Trend Micro Antivirus solutions review

Easy-to-use, accurate antivirus and top-notch browsing protection

Trend Micro antivirus review
(Image: © Trend Micro)

TechRadar Verdict

Trend Micro is great at blocking malicious websites and has great safe banking tools. But it's missing some of the features you might expect from a security suite (firewall, webcam protection, backup), and the tools you get are often underwhelming.


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    Easy to use

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    Capable URL blocking

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    Effective anti-ransomware layers

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    VPN available


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    Limited configurability

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    Can't add devices to a license

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    Above-average impact on system speed

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    Disappointing test results

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Please note

This is the all-in-one roundup reviewing every Trend Micro consumer security solution for 2023. On this page, after our brief intro, you’ll find

(a) a full evaluation of the entry-level Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security, along with reviews of the additional features incorporated with the rest of the range: 

(b) Trend Micro Internet Security, and

(c) the top-end package Trend Micro Maximum Security

You can jump to the reviews of those individual products by clicking on the links in the bar at the top of this page, but bear in mind that this article is really designed to be read all the way through, as the features of Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security are also present in the higher-level security suites, of course.

Trend Micro's consumer security range looks a lot like most of the competition: a single Windows-only antivirus product here, a more powerful internet security suite over there, and a high-end product with extra functionality and support for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices. In fact, it's among the best Mac antivirus today.

Plans and pricing

Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security doesn't come with very much, In fact, it will only protect one Windows machine and doesn't give you the option to add more. But for $19.95, it's not a bad place to start if you want to give it a fair chance. 

There are other basic antivirus programs, like Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, that come in about the same price point, gives you more devices to protect, and a few extra security tools. If you decide you want to continue using Antivirus+ Security after the first year, the price will increase to $39.95 each year you want to renew.

Trend Micro Internet Security also only protects Windows computers, but it does give you the option to protect three of them with a single license. There are a few extra tools thrown in, too like parents control, a system optimizer, and social media protections.

You can get Internet security for $39.95, but renewing after the first year will cost you $79.95.

Trend Micro Maximum Security adds a password manager to its subscription and lets you protect five devices. Unlike Antivirus+ Security and Internet Security, Maximum Security works on most devices including Mac, Android, and iOS mobile devices, and on Chromebooks.

You can use Maximum Security for a year at the introductory price of $49.95. After that, the yearly subscription cost increases to $89.95.

The top-of-the-line Trend Micro Premium Security supports ten devices and adds an unlimited VPN, alerts if your details appear in a data breach, and 24/7 tech support and 'emergency assistance',  including remote assistance to remove a virus. 

It's not significantly more expensive, either, at $59.95 in year one, and $129.95 on renewal. But if you don't need support for all that hardware, Norton 360 Deluxe covers up to five devices and includes a VPN, dark web monitoring, firewall, and 50GB backup space, plus costs $10 less for the first year, and $20 less on renewal.

Compare Trend Micro subscriptions

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Trend Micro Antivirus+ SecurityTrend Micro Internet SecurityTrend Micro Maximum SecurityTrend Micro Premium Security
Operating systemWindowsWindowsWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, and ChromebookWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Chromebook
Number of devices13510
Starting price$19.95$39.95$49.95$59.95
Pay Guard
Advanced AI learning
System optimizerRow 6 - Cell 1
Parental controlsRow 7 - Cell 1
Social media protectionsRow 8 - Cell 1
Password managerRow 9 - Cell 1 Row 9 - Cell 2
ID theft monitoringRow 10 - Cell 1 Row 10 - Cell 2 Row 10 - Cell 3
VPN accesssRow 11 - Cell 1 Row 11 - Cell 2 Row 11 - Cell 3
24/7 tech supportRow 12 - Cell 1 Row 12 - Cell 2 Row 12 - Cell 3

Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security


(Image credit: Trend Micro)


Getting started with Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security is easy. There's a trial build available, installation is largely automatic, and you don't even have to provide your email address to try it out. (You're prompted to enter your email address at the end of the process to get product news and updates, but this is optional. I left the box blank, and the installer didn't complain.)

The Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security installation grabs more system resources than most, with more than 1GB of data and executable files, a further 1GB in an Installer folder, seven background processes, and assorted other drivers.

That generally isn't good for speeds, and sure enough, AV-Comparatives' October 2022 Performance Test placed Trend Micro 6th out of 17. Essentially that means you can expect to see some slowdown when using this program, especially on the first launch of an application, or when webpages are first loading.

