Trend Micro Antivirus Review 2020: Does It Fully Protect Against Malware?

Scott Jackson
Scott Jackson
Published on: 26/07/2020

Detailed Expert Review

Trend Micro’s malware protection technology is very advanced. Their internet security tools use AI to constantly analyze a computer’s behavior. Then, based on that knowledge, the program can cleverly detect and block anything that looks suspicious.

Trend Micro also includes some seriously cool privacy protection features that not many other antiviruses have. While the company’s pricing and support options can be confusing, the program itself is remarkably easy to set up and use.

After reviewing over 30 antiviruses, I was curious to see if Trend Micro could compete with bigger industry names when it comes to malware detection rates and extra features. The results of my testing were not totally unexpected — but there were a few things that surprised me.

Here’s what I found out when I tested Trend Micro.

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Trend Micro Security Features

Trend Micro uses sophisticated AI technologies to study what your computer’s “normal” behavior is — and then it identifies and blocks any unusual and suspicious activity based on that information. This helps find and root out any malware that may be hidden in a seemingly normal file.

The “Enable machine-learning” option is on by default (as shown in the screenshot below), and you need to keep it checked to make sure that your PC has the highest possible level of protection.

Trend Micro Security Features

Trend Micro’s initial full scan of my computer was completed in 88 minutes — which was comparable to how long other programs usually take. However, I was surprised when subsequent full scans by Trend Micro took about the same time — meaning they don’t seem to use file caching to mark previously scanned files as safe. Other antiviruses like Norton and Bitdefender use this kind of file caching, and it speeds up future scans by a lot.

I also noticed that my PC felt slower at times when the scan was running. So it’s not as lightweight as Avira’s antivirus scanning engine — which uses only a small amount of CPU power.

However, I liked that Trend Micro’s scan included an optimization check for my PC.

Trend Micro Security Features

During further testing, Trend Micro’s scanner identified nearly all 230 samples from a recent malware collection that I downloaded to my test PC — which is much better than my results with Windows Defender, and it lines up with the industry’s average detection rate.

Overall, Trend Micro’s malware scanner is easy to use, effectively protecting my computer from malware, ransomware, phishing, spam, and all other kinds of cyber threats with no “false alarms”.

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Trend Micro Privacy Tools

Trend Micro Security Features

When you open the Trend Micro Privacy tab, you’ll find several tools that are great at keeping your identity safe when you are online:

  1. Privacy Scanner monitors major social media sites making sure your privacy settings are optimized and you are only sharing information with the people you want. This is especially helpful if you use social media a lot or have young children.
  1. Social Networking Protection warns you if you click on a “risky” link while using social media.
  1. Pay Guard keeps your payment information secure when shopping and banking online.
  2. Data Theft Prevention lets you easily protect your most important information.

As shown in the screenshot below, you can enter your sensitive data into the program’s “watch list”. This can be a set of numbers (like the first few digits of your credit card), words, or even just a few letters. If Trend Micro detects that exact sequence of characters or words being copied or emailed from your computer, it’ll automatically block the connection.

Trend Micro Security Features

This feature is very helpful, not only in case of cyber attacks, but also if you have kids, as it can prevent them from disclosing their personal details like their home address or phone number.

I really like this clever feature that makes Trend Micro a great choice for privacy tools.

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Secure Erase

I tend to have a lot of files containing sensitive information that I keep for work, and sometimes I need to get rid of them. Simply deleting them doesn’t remove these files from my computer completely, so a hacker who is able to get into my computer could still restore them and access my sensitive information.

So I was glad to see that Secure Erase — Trend Micro’s digital file shredder — did an excellent job erasing my deleted files quickly. All I needed to do was right-click on the folder to be deleted and select Delete with Secure Erase from the drop-down menu.

There are two options available:

  • Quick Erase — deletes the file from your hard drive.
  • Permanent Erase — writes over the deleted file 7 times to guarantee it can’t be recovered by any means.

Trend Micro Security Features

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Parental Controls

Trend Micro offers decent parental controls, letting you choose which websites your children can visit and limiting how long your kids are browsing online.

The websites that your child is allowed to visit are conveniently pre-set based on your kids’ ages. You also have an option to adjust the browsing permissions manually.

You can set the exact browsing times for your kids for every day of the week — for example, allowing them to browse on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 7pm–8pm.

I also like the option to just set the total number of hours that children are allowed to spend online on weekdays and weekends. Families with older children and teens might find this option useful, as it is less restrictive than choosing the exact hours during which browsing is permitted.

