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    Review of CA's Internet Security Suite 2010

    We tested Computer Associates Internet Security Suite 2008 a while back, and with the brand new 2010 version, we thought we'd see how far the product has advanced in two years. The advertising looks great, the packaging looks great.

    Ironically, we are able to restest this product using the identical machines as two years ago.. (with the exception of PC#1 now has a full gig of RAM)..

    One other difference is that two of the destination computers still had CA's internet security suite on them still (2009 version). Great thing with CA's product, if you buy one version (eg 2008) and just renew, you get the next version, but also if you buy a version in July 2009, in January when the 2010 version comes out, you can simply upgrade for free (still expires in July 2010)! Best part is that the application has a pop up window and lets you know about the free upgrade. Using this process, it was a breeze to upgrade 2 of the machines to CA 2010. I was very impressed. I thought it took longer then it should, but still not bad at all. Computer Associates, Good Job on the upgrade/install! Very 'slick'. The third computer (PC#1, P3 with GIG of RAM, straight install on a virgin machine, good install, took a while but nothing out of the ordinary for installing modern software.

    The look of the Suite is considerably modernized from 2008 and 2009. Very impressive, and easier to find things. Way to go CA!

    Anti-virus and Anti-Spyware scans were straight forward, yes they did make the computer 'chug' but that's expected when doing a full scan with any anti-virus software. No real upgrade from the 2008 or 2009 version, but that is good.

    A problem with older versions of the software that bothered customers was that it was difficult to disable or remove features (eg: remove parental controls portion altogether without an uninstall). Now in 2010 you can remove portions of the suite if you like.

    The Phishing filter is still poor, end users get annoyed that it takes so long for websites to load, nothing has changed there really.

    Parental Controls worked well, and more transparent then before.. The Firewall is improved and isn't so cryptic only an IT Geek can figure it out, which is a good thing for the consumer market. If customers don't understand something, eventually they'll just click 'ok' anyway, and what use if security then?

    Now, you'll notice I haven't written much about each portion.. There's a reason.. each component of CA's 2010 Internet Security suite is essentially the same as 2009, with minor upgrades.. CA 2009 is essentially 2008, with again little upgrades/fixes... Where did CA put all the effort into with this product? The answer is simple, the GUI (user interface) and packaging. CA did a great job with the GUI, looks great, easy to use, easy for a 'newbie' to figure things out.. Well done, this is one area of the Security Suite that needed the time, effort and development.

    Now to the performance, the auto updates absolutely killed 2 of the 3 PC's. If you don't have a gig of RAM in your computer, don't even bother installing this. You'll get frustrated watching your computer loading/booting, but it's not your computer's fault. The autoupdate starts almost immediately, and somehow takes up a considerable about of CPU. Many Anti-Virus Applications have built in intelligence that has the application start the auto-update only if there are resources (CPU, RAM), available as not to interfere with the user's experience. Norton usually has the most complaints about being a resource hog, but CA's 2010 suite takes that title this year (coincidentally, Norton 360 is considerably improved in the resource management department this year!).

    Computer Associates did a good job redesigning the GUI for the 2010 version of it's Internet Security Suite, and the individual applications all appear to be more integreated because of the GUI enhancements. This is the one and pretty much the only saving grace of this product. The engines for most of the applications are essentially the same carried over form 2008 and 2009 versions of the suite, which in this cut throat world of Internet Security/Anti-Virus doesn't cut it anymore. The rivals including Norton are re-writing the base engines trying to get every drop performance out of them in order to get a leg up on the competition. CA unfortunately didn't go far enough with CA Internet Security Suite 2010, and should of updated the components more instead of focussing on the user interface mainly.

    In terms of cost, you can get this product for $39 for a year for a 3 PC licence, which is very cost effective.. just a bit cheaper then other internet security suite's. Our 2008 review had many the same issues, and we hoped that future versions would address them.. Unfortunately the user interface is the one aspect that got addressed leaving this as a pretty, but old Security Suite..

    Mark Breakdown:

    Category: Comments:

    Performance: Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware scanning was adequate and fast, although the anti-phishing filter is still a 'slug', and the auto-update feature brings any PC with less then 1 GIG of RAM to it's knees.

    Supportability: User Interface got better, logs and support easier to find. CA improved this over the last versions! 10/15
    Ease of Use/Configuration: CA did a good job with the user interface again. Improving the interface makes the product much much easier to use. The applications appeared to be more integrated which is great news!

    Compatibility: Just like the previous review, this suite works on almost any version of windows, and support most email clients (even though most customers user webmail more then email clients on their PC's nowadays).

    Features: In terms of features, this is a very very full features, and maybe even the Internet Security Suite with the most features of all the products in this market.

    Personal: We gave this product a second review in 2010 to see if it would improve from 2008.. Unfortunately not enough effort was put into upgrading this product and keeping up with the leaders in the internet security segment pack. Good GUI, old components, even with new paint an old K-Car is still an old K-Car.

    Overall: Product had potential, but the only things CA can bank on to sell this product is the cheap price and cool looking packaging.

    CA should of put equal time and money into improving performance of this product or re-writing portions of the suite to bring it up to 2010 standards.