Now Protected

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

I completed my first checks by simulating the type of attacks malware might use to try and disable Trend Micro's protection, including deleting files, killing processes, stopping services, unloading drivers and more. The results weren't bad at all.

It managed to damage the package enough that its interface refused to load, even after a reboot. But the underlying engine remained intact, and still detect and blocked all types of threats. And once Antivirus+ Security was reinstalled, the interface returned.

On the plus side, the app blocked all my other low-level trickery with extreme ease, and often more effectively than most.

For example, one test checks whether an antivirus can be silently uninstalled (don't laugh: amazingly, some can.) Antivirus+ Security didn't just block the attempt, it closed down my testing tool and raised a notification to warn me: the best response I've seen.

Antivirus Plus Interface

(Image credit: TrendMicro)


Trend Micro's Windows interface has a friendly and appealing look. There are large, animated icons, a big scan button, a clear description of your security status, along with text captions and tooltips to make it clear how everything works. You can even customize the console with a new background image.


(Image credit: Trend Micro)

Checking the Settings dialog revealed the same focus on clarity, with nothing too intimidating present. Instead of the usual technical jargon, options are spelled out in detail and in plain English, like "Prevent programs on portable drives from launching automatically" or "Check if programs try to make unauthorized changes to system settings which could threaten your security".

Experts might wish for more low-level control, but if you're normally left baffled by at least some antivirus settings, Trend Micro's simplified approach could be a refreshing change.


(Image credit: Trend Micro)


Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security's Scanning options are straightforward. You're able to run quick, full or custom scans, where you can specify particular drives or folders to check. There's very little control over any of this, and no Avast-like ability to add other scan types and define precisely how they work. But it's easy to use, and if you're not the type who normally delves deep into antivirus settings, you'll probably be happy enough.

You're able to scan files from their right-click Explorer menu, too, although with one or two restrictions. I noticed that Antivirus+ Security doesn't support simultaneous scans, and the Explorer 'Scan with Trend Micro' option is greyed out when you're running a scan from the main console.

That's probably not something you'll notice often, but it's still a potential nuisance and not an issue you'll get with more flexible products.

Antivirus+ Security scanned 50GB of test executables in just 16 minutes, much faster than most of the competition. This dropped to nine minutes on the second scan, presumably through some 'scan only new and changed files'-type optimization.

That's good, but a few vendors go further. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus spent a lengthy 49 minutes on its first run, but this dropped to under a minute by the second.

Folder Shield

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

Folder Shield

Trend Micro's protection doesn't stop with real-time behavior monitoring and on-demand scanning. Folder Shield, an anti-ransomware layer, watches your Documents, OneDrive and Pictures folders, as well as any connected USB drives, and alerts you about any attempt to modify files by trusted processes. You can add more folders, as necessary.

Folder Shield isn't a new idea – Windows' Controlled Folders feature is a more basic version; Avast's Ransomware Shield is similar  – but it's a welcome extra layer of protection that could block even brand-new undiscovered ransomware.

AV-Comparatives protection test results for Trend Micro

(Image credit: AV-Comparatives)


AV-Comparatives' real-world protection test is a tough benchmark that pits 16 top antivirus engines against some of the very latest malware. In the past Trend Micro has put up some impressive detection and protection rates, but in the latest round of testing, it really took a deep dive.

In its March 2023 findings, AV-Comparatives gave Trend Micro an overall protection score of 97.19% and placed it dead last among all the antivirus tested. While on the surface that doesn't seem too bad, when each part of the test is broken down you can see where Trend Micro struggled.

To begin with, of the 10,015 malware used for testing, Trend Micro let 281 of them slip through. Add in that only achieved an offline detection rate of 60.9%, the lowest score in this area, and tagged 10 legitimate files are threats, it's clear that in this case 97.19% just isn't good enough.

But AV-Comparatives isn't the only metric I use to determine the overall effectiveness of any antivirus' detection ability. Along with my own observations, I also look at AV-Test, another third-party security software testing lab.

In the latest round of testing, AV-Test gives Trend Micro perfect scores for protection. It, too, looks at how well it detects and blocks malware, identifies new threats that haven't been officially recognized or added to malware databases, and how often it gives false positives.

I should note that I've seen Trend Micro's false alarms in my own tests, so there does seem to be an issue here. It may vary considerably depending on your applications and how you use your system, though, so don't let this put you off trying the product; it might not be an issue for you in real-world use.

