Total Defense Security Review
Total Defense Security Suite, formerly known as CA Security was a product of the popular software giant CA Technologies (originally known as Computer Associates). CA mainly deals with the IT management and IT security solutions. In May 2011 CA Technologies sold its antivirus unit to Total Defense Inc, a business of the popular Updata Partners. Why CA sold its antivirus division to Total Defense, the reason is unknown. However, it is said that CA was unable to meet its Q4 2010 sales targets and the popularity of the software was dipping among users worldwide. We will discuss all of the facts before reaching on a conclusion, whether Total Defense Security Suite is a good security solution or not.
Total Defense Security Suite Review
In order to understand the capabilities of the new Total Defense Internet Security Suite, we have tested the software on our lab computer and also compared it against security programs available from other companies. We have done extensive testing of the old CA antivirus security and the new Total Defense Internet Security Suite. While the old CA antivirus performed poorly, the all new Total Defense performed very well comparatively.
Since May 2011, Total Defense has worked pretty hard to make their security software robust and powerful. The new software is fully equipped with all the protection you need to keep viruses and malware away from your computer.
Total Defense Security Suite Features
- NEW! Multi-layered, Cloud-Based Protection
- NEW! Download Protection: IE, Chrome, & Firefox
- NEW! Malware protection for Mobile Devices
- NEW! Social Network Defender
- NEW! Download Defender
- NEW! Drive-By Threat Defender
- Anti-Virus & Anti-Spyware
- Personal Firewall
- Anti-Spam & Anti-Phishing
- Parental Controls, and more!
- Now with Total Defense Mobile Security
Total Defense Security Suite Ratings
For testing and rating internet security suite, we install the software on our lab computer and then check its capabilities. Then compare the system performance readings before and after installing the software. We also test the capabilities against heavily infected computer system. We check if the security software can fully detect and remove threats found on the system. Here are the different test we perform:
- Performance/Speed Test
- Stealth/Strength Test
- Firewall Protection Test
- Instant Updates Test
In the security software performance and speed test, we will rate the security software on two different factors.
- Impact of the security software on the system resources and system performance
- Speed with which the security software scans and protects the computer
For the performance test, we will use an industry leading PC benchmark software to know the performance of the computer before installing the antivirus security software and then we will use the same benchmarking software to test the system performance after installing the internet security suite. The difference between the two readings will help us know how much impact does the security software have on the system performance.
System performance ratings before installing the Total Defense Security Suite:
In the above screenshot, you can see the system ratings before installing the Total Defense software. The CPU (MIPS) reading shows the system could process 7270 million instructions per second. The memory rating was 3090 MB/s (mega bytes per second). The hard drive rating was 16.8 MB/s and the graphics card performance was 8.67 MP/s (Mega Pixels per Second).
System performance ratings after installing the Total Defense Security Suite:
The above screenshot shows the system ratings after installing the Total Defense Software. The CPU performance dropped down from 7270 to 7200 MIPS, the memory performance changed from 3090 to 2950 MB/s, hard drive performance dropped from 16.8 to 15.1 MB/s and the graphics ratings dropped from 8.67 to 6.32. These scores are really good in comparison to many other antivirus security software. Since the readings are in "millions" or "mega bytes", the change in the performance is minimal.
System performance ratings comparison before and after installing the antivirus:
|Component||Before Install||After Install|
Computer Scanning Speed Test:
For checking the system scan speed, we put the security suite to scan the whole computer. The software took nearly 1.30 hours to scan the whole computer. With over 2,00,000 files on the computer, this is a good scan speed. Some of the security programs we tested earlier, took way over 2 hours to scan the whole computer. Since the computer system was clean, the internet security suite displayed that no threats were found in the scan.
Conclusion of the test: Both the screenshots above show the computer performance before and after installing the Total Defense Internet Security Suite. The security software had very little impact on the system performance. This test shows that Total Defense does not use too many system resources. Users will not feel much of a change in the computer speed after installing this security suite. The performance comparison chart above shows that Total Defense has improved their security software a lot. A lot of new features have been added to make it unique and robust. In the system scan speed test, we were satisfied with the amount of time it took to complete a full system scan. Total Defense Security Suite earns a score of 9 out of 10 in the performance/speed test.
