[Review] Element TotalProtect

{rw_text}Software reviewed in this article:

Element TotalProtect

Version reviewed:

v2010

Supported OS:

Windows XP or higher

Price:

$6.99 (USD) but you can get it for free for a limited time at Giveawayoftheday.com!

Software description as per the developer:

Element Software, the creators of the Element TotalProtect™ product line, provide unmatched anti-virus research and response capabilities that support Element Software’s range of security products and services. With dedicated developers around the world, Element Software is able to respond very quickly and effectively to new malicious and potentially unwanted software threats wherever and whenever they arise.

————————-{/rw_text} –>

{rw_good}

  • Comes with multiple tools, such as anti-malware, firewall, website adviser, defrag, and file backup.
  • Anti-malware includes live protection and on-demand scanning.
  • Can “tweak”/”tune-up” your computer.
  • Has the ability to “immunize” your computer against threats.

{/rw_good} –>

{rw_bad}

  • Developer claims database of malware signatures is “updated daily” but it has only been updated a handful of times in the past 6-7 months and each time only one signature was added.
  • The website adviser doesn’t seem to do anything – just lists every site as green.
  • Can’t “turn off” firewall and “automatic backups”.

{/rw_bad} –>

{rw_score}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”9″}Very easy to use. However there isn’t really much documentation on some of the features that need explaining, so something go unexplained.
{/for}
{for=”Performance” value=”3″}The virus database is very rarely updated and the “identity protect” doesn’t seem to do anything… at all.
{/for}
{for=”Usefulness” value=”7″}With so many tools – and at such a low price – I can see many people (potentially) finding the program useful.
{/for}
{for=”Price” value=”9″}Extremely low price.
{/for}
{for=”Arbitrary Equalizer” value=”3″}This category reflects an arbitrary number that does not specifically stand for anything. Rather this number is used to reflect dotTech’s overall rating/verdict of the program in which all the features and alternatives have been considered.
{/for}
{/rw_score} –>

{rw_verdict}[tdown]
{/rw_verdict} –>

Element TotalProtect is a software that aims to be your one-stop-shop security suite for your computer.

This is what Element TotalProtect’s main program window looks like:

As you can see, there are four main aspects to ETP (Element TotalProtect):

  • PC Security

ETP provides users with anti-malware (anti-virus, anti-rootkit, and anti-spyware) protection, and a firewall. The anti-malware has a live-protection component to it, and an on-demand scanner. The firewall is based off WIPFW, an open-source project that originated from Linux. You are allowed to turn off the live anti-malware protection, but you can’t “turn off” the firewall.

With the on-demand scan function – “Run Scans” you see above – you can run a full system scan, scan for rootkits only, or “immunize” your computer (you are allowed to “unimmunize” at any time):

I am not particularly sure what “immunizing” your computer involves (the developer is not very clear on what it does), but my educated guess is that it does similar things as Spyware Blaster.

The anti-malware protection is signature based, drawing from ETP’s signature database. The only problem is the signature database is rarely, rarely updated. Here is a screenshot from the developer’s website showing the “latest threats” that were added to the database:

Notice that in the past 6-7 months, only 15 threats were added! This point is enough, in my opinion, to be a huge red flag to “stay away” from ETP. (Note: The screenshot above is as of the time of this review is written. The developer may “update” the database after reading this review, or he/she may not – I don’t know.)

  • Backups

ETP has a file backup feature which allows you to backup/restore your files. The file backup is not very advanced in the sense that it doesn’t allow you too many options (i.e. you can’t select compression, you can’t backup more than one location at a time, etc.). I also am not particularly sure what it means by “Automatic Backup and Restore is on” because the developer does not have very good documentation with the program nor could I prod out what this feature does. My educated guess is that this feature allows your to run your backup tasks automatically; the only problem is I did not find any sort of schedule where you can control when the backups are run nor did I find any option to turn off the automatic backups.

  • PC Tuneup

“PC Tuneup” is a feature that allows you to “tweak”/”tuneup” your computer. The “tuneup” part involves ETP doing things like making registry tweaks and such. When you click on “Run tuneup” you are prompted with “how you use your computer” so ETP can make the tweaks most relevant to you:

In addition to the tuneups, ETP also comes with a disk defrag (click on “Optimize hard disk(s)).

Unlike the backup feature, it is fairly clear what the “Automatic PC Tuneup” feature will do and you are allowed to turn it off (I will talk about how to turn it off later on).

  • Identity Protection

“Identity Protection” is a fancy name for website adviser; think of it like ETP’s version of WOT or SiteAdvisor. In other words, “Identity Protection” installs an addon to Internet Explorer/Firefox (only those two browsers are supported) and tells you the websites you visit are clean or not:

The only problem with this feature is that it doesn’t seem to do anything at all. Every website I visit is listed as “green” and “tested” – even an empty tab and known malware/fake AV websites. Furthermore, there is no real indication that there have been through tests done on the websites in question – no information is given as to when it was investigated, what was found, etc. like how SiteAdvisor (or WOT, to an extent) gives. All this feature does is say “visit stopbadware.org for detailed analysis”.