Trend Micro Security Features

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Mute Mode

Mute Mode is perfect if you don’t want to be disturbed by Trend Micro’s notifications. This mode can be turned on for up to 24 hours while you are doing something important, watching movies, or gaming. Non-critical notifications will be paused during that time, while your PC remains fully protected.

You can conveniently choose programs that will automatically quit when you are in Mute Mode — like backup programs that can slow down your PC when you are gaming.

I also like the option to specify the time when this mode should be activated — which I set to 6pm, as I like to watch Netflix after I finish work. Alternatively, you can choose to switch to Mute Mode automatically whenever your PC is in full-screen mode.

Trend Micro Security Features

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Other Features

Some other useful tools that Trend Micro offers are:

  • Toolbar — for secure browsing experience.
  • Folder Shield — for safeguarding your most important files.
  • Vault — for encrypting your secure data.
  • Password Manager — for storing your passwords securely.

Overall, I think that Trend Micro’s security features are pretty good and provide robust protection from cyber attacks, while also guarding privacy. I especially like the Data Theft Prevention and Privacy Guard, as not many other antiviruses offer these options.

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Trend Micro Plans and Pricing

Most Trend Micro antivirus plans come as 1-year or 2-year subscriptions, but Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security and Antivirus for Mac are only offered as 12-months subscriptions. Also, please keep in mind that plans and pricing listed in this review may differ slightly depending on your location.

By default, Trend Micro’s plans are set to auto-renew every year. You can switch off the auto-renewal in your Trend Micro account settings — it is a good idea to do this if you want to take advantage of the discounts that the company often offers to new users.

Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security (Windows only)

Antivirus+ Security is the most basic Trend Micro plan that will protect 1 PC. This plan comes as a 12-month subscription that includes:

  • Trend Micro antivirus.
  • Folder Shield.
  • Pay Guard.

Best for: Single users.

I think this plan is one of the best-value antivirus packages I’ve seen. Although it’s not feature-rich like the plans below, it offers essential antivirus and internet security for a super cheap cost.

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Trend Micro Internet Security (Windows only)

This plan comes as a 12-month or 24-month subscription.

Trend Micro Internet Security is often discounted and, if purchased as a 2-year subscription, can offer a better value for the money than Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security.

Trend Micro Internet Security includes:

  • Trend Micro antivirus.
  • Folder Shield.
  • Pay Guard.
  • Fraud Buster.
  • Mute Mode.
  • Parental Controls.
  • Social Media Privacy Protection.
  • PC Optimization Tool.
  • Protection for up to 3 PCs.

Best for: Users who need comprehensive protection for up to 3 Windows computers.

This package is a really great price for the features offered. Packages offered by competitors, like Panda Dome, offer less features for a similar cost. But I would like to see Trend Micro also offer this package for Mac users.

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Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac

This plan protects 1 Mac computer for 1 year only.

Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac includes:

  • Trend Micro antivirus.
  • Folder Shield.
  • Pay Guard.
  • Fraud Buster.
  • Mute Mode.
  • Parental Controls.
  • Social Media Privacy Protection.

Best for: Users who are absolutely sure they only need to protect 1 Mac.

As most of us own multiple devices, Trend Micro Maximum Security that is slightly more expensive but covers up to 5 devices (Windows, Mac, Android or iOS) is likely to offer better value for money than Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac.

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Trend Micro Maximum Security

This plan is available as a 30-day free trial. It offers the same security features and comprehensive level of protection as Trend Micro Internet Security, plus:

  • Password Manager — making sure your passwords are secure.
  • Protection for up to 10 devices — PC, Mac, Android, or iOS.

Again, you can select from a 1-year or 2-year subscription. You can also choose to protect up to 5 or up to 10 devices.

Best for: Family users who are after comprehensive protection across multiple devices and operating systems and are looking for a good value for money.

In my opinion, Norton 360 Deluxe may be a better choice for families as it includes quite a few useful additional tools — smart firewall, PC cloud backup, dark web monitoring service to detect stolen credentials, and more — for a comparable price.

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Trend Micro Maximum Security — Premium Service Bundle

This plan is available as a 1-year subscription and covers up to 5 devices. It offers all the features and coverage of Trend Micro Maximum Security, but combines them with access to the 24/7 premium technical phone support that includes:

  • Remote desktop support.
  • Remote virus and spyware removal service (1 incident only).
  • Security health check service (1 incident only).

Best for: Users looking to protect multiple devices and willing to invest a little extra for access to premium 24/7 support options.

