Trend Micro is one of the most recognizable names in cybersecurity. Their password manager comes both as a free and a premium version. It can be used on a range of devices, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. In this Trend Micro review, I’ll take a closer look at its security features, and, of course, the price.
We’ll also go over how this password manager works on different platforms and compare Trend Micro to LastPass, which is one of the best in the business. So without further ado, let’s see if the slogan “Trend Micro – the only password manager you’ll ever need” is not just empty words.
Pros and cons
- The free version has all the features of the premium one
- Integrates with your browser well, providing one-click login and one-click form fill-in
- Cloud Sync ensures that your info is available on all devices
- Supports fingerprint, Touch ID & Face ID
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Windows version supports Internet Explorer 11 (!)
- Good 24/7 customer support (includes live chat and phone)
- No two-factor authentication
- No Linux version
- Imports from two password managers only (LastPass and Kaspersky)
- The free version allows only 5 passwords and 5 secure notes
- Windows version doesn’t support Microsoft Edge
Trend Micro is a well-known cybersecurity company, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Started in 1988, this multi-national corporation specializes in enterprise security software and automated security products for cloud and virtualization solutions. Acquiring multiple companies during the 2000s, Trend Micro started also working with INTERPOL in 2014.
This decade also marked its partnership with Microsoft to secure Office 365, in addition to Dropbox and Google Drive cloud storage products.
In April 2018, Trend Micro released the first AI-powered tool that detects individual writing styles. The goal of this project is to fight email fraud.
Trend Micro’s reputation was damaged last year when several of its consumer security products for macOS were found to be sending browser history, passwords, and other data to a remote server. In the aftermath, Apple removed all of Trend Micro’s products from their Store.
Trend Micro doesn’t have many features compared to the best password managers. Nevertheless, that still might be enough for those who aren’t looking for anything fancy.
- Cloud Sync. Ensures that all info that you type in is available on all devices.
- Secure Notes. Allows you to write down important information in one safe place.
- Password Generator. Creates strong passwords, so you don