capsule review

CA eTrust Internet Security Suite

At a Glance
  • CA eTrust Internet Security Suite

    PCWorld Rating

CA eTrust Internet Security Suite

eTrust Internet Security Suite by CA (formerly Computer Associates) combines average antivirus and antispyware protection with Zone Labs' outstanding firewall, all behind an interface that isn't as well integrated as those of most other security suites we've tested.

CA's $70 (as of 4/15/06) package detected only 37 percent of back doors, 72 percent of bots, and 39 percent of Trojan horses in AV-Test.org's collection of malware. Among the ten suites we tested, the only product that performed worse than CA's in this regard was Zone Labs' Zone Alarm Internet Security Suite, which uses an even older version of the CA antivirus scanner (see our full review). The CA software was also not able to detect much malware packed within runtime-compressed program files; since many recent malware outbreaks are caused by repacked versions of older threats, a product that has a hard time looking within a packed program is at a disadvantage.

On the bright side: eTrust Internet Security has an excellent firewall (provided by Zone Labs) and solid adware detection. It also ranked first in our system disinfection tests, cleaning up the files, Registry changes, and Hosts-file modifications made by nine out of ten worms. (The one worm it could not clean was Lovegate.AI.) Its scan speed nearly matched the median speed of the ten products we tested, and its drag on system resources was insignificant.

eTrust Internet Security has a good feature set with privacy settings and parental controls, as well as antifraud tools. However, the components aren't as seamlessly integrated as their counterparts in other suites are. For one thing, you install the parental controls, offered through Blue Coat's K9 Web Protection, from a separate CD, which does nothing but provide you access to Blue Coat's Web site. And to configure undesirable Web-surfing categories (such as sex or drugs) on Blue Coat's site, you have to turn off the CA firewall's third-party cookie controls.

On top of everything, CA charges $30 per incident for tech support--two calls nearly equal the price of the software.

CA's suite is a mixed bag of decent features, a good firewall, and an adequate malware scanner all wrapped up in an interface that could use some polish. I can't quite recommend this suite now, but with some work it could be a contender.

Narasu Rebbapragada

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Pros

    • Superior firewall
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