Premium security suites cost more than antivirus software or internet security software. However, when you consider all of the security functions in premium security suites, they cost less than the sum of their parts if you had to assemble the suite from standalone products. For starters, a premium security suite subsumes all of the features of antivirus and computer security software. From antivirus software, the best security suites take the ability to detect incoming malware threats, prevent their entry and rid computers of any successful infections. From internet security software, the best security suites 2013 take antiphishing, email protection and firewall features. Furthermore, premium security suites go beyond antivirus and internet security software by adding file shredders, online backup, system tune-up utilities and password managers. Most of the features that protection suites have in addition to antivirus and internet security software have standalone product counterparts, which is why the extra features in premium security suites cost less than the sum of the parts that you would need to purchase if you had to buy a separate application to match each feature.
For more information, we invite you to read our articles about premium security suites. After spending some time with the best total security products, we found three that emerged as noteworthy in our security suite reviews: Bitdefender Total Security, Kaspersky PURE Total Security and Norton 360.
There should be no mystery about what to expect from the best total computer protection software if you really want secure internet security. We suggest that you approach your research by considering how well the software performs in tests conducted by independent test labs, understanding the included features and knowing how the publisher intends to support you. Let us discuss the evaluation criteria one by one.
All of the wonderful features in premium security suites are second in importance to how well the software performs in its primary mission, which is to stop malware from entering your system, find and eliminate any malware that successfully invades and do so without slowing down your system or frantically raising false alarms about safe files. The lab that we most respect is AV-Test, which publishes performance results of tests that it conducts on market-leading security software.
Not every protection suite includes the same feature set. However, most of them include the same standard features. You should expect the product to be able to scan any portable media that you attach to your PC and provide you with a way to reboot if malware crashes your system. Some products have virtual keyboards to frustrate keyloggers when you enter your online banking password, for instance. Some adjust their scans and update activity while you are playing a game or watching a video.
There is even less predictability when you consider the premium features. Therefore, study the feature lists to ensure that your selection includes a password manager if that is a feature you want. Check to see if online backup and centralized management of remote computers is included if you want those features. Just remember, however, that no feature is worth having if the underlying performance is not sufficient to provide premium virus protection.
Help & Support
While most of the security software publishers host excellent online resources such as a knowledgebase, user forum and documentation, there is a lot of variety in how you receive help from technical staff. Some of the publishers have support staff up and running 24/7 and you can reach them by online chat, telephone or email. Others, however, simply provide you with an online form to fill out and submit, and then cross your fingers and wait for a response.
If you were to assemble the features in a premium security suite separately by purchasing them as standalone applications, you would have an expensive hodgepodge of functions without a common management console. By installing a suite, you will save money by buying the bundle of features that you want. More important, however, the features will interoperate and you will be able to manage them from within the same program using a common menu system. If you think we sound as though we consider computer protection suites worthwhile, you are right.
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