facebook rss twitter

Review: SteelSecurity

by Nick Haywood on 23 November 2006, 11:59

Tags: SteelSeries, SteelSeries, PC

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qahef

Add to My Vault: x

Anti-virus and firewall

So, let’s have a look at the various features in the SteelSecurity pack. You’ve got anti-virus, a firewall, a spam filter and two interesting extras… online back-up and, the really interesting one, game profiles. Let’s kick off with the anti-virus.

The engine for the anti-virus is based on Bullguard’s anti-virus engine which is certified by ICSA Labs, USA to make sure it stops all those nasties that bored buggers release onto the net. As you’d expect with an anti-virus program it monitors everything in your system from downloads and e-mails to networked drives and even peer-2-peer connections. All fine and dandy, but no good if it’s out of date. But SteelSeries have thought of that and SteelSecurity is updated daily if need be with, claim SteelSeries, an updated that is usually amongst the first to update when a new virus is indentified.

Click for larger image

As you’d expect from any AV package, you can set the scans for a time that suits you but on top of this you’ve got a very sophisticated pattern recognition system built into SteelSecurity which is intended to pick up on unknown viruses even if they’re not in the virus database. How this works was explained to me but I have to admit to becoming hopelessly confused about three sentences in… I reckon even Steven Hawking would’ve been reaching for a jargon-to-layman’s terms dictionary. Suffice to say, the engine knows roughly what a virus looks like and keeps a wary eye out all the time, how’s that?

The firewall is pretty much what you’d expect a firewall to be and do. It stops unwanted attempts to connect to your PC and stops your PC from making connections you either don’t want or aren’t aware of. Simple, eh?

Powered by Symantec, the firewall gives you two basic ways to control what’s going on with your net connection. The simple mode (ideal for people like me) locks everything down whilst still giving you the control you might want over everyday functions. In fact, to be honest, it’s one of those occasions where you wonder if it’s was doing all that much. Now unlike Norton, another Symantec powered firewall, SteelSecurity doesn’t pop up all the time telling you how cool it is in having blocked an intrusion attempt.

Click for larger image

I run Norton on my work machine and though many here don’t like it, I think it’s ok… apart from when it likes to sing its own praises about how it’s just saved me from another hacker. Yes, yes, Mr Norton, I’m so glad you blocked that port scanning attempt but do I have to know about it? It’s what a bloody bought you for so how about you bugger off and just get on with it and stop telling me how cool you are for doing your job?

SteelSecurity firewall doesn’t do any of this. It just sits there and gets on with it. Now this might sound like something of an anti-climax, but it’s actually a lot cleverer than that. What you don’t see it doing is blocking off open ports, as all good firewalls should… but the really clever bit is what it does when you launch a game.