Budget programs are all well and good; let’s face it, everyone’s up for a bargain. But entrusting the safety of your PC to a cut-price security solution is a matter that will probably make some people think twice. It’s not really an area where you want to be sacrificing quality. Luckily, this Focus package is actually a very solid program.
Although having said that, you’re unlikely to be bowled over by its initial appearance. The interface is functional but a little bland, and some of the options are buried in several clunky menus that aren’t particularly user-friendly. As a result, it can take a little searching to find the particular tool or setting you’re after. On the positive front, the right-click taskbar menu is neater and contains all the basic controls you’ll need.
The core protection comprises a basic firewall along with anti-virus and anti-spyware modules, and the good news is the anti-virus definitions are based on the respected name of Kaspersky. In our test runs, the spyware definitions proved adequate and the anti-virus coverage thorough, with hourly as opposed to daily updates provided (for the usual year-long subscription period).
On the Web surfing front, the suite has parental control options in the form of a content filter. When turned on, this blocks access to blacklisted Web sites (primarily of a gambling and pornographic nature), and it searches for words (“sex”) and filters out any pages containing them. There are options to specify the strictness of the filter and the whole system works well, the only downside being that it’s only compatible with Internet Explorer.
The eScan package also features spam protection in the form of a program called Spam Killer. This automatically integrates itself with Outlook upon installation and scans incoming e-mails for specific spam phrases, and also attachments for common virus-carrying files. Again, this is fully user customisable via the advanced options menu, and it proved itself a solid filter.
The suite keeps thorough logs of all activity, from scan results through to the e-mails it has filtered out, along with a list of blocked site access attempts (so you can see if your kids have been attempting to go somewhere they shouldn’t).
The package finishes there, and obviously has fewer modules than some of the security suites we’ve looked at recently, but then this is budget price-tagged. The important thing is that the core areas are covered, and they’re actually covered with an impressive level of quality.
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