This plan is also a pretty decent value for the money. I like how Trend Micro offers security health checks and remote malware removal, but I think they should offer coverage for more than just one incident.

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Trend Micro Maximum Security — Ultimate Service Bundle

The most comprehensive of Trend Micro’s plans is available as a 1-year subscription and covers up to 5 devices.

In this plan, all the features and coverage of Trend Micro Maximum Security are combined with access to the 24/7 premium technical phone support that includes:

  • Remote desktop support.
  • Remote virus and spyware removal service (unlimited incidents).
  • Security health check service (unlimited incidents).
  • Home Network Security Scan.
  • IT Helpdesk — 24/7 support for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Best for: Users wishing to protect up to 5 devices from all kinds of security threats and have access to 24/7 all-inclusive support for all their devices.

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Trend Micro Ease of Use and Setup

Trend Micro does not overload you with buttons and menus — which is a great thing.

When you launch the program, at the center of the screen you can see the large round Scan button. You can easily select from the Quick, Full, or Custom Scan options by moving your cursor over that button. Your status is displayed right under it, letting you know if real-time protection is enabled.

Trend Micro Ease of Use and Setup

All your additional tools are hidden behind the other 4 buttons on the screen — Device, Privacy, Data, and Family — with a submenu sorting features to keep the program’s clutter to a minimum.

Getting started was easy, with the installation taking only a few minutes once I completed the download. When I first set up Trend Micro, it performed a full system check and scan of my PC, where it detected the majority of the malware samples on my PC and highlighted any privacy issues.

It’s also easy to set up some of the additional features.

For example, the parental controls are easily accessed by pressing the Family button. Then it’s just a matter of selecting your child’s age range, reviewing the permissions pre-set by Trend Micro, making changes if needed, and choosing the hours during which browsing is permitted.

Overall, Trend Micro was easy to set up and use. Once I’d configured it, I pretty much forgot about it and it still protected me well — perfect for beginner users who want to rely on a decent antivirus without having to constantly monitor the software.

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Trend Micro Mobile Security

Trend Micro’s Mobile Security app is available for both iOS and Android.

The app’s installation for me was quick and straightforward. The interface is intuitive, and every major feature comes with an explanation.

Trend Micro Mobile Security

However, I had a few issues when trying out the iOS version of Trend Micro.

The Fraud Buster (iMessage checker) feature didn’t work even when configured according to the help screen.

Also, I was not impressed when the Privacy Checker tool was unable to access my Facebook account. Trend Micro confirmed that it was a known bug, and that they were working on resolving this problem — but bug fixes and new versions are only released every one to two months.

I like that Trend Micro Mobile Security not only offers a VPN with parental controls, but also has a dedicated browser for a safe online surfing experience. However, the VPN was slow at times when I tested it, only reaching speeds of 5 Mbps. Also, some options I expected to see (like switching between servers in different countries) were not there.

The Android app offers the following additional features when compared to the iOS version:

  • Security Scan — scans Android files for threats.
  • System Tuner — improves systems performance (including battery life).
  • Call and Text Blocking — screens unwanted calls and texts.

I liked that the Trend Micro’s Android app was unintrusive during its scans and didn’t annoy me with endless notifications, while still protecting my device well.

Trend Micro Mobile Security

Overall, Trend Micro’s desktop version definitely offers more functionality than the mobile app. (However, some features are unique to the mobile version — for example, Wi-Fi Checker).

Trend Micro Mobile Security is pretty average when it comes to features and functionality. Many other mobile antiviruses offer a bigger choice of security tools.

For example, Norton Mobile Security includes more privacy protection features (Surveillance App Protection, Privacy Report Interactive Map), and McAfee Mobile Security includes a media vault that protects personal photos and videos.

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Trend Micro Customer Support

Trend Micro’s support options include:

  • FAQ.
  • Trend Micro community support forum.
  • Email support.
  • Phone support.
  • Live chat.

When choosing the best Trend Micro plan for your needs, keep in mind that two phone support options are available:

  • Standard support — Monday to Friday during business hours in your region.
  • Premium support — 24/7 access to phone support.

I tested Trend Micro’s standard phone support — my call was answered straight away, and the support person was able to easily answer my question.

You can also use the “Vanessa of Trend Micro” support live chat that is accessible through Facebook Messenger.

I tested this chat and found it very useful. A support person was available within a minute to talk to me, and fully answered my question regarding an error code I had encountered while using the Trend Micro mobile app.

