capsule review

Haute Secure (64-bit version)

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Haute Secure (64-bit version)

Haute draws its blacklist of known sites from Google's Safe Browsing initiative, and supplements with its own scans and user community submissions. Opera 9.5 uses the same Haute blacklists without having to install the toolbar; Firefox 3 has a similar built-in feature to use Google's lists. Internet Explorer 7 doesn't yet have a built-in malware site blocking feature, though IE 8 will.

The two-part program runs out the system tray to block sites, and also uses a toolbar in the browser to add icons to the right of search results that indicate whether a result might be on the Haute blacklist. Additional icons will tell you whether the domain in question is ranked by Alexa.com or had pages that appeared on digg.com, and whether Haute users gave the site positive or negative rankings.

However, clicking any of those search result icons just brings you to a Haute Secure page with a small amount of info on whether the company found any malicious content. You don't get the wealth of information on a McAfee SiteAdvisor page report, for example.

If you're already at a given site, you can click a button on the Haute toolbar to search for that site on Digg or del.icio.us. You can also add your own site votes by clicking on the thumbs-up or thumbs-down icon in the toolbar.

The Haute toolbar would likely prove most useful for IE users, as Firefox 3 already has built-in malware site blocking using Google's blacklist. But it does bring additional features, such as search result indicators, that go beyond Firefox's blocking option. Also, you can supplement Haute's blacklist by subscribing to smaller, user-created lists, such as "bad and bothering ad sites."

Keep in mind that Haute currently reports a few known issues with the toolbar. For instance, Spyware Doctor may incorrectly flag it as malicious, and if you install the toolbar on XP, you won't be able to upgrade to Vista until you remove the toolbar. For a full list of issues, see Haute's list.

Note: The download file installs the toolbar for both Firefox and Internet Explorer on 64-bit Windows versions. Visit this review for a 32-bit version.

--Erik Larkin

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Haute Secure (64-bit version)

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