Follow the below installation instructions to activate Trend Micro on your Android™ or iOS device:
Android™ Installation Instructions
Using your Android™ device, go to the Google Play Store and install the Trend Micro “Mobile Security & Antivirus” app.
Once installed, open the app and follow the installation steps. When prompted for an activation code, enter your serial number to activate the app.
iOS (iPhone, iPad) Installation Instructions
For activation instructions, Please visit the app store.
Leaving aside the updates, we began evaluating Trend Micro by clicking the Scan Now option in the Overview section. Another pop-up window with the title Smart Scan then emerged, scanning our computer for malware (albeit it did not scan every file; to do so, we would have needed to choose Full Scan, which we discuss in more detail below; Trend Micro did not immediately make this evident). As discussed in our evaluation of Avast antivirus software, we wish Trend Micro could keep everything in a single window. But after what felt like an eternity—about 10 minutes—we eventually received the message that our computer was safe to use and that over 4,000 files contained no dangerous code.
Now, in addition to the Scan Now button, there were three toggles for web threat detection, real-time scanning (i.e., scanning that happens automatically without requiring us to perform a manual scan), and the camera and microphone protection that we opted for. The scans appeared to be working, at least in our hopes, even if we were never able to activate Trend Micro Antivirus to acquire the "latest protection"!
The Web tab was divided into three subsections:
Next, we clicked on the Scans tab, which included the Smart Scan that we did on the Overview tab, which looked for malware in “places where it tends to hide”, a Custom Scan that would’ve only scanned a specific folder or drive, or a Full Scan, which would’ve tested every file on our computer. At first, we had assumed the Smart Scan covered everything, so it was a bit disappointing to see how Trend Micro buries its Full Scan in the Scan section rather than on the main Overview page. Nevertheless, we decided to do the Full Scan as well, which took a lot longer than the Smart Scan; we had to wait about 30 minutes, and while we could’ve done other things, it significantly slowed down our web browsing speeds. Again, not ideal.
While the Full Scan reigned on, we decided to click over to FolderShield and see what was up. Essentially, this feature let us know if any program tried to open or change any files we placed in the “Protected Folders” list. And, if there were certain programs we trusted, we could create a “Trusted Program List”, but for some reason we had to do this in the Logs section of the Trend Micro app.
Last but possibly least was Logs, which basically kept track of any threats we encountered, their response, and where they were found. It also kept track of:
Basically, the Logs section was like a diary detailing Trend Micro’s every move. But since our computer was clean, it was completely empty.
And that was it for the process of using Trend Micro! If it wasn’t completely obvious, this user experience was less than ideal, between the toggling back between web browsers, Chrome extensions and the app and the constant need to “activate” features and shut down Chrome. Trend Micro definitely loses points for its usability, but how did it work when we tested it for performance?
Now, since our Macbook was squeaky clean (despite us using it for going on a decade), we actually downloaded three different viruses for Trend Micro to scan— don’t try this at home, kids! Overall, Trend Micro detected two out of the three: an XLSM file that only 35 percent of the 40 antivirus software we detected found, and an XLS file that about half found. However, it missed an XLSX file that would’ve tried to convince us to disable Trend Micro so it could steal our session and password data; no thanks. However, only 34 percent of all the products we tested got this virus in their scan, so overall, two out of three ain’t bad.
Trend Micro was a bit more successful in AV-Test’s independent malware detection tests, though. On Mac, it detected 100-percent of all the prevalent malware in the last four months before their test, which covered August to December of 2021. Although Trend Micro is certainly lacking in a few areas, user experience among them, when it comes to performance, they hit the mark.
Now, even though we’re fairly private people, we acknowledge that in order to scan the files on our devices as well as the websites we go to, Trend Micro does need this information. But do they keep our information safe?
When we did a little Googling we found that, in 2019, a Trend Micro staff member gone rogue sold customer data from 70,000 users to a malicious third party for personal profit.3 This sort of data included customers’ names and phone numbers. While this definitely isn’t ideal, it could technically happen to any company, and of course, after they investigated the incident, they took away access and fired the employee, even contacting law enforcement and apologizing to their customers.4 Oh, Trend Micro, you are forgiven!
We used the MacOS 2020 app for Trend Micro, but they also have apps for Windows, Android and iOS devices. Both of the mobile apps, the Mobile Security & Antivirus app for Android and the Trend Micro Mobile Security app for iOS, have good ratings, 4.6 and 4.7, respectively. This is a huge step up from our experience with the Mac app, which was less than satisfactory. We were happy to see that users were pleased with their experiences on the mobile apps, so this could be a better option for mobile than it is for desktop.
When we needed to figure out if our Maximum Security Mac app had a firewall, we scoured the online help center for answers, searching things like “Maximum Security Mac firewall” to no avail; even the product guide didn’t have any information on it! So, we knew we had to ask someone at Trend Micro ourselves. We were initially attracted to the live chat support system, but when we clicked it, we found that it was down for whatever reason. So, not wanting to leave our computer bubble and speak to a human over the phone or god forbid wait for an email response, we decided to try to speak to Vanessa over Facebook Messenger, a site that we don’t find ourselves on often. About 15 minutes later, we got a response from Vanessa in the form of a Bitmoji, but it was just that she’ll be “out for a while”. Finally, we got an answer that there is no firewall, another con as it means that our network isn’t completely secure on Macs. However, on Windows devices, there is a “firewall booster” that supports the devices’ built-in firewalls. This means that Trend Micro may be a better choice for Windows than Mac users.
We paid $39.95 for a year of the Maximum Security package, which covered five devices total; Macs, iOS, Android or Windows, it didn’t matter. However, there were cheaper options out there, like paying for one device only for a year, or a month with the iOS plan.
We’re pretty conflicted about Trend Micro. While we appreciate the fact that it detected 100 percent of all the most prevalent malware, our experience actually using the app (not to mention the Chrome extension) was anything but smooth. But for those that just want a scan running in the background, this won’t matter so much, as you won’t actually spend much time in the Trend Micro app. And price-wise, Trend Micro is on the money, so while it’s not in our top two, we would recommend Trend Micro overall, especially if you want to sign up for a month. Plus, Trend Micro has a 30-day free-trial, so try it out for yourself and see if it’s worth it or not.