Intego Family Protector Premium review: protect your family and your computer while online

We’ve yet to come across a widespread virus attack on Macs that would convince us that anti-virus software is a real necessity for most Mac users. Unfortunately, there are plenty of other threats lurking on the Internet, so it’s still worth considering a security suite that provides features such as network monitoring and parental controls alongside its basic anti-virus features.

Intego makes a number of different security programs, which it bundles together in various combinations. For £31 you can get the basic Internet Security 2013 suite, which consists of VirusBarrier and NetBarrier, but we decided to take a look at the Family Protector Premium package that costs £55.69 and also includes Intego’s Family Protector software.

VirusBarrier has been updated for 2013, with a new interface that makes it easier to set up the virus-scanning process on your Mac. You can choose minimum, standard or maximum protection levels, and also schedule scans for specific times. As well as scanning your Mac’s hard disk VirusBarrier can also scan your emails for Windows viruses and malware to prevent you from passing these on to friends or colleagues.

NetBarrier provides additional protection when you’re online by monitoring activity on your network – including individual applications, so that you can decide which applications have access to the Internet. Unfortunately, the program’s interface isn’t quite as straightforward as that of VirusBarrier – in fact our first glance left us a bit baffled, so you might need to spend some time with the online Help files to really get the hang of NetBarrier.

Protect your Mac from viruses and other Internet threats

Thankfully, the parental controls in the Family Protector program were easier to get to grips with. Family Protector includes a Setup Assistant that allows you to quickly apply predefined settings to any user account on your Mac. There are strict settings for younger children that block access to all web sites other than those that you personally approve, and can also maintain a log of your child’s online activities. You can loosen those controls for older children, and you can also customise the settings yourself by limiting access to certain types of web sites, or preventing specific applications – such as FaceTime – from connecting to the Internet. You can block streaming audio and video content, and even tell the program to take screenshots at specified intervals in order to see what your kids have been up to.

If you’re not too worried about viruses on your Mac then you can buy Family Protector on its own for £31.00, and there are trial versions of all these programs available on Intego’s web site. 

OUR VERDICT

NetBarrier could be a little more welcoming for new users, but VirusBarrier and Family Protector provide simple and effective protection against the main threats that you and your family are likely to encounter online. It’s also good value, providing a 12-month license for three separate Macs for just £55.00.

Find the best price