Computer Associates Antivirus 2011 comes loaded with the popular CA Antispyware, so that's double security within the price of one. CA antivirus plus antispyware 2011 is an award-winning antivirus software for your computer that protects desktops and/or notebooks from harmful viruses, spyware, trojans, hackers and more. Computer Associates is well known for their $10,000 coverage by the internet protection plan, however, the plan is offered with the CA Internet Security 2011. Also, CA actively participates and gives donation to the "National Center For Missing and Exploited Children". They donate $1 to charity/organization for every purchase and help make the world a better place to live. It takes the #10 in our top ten antivirus ratings.
CA Antivirus 2011 features:
- CA keeps your PC safe from harmful viruses and spyware that can slow down your system or damage system files.
- CA antivirus actively monitors and stops spyware from tracking your activity and personal data.
- Stay on top of the security with the latest virus definitions and daily, automatic updates to fortify your defenses.
- Strong antivirus algorithms protect your computer in real-time from even the newest unknown virus and spyware.
- Excellent phone support, email support and support forums on CA website to find answers to your questions.
CA Internet Security Suite Plus 2010
It was quite uncomplimentary about last year's edition of Computer Associates' security suite, referring to it as a Frankenstein's monster, cobbled together from a set of mediocre tools. The user interface of CA Internet Security Suite Plus 2010 has been given a thorough overhaul. It is very impressive, visually. Unfortunately, the security components behind the shell have not improved much over last year's offering.
CA called in Frog Design, the designers behind several Apple products and the NeXT computer, to create a completely new user interface. The new interface is HTML-based. Four cards arranged in a carousel represent four areas of protection: my computer, my files, my internet and my kids. When you click on a card it rotates to the front. If a problem is found in any area, the corresponding card turns red, and clicking on one button fixes the problem.
Opening any one card reveals a history page, a page of settings and a status report. All cards are consistent in their layout of information, and it's easy to move from one card to another. For non-technical users it is very simple and intuitive to use.
Impact on System Performance
We found that last year's edition of CA security performed below average in system performance tests. For instance - boot time on our test systems tripled when CA was installed. With the 2010 version of the suite installed, boot time took over twice as long as with no security software. The test system frequently hung during boot up - we had to do forced shutdowns and restarts. However, this happened before the point where the Windows GUI starts to load.
In a test to gauge performance impact when copying and moving large numbers of files, CA added only 6 percent to the time required. In a similar test involving zipping and unzipping files, CA added 19 percent to the time. This was a huge improvement over the 86 percent last year's edition added.
In a test to gauge impact on a series of installations and removals using Windows Installer, CA added 60 percent to the time required. This result was not especially good, but it was better than ZoneAlarm Extreme Security 2010 (77 percent) and Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 (78 percent) achieved. We found CA added 24 percent to the browser test time, an improvement on last year's 50 percent plus.
Independent Labs Test Results
West Coast Labs and ICSA Labs certify CA's suite for both malware detection and removal. Several other checkmark certifications are added by West Coast Labs, including general malware detection and Trojan detection. Virus Bulletin has tested the suite seven times, but only granted it the VB100% award for four of those tests. This is not particularly good - Zonealarm Antivirus and Norton Antivirus received VB100% for all ten of the most recent ten Windows-based tests.
CA's firewall placed all ports in stealth mode and was resistant to typical malware-type attacks. we weren't able to disable the firewall - killing processes and editing registry entries didn't affect firewall protection.
When it came to testing the firewall with exploits generated by the Core IMPACT penetration tool, CA's firewall was less effective. On one system protected by CA, an agent was successfully installed. The file-based elements of some of the exploits were blocked by Computer Associates' real-time anti-malware module. The fact that the system was fully patched prevented the rest of the exploits from succeeding. We prefer the Norton Internet Security 2010 approach, which reports on all exploitation attempts even if the system is secure.
The firewall's default mode is 'High Priority Alerts', in which both unknown programs and known-good programs are granted access to the Internet. Computer Associates have built up an extensive database of more than 300,000 known good programs.
The CA suite also uses code injection protection, registry protection and program protection to quietly block suspicious behavior which would normally be associated with malware. These features are turned on by default, and proved to be quite effective against our leak tests (programs that use techniques frequently used by malware to avoid detection.)
Unfortunately, CA didn't distinguish very well between bad programs and good programs - it even interfered with the installation of some of our own utilities. An ordinary user would probably assume there was something wrong with the installation routine for these programs. This is potentially quite a serious shortcoming.
Malware Removal Tests
After completing a scan, the CA Antivirus reports that the scan successfully finished and offers a report on what problems it fixed. To see the details, you have to dig a bit - after launching the full report, you have to open the scan history then open the detail pane for the most recent scan.
A full scan on our low-powered clean test system took a little over an hour - this was twice as long as average. But subsequent scans took just two minutes, as CA avoids re-scanning files which remain unchanged.
CA scored just below average in the malware removal test, with 6.4 out of 10 points - a little higher thanZoneAlarm's score. In a parallel test for commercial keyloggers, CA's score of 2.0 was way below average - it detected less than a third of all samples, and left executable files behind for most of those it detected.
In our rootkit test, CA detected slightly more than 50 percent of all samples, and scored 4.1 points for removing them. The average result in this test was 6.2 points. In the rogue security software (scareware) test, CA's score of 6.2 points was better than average, but it was still way below Ad-Aware Pro 8.1's 8.8 points.
When CA prevents malware from installing or launching, no alert is issued to the user. During our tests, some malware installers failed quietly, some triggered Windows error messages, and some crashed. We had to check the Auto-Scans history to make certain that CA was causing this. Threats in the history are listed by name only. Unfortunately, as noted before, some valid programs were also silently blocked by CA. There is a fine balance between annoying users with alerts and messages, and insulating them from confusing information, but we felt that CA had gone too far in the later direction.
In the malware blocking test, CA scored a little below average with 8.0 out of 10 points. Norton Antivirus was the best performer in this test, with 9.6 points. Bitdefender Antivirus and Prevx 3.0 shared second place with 9.4 points. When it came to commercial keyloggers, CA was better at stopping installation than cleaning them up once they were already installed. It scored above average here, with 6.5 points. It was beaten by Prevx, with 8.9 points, and Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 6, with 9.0 points.
CA successfully detected all the rootkit samples (both keylogger and malware). It tied with Prevx and Spyware Doctor, scoring 8.9 points. In the scareware (rogue security software) installation blocking test, CA scored 8.3 points - this is a good result, but 7 rival products scored better.
Conclusion: CA has improved since last year at malware-blocking, but the 'silent' blocking of valid programs is still a serious shortcoming.
Overall, we were very impressed by the vastly improved user interface in CA Internet Security Suite Plus 2010. Unfortunately, we found the underlying security components not significantly improved over previous versions.