Trend Internet Security 2009 is a security-only solution from the re-branded PC-Cillin, offering firewall, virus and malware protection as well as anti-spam, parental controls and intrusion and online protection. It’s worth mentioning that for an extra £5 you could opt for the Pro version, which adds identity theft and instant messaging, as well as clean-up tools and wireless monitoring.

If you’re a single-PC user looking for protection against the latest threats the software seems very capable. The main interface is split into virus and spyware controls, personal firewall, internet and email, with each of these using a very effective tiered system to offer an approachable level of control over the various components. You’re notified with a reassuring green tick over the general status of the software itself and each component. This warns you if the software needs updating, if it’s been a while since your last scan or if recent summary reports generated any issues that need to be addressed.

You’re able to create scheduled and custom scans to search for and remove malicious files and processes and can choose exactly what areas of your machine are targeted without going into a level of detail that a beginner may find confusing. This carries through to firewall and internet control, where a ZoneAlarm-inspired slider approach allows for quick changes to the general security level and includes the ability to protect personal information such as credit card details and passwords stored on your machine.

If you do want to dig deeper, most of the configurable components have an advanced settings dial that allows you to fine-tune specific security, such as that allocated to applications within the firewall.

Scans are fairly fast but do affect performance while running. The software loads what seems like an unnecessarily large number of processes in the background that eat up a good chunk of resources on your computer. Despite this we were generally pleased by the efficiency of both the firewall and scanning tools, which seemed particularly adept at detecting, blocking and removing threats - up there in fact with some of the best on the market.

Price when reviewed:
£49.95 (3 PC, one year)

Trend Micro offers one of the best approaches we’ve seen to usability and not only separates tools effectively but organises smaller components into manageable chunks that can be investigated further, if necessary, to access more advanced controls. When combined with an effective firewall and scanning tools it makes for an excellent no-nonsense solution for beginners and more demanding users alike, and despite the lack of extras should be considered an extremely effective security package.