PC Tools' 2009 suite was the runt of our last security Labs, coming last in that issue's malware detection test. However, the new 2010 edition convincingly turned that record around with a highly respectable score of 97% - just 1% shy of top marks.
Its web detection was quite alert too, blacklisting a good number of dodgy sites and warning us of "potentially malicious" content on others.
The Browser Defender extension remains a big waste of space, though - a single button that demands a full toolbar to itself.
The package didn't integrate with our mail client, but it filtered out infected attachments from incoming messages, raising a neat alert in the corner of the screen. However, even clean emails had a three-line PC Tools banner appended at the bottom - a little excessive.
The firewall was one of this month's least rigorous. With default settings, not only was our attacking PC able to detect open ports, it was even able to discover information about services and network shares.
There are no major secondary features to complicate matters, and PC Tools clearly hasn't lost its knack for clear, accessible user interfaces - even if the bright-green elements are a tad garish. A memory footprint of 186MB is startlingly high, though. Only the dual-engine G Data suite demands more.
PC Tools deserves credit for improvements it has made to its malware-detection engine. If the company can maintain this trajectory, it will soon have a very respectable suite on its hands. For now, though, it has too many weak spots for an unreserved recommendation.