Can a low-cost antivirus product work as well as the more expensive ones? In this review, I take a look at Element Software's TotalProtect to see how it stacks up.
Introduction to Element Software's TotalProtect
*Editor's note: This review was originally published August 26, 2009 and has been republished for archival purposes. There is a 2011 version of the produce available here: http://www.elementsoftware.co.uk/software/antivirus/
First of all, this product is written by a 19-year old student. This is one thing that makes the product remarkable, because you wouldn't expect a 19-year old to be creating an antivirus program. Another thing that is remarkable about this product is that he offers a free license to students and beta testers of the product. And the key for the 2009 version will upgrade the 2010 version as well (when it comes out of beta).
I have to give this an excellent for a few reasons. First of all, if you copy the license key from your e-mail, it automatically populates it into the appropriate space. No more copying and pasting. The assumption is that if you have a key in the clipboard, it's probably for the program. Secondly, there are two separate installers. If you have the full-version, the starting window will download that installer-- if you have the trial version, it will download that installer instead. Finally, you do not have to reboot the computer after installation. This is because TotalProtect doesn't "hook" into the Operating system like other antivirus programs do.
Actual Use of the Program
In this respect I need to give it a 3 star. On the plus side, this program is built for speed. While most antivirus programs will bog your system down, TotalProtect seems like it has little or no effect. And their testing shows that TotalProtect has near the same results as OneCare has. On the negative side, I could not complete a scan due to errors in the Xenocode Virtual Operating System. Jake informed me that this was an issue with Xenocode and they completely removed that from the 2010 version. Also, I didn't like the idea that I couldn't configure the scan schedule at all.
I ran TotalProtect on my system for approximately two weeks and surfed the Internet in my normal fashion. At the end of the two weeks, I ran an online scanner to find out if my system was infected. The results are that TotalProtect did a good job of protecting my computer--even though I couldn't complete a manual scan.
Overall, I would give this program between 4 and 5 stars. While I ran into issues with the scanner, and there are features that I would like to see, I think this is a good product. The creator (Jake Jackson) had mentioned that this can be used as a secondary program behind your current antivirus/firewall. I wholeheartedly agree with that assessment. Also from the information I've received, most of the issues that I have or want have been incorporated into subsequent versions.
Jake Jackson says that ToltalProtect is a comparable product to Microsoft OneCare. It has the same level of results as OneCare and offers a lot of the same features. And from my understanding, future versions will allow you some of the control that OneCare refused to provide it's users.
If you are looking for a low-cost system maintenance suite that compares to OneCare, I strongly encourage you to give Element TotalProtect a look.
TotalProtect can be purchased at http://www.elementsoftware.co.uk/totalprotect/
*Please note - the author received 'I received a license key that activated the full-version of the product' from a company other than Bright Hub in order to develop the content contained within this article or review.