Threat Found

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

Malware tests

To get a complete idea of Antivirus+ Security's abilities, I put the program through some tests of my own.

As I expected, there were no file detection issues, and the engine detected and blocked even the latest malicious binaries.

I also ran some more interesting behavior tests, where test binaries perform a range of very suspicious actions (run a command shell, which launches wmic.exe, which fires up PowerShell with a one-line command to download a malicious file, for instance.) 

Antivirus+ Security performed well, jumping on many executables and closing them based on behavior alone before the file could be downloaded. That's more aggressive than some - Total AV waited for the downloaded and blocked it, but ignored the behavior and left the executables untouched - and perhaps explains why Trend Micro can raise more false positives. But I feel it's good news overall, as blocking suspect behavior as well as known dangerous files should protect you from even brand-new and undiscovered threats.

Ransomware test

My toughest antivirus test pits the reviewed product against my own custom ransomware simulator. As I've written this myself, Trend Micro wouldn't be able to detect the threat from its file signature, and could only rely on behavior monitoring. 


(Image credit: Trend Micro)

Many antivirus products fail this test, but Trend Micro achieved another big success. Not only did it kill the process after only three documents had been encrypted, but it also recovered those documents in full, ensuring I didn't lose any data at all. 

That puts Trend Micro alongside Bitdefender as the only vendor with products that both blocked my test threat and recovered any lost files. As an example of how important that might be, Norton AntiVirus Plus also detected and killed the simulator, but not before it managed to trash 57 documents, all of which were unrecoverable: oops. Stopping ransomware isn't just about the initial detection; speed and document recovery matter, too, and Trend Micro is one of the top contenders in both areas.

Social Network Protection

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

URL filtering

Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security includes several levels of browsing protection. 

Trend Micro's Social Networking Protection uses browser extensions to display a 'risk rating' of links on popular social networks, for instance (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Weibo, and more.) But there's also automatic checking of URLs before they're accessed, and even if a page passes that test, its content is scanned by the core Trend Micro engine.

AV-Comparatives' hasn't done any Anti-Phishing Certification Tests for a while, but the 2020 report put Trend Micro on top, blocking an excellent 95% of phishing sites. Other contenders included Bitdefender (94%), Avira (91%), and AVG and Avast (86%).

URL Filtering

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

My smaller manual tests also found the app performed well, blocking many of even the very latest phishing sites.

I did notice one potential issue, though. Antivirus+ Security did a great job of protecting my browsing in Chrome, Edge and Firefox, but it didn't help with smaller browsers. After launching Brave, I was able to visit as many dangerous sites as I liked, without Antivirus+ Security raising any alarm.

Pay Guard

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

Pay Guard

Trend Micro's Pay Guard aims to provide a more secure environment for carrying out online banking, shopping and other sensitive transactions, making it more difficult for malware to monitor or log what you're doing. This is also a familiar idea, but Trend Micro implements it a little differently.

While Bitdefender Safepay and similar packages create their secure environment within a custom hardened browser running on a separate desktop, Antivirus+ Security uses your default browser (as long as it's Chrome, Firefox, Edge or IE) with its most secure settings. 

This isn't as isolated from other apps. Keyloggers and screen capture tools weren't able to capture what I did in Safepay, for instance, but had no problem recording all Pay Guard activities.

Pay Guard is easier and more convenient to use, though. It can be set up to launch automatically when you access sensitive sites, maybe your bank and credit card companies. And it does offer useful security benefits, opening in a private browsing window, with no extensions loaded, and no trace of your transactions left when it closes.

Spam filter

Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security has a surprise bonus tool in its spam filter, a feature normally reserved for security suites. It's not easy to find, though - it's disabled by default and not highlighted on the main dashboard - and you may not even realize it exists unless you find the right area of the Settings dialog and click the appropriate checkbox.

Spam Filter

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

After enabling the feature, I began to realize why Trend Micro wasn't shouting about it. It's not a network-level, system-wide filter, for instance; it only works with Outlook, scanning POP3, SMTP, and Exchange messages

Performance wasn't great for me, either, with the filter regularly flagging legitimate emails as junk. You can address this by adding trusted addresses to an Approved Senders whitelist, though, or maybe reducing the filter strength. It's also possible you'll see better results, as these depend very much on the type of email you get. Take the trial, and see how it does.

Final verdict

Trend Micro has produced a user-friendly antivirus with excellent anti-ransomware abilities, but experts might be frustrated by the lack of advanced features and configuration options.

