Tiranium Premium Security 2014

Pros 100-percent detection in our hands-on malware blocking test. Decent detection of malicious downloads.

Cons No results from independent antivirus testing labs. Firewall did nothing in our tests. No blocking of malicious or phishing URLs. Red Alert feature easy to invoke by accident, hard to shut off. Website, documentation, and user interface riddled with spelling and grammar errors. Bottom Line Tiranium Premium Security 2014 did well in my hands-on malware blocking test, but the independent labs haven't weighed in. The bonus firewall didn't do anything in our tests, though, and the quality of other features varied. It's a good first effort.

By Neil J. Rubenking

The vast majority of my antivirus reviews cover new versions of old, familiar products. Getting hold of a brand-new product like Tiranium Premium Security 2014 ($25.94 per year) is like a breath of fresh air. Tiranium does some things really well, but like many version 1.0 products, it needs a little work.

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That $25.94 price may seem a little odd, but in its homeland of France, Tiranium costs a sensible €19.95 per year. There's also a free edition, but it's seriously limited feature-wise. In particular, it lacks the premium version's Real-Time Intelligent Suspicious Activities Scans, Intelligent Privacy Protection, and Real-Time Behavioral Cloud Scans. Support isn't available 24/7 with the free version, and it lacks the premium edition's More Faster Boot.

That phrase brings up another issue. Throughout the product and the company's website, you'll discover odd quirks of spelling and language. It's clear that the developers aren't native English speakers. An ad touts the premium edition as "more stronger," the installer warns, "The first time, this take a time to launch," and the welcome screen thanks you for "purshashing" the product, promising help if needed after "the manually scan of your computer."

These little errors don't prove anything about the quality of the code, but they show a certain sloppiness, as does the fact that the installer is not digitally signed. In addition, the Action Center in Windows doesn't recognize the product, so it warns that you have no antivirus or firewall protection. That level of carelessness is harder to ignore than the poor English.

Simple Settings
The slightly busy main window emphasizes that help is available and reports in detail on your system status. It provides simple statistics about protection and updates. Three switches let you toggle real-time protection, firewall services, and Web protection (this last feature is not yet implemented).

A single, non-scrolling page of settings controls things like auto-update, quick scan at startup, and notification sounds. It also lets you view and change three hotkeys. One is designed to wrest control away from screen-hogging ransomware. Another replaces explorer.exe with a backup made at the time you installed Tiranium. And a third activates Tiranium's Red Alert mode (more about that later).

The hotkey combinations are all simple Alt+letter combos. You can change the letter, but you can't force, for example, Ctrl+Alt+Shift. Users are bound to invoke these by accident sooner or later, with potentially alarming results. I'd like to see full flexibility to define any key combination as a hotkey, with defaults that aren't likely to be triggered accidentally.


Too New to Know
My Tiranium contact says the company plans to submit Tiranium for testing by Virus Bulletin soon. Right now, though, none of the labs have put the product through their tests. That's a shame, because the independent labs have enough resources to very thoroughly evaluate antivirus effectiveness in a variety of ways. I consider their results more important than my own hands-on tests, but sometimes my own tests are all that's available.

In addition, I consider the dynamic testing performed by AV-Test Institute, AV-Comparatives, and Dennis Technology Labs superior to the simple static detection testing performed by Virus Bulletin. If Tiranium takes off, the company will need it to undergo some of these tests.

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