Going back to the main program window, clicking on “Tasks and Settings” will gives you a few other features you can mess around with:

In particular, you want to take note of “Advanced Settings”…

…which allows you to disable/enable real-time anti-malware protection…

…tweak firewall settings…

…and enable/disable automatic tuneups:

Also take note that the “Rescue Center” is just an interface for Windows System Restore:

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows XP Professional 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

{rw_freea}

Please refer to my article Prevention, detection, and cure: 12 programs that will provide the best all-around security for you and your computer – for free for more information on free alternatives.

{/rw_freea} –>

{rw_verdict2}When it comes to security software, trust is as important as performance. Element TotalProtect, being an unknown entity, fails in the trust portion and fails in performance. Thumbs down – stay away from this software. If you are looking for excellent computer security for free, please refer to my article Prevention, detection, and cure: 12 programs that will provide the best all-around security for you and your computer – for free.
{/rw_verdict2} –>

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23 comments

  1. Grome

    On Element Total Protect I downloaded it from gotd and did not like it and have been unable to remove as when I do am unable to get back online by a wired or wireless connection. Also it has affected certain advertisements on websites so that I no longer am able to see ads that I did want to see. Have sent emails to listed website and no response. Bad pile of software all around.

  2. Daniel

    @Ashraf: Won’t be coming back to this site, I find you very arrogant and rude.

    I have pointed out the incorrect statements in your article, and ‘may have missed’ is not good words to use in a supposed professional reviewing of a product.

    And saying they will update the program just for your article is nonsense, you give yourself to much credit.

    Bad review, bad website, arrogant writers.
    I won’t be returning.

  3. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Daniel: No; I am not going to re-publish a review and risk people getting infected based on your speculation that “those are only major threats” even though the list specifically states “Latest Threats”. My review is completely accurate, except for maybe the firewall part which I may have missed  but more likely has since been added in an update to the program since I reviewed it because I looked very thoroughly, including advanced options.

  4. Dario

    @Daniel: Re-review, and what would he do different? Signatures are updated, all settings are default like most users would leave them. Would a silent review without talking be more ‘accurate’? Either way, if he talks during the review or not, the product failed badly compared to other products like Kaspersky or even the free Comodo Internet Security.

  5. Daniel

    @Ashraf: But that list isn’t accurate since when i turn my computer on and go on version info it says the current date.

    I think the updates are transparent, and that major ones go up on thier site.

    Also read the rest of my comment- Your other claims there are untrue.

    I still think you should re-review this product.

  6. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Daniel: I have one simple response to your accusations – please read more carefully. Where did I say “hey have only updated it’s signitures a handul of times”? I said “Developer claims database of malware signatures is “updated daily” but it has only been updated a handful of times in the past 6-7 months and each time only one signature was added.” Of course new signatures have been added since I wrote this review, but go back and read the dates on the malware updates and you will understand what I mean.

  7. Daniel

    You don’t do very good research, Ashraf.

    I clicked on thier malware list which is only in part shown on the website, which is avaliable here:

    http://twitter.com/malwarelist

    Clicking the more button and the bottom makes the list really long, so how you can say they have only updated it’s signitures a handul of times is incorrect.

    And you saying that they will update thier virus lists after reading this is just stupid. I don’t think they will care much for this review since the majority of it is blantantly incorrect!

    How do you know the website advisor doesn’t do anything? Have you any proof?
    My guess is it warns you if your on a bad site, and marks all sites as green if they havent been reported.

    I managed to turn off the firewall, it was in it’s own control panel under advanced settings. So, again your incorrect there.

    And the Recovery Center I found was quite nice. It wasnt just an interface for System Restore as you put it. If you would have looked, it creates a recovery CD for you, which is actually quite neat.

    Yikes read this statement:
    “When it comes to security software, trust is as important as performance. Element TotalProtect, being an unknown entity, fails in the trust portion and fails in performance.”

    Wheres the benchmarks?
    And typing in Element TotalProtect returns thousands of results! :\

    I would recommend anyone viewing this site to carefully read what I have pointed out here, since most of Ashraf’s statements here are false, as proved.

    Personally, since the give away, I am still using this AV on my system since it works ok without any problems especially since it was free! :)

    Sorry for the bump, but I had to correct your obvious mistatements in this article, and I feel you should re-review this program to give it a fair chance.

  8. AlanR

    @10, Giovanni recommends FF add-on “LIBERTY GUARD”.
    Please note : This add-on is for members of LibertyReserve.com only!!

    Liberty Guard add-on protects its users against phishing(fake) websites that look like LibertyReserve.com
    Capiche.!? (Sorry, me no speaka d’Italiano. ;)

  9. MikeR

    An all-in-one security suite from “software professionals”  who have created “groundbreaking anti-malware technologies” at no identifiable geographic location  and whose online presence has been registered by a “non-trading individual who has opted to have their address omitted from the WHOIS service” and turns out to be a  Jake Jackson, “proprietor and original creator of the UK based website Element Software which specialises in delivering web 2.0 applications” and is contactable via a disposable Hotmail address.