For testing the capabilities of the security suite, we tested it on a system that was heavily infected with all sorts of viruses, Trojans and malware. First of all, while installing the internet security suite on an infected computer, we did not encounter any problems at all. The software installed successfully and just after installation, it started detecting viruses in the real-time. It also gave us a few nags that certain programs were trying to connect to the internet. It recorded all the suspicious activity and prompted if we wish to take an action. Then we ran a full system scan to find viruses and other threats. Total Defense security suite detected a lot of infected files, viruses, trojans and worms. Here is a list of all the threats that it found:
Conclusion of the test: Security software should be able to find all the threats present on a computer system. If it is unable to detect or remove a threat, there is no use of such a security software. However, in the case of Total Defense, it detected and removed all of the threats on our lab computer. The only drawback that I found about this security software is that after removal of all of the threats, I was unable to connect to the internet. It took me some time to figure out that the firewall had blocked the access to the internet until all the threats were removed. I'm not sure if the firewall blocked the access or I clicked somewhere to block the access to the internet. Anyway, the point is that all the threats were completely removed from the system. An observation, if the security suite blocked the access to the internet, it could be because the security software wanted to remove all the threats before allowing any access to the internet. This is a good feature of the Total Defense Security Suite.
To check if there was still any threat on the computer, we uninstalled the Total Defense Security Suite and installed BitDefender antivirus and scanned the whole computer. The system came clean which means, all the threats were removed by Total Defense Security Suite. Total Defense Security Suite earns a score of 10 out of 10 in the stealth/strength test.
Firewall Protection Test
In this test, we checked the capabilities of the firewall software included in the Total Defense Security Suite. We found that the firewall is very strong and checks in real-time the interaction of programs in-out of your computer. We installed programs like Yahoo! Messenger, Skype, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Dreamweaver and other such programs that correspond with the internet.
As soon as we installed some of these programs, the firewall warned us that the program is trying to correspond with the manufacturer website and whether we wanted to allow the communication or block it. This is a very important feature when we wish to limit the access of a program to the internet. In certain cases, you do not want a software to communicate with the internet. The firewall will help you protect your privacy by allowing you to block the access of an application to the internet.
Sometimes, Trojans and worms also try to correspond with the internet to download other forms of infection. At such times, the firewall helps you minimizing the infection.
Conclusion of the test: Total Defense Security Suite is equipped with a strong internet firewall that allows a user to choose whether to allow or block an application from accessing the internet. The firewall also allows you to open/close certain ports to protect you better. The internet firewall included in the security suite provides an extra layer of security. Total Defense earns a score of 10 out of 10 in the firewall protection test.
Instant Updates Test
Another feature of good security software is the instant and silent updates. Your internet security software should not interrupt you while you are working on your computer. The software updates should be instant and quietly installed in the background.
Total Defense has designed the update system in a way that it does not interrupt or disturb you while you are working on your computer. The updates are downloaded silently in the background. Since there are loads of new viruses and worms hit the internet every day, Total Defense releases new virus definitions regularly. All of the updates are done silently without interrupting a user. Total Defense Security Suite earns a score of 9 out of 10 in the definition upgrades test.
Overall Test Results
|Speed/Performance Test||Scored 9 out of 10|
|Stealth/Strength test||Scored 10 out of 10|
|Firewall protection test||Scored 10 out of 10|
|Instant updates test||Scored 9 out of 10|
Awards and Certifications
TOTAL DEFENSE was given 79 AWARDS, while the average of its competitors have only 43 awards. The next highest competitor, ESET, received 72 awards. Check the screenshot below that shows the comparison chart. Total Defense has won 79 awards in comparison to its competitors, that's a major achievement!
"Info Security Products Guide" has named Total Defense, Inc., a leading provider of anti-malware detection and anti-crimeware solutions, a winner of the 8th Annual 2012 Global Excellence Awards in the Anti-Malware, Anti-Virus and Anti-Spam Software category. It is a complete protection in this dangerous digital world.