9. Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security
£19.95 (1 PC, 1 year)
Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security didn't make a great first impression. The installer forced us to remove "incompatible software" – and then it didn't continue after we'd done that, forcing us to start again. Also, the setup process equipped IE and Firefox with no less than three new extensions.
Fortunately the situation soon improved. The program's brand new interface is clear, simple and straightforward; even total novices will quickly figure out the basics. And everyone will benefit from Trend Micro's lightweight and extremely accurate antivirus engine, which generally scores highly with the independent testing labs (it came first out of 22 in AV-Comparative's December 2014 Real-World Protection Test, and that's not an unusual event).
Antivirus is just the start. Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security does an excellent job of protecting you from malicious sites, checking links as they're clicked and preventing access to anything dangerous.
There's spam filtering, too, although for some reason this was turned off by default on our test system. Turning it back on (Settings > Internet & Email Controls > Web Threats) blocked most spam from our inbox. It's not quite up to the standard of the best standalone filters, but by security suite standards the filter performs very well.
It's not all good news. The program is quite harsh on some small utilities, removing items like NirSoft's Mail PassView and describing them as "spyware". Independent testing labs have also reported that Trend Micro's engine wrongly blocks a few more files and URLs than some of the competition.
Still, high levels of threat detection and the decent spam filter mean that on balance Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security earns a thumbs up from us.
10. Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus
£29.99 (1 PC, 1 year)
If you're tired of bulky security tools hogging your PC's resources then Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus will appeal right away. The program's core files grabbed only around 8MB of drive space, and it doesn't require bulky signature updates, instead detecting threats by behaviour monitoring and its cloud service.
The end result is extremely simple. Install the program and it begins protecting you immediately (no reboot required). A daily system scan is scheduled by default. If you need any more, launching SecureAnywhere displays a simple console with your current system status, and a "Scan My Computer" button to give you a check-up right now.
Our own tests suggest this is very effective, with SecureAnywhere AntiVirus delivering above average detection rates and very few false positives. But we'd like some confirmation of that from the big testing labs, who run much larger-scale tests, and at the moment they're not assessing Webroot products.
What we can say for sure is that SecureAnywhere AntiVirus does well in blocking phishing sites, probably because it doesn't rely on blacklists: links you visit are assessed in real time.
The program also offers quality identity protection, and some excellent low-level tools for experienced users, including a sandbox and a few low-level system and Windows tweaks.
We'd like to see more assessments of its accuracy, then, but on balance Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus looks like a solid security tool. And its 70-day money-back guarantee suggests Webroot is confident you'll think so, too.