It’s got all the features of a top-notch security suite but it’s less than ideal at actually locating and cleaning out all problems

If you’ve seen the adverts on TV aimed at shaming the youth into donning a condom, then there should equally be adverts aimed at people thinking of going online without protection. After all, both are essential in this day and age and should be stressed at every chance.

However, there are now more internet security suites than ever and each one tends to do the same thing. So it is here, as you’ll find anti-virus, spam filters, anti-spyware and a robust firewall to stop things getting through. Add to this the latest need for anti-phishing and a file safe and PC-Cillin covers everything.

Also in keeping with other suites, you’ll find it all controlled from one central point. In this case, the interface is clear and easy to understand. What’s more, when you can for viruses, it also scans for anti-spyware – not something all suites do – so it saves you running two different programs. When running the scanner, you’ll find it will even check Zip files – you can specify how many layers of search it will run through, so highly compressed Zips can also be covered.

So far so good, PC-Cillin lives up to expectations. However, when you actually start to use the features, it’s less than ideal. The double scan approach may sound like a good idea and save time but it caused quite a bit of confusion. The software claimed our test PC was infected, which it was as we’d set it to be. However, when we looked in the quarantine section, nothing there. Only when we ran the spyware test on its own did it flag up potential problems. Once it has found the infection, the virus killer worked as planned.

Another curious feature is that you can set the scanner to look for risky files, without specifying what a "risky file" is, which is less than ideal as you’re hardly likely to know what is risky or not until it’s been scanned.

However, the biggest problem with the suite is the firewall, which for some bizarre reason refused us access to the Internet. Fortunately, it turned out that the HTTP access was disabled but unless you know what you’re looking for this isn’t a good start. Even once we’d set up access, we still had to reboot the system before it would acknowledge the changes.

Verdict

When it works, this program is as solid and robust as any other internet security suite out here. However, PC-Cillin has a few chinks in its armour that makes it less than the ideal solution. It’s a reasonable price and if you haven’t got any security set up on your PC, it’ll do a reasonable job of it, but frankly, there are better and easier to use suites out there.