Pros / Total Defense Anti-Virus protects against viruses and spyware and automatically scans USB drives.

Cons / Anti-phishing is not included.

 Verdict / Total Defense Anti-Virus lacks anti-phishing, which means you will continue to be at risk from phishing attempts unless you upgrade to Total Defense Internet Security Suite.

Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because AV-Test, an independent antivirus test lab, did not evaluate Total Defense Anti-Virus in its latest round of tests. These tests play a heavy role in our ratings, so we are unable to review products not included in the tests. The original review is below, but check out our current Antivirus Software comparison here.

Total Defense Anti-Virusis antivirus software for home and home-office PC users. The interface is well thought out, and the software fights spyware as well as malware in all of its forms: viruses, worms, rootkits, Trojan Horses. Total Defense passed the VB100 certification test and achieved certifications from West Coast Labs and ISCA Labs.

There are so many reasons to use antivirus software. Spyware steals personal information and it can switch your home page and re-direct your web searches. Spyware can also record every keystroke that you make so that it can steal passwords. A true computer virus is a computer program that can duplicate itself and spread to other computers. Computer worms also self-replicate, but their method of transfer is usually restricted to the network and to exploiting shortcomings in the operating system of the target computer. Worms also use email to spread themselves. While viruses alter files on the target computer, worms do not have to attach themselves to existing programs. Worms cause harm by sucking up network bandwidth. More harmful worms carry a payload and can delete files from the target system or install a backdoor to capture the PC into a zombie network that the worm’s creator controls. These zombie networks are called botnets, and they are a source of much spam because the IP addresses can’t be traced to the hacker who masterminded it. Rootkits mess with administrator privileges to cover their intentions. With so many threats poised to strike, it is no wonder that there is a brisk market for software such as Total Defense Anti-Virus.

A number of independent test labs have certified Total Defense Anti-Virus. West Coast Labs awards this antivirus software a Platinum Checkmark, an AntiVirus Desktop Checkmark and an Anti-Trojan Checkmark. It also has ICSA Labs Certification on Windows 7. Unfortunately, AV Test has not included it in published test results and our ranking of products is greatly informed by the test results from AV Test.

Total Defense Anti-Virus is light and fast. It installs easily. It does a quick scan prior to installation. It automatically scans USB drives upon insertion. The product continuously updates itself. You can monitor the status of the system with reports that show user activity and system alerts. This antivirus software integrates with search engines to help block malware. In order to maintain a current list of virus signatures, this security software updates itself automatically. However, if the antivirus software has never seen a particular file before, it can’t match it with a known threat. To protect against new virus outbreaks that haven’t made it into the list of known malware, this product also scans files and compares them to known families of viruses and analyzes file behavior in order to ascertain threat. This type of threat detection is based on a set of rules that allow the software to identify a new variant of a virus whose behavior matches a virus from a known threat family.

The publisher of this antivirus software supports customers by telephone.

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Summary

Total Defense Anti-Virus is entry-level antivirus software that lacks antiphishing. Phishing attacks are becoming prevalent as antivirus software improves because it is easier to fool people than to fool operating systems. Therefore, Total Defense Internet Security Suite is preferable to Total Defense Anti-Virus.

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