by Rob Williams on December 14, 2005 in Security, Windows
Steganos cares about your computer security, and offers a complete suite to make sure you are kept safe. It combines 10 security tools together into one massive package, and we are going to take a look at what’s available and see if it’s worth your money.
Internet Trace Destructor & Shredder
If you have read our Internet Anonym review, then you already know about these two features. First off, Internet Trace Destructor is exactly as it sounds. There could be numerous reasons why you want to hide this information, whether it’s from the government or your wife. In a nutshell, the Destructor will get rid of all internet related traces, including cookies, cache and browser history. Not only does it simply delete them, it makes sure that none of it can be recovered by any means.
Then we have Shredder which is essentially the same thing, but for regular files or free disk space. Most people know, that if you empty the recycle bin, your data is still technically there, just hidden. With special tools, most of it can be recovered back very easily, depending on how often you use your computer and when it was deleted. If you decided to Shred a file or folder, it will delete it from your computer and scrub the free space over and over so that it is impossible to get back. The other method, free space cleaner, is perfect if you are planning on selling a storage device on eBay or somewhere else. You have the option to overwrite free space and data one time, 7 times or using the Guttman method of 35 times. This is a great tool if you have anything to hide, or simply want to protect yourself from data theft.
This version of the Security Suite is obviously packed, but is it worth your $69.95US? That’s a tough question because there’s some tools that I just didn’t find that useful. The Anti-Spyware is a big part of this package, but as I have tested, it didn’t do an incredible job like I had hoped it would. Of course, I had so much spyware on my system, that it took four separate programs to remove all of it. Either way, I would have expected a commercial version of a spyware remover to remove more than this one did. As with spyware in general, you will want to use more than one program since not one is perfect. It’s just not worth it to buy this package if all you are interested in is the Anti-Spyware. In fact, even with this package, I would not bother to install the Anti-Spyware since Ad-Aware and SpyBot found more spyware in general. Of course, this would vary on the exact type of spyware you have, but I still would have liked to see it remove more.
If they bundled Internet Anonym with this package instead of Anti-Spyware, then it would be worth the $69.95 without a doubt. But what about the rest of the package? My favorite tool by far was the Safe, because it keeps your files locked down so well, that you can have an absolute piece of mind. Even though it has to encrypt your data well, it does it very fast. Retrieving it is as simple as typing in a password or plugging in your thumb drive. The only thing with Safe though, is that it’s available as a standalone package for $30US, which is priced right.
Some of the other great features is the portable safe, which is one of the coolest security tools I have seen to date. E-mail encryption is something else that’s quite unique, if you are willing to take the needed steps to send one. Both of these are incredibly secure though, which is what makes them so great. The other tools included are pretty minor but are nice to have if you need them. If the Anti-Theft feature really appeals to you, then this package may be worth purchasing for that tool alone, although there are some other competitors out there to also suit this need.
Overall, I am giving this suite a 7/10. If they cut out the Anti-Spyware and sold the suite for $50US or there about’s, then it would get a 9/10. The Anti-Spyware really does take away from the overall quality of the suite only because it’s not really that great. The other ding is that the Security Suite does not work in Windows x64, although a x64 version of Safe is currently in development. After checking out this article, you should be well aware of whether this suite is for you. Without a doubt though, if you are interested in Safe, then that is well worth your money and I recommend trying it out.
Feb 09, 2006 edit: It appears as though Steganos may have taken our recommendations as there is now an SE version of the software. The only difference is the removal of the Anti-Spyware software, and it retails for our predicted price of $49.95US. You will do yourself no wrong by picking up the SE version, it’s certainly worth it! Thanks to Gabriel for letting us know about this.
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