CA Internet Security Suite (Flash Drive) review

Internet security has little use on a stick, or has it?

CA manages to keep it simple and speedy

TechRadar Verdict

Gimmicky but sturdy security software


  • +

    Simple and easy to use

    Good protection


  • -

    Idea is a bit of a gimmick

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Obvious gimmicks wear off pretty quickly. Indie band Keane thought they were going to change the face of music by releasing a single on a USB drive rather than CD, but it never really caught on.

It's much the same with PC security. Releasing a security package on a mini USB drive inside a credit card-sized carry case verges on the absurd, yet CA software's Internet Security Suite is worthy of your cash.

You can install the suite on up to three PCs, and at £40 that's good value. The Ultra Flash Drive is reusable once you've used your license keys, which is always handy. Pre-installation is important, so anti-virus software or total security packages should be removed.

The manual points out Internet Security Suite will conflict if they're not; older versions of eTrust EZ Antivirus or CA Anti-Virus can remain, though.

Suite dreams

While even the heavyweight Internet security suites from Symantec or McAfee provide a whole host of tools, CA keeps it simple at anti-virus, personal firewall, anti-spyware and anti-spam.

It's that concentration on the big four threats and a speedy interface that makes the software a winner, but its protection and general friendliness puts it among the best we've seen this year.

It terms of protection, this boasts certified protection status from a variety of independent sources including the Virus Bulletin and West Coast Labs' Check Mark. The anti-virus works smoothly. Whitelist anti-spam (a list of contacts that the user deems acceptable) is bolstered by a "spam score" for unknowns.

The speedy anti-spyware is good at identification and offers real-time analysis, which usually only comes with dedicated anti-spyware or more expensive suites. In addition, you get daily protection updates, free upgrades to the latest product features and free 24/7 online support with a one-year subscription.

All in all, this is a cracking product from a relative newcomer and we can only expect better in years to come. was the former name of Its staff were at the forefront of the digital publishing revolution, and spearheaded the move to bring consumer technology journalism to its natural home – online. Many of the current TechRadar staff started life a staff writer, covering everything from the emerging smartphone market to the evolving market of personal computers. Think of it as the building blocks of the TechRadar you love today.