Trend Micro Internet Security

Internet Security Interface

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

Trend Micro Internet Security extends the Antivirus+ product with parental controls, social media privacy tools, and a handful of PC maintenance and speedup features.

The suite's main selling point is its extended license, covering up to three PCs for only a little more than Antivirus+ Security: $40 for one year, $80 on renewal, or $60 for a two-year license, rising to $125 when you renew.

That looks a little underpowered to us, for what you're getting. Bitdefender Internet Security has many more features - firewall, password manager, webcam protection, and more - but the three-device license is priced the same, at $30 in year one, $80 on renewal. 

You can extend Bitdefender licenses to cover up to ten devices over three years, too, potentially saving even more. Trend Micro Internet Security is normally a three-device, one or two-year deal. (Confusingly, some regions are more flexible than others. Trend Micro's UK plans allow you to buy a cheaper one-device Internet Security license; the US plans only support three.)

Still, if Trend Micro Internet Security has everything you're after, Bitdefender specs may not matter very much. What's really important is exactly what its new features can do, and that's what I wanted to find out.

Parental Controls

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

Parental Controls

Trend Micro's Family feature is an interesting parental controls tools that offer a little more functionality than you'll get with many other suites.

Content filtering enables blocking websites by their content type, for instance. A long list of well-chosen categories gives you plenty of control over how the system should work. You don't just get a single checkbox to block or allow all websites classed as 'Adult', for instance - you can opt to block pornography and erotic links, but allow sites covering sex education or with swimsuit pictures.

More general tools include options to prevent users accessed sites that Trend Micro hasn't rated. You can have unsuitable images filtered out from search engine results, or even block access to search engines entirely. 

Parental Controls Scheduling

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

You're able to schedule internet access and set maximum device time usage per user account. It's not very flexible - you must set times in whole hours only - but the familiar calendar interface means it's easy enough to use.

Unusually for a Windows security suite, you can also block access to specific applications by schedule. Add an app and initially, it's blocked at all times, but you can freely tweak that to, say, only allow it to be launched at weekends. (You can also override the block by entering your own password.)

There's a significant limitation here, in that Trend Micro Internet Security only covers desktops. If your child has access to a phone or a tablet, they can switch devices whenever they hit any enforced limits on the PC.

But if you can live with that, Trend Micro's parental controls tools give you fractionally more features than you'll see with some competitors, and are a worthwhile addition to the suite.

PC Health

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

PC Health

Trend Micro claims its PC Health feature can 'fix common problems and get everything running at top speed', but it doesn't take long to realize that might be a little, well, unrealistic.

Trend Micro Internet Security automatically checks your PC Health when you run a regular antivirus scan, or you can choose to run a separate scan. Either way, the process doesn't take long, and within seconds I was looking at results in five categories.


(Image credit: Trend Micro)

A 'Security Vulnerabilities' section lists missing program updates, though only from Microsoft and Adobe; Avira's Software Updater also covers updates for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Java, TeamViewer, Paint.Net, and other popular tools.

The Vulnerabilities section apparently also looks for poorly configured Windows firewall and user account settings. If you've tried similar tools before, you'll know they always come up with some obscure Registry setting that could be tightened, just a little. In this case, it had no suggestions at all.

A 'Potentially Incompatible Programs' section warns you of apps that might interfere with Internet Security or 'affect the performance of your computer.' Again, it found nothing to report on my system.

PC Health Report

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

The 'Reduce Computer Startup Time' section displays startup programs that Trend Micro thinks could be disabled (or launched later) to reduce boot time. Task Manager reported 20 startup programs on my test system, but Trend Micro recommended delaying the launch of only four. But as it measured the total load time of all four programs as under 1.5 seconds, this wouldn't make any noticeable difference.

PC Health Disk Space

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

The 'Regain Disk Space' section handles all your system cleanup tasks and reported a total of 12.13GB to clean up across four categories: Temporary Application Files, Windows Update History, Temporary Web Browser Files, and Temporary Windows Files.

That's a good total, beating even what CCleaner could find on the same system (7.4GB), but the report had no real detail. The app claimed it could delete 1.44GB of 'Temporary application files', for instance, but didn't tell me what they were, so I had no way to check whether I needed these files or not.

Finally, a 'Clean Privacy Data' feature can apparently remove personal data from 'web browsers, instant messaging applications, media players and Windows.' Sounds great, but as it found absolutely nothing at all on my test system (and it didn't in my last two reviews, either), I was left wondering how thorough it is.

