Agnitum Outpost Pro Security Suite 2009 is the latest version of the software suite that provides a mixture of security and feature updates.

Agnitum Outpost Pro Security Suite 2009 offers faster ‘SmartScans', and greater user control. Outpost Pro's fresh-looking UI is in essence unchanged from the last version we looked at a few months back - Agnitum Outpost Pro Security Suite 2008.

A tick of a box lets you toggle between expert and simple modes, although choosing the latter mode doesn't make it any easier to use - Agnitum Outpost Pro Security Suite 2009 remains a fairly techie program.

New features for this release include Protection Status Overview for at-a-glance summary of protection, plus a Process Activity Monitor and an improved network activity monitor.

Most configuration settings, eg, the virus/spyware scanner or firewall, can be adjusted by simply sliding a scanner to set the desired level of protection. Expert users, who like to tweak, will love the raft of options exposed by Agnitum Outpost Pro Security Suite 2009's expert mode.

In many respects, though, the deep complexities of Agnitum Outpost Pro Security Suite 2009 may make it tricky for a newbie to master and get the most out of it.

As before Agnitum Outpost Pro Security Suite's core defence is its industrial-strength firewall. To this is added antivirus/antispyware, host/zero-day attack protection, antispam and web control to protect your PC from web-borne threats. Unlike rival software security suites, Agnitum is slightly more constrained: it doesn't for example give you the benefit of a backup system or system maintenance.

Agnitum Outpost Pro Security Suite 2009 continues to score well in large AV group tests, and still earns a current Virus Bulletin VB100 badge. Its spam protection, however, is a mixed bag - it was overwhelmed by a collection of 6000+ spam messages.

Rather than processing them as they arrived, Agnitum Outpost Pro Security Suite 2009 initially accepted all the email into the Windows Mail inbox and then scanned them afterwards, which took a long time to complete. Its accuracy was average - it correctly spotted 96 percent of the spam but of the remaining 4 percent ‘non-spam', over half of it was still junk. Training definitely helps here.

OUR VERDICT

The improved Agnitum Outpost Pro Security Suite 2009 offers good but not the best of breed security – and as with Avira, the bar for ease-of-use has been raised by the likes of Norton Internet Security 2009. OPSS’ lack of smartness and relatively high price makes it an also-ran in the AV stakes.