eScan Internet Security Suite v11 – Review
Publisher: eScan Internet Security Suite
The overall design and look of eScan Internet Security Suite v11 is a little different from other comparable Internet Security Suites but doesn’t go overboard with the overall look and feel so much so to confuse anyone. The most notable aspect is the ‘dock’ at the bottom of the GUI – which hosts all the necessary icons pertaining to each module. The first glance itself will remind you of a Mac style interface which is easy to comprehend. The rest of the GUI is much simpler, with a plain tab for each module providing start/stop buttons, information on status, reporting of events etc.
The latest version of eScan Internet Security Suite v11 features a whitelisting system which eliminates any risk of false alarms on important Operating System files. The product’s scanning speed has gained a considerable boost when compared to older versions but can be a little unpredictable – with some scans taking notably more or less time than the same job run just moments earlier. Running a standard basic scan – covering only memory, registry and so on – took a few minutes at most, but a thorough check of a large, well-stocked system can take a few hours and is usually best left for an overnight run when the machine is not in use (of course, a comprehensive and well-designed scheduler system is rightly made available to simplify and automate this). This is quite reasonable considering the depths at which malware infect PCs these days.
Both RAM and CPU usage have also decreased and eScan ISS v11 has a considerably light impact on the system when performing common tasks. In addition to the standard protection offered by this file scanning and monitoring module, there are a couple more elements covered in the main ‘File Anti-Virus’ section of the interface which definitely need a mention here. Buried on the second tab of the settings dialog for this section is a checkbox marked ‘Enable Proactive Scan’, which applies an extra layer of heuristics for detecting suspicious activities at run-time, including monitoring registry changes and so on. However, the option is disabled by default, but is useful when users need an extra layer of protection. This additional protection was counter balanced by a slightly increased tendency to warn about legitimate items performing unusual actions though – so this option is perhaps best reserved for experts and the extremely paranoid.
A nifty little addition is the ‘Folder Protection’. When enabled it helps lock down specified folders from being modified thus preventing any changes to the files stored in them. A major plus as it allows one to secure important items and keeps them safe from damage.
The second and third tabs on the GUI dock are mail anti-virus and anti-spam. They are differentiated by their icons – one featuring the look of a mailbox and the other featuring an envelope. The mail scan feature is pretty straightforward and its default setting itself blocks a wide range of executable file formats and specific file names commonly used by malware. Additional options include checking inside compressed files, looking out for attachments with multiple file extensions and watching out for attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in mail clients. The option to block all HTML emails containing scripts has also found its way here. There is also an extra feature in the form of a mail backup system, which can be set to archive all mails and attachments to a selected location. All of this is clearly laid out and generally pretty self-explanatory.
The firewall feature is a fairly standard implementation, with a scale of protection ranging from allow all to block all, via ‘Limited filter’ (only applying a basic set of rules) and ‘Interactive filter’ (prompting for user decisions when something is not defined). The basic settings seem fairly well defined and work reasonably well, while the interactive mode is much more thorough but presents a lot of pop-ups if not configured carefully. Fortunately, a good depth of configuration is provided once again, and it evidently shows a decent amount of effort has been made to assist less skilled users. The tweaking and adding of rules is well presented allowing even not so experienced users to get a hang of it quickly.
The ‘Endpoint Security’ section covers application and USB device control. The USB section scans flash drives for malware and disables autoplay, blocks SD Cards and Web Cams; it can also be set to block or insist on a password for all USB devices and to whitelist known devices. Application control is considerably more complex, with a huge list of known applications grouped into categories and blockable on a per-application basis. The categories cover gaming, messenger, media player and P2P software – extending the already thorough parental controls settings to a more business-ready level.
Another interesting feature is the Security Suite’s ‘Privacy Control’. It basically focuses on browsers and can clear history, caches, cookies etc. on demand or on a schedule. It can also be used to browse history and caches and delete individual items and clear Windows recycle-bin and recently accessed lists. However, it currently is only limited to clear junk left behind by Internet Explorer and Firefox. For Chrome, Opera and Safari users can specify the path that would need to be cleaned.
Nevertheless a default cache clearing option for the previously mentioned browsers would have been more than welcome for the average user. Once again, the controls are clear, simple and comprehensive and most of the required and important features seem to have been covered to ensure that whatever you’ve been up to can be erased in a single click or scheduled for deletion – ideal for the paranoid user.
eScan Internet Security Suite v11 comes with a whole bunch of features built to satisfy a wide range of users. It maintains, and even improves upon the excellent levels of detection and proactive protection provided by previous versions. The suite comes with a professional layout and features a fine set of configurations and controls not seen in a handful of other competing products. The extra set of features is more than impressive and the addition of parental controls makes it a versatile competitor to a large set of Security Suites present in the market. With certifications from ICSA Labs, VB100, Westcoast Labs (Checkmark), AV-Comparatives you can be rest assured that your PC will stay safe & secure from web based threats.
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