Trend Micro Customer Support

They confirmed that the company was aware of the issue and promised to notify me when it gets resolved.

Overall, I was happy with Trend Micro’s customer support. There’s a decent range of contact options, they’re quick to respond, and they’re concise and helpful with their answers.

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Is Trend Micro Any Good?

Trend Micro is a powerful antivirus and internet security suite that has shown to be trustworthy and capable of protecting all devices from all kinds of cyber threats. The program is exceptionally easy to set up and use, and it has multiple support options available.

Trend Micro’s antivirus engine performed great in my testing, blocking and removing all kinds of malware from my computer. I was also impressed by the identity and privacy protection features such as Data Theft Prevention, Privacy Scanner, and Social Networking Protection. (However, the Privacy Checker tool on the iOS version was a bit buggy and could not access my Facebook account.)

Trend Micro is competitively priced, but there are multiple plan options that can be confusing and are set by default to auto-renew. Other antiviruses like Norton 360 Deluxe or McAfee Total Security have equally impressive malware protection, but they also throw in some useful security tools (like firewalls and secure VPNs) that Trend Micro doesn’t have.

Still, Trend Micro is a top choice, and without question one of the best antiviruses of 2020.

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Does Trend Micro have a free plan?

Trend Micro has some free security tools available for both Windows and Mac users, including:

  • Password manager.
  • Anti-ransomware tools.
  • Rootkit removal.
  • And more…

While Trend Micro doesn’t offer a free antivirus, all Trend Micro packages are available with a 30-day money-back guarantees, so you can evaluate them before making a final decision.

What’s the best Trend Micro plan for me?

It depends on the number of devices and operating systems that you need to cover.

If you only need to protect 1 computer, then you can choose between Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security (available for Windows only) and Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac.

Families will find that Trend Micro Maximum Security protecting up to 10 devices (Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS) is the best choice for them.

If access to 24/7 phone support and virus removal service is important to you, then you might wish to consider Trend Micro’s Premium or Ultimate Service Bundle plans.

How effective is Trend Micro at removing malware?

Trend Micro is one of the top antiviruses when it comes to removing malware. Its antivirus engine employs very advanced AI-based malware protection technologies to protect your computer from:

  • Malware.
  • Ransomware.
  • Trojans.
  • Phishing and malicious sites.
  • Many other cyber threats.

Trend Micro’s malware scanner achieved near-perfect detection scores in my tests, and is remarkably easy-to-use.

Is Trend Micro good for Mac?

Yes, Trend Micro offers reliable antivirus protection for Mac devices.

It makes a great addition to Apple’s already built-in security tools, and it provides solid real-time protection against Mac-based malware.

Trend Micro’s Antivirus for Mac is good for protecting 1 Mac computer. But the Trend Micro Maximum Security package covers up to 10 devices (Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS).

Trend Micro’s Mac-only package may be too limiting for some users who have multiple Macs that need antivirus protection. In this instance, I’d recommend using one of the best antiviruses for macOS that protect multiple devices.

Trend Micro Products & Pricing

Antivirus+
Internet Security
Maximum Security
Bottom Line

Trend Micro’s excellent performance proves that this antivirus is serious about protection. If your main focus is security and identity protection, you’ll appreciate the sophisticated multi-layer defense that Trend Micro provides. I especially liked the Data Theft Prevention feature that keeps your most sensitive data extra secure.Trend Micro is also easy to install and use, and the company offers responsive and quick customer support. Overall, Trend Micro is a great antivirus program.

About the Author

Scott Jackson
Scott Jackson
Internet security researcher

About the Author

Scott Jackson is an internet security researcher, having spent over two decades working as an IT consultant with more than a dozen Fortune 500 companies. He spends his time researching hacking trends and helping make sure that people stay safe on the internet.

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Trend Micro User Reviews

4 2
Based on 6 reviews in 4 languages 3.7
Language
You can trust the Community! Companies can't ask us to delete or change user reviews.
May 19, 2020
Robert Spiker
Robert Spiker
United States
2.0
Adware
Windows User
For a paid subscription I would not expect to have to tolerate daily adware campaigns. Whether it is Protect More Devices, Password manager, or renewal; they never quit. I'm trying to eliminate distractions and Trend Micro is contributing to the problem not help it.
May 15, 2020
Jerker Pihl
Jerker Pihl
Sweden
1.0
Worst compabilty software ever
Windows User
Iam a developer using visual studio to develop websites. For some reason SOMETIMES it wont start debugging correctly when running Trend micro. Must have cost the company ateleast 100 hours of work.

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