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Trend Micro Maximum Security review: A great security suite, but privacy features need an overhaul


The best antivirus solution is one that’s as simple as possible. After all, if a user can’t navigate the app to take advantage of its features, then much of the program’s usefulness is lost. Trend Micro’s Maximum Security nails this principle with some of the easiest navigation we’ve seen.

Note: This review is part of our best antivirus roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.

The default dashboard is very straightforward. There’s a large Scan circle in the middle that changes color based on the status of the PC. Clicking on the circle initiates a quick scan, while clicking the downward-facing arrow to the right offers the choice of quick, full, and custom scans.

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The primary dashboard for Trend Micro Maximum Security.

Above that circle are the four basic security categories for the app: Device, Privacy, Data, and Family.

Device tab

The Device tab includes the settings for Trend Micro’s real-time scanning and web filtering. There’s also a PC Health Checkup option to help optimize system performance. If you use the feature, the app ranks your current optimization level and lets you choose to “make improvements.” These tweaks range from fixing security vulnerabilities to reclaiming disk space.

Next up in this section of the app is Mute Mode, which is a really nice take on the typical gaming-mode feature. By default, Mute Mode activates when the PC goes into full-screen mode. This can be turned off, however, if you’d rather activate it manually. 

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Maximum Security’s Mute Mode.

When running, Mute Mode stops “non-critical” notifications from interrupting you; it can also disable Windows Update and automatically terminate programs. There’s also a setting to turn off Mute Mode after a specific interval.

Mute Mode is great for gamers who want to shut down their backup program or other apps when it’s time to play.

Privacy tab

The Privacy tab has features designed to keep sensitive data from leaving your PC, though some are less than useful. The Privacy Scanner option is supposed to automatically scan social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to optimize your privacy settings. It’s also supposed to scan your web browsers to make sure they are as private as possible. In our tests, however, we only saw options to do this with Internet Explorer, which is not a good look in the age of Windows 10. Chrome support is restricted to a nonexistent toolbar instead of an add-on. This featured should either be dropped or significantly reworked.

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