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5 Great, Lesser-Known Security Suites

While big-name security suites such as Norton and McAfee dominate the market, there are others out there that may be just as good -- or better. We look at five alternative security suites.

This story originally appeared Nov. 7, 2007.

Security Suites

•  Introduction

•  Dr. Web Antivirus

•  ESET Smart Security

•  MS Live OneCare

•  TrustPort Workstation

•  ZoneAlarm Security Suite

•  Image Gallery

•  Features Chart

Name a security suite, and most of what comes to mind are big names: Symantec, PC-cillin, McAfee. Maybe Kaspersky or Grisoft AVG. But there's a whole slew of other system-protection suites out there that are either quite new or not as well known, and which deserve a closer look.

We've assembled a survey of five system-protection / antivirus productions that aren't as widely known (Dr.Web, TrustPort), or that come from companies known mainly for other products (Microsoft, ESET, Check Point Software). We looked at the total scope of each program -- what it covered, what it didn't, and how it implemented its particular features. Not every security product is going to intercept the same range of threats or handle really outlandish behaviors (like null byte obfuscation), and so the sheer range of features, even within roughly the same price points, was eye-opening.

Each of the products listed here also has been tested by the AV-comparatives testing firm, which performs regular assays of many popular and lesser-known antivirus products and reports back on the results. The most recent set of tests was conducted back in August 2007 and so may not reflect on the detection quality of the most recent versions of each application, but will give a good idea of how tight their overall detection is.

If you're curious about whether or not the feature mix or performance impact from a given program will suit you, every program listed here has a fully functional trial or evaluation version. Grab a copy, make a quick data backup (you are doing that regularly, right?), set a System Restore point, and see for yourself.

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