Review of CA's Internet Security Suite 2010
We tested Computer Associates Internet Security Suite 2008 a while back,
and with the brand new 2010 version, we thought we'd see how far the
product has advanced in two years. The advertising looks great, the
packaging looks great.
Ironically, we are able to restest this product using the identical
machines as two years ago.. (with the exception of PC#1 now has a full gig
One other difference is that two of the destination computers still had
CA's internet security suite on them still (2009 version). Great thing
with CA's product, if you buy one version (eg 2008) and just renew, you
get the next version, but also if you buy a version in July 2009, in
January when the 2010 version comes out, you can simply upgrade for free
(still expires in July 2010)!
Best part is that the application has a pop up window and lets you know
about the free upgrade. Using this process, it was a breeze to upgrade 2
of the machines to CA 2010. I was very impressed. I thought it took
longer then it should, but still not bad at all. Computer Associates,
Good Job on the upgrade/install! Very 'slick'. The third computer (PC#1,
P3 with GIG of RAM, straight install on a virgin machine, good install,
took a while but nothing out of the ordinary for installing modern
The look of the Suite is considerably modernized from 2008 and 2009. Very
impressive, and easier to find things. Way to go CA!
Anti-virus and Anti-Spyware scans were straight forward, yes they
the computer 'chug' but that's expected when doing a full scan with any
anti-virus software. No real upgrade from the 2008 or 2009 version, but
that is good.
A problem with older versions of the software that bothered customers was
that it was difficult to disable or remove features (eg: remove parental
controls portion altogether without an uninstall). Now in 2010 you can
remove portions of the suite if you like.
The Phishing filter is still poor, end users get annoyed that it takes so
long for websites to load, nothing has changed there really.
Parental Controls worked well, and more transparent then before.. The
Firewall is improved and isn't so cryptic only an IT Geek can figure it
out, which is a good thing for the consumer market. If customers don't
understand something, eventually they'll just click 'ok' anyway, and what
use if security then?
Now, you'll notice I haven't written much about each portion.. There's a
reason.. each component of CA's 2010 Internet Security suite is
essentially the same as 2009, with minor upgrades.. CA 2009 is essentially
2008, with again little upgrades/fixes... Where did CA put all the effort
into with this product? The answer is simple, the GUI (user interface)
and packaging. CA did a great job with the GUI, looks great, easy to use,
easy for a 'newbie' to figure things out.. Well done, this is one area of
the Security Suite that needed the time, effort and development.
Now to the performance, the auto updates absolutely killed 2 of the 3
PC's. If you don't have a gig of RAM in your computer, don't even bother
installing this. You'll get frustrated watching your computer
loading/booting, but it's not your computer's fault. The autoupdate
starts almost immediately, and somehow takes up a considerable about of
CPU. Many Anti-Virus Applications have built in intelligence that has the
application start the auto-update only if there are resources (CPU, RAM),
available as not to interfere with the user's experience. Norton usually
has the most complaints about being a resource hog, but CA's 2010 suite
takes that title this year (coincidentally, Norton 360 is considerably
improved in the resource management department this year!).
Computer Associates did a good job redesigning the GUI for the 2010
version of it's Internet Security Suite, and the individual applications
all appear to be more integreated because of the GUI enhancements. This
is the one and pretty much the only saving grace of this product. The
engines for most of the applications are essentially the same carried over
form 2008 and 2009 versions of the suite, which in this cut throat world
of Internet Security/Anti-Virus doesn't cut it anymore. The rivals
including Norton are re-writing the base engines trying to get every drop
performance out of them in order to get a leg up on the competition. CA
unfortunately didn't go far enough with CA Internet Security Suite 2010,
and should of updated the components more instead of focussing on the user
In terms of cost, you can get this product for $39 for a year for a 3 PC
licence, which is very cost effective.. just a bit cheaper then other
internet security suite's. Our 2008 review had many the same issues, and
we hoped that future versions would address them.. Unfortunately the user
interface is the one aspect that got addressed leaving this as a pretty,
but old Security Suite..
Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware scanning was adequate and fast, although the
anti-phishing filter is still a 'slug', and the auto-update feature brings
any PC with less then 1 GIG of RAM to it's knees.
User Interface got better, logs and support easier to find. CA improved
this over the last versions!
Ease of Use/Configuration:
CA did a good job with the user interface again. Improving the interface
makes the product much much easier to use. The applications appeared to
be more integrated which is great news!
Just like the previous review, this suite works on almost any version of
windows, and support most email clients (even though most customers user
webmail more then email clients on their PC's nowadays).
In terms of features, this is a very very full features, and maybe even
the Internet Security Suite with the most features of all the products in
We gave this product a second review in 2010 to see if it would improve
from 2008.. Unfortunately not enough effort was put into upgrading this
product and keeping up with the leaders in the internet security segment
pack. Good GUI, old components, even with new paint an old K-Car is still
an old K-Car.
Product had potential, but the only things CA can bank on to sell this
product is the cheap price and cool looking packaging.
CA should of put equal time and money into improving performance of this
product or re-writing portions of the suite to bring it up to 2010