Total Security 2008 is the latest version of BitDefender's internet security solution and, in terms of look and style, it looks like it went back to the drawing board.
The interface and new applications owe a great deal to Symantec's Norton 360, as you'll find a cleaned-up and streamlined interface that takes most of the mystery out of setting up and managing your internet security.
The interface consists of four key functions: Security, Parental Control, Tuneup and Backup. When the system is fully protected and optimised, you'll see a row of four ticks. Traffic light colours, also help highlight if there is a potential problem.
If a problem does arise, click the Fix It button and the problem will usually be resolved. This simple approach to securing your laptop is great for the family, as even the first-time user can feel as if they've done a good job of setting it up.
It's not just the new interface that makes this package impressive. When it comes to checking for viruses, with anti-virus and anti-spyware tasks grouped together instead of run separately.
BitDefender has always been a powerful package, but this version is better than expected. As with similar tools, you can choose to run it manually or set up a schedule to best suit you. Updates are automatic and when we were testing it out, seemed to arrive almost daily.
The firewall has been beefed up and can now protect all ports by dropping them into stealth mode. Spyware functions have also been overhauled and there is now support for dealing with rootkits and malware. There is also a Games mode, which disables popups when you're online.
With a name like Total Security 2008, BitDefender has a lot to live up to, but we were surprised how apt the title actually is. At £36 (inc. VAT) for three licences, you can load this on all the machines in your house, safe in the knowledge they will be fully protected.