    No technical support at all and a user forum that could, perhaps, have provided helpful insights into the experiences of actual users of this software. Except it’s closed.

    It’s been very hard for me to decline GOTD’s invitation to download and install this.

     

  10. Giovanni (Italian smart King of Freebies...LOL!)

    Today’s giveaway is not only USELESS but also very DANGEROUS indeed as AVG, AVIRA and A-SQUARED reported viuses after install.

    GAOTD staff should be leerier of crappy programs such as this one before releasing them….do you agree with me Ashraf??

    Anyway, to protect your IDENTITY while surfing and/or shopping online is enough to have:

    - a good FIREWALL (OUTPOST, COMODO, ONLINE ARMOR)

    - a good ANTIVIRUS (AVAST or AVIRA) and a good ANTISPYWARE (A-SQUARED 4.5, MALWAREBYTES ANTIMALWARE)

    - a great BROWSER (FIREFOX) with the right extensions  (==> BETTER PRIVACY + COOKIECULLER 1.4 + REFCONTROL + IXQUICK HTTPS PRIVACY SEARCH ENGINE + WOT (or/and McAFEE SITE ADVISOR or/and LINK EXTEND) + LIBERTY GUARD + NO SCRIPT + ADBLOCK PLUS + KEY SCRAMBLER + LINK ALERT 1.0.1 + SECURE LOGIN 0.9.3 + LASTPASS (or KEEPASS 2), plus a couple of extra-layer protections capable of preventing fraudsters stealing your personal information, including usernames, passwords, bank account details and credit card numbers.
    A good one besides SPYWARE BLASTER  is definitely PREVX SAFEONLINE that is compatible with Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, Windows 7 (32&64bit).Internet Explorer (5-8), Firefox (1-3), Google Chrome (2 & 3), Opera (9 & 10). Mac will be supported Q2 2010).
    http://www.prevx.com/safebook.asp?rkw=facebook&sessionid=265AF9A1-6907-4A66-A5EB-D78304C0E199&tr=4367&pn=routes

    But maybe the best way to protect our own online identity keeping  praying eyes away from your sensitive data is to SURF ANONIMOUSLY.
    The best (free) tool to do that is definitely a program called ULTRASURF that allows you to hide IP addresses and locations, clean browsing history, cookies as well as bypass bloody filters and blockage on the Internet in rogue countries where censorship policy is in force:
    http://www.ultrareach.com/

    For those surfing the web with a slow 56K dialup connection or are paying a fee based on the amount of data they transfer (e.g. 3G/GPRS/DSL/CDMA) and have monthly download limit, I recommend TOONEL which is similar to ULTRASURF with the only difference that it’s able to conserv network bandwidth as well….great tool!!!
    Finally if you want to keep your privacy and sensitive data from hackers when accessing FREE PUBLIC WI-FI HOTSPOTS, then I recommend you using a free tool called HOTSPOT SHIELD 1.37:
    http://www.softpedia.com/get/Security/Security-Related/Hotspot-Shield.shtml

    As you can see from the blurb, it secures your web session with HTTPS encryption, hiding your IP address for your privacy online.

    EVERYTHING FOR FREE!!

    Enjoy!

    Cheers from Italy!

  11. Joji

    If anyone wants to get free “retail” anti-virus products, then here’s a list of anti-viruses you can get for free…

    You can get “kaspersky Security Suite CBE 2009″ at http://tiny.cc/osrt4 .

    The other one is called “Norman Anti-virus & Antispyware”, but it isn’t very good. If you want the guide to get it for free, search it up on Google, I don’t want to provide the link for my most hated website; and I still bookmarked some of their posts ’cause they are really good freebies. XD LoL
     
    The last one is “Avira Premium Security”. You can get it for free at http://tiny.cc/tpxl5 .
     
    Oh, and they are both 1 year subscriptions except Avira is 3 months only.
     
    Hope that helps!
     
    ~Joji~

  12. Josh

    Looks like a no-no. Anyway, programs that try to be Jacks of all trades are usually masters of none. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but they are very rare. Also, if I wanted a malware program, why would I buy/install a disk defragger (and whatever else) when I already have it? Just clutters up your machine with additional things you do not want or need.

  13. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Dario: I was thinking about that when I gave it that rating. However, I figured I should evaluate each category individually without considering other aspects, then come up with a final verdict. I understand your point, though, hence why I said “(potentially)”.

  14. Dario

    Allthough software like this can be ‘usefull’, I doubt that this specific software can actually be of any ‘use’ if it does not perform the way people expect. I would give it a low usefulness rating.

  15. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Helmer: No I haven’t but so many people have been telling me they are no longer receiving e-mails – I am not sure why because my “test” accounts receive e-mails just fine. Can you send me an e-mail about this so we can talk about it in detail?

  16. Helmer

    Really sorry for making a totally off-topic comment here, Ashraf, but all of a sudden email notifications when news are posted has seized to arrive from your excellent site. Maybe you removed that service?