and it was completed in a relatively quick time, with little impact on our test system’s performance. CPU usage remained around the 55 to 69 per cent mark while scanning.

Many features are accessed through a web browser, so you can download them directly to a tablet or smartphone. This is a simple and elegant solution. It’s a handy way of keeping track of your many devices. It’s not flawless, but All Access 2012 is a promising attempt to protect as many devices as possible.

F-Secure Internet Security 2012

A capable package with decent features to protect you at home and while on the move

F-Secure Internet Security 2012 - protect you at home and while on the move


Price: $45 for 12 months for one PC


Key features: 3G connection manager, firewall, parental control, spam and phishing email protection

This package from F-Secure is aimed at the growing number of us who access the internet on the road rather than at home.

Kaspersky One

A powerful defender of most of your web-enabled devices but not Windows Phone 7

Key features: Windows, Mac, smartphone and tablet protection, remote wiping, blocking and location detection for lost phones

Kaspersky One - A powerful defender of most of your web-enabled devices but not Windows Phone 7


Price: $90 for one year for three devices


This is a creation from a company that, like McAfee, has been in the business a long time and understands that households increasing have more than one device in their home for accessing the internet, and that these devices are far more diverse than just Windows PCs.

Kaspersky One covers an impressive array of devices and platforms. Along with Windows protection there are security tools for Macs, Android tablets and smartphones. As far as supported smartphones go, Symbian 9.1 to 9.4, Windows Mobile up to 6.5, Android 1.5 to 2.3 and BlackBerry are supported. It’s a shame that Windows Phone 7 isn’t included, but Kaspersky argues that the number of phones currently using the OS is so small in comparison to iOS and Android that there are few threats out there at the moment to justify the development costs, but we hope that if Windows Phone 7 take-up increases, Kaspersky will add a dedicated security tool.

As with McAfee’s All Access smartphone protection, iOS devices are not supported thanks to Apple’s tight hold over iOS security. This is a shame for iPhone and iPad owners, but Apple’s tight screen process of applications submitted to its App store has prevented most of the security breaches that have affected Android devices thanks to Google’s more hands-off approach to screening apps in the Android marketplace.

On the Windows side of things the interface is speedy and easy to use. We found that scanning has a small footprint, though not as small as F-Secure Internet Security 2012. During scanning, CPU usage hovered between 50 per cent, though sometimes dropping to around 15 per cent, and spiking to around 70 per cent. For the majority of the scan, however, there was little impact on the performance of the rest of the PC.

Updating any device with Kaspersky One is quick and simple, and is a powerful defence for most of your web-enabled devices.


Webroot secure anywhere complete 2012

A fast and light suite that offers a clever selection of features, including cloud-based scanning

Key features: Extremely fast and light program using cloud-based scanning, no updates needed to be installed, firewall, online backup and sync, system cleanup tools and sandboxing tool

Webroot Secure Anywhere Complete 2012 offers a clever selection of features


Price: $75 for three PCs for one year


Unlike other antivirus programs, which install virus-scanning technology and lists of known security threats on your local hard drive, SecureAnywhere sends the data to a remote server over the internet, which does the scanning for you. This means that your computer doesn’t use any of its resources at all, letting the remote computer (along with your internet connection) do all the legwork. The results are incredibly impressive – a full system scan of multiple hard drives took just 12 seconds, with CPU usage staying around 11 per cent and peaking at 27 per cent.

The SecureAnywhere program itself only takes up around 700k of memory when running – a remarkably small amount for an antivirus tool. If you’re sick of your computer running more slowly with an antivirus product installed, SecureAnywhere is definitely worth trying out. While a lot of antivirus products have improved their footprints in recent years, Webroot SecureAnywhere is easily the lightest we’ve seen.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that other features have been cut. While SecureAnywhere isn’t as feature-rich as McAfee All Access 2012 or Kaspersky One, it still has some decent extra features, such as a firewall, a system cleaner and a sandboxing tool.

Sandboxing enables you to run programs in a safe environment, limiting their access to system files and settings should they be malicious. It’s an incredibly useful feature that we always welcome in antivirus programs. Keeping with the cloud focus, SecureAnywhere also includes some decent backup and synchronisation tools as well. This is an extremely fast and light program that does an excellent job of keeping your PC secure. If you have an elderly computer that strains under bloated antivirus programs, we can’t recommend this highly enough. For a more complete solution for multiple devices, however, we recommend you try Kaspersky One.

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