An Internet Security Suite is a sound investment for your Windows PC, but it can be pricey. Finding the best Internet Security Suite that offers the most protection for your hard earned money is important. To save you time, money, and heartache, we've poured over the results of AV-Test.org's extensive testing of Internet Security Suites and provided our top picks for the best Internet Security Suites for 2011. To qualify, each Internet Security Suite had to score 4 or higher (out of a possible 6) for its combined effectiveness in detecting and removing malware.
1. PC Tools Internet Security 2010/2011
PC Tools Internet Security 2010/2011 scored a 5.5 in protection and a 5.5 in removal, earning the highest combined score (5.5 out of a possible 6). In addition to antivrus, antispyware, and a firewall, PC Tools Internet Security provides spam filtering, a cloud-based download guard, and free tech support.
Symantec's Norton Internet Security 2011 is a feature-packed umbrella of protection for your PC. In addition to antivirus, antispyware, antiphishing, and a firewall, Norton Internet Security Suite 2011 also provides file reputation analysis (including the Web address of any downloaded files), spam filtering, identity theft protection, and parental controls. Symantec's Internet Security 2011 scored second highest in the combined protection and removal score, earning a 5.25 out of possible 6.
In addition to one of the highest possible malware protection and removal scores (a 5 out of 6), F-Secure Internet Security Suite helps manage your family's Internet use policies by providing a bevy of parental controls. Create individual profiles for different family members, specify time limits imposed on Web surfing, and employ URL safety ratings to keep everyone in your nest safe online.
G Data SecuritySuite uses two antivirus engines, AVAST and BitDefender. Standalone, both engines offer good detection and when combined each picks up where the other might let off. This translates into faster signature releases (G Data offers hourly updates) and overal better heuristics. Combined protection and removal score: 4.5 out of 6.
5. Kaspersky Internet Security 2010/2011
Kaspersky Internet Security 2010/2011 acheived a combined protection and removal score of 4.5 out of a possible 6, earning its place as one of the top Internet security suites for 2011. Kaspersky also earns a spot as one of the best antivirus to protect against Web and email threats, one of the best overall antivirus scanners for Windows, and a top pick for the best antivirus for netbooks and older PCs.
6. Avira Premium Security Suite 10.0
Avira Premium Security Suite 10.0 scored a 4.25 out of possible 6 for its combined malware protection and removal abilities. Avira Premium Security Suite 10.0 includes all the features you'd expect from a well-rounded security suite, including antivirus, antispyware, adware protection, firewall, email security, and more. For gamers, game mode ensures you're never interrupted by the scanner while playing.
7. Panda Internet Security 2011
Panda Internet Security 2010 features antivirus, antispwyare, antispam and a firewall. New in 2011, Panda Internet Security 2011 also provides a gaming/multimedia mode for uninterupped playing and viewing. A home network manager is also new in 2011, which lets you check the security status of any network PCs in your home. Scoring a 4.25 out of possilbe 6 on combined malware protection and removal, Panda Internet Security 2010 retails for $82 (USD) and can be used on up to three PCs.
8. Webroot Internet Security Essentials 6.1/7.0
From the makers of the award winning Spy Sweeper, Webroot Internet Security Essentials 6.1/7.0 provides antivirus, antispyware and firewall security in an integrated suite. Additional features include automatic online backups (including secure remote access to those files from any Web browser), privacy protection to clear your Web surfing and computer use breadcrumb trails, and gamer mode for uninterrupted playtime. Webroot Internet Security Essentials 6.1/7.0 scored a 4.25 out of a possible 6 on the combined malware protection and removal tests. At only $60 (USD), Webroot Internet Security Essentials 6.1/7.0 is one of the least expensive security suites and provides protection on up to 3 PCs at no additional charge.
9. Eset Smart Security 4.2
Eset Smart Security 4.2 combines antivirus, antispyware, antispam and a firewall with added usability features not found in some other vendors' Internet security suites. In addition to gaming/multimedia mode and a laptop battery mode, Eset Smart Security 4.2 raises the usability bar with a new interface and keyboard shortcuts to assist visually impaired users. However, all that does come with a price: at $60 USD, Eset Smart Security's icense is valid for only 1 PC. To protect the standard 3 PCs offered by most other suite vendors you'll need to ante up $90 (USD). Eset Smart Security 4.2 scored a 4.0 out of a possible 6 on the combined malware protection and removal tests.
Comodo Internet Security gets an honorable mention, first as the only free full-fledged Internet security suite and second as the overwhelming winner of the 2011 Readers' Choice Awards for Best Internet Security Suite. It would be tough to ignore such a loyal and enthusiastic fan base, especially when 42% of all reader votes for security suites went to Comodo. Unlike most free antivirus which is free for home use only, Comodo Internet Security is free for both home and business use - and it even includes 90 days of free tech support.