Premium internet security suites are slightly more expensive than antivirus software or average internet security software suites. However, the security functions in premium suites cost less than the sum of their parts if you had to assemble the suite from stand-alone apps. Premium internet security suites include all of the features that are in antivirus and internet security suites and add a few more. From antivirus software, the best security suites take the ability to defend against incoming malware, and rid computers of any successful infections. From internet security suites, the premium versions take antiphishing, email protection and firewall features but then go beyond by adding extra security features such as file shredders, online backup, system tune-up utilities and password managers.
Most of the features that premium security suites have in addition to antivirus and internet security suites have equivalent stand-alone utilities that you can buy from various publishers. However, by using the extra features in premium security suites you pay less than what it would cost to buy standalone applications to match each premium security suite feature.
For more information, check out our articles about the best internet security software. Three of them emerge as noteworthy: Bitdefender Total Security, Kaspersky PURE Total Security and McAfee LiveSafe.
There is no mystery to finding the best total computer protection software once you know how well the software performs in tests at independent test labs, understand the included features and know how the publisher supports users. Let’s take these three evaluation criteria one by one.
The features in premium security suites are second in importance to how well the software stops malware from infiltrating your system. The product must find and eliminate any malware that invades and do so without slowing down your system or raising false alarms. We use test results from the respected AV-Test software lab to compare performance results.
Our internet security software reviews and internet security ranking show that the top 10 internet security suites have various features. Most of them, however, have quite a few standard features in common. For example, most scan any portable media device that you attach to your PC and give you a way to reboot if malware crashes the system. Some have virtual keyboards to frustrate keyloggers when you enter your online banking password. Some adjust scans and update alerts while you are playing a game or watching a video.
There is less commonality when you consider premium features. Therefore, orient yourself to the feature lists to ensure that your selection includes a password manager if that is a feature you want. Check whether online backup and centralized management of remote computers are included if you could use those features. We maintain that no feature is worth having if the underlying performance is insufficient to provide premium malware and phishing protection.
Help & Support
While most security software publishers provide excellent online resources such as knowledgebases, user forums and documentation, there are quite a few different ways to receive help from technical staff. Some publishers have support staff available 24/7 and you can reach them by online chat, telephone or email. Others simply provide you with an online form to fill out and submit and wait for a response.
If you were to buy piecemeal the features in a premium security suite, you would have a hodgepodge of functions without a common management console. In other words, by installing any of the best total security software products, you save money by buying the bundle of features that you want, features that will interoperate and allow you to manage them from within a single application using a common menu.