PC Health promises a lot but fails to deliver in almost every area. You'll get better results with the best-of-breed PC maintenance freeware, such as CCleaner. Or, if you're an experienced user and you'd like your security suite to have some real speedup power, check out Avira Prime. Its system cleaner is one of the few I've seen that can stand up to the stand-alone competition.

Privacy Scanner

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

Privacy Scanner

Trend Micro Internet Security enhances your privacy with three main tools.

Privacy Scanner includes options to check the privacy settings of your web browsers, and your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. These are available from the main Trend Micro interface, but for some reason, it launched Internet Explorer rather than Chrome, as my default browser. 

Privacy Scanner is also available from Trend Micro's free Chrome and Firefox browser extensions, so I installed that instead. This was detected when I logged in to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and was then able to scan my account settings for issues.

Privacy Scanner Results

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

The Scanner offered 8 recommendations for Facebook (changing who could see my posts, who could see posts I'd tagged, and so on) 3 for Twitter and 1 for LinkedIn. 

A 'Fix all' button automatically changes all settings to give maximum privacy, or I was able to change individual account settings as required.

This could be handy as a way to highlight weak privacy settings, but with Privacy Scanner still supporting IE, and ignoring Edge, it looks like it really needs an update.

Social Networking Protection

Trend Micro's Social Networking Protection is a simple feature that highlights risky links in social media feeds, web search results, and other web pages.

This feature is enabled by default in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome, as long as you install Trend Micro's extensions.

This worked well when I tried it, highlighting safe URLs in reassuring green, and dangerous links in alarming red. Although I didn't test this feature in-depth, Trend Micro's engine does a good job of blocking URLs, so I expect it will be just as accurate. 

Data Theft Prevention

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

Data Theft Prevention

Trend Micro's final privacy feature, Data Theft Prevention, aims to stop confidential information from ever leaving your PC.

The idea is that you create a list of information you don't want to share without permission on websites and in emails: credit card or bank account details, addresses, telephone numbers, whatever they might be. Trend Micro then monitors outgoing connections and alerts you to any attempt to send those details.

While this sounds great, it only works with unencrypted connections and data. If an app connects using HTTPS or sends your data in a ZIP file, for instance, Data Theft Prevention won't be able to monitor what's going on.

There's no harm in setting it up, and the feature might prevent some basic malware from stealing your personal details. I wouldn't rely on that, though, and Data Theft Prevention really doesn't add much to the suite.

Final verdict

Trend Micro Internet Security doesn't make any huge mistakes, but it doesn't provide any compelling reasons to buy it, either. The feature set is small, and although there are a few original touches, most tools are average at best.

If you've already decided you're buying a Trend Micro product, and Internet Security's feature set suits your needs, check out the trial anyway. It will make you a little safer, and it's fair value if you're covering more than one device.

But if you're not already committed to the company, there's probably nothing in Trend Micro Internet Security that will change your mind, and you'll be better off with something else.

Trend Micro Maximum Security

Maximum Internet Security

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

There isn't a lot of difference between Internet Security and Maximum Security. The big addition is multi-platform support, with apps available for Android, iOS, and Mac. The other is the inclusion of a password manager. For any more cool perks or security tools, you'll have to upgrade to Trend Micro's top subscription.

Trend Micro Maximum Security isn't too bad of a deal considering what you do get. To protect up to five devices it only costs $50 for the first year and $90 on renewal. And you still get all the features of both Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security and Internet Security including parental controls. social media protections, and its signature online banking tool, Pay Guard.

Mobile Security

(Image credit: Trend Micro)


With the ability to cover five devices with a single Maximum Security license, its multi-platform support could be the highlight of the package.

The Mac build covers all the core features you need, and more: antivirus, browsing protection, a spam filter, parental controls, social networking protection, the Privacy Scanner to check your social network account settings, and the ransomware-blocking Folder Shield.

It doesn't have some of the Windows extras - Pay Guard banking protection, any equivalent to PC Health's cleanup tools - but is a decent package overall.

The Android app is better than most, with equivalents to most of the features in the Windows edition, and a number of mobile-specific tools (a Privacy Scanner highlighting apps that can access your personal data, an app locker, a Secret Snap feature to capture a picture of unauthorized users trying to access your device.)

The app scores well with the top labs. AV-Test's Home User Android test awarded it a maximum 6/6 for Protection, Usability, and Performance in its last report. With a Play Store rating of 4.6, users seem to like it, too.

Trend Micro's iOS app can't match the Android edition, but it still outperforms many competitors, with malicious website blocking (including a secure QR code scanner), parental controls, private browsing, and tools that divert suspect texts, block ads and trackers and alerts you to unsafe wireless networks. Works for me.

Password Manager

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

Password Manager

At first glance, Trend Micro's Password Manager looks a little better than most of the security suite competition. It doesn't just generate stored passwords, store and sync them across your devices, and automatically complete login pages, for instance. There's also support for much more capable form filling, with data types including your name, birth date, email address, phone number, physical address, and credit card details.

Try using the service, though, and you'll find there's not much depth to any of this. Import options are limited to browsers, LastPass, and Kaspersky Password Manager, oddly. You can only enter a single example of many form data types (only a single address or password manager.) And you can forget about advanced features like secure password sharing or two-factor authentication.

The most significant problem during this review is the password manager simply didn't work, at all. I used its browser extension and web console to enter passwords, a name, addresses, and other data, but it apparently didn't recognize any forms and failed to auto-complete anything.

Password Manager Status

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

I've seen the password manager work successfully in all previous reviews, so I'm going to be generous and treat this as a temporary glitch or an issue with my testing system. But a rating of 2.5/5 on the Chrome store and the last update suggests there might be bigger problems in the background.

There may still be hope, though, especially if you'll mostly use mobile apps (the Android edition has more features, is updated more regularly, and scores 4.3/5 on the Play Store.) Try Password Manager out, it might be enough if your needs are simple, but it doesn't begin to compete with the stand-alone competition.

Final verdict

You don't see a real jump in overall security between Trend Micro Internet Security and Maximum Security. A password manager is a pretty handy tool to have in your arsenal, though, and it is helpful to be able to use your multiple licenses to protect more than just a Windows computer. Not to mention the jump only costs you $10 more than Internet Security, so value wise it's a pretty good steal.

Trend Micro Premium Security

Trend Micro scanning for threats

(Image credit: Future)

If Trend Micro hasn't satisfied your security needs so far, maybe Trend Micro Premium Security will do the trick.

A welcome welcome touch found in Premium Security in a small Vault tool that enables using password-protected folders to prevent others from viewing your most confidential files.

This doesn't have quite the power you might expect from a high-end suite. There's no configurable firewall, for instance, and no webcam or microphone protection.

Trend Micro Premium Security is significantly more expensive than the competition, too. A one-year, 10-device license costs $60 for the first term and $130 on renewal; Bitdefender Total Security is priced at $43 in year one, and $110 on renewal, for the same number of devices and several security features missing from Trend Micro.

So, is Premium Security really worth the extra? I installed it to find out.


(Image credit: Trend Micro)


Trend Micro's Vault is a very simple tool that enables the creation of password-protected encrypted containers for storing sensitive files.

Choose your preferred password, open the vault and it displays a widget on your desktop. Drag and drop your most confidential files onto the widget and they're moved there. Close the vault and they're inaccessible to anyone who doesn't know the password.

Reopen the vault later and you can access it from Explorer, then open, edit, and save documents more or less as usual. (The process is slower than usual, thanks to the encryption overhead, but there's nothing unacceptable.)

So far, so very similar to a lot of other encryption tools. But Vault does have one slightly surprising extra. If your computer is lost or stolen, report this on the Trend Micro website and it'll be sealed. Even if the thief knows the password, they won't be able to open the vault until the computer is reported found.

Final verdict

Trend Micro Premium Security leaves out many features you might expect from a high-end security suite, like a firewall, backup, or webcam protection. Its multi-platform support and 10-device license and secure vault puts it ahead of the lesser packages, though, and the suite is also easy to use, with an accurate engine, quality URL blocking, and some capable mobile apps. If its feature set matches your needs, take the 30-day trial for a spin, and see how it works for you. 

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Mike Williams
Lead security reviewer

Mike is a lead security reviewer at Future, where he stress-tests VPNs, antivirus and more to find out which services are sure to keep you safe, and which are best avoided. Mike began his career as a lead software developer in the engineering world, where his creations were used by big-name companies from Rolls Royce to British Nuclear Fuels and British Aerospace. The early PC viruses caught Mike's attention, and he developed an interest in analyzing malware, and learning the low-level technical details of how Windows and network security work under the hood.

With contributions from