Intego Internet Security Barrier Platinum

October 17th, 2006 Software, Tech, The West Australian

$219 RRP

Like everything else in the world of the Macintosh, the first thing you’ll notice about Intego Internet Security Barrier is the way it looks, feels and behaves.

Unlike the clunky, unfriendly interface of most Windows security applications, Intego’s suite of security and privacy tools are all graphics-based. They’re beautiful to look at and simple to use, most functions a few clicks away using attractive, well-designed interfaces that make the dry area of security almost as pleasant as playing a game.

Although each component is available separately and in lesser bundles costing only slightly less, the Platinum edition is by far the best value for money. While you’re unlikely to use every component religiously, every possible kind of protection is in your hands for only a little over $200 is a wise investment.

The suite of applications monitors every kind of Internet traffic coming into and out of your computer, from chat to viruses, spam, web traffic and everything in between.

The most useful is Personal Backup. If your backup regime is just dragging folders of files to an external hard disk or iPod, or even worse — not having one, Personal Backup’s one-click control will save you hours. Just set up simple scripts that copy specified files to a given destination, and Personal Backup will scan each copy and only move the necessary files, saving you hours off solutions that involve dragging and dropping in the Finder. A backup of close to 3Gb, which usually takes up to 20 minutes to a second hard drive, took less than three minutes when the software determined less than 100 files needed to be copied.

You can also set schedules for all your scripts, simply run a one-off copy, clone or archive an entire drive or synchronise between two destinations, leaving them both up to date with each others’ contents.

Personal Antispam is a more robust version of the spam filters most email clients offer and offers more controls. You can create a blacklist or whitelist of domains or addresses to permanently allow or deny of just let Antispam operate from defaults. It works by learning from keywords in emails you identify as spam, watching for dodgy URLs and providing full statistics on its activities as well. Once you’re up and running it works quite intuitively, but setting it up to work with Microsoft Entourage wasn’t easy. Firstly, the set-up assistant wasn’t instructive enough about what to do in the email client, then a subsequent attempt failed to turn up an essential script file. Follow the manual carefully and make sure your vendor offers some sort of tech support.

Content Barrier lets you assign content restrictions per user account according to three default levels of restriction. Each level contains restrictions on web traffic, email, chat and newsgroups, and you can custom design a dataset to restrict certain kinds of traffic through certain connections, such as pornography through the web or emails about gambling. You can also allow access according to a schedule and you not only have access to full logs, the system can email you when a violation has been attempted. Just don’t tell the kids or they’ll learn how to switch it off.

Virus Barrier takes a scan of your whole disk, or removable/external disks as well, simply by dragging the disk icon onto the interface. It gives you a striking visual representation of scanning your files and gives you a detailed report or corrupt files, Trojan horses, worms or viruses. Sure, there are still hardly any Mac viruses, but keep in mind macro viruses hidden in Microsoft documents are cross platform and can still cause damage.

With Apple iChat still a distant second to Microsoft Messenger, Chat Barrier will have limited appeal, and Net Barrier monitors and warns you about any unwanted intrusion such as pings, DOS attacks and other hacking attempts. Also the privacy vanguard of the suite, Net Barrier monitors and can clear your browser caches and cookies.

It’s all attached to a simple definitions updater called Netupdate, and when combined, the user-friendly package is a deceptively robust security solution.

Full client and publication list:

  • 3D Artist
  • APC
  • Auscam
  • Australian Creative
  • Australian Macworld
  • Australian Way (Qantas)
  • Big Issue
  • Black Velvet Seductions
  • Black+White
  • Bookseller & Publisher
  • Box Magazine
  • Brain World
  • Business News
  • Business NSW
  • Campaign Brief
  • Capture
  • Cleo
  • Cosmos
  • Cream
  • Curve
  • Daily Telegraph
  • Dark Horizons
  • Dazed and Confused
  • Desktop
  • DG
  • Digital Media
  • Disney Magazine
  • DNA Magazine
  • Empire
  • Empty Magazine
  • Famous Monsters of Filmland
  • Fast Thinking
  • FHM UK
  • Film Stories
  • Filmink
  • Follow Gentlemen
  • Geek Magazine
  • Good Reading
  • Good Weekend
  • GQ
  • How It Works
  • Hydrapinion
  • Inside Film
  • Loaded
  • M2 Magazine
  • Marie Claire Australia
  • Marketing
  • Maxim Australia
  • Men's Style
  • Metro
  • Moviehole
  • MSN
  • Nine To Five
  • Paranormal
  • PC Authority
  • PC Powerplay
  • PC Update
  • PC User
  • PC World
  • Penthouse
  • People
  • Pixelmag
  • Popular Science
  • Post Magazine
  • Ralph
  • Reader's Digest
  • ScienceNetwork WA
  • SciFiNow
  • Scoop
  • Scoop Traveller
  • Seaside Observer
  • SFX
  • Sydney Morning Herald
  • The Australian
  • The Retiree
  • The Sun Herald
  • The West Australian
  • TimeOut
  • Total Film
  • Video Camera
  • Video&Filmmaker
  • Writing Magazine
  • Xpress
  • Zoo