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Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security review

Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security offers great protection, but slows down your computer and comes with very few extras.

Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security review
(Image: © Trend Micro)

Our Verdict

Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security is a strange beast. It offers unbeatable antivirus performance and has a great, easy to use interface, but the lack of extra features and hardware performance impact are tough to swallow.

For

  • Great protection
  • Easy to use

Against

  • Lacking extra features
  • Slows down computers
  • Expensive compared to others

It might not have the same level of notoriety as some of its competitors, but Trend Micro is still an established and respected name when it comes to the best antivirus software. Trend offers a full range of products and services including Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security, which we’re looking at here. It also competes in the best internet security software space with products like Trend Micro Maximum Security, if you’re looking for a more comprehensive online defense system.

But antivirus is the name of the game today, so how does Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security stack up against the competition? There are some giants in the industry, with Norton 360 and Kaspersky Anti-Virus offering exceptional security at very reasonable prices. These household names have been protecting people’s home computers and laptops from attacks for years and have built up quite the reputation. 

So, does Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security do enough to stand out from the crowd?

Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security review: Features

  • Ransomware protection.
  • Straightforward interface.

As the entry-level product in the range, Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security doesn’t come with a huge number of features or added bonuses like some of the more expensive packages. You get a solid antivirus program that will protect you from attacks by viruses, spyware, and just about any other form of malware you can think of. You can run quick, full, or custom scans of your system (perfect if you suspect a specific drive or folder has been corrupted).

The interface has a simple, appealing appearance, that includes animated icons and a prominent scan button. Your security status is clearly displayed too, so you can easily tell if any issues ave come up. You can even customize the program with a unique background image, which is neat.

Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

The Settings dialog also carries through this theme of simplicity. There's no confusing technical jargon - options appear in plain English, with obvious instructions or statements like "Prevent programs on portable drives from launching automatically" or "Check if programs try to make unauthorized changes to system settings which could threaten your security."

Experts may be looking for more granular control, but for those that don’t often go into the settings of their antivirus program, Trend Micro's autopilot approach gets the job done.

There is also extra protection against ransomware in the form of Folder Shield, which prevents unauthorized access to certain folders, preventing ransomware programs from editing and encrypting your data. On top of this, you get Trend Micro Pay Guard which protects your online financial transactions and banking details from being stolen by hackers.

There are also extra layers of security built in to keep you away from dangerous areas of the internet, including a tool that will block dangerous websites and another that protects you from phishing emails which try to scam you.

Beyond that though, there’s very little in the way of window dressing. No VPNs, password protectors, or cloud storage backups here - just a robust and easy to use antivirus program. You also only get the option to cover a single device, which means that you’ll need to upgrade to Trend Micro Internet Security or Trend Micro Maximum Security if you want to cover extra devices like smartphones and tablets.

How good is Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security? 

  • Excellent results in antivirus tests.
  • High impact on hardware performance.

Of course, knowing the features that an antivirus program should have is all well and good, but knowing how it performs in the real world is another thing entirely. For that, we turn to industry experts like AV Test and AV Comparatives, specialist websites who have been running intense tests on antivirus and internet security software for years. These teams can subject software to hundreds or even thousands of malware attacks during each test, giving far more robust results that we would be able to manage alone.

Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security

(Image credit: Future)

In AV Test’s latest evaluations, Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security performed exceptionally well, blocking 100% of zero-day malware attacks set against it. Zero-day means that malware was tested within 24 hours of AV Test discovering it, which means that it is a good test of an antivirus program's ability to defend against novel threats. Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security also blocked 100% of widespread and prevalent malware in these tests too, which comprised over 20,000 samples.

AV Test did note that Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security had a higher than average strain on system performance though, causing a 21% slowdown when visiting popular websites on a standard PC, well above the 15% industry average. High-end PC’s suffered less from this issue.

It was a similar story over at AV Comparatives, which ran its Real World Protection Test during February/March 2020 and found that Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security blocked 100% of malware leveled against it, though it did record the highest number of false positives which suggests it has a slightly enthusiastic approach to virus security - shoot first and ask questions later, if you will.

Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security review: Price

  • $29.95 for the first year, $39.95 after that.
  • Higher tiers offer better value.

Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security costs $29.95 for the first year, covering a single device. That price increases to $39.95 for successive years. While this isn’t a terrible deal, especially when you consider the excellent antivirus performance, it’s more expensive than similarly spec’d products elsewhere. You can get Norton 360 Antivirus for $19.99, which also covers one device and has great performance, but Norton comes with cloud data storage, a password manager and even limited VPN usage. So you’re getting more for less with Norton.

Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security

(Image credit: Future)

However, if you move up to the top end product, Trend Micro Maximum Security, then you get a password manager, parental controls, and protection for social media for only marginally more money. It also covers all major devices and operating systems including Windows and Mac computers along with Android and iOS smartphones. You can get a five device license for a single year for just $39.95 for the first year, rising up to $89.95 in following years. This is the best value package that Trend Micro offers as far as we’re concerned.

Should I buy Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security?

There’s certainly nothing wrong with Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security. It offers excellent antivirus protection at a reasonable price, but the lack of extra features means that it is outshone by the competition. It’s also worth noting that Trend Micro Antivirus Plus Security has a significant impact on your computer’s performance, well above what we’ve seen elsewhere. 

If you find a great deal then it might be worth considering, but otherwise we think you can find better elsewhere for less. Otherwise, we’d recommend you look at Trend Micro Maximum Security, which offers a ton more protection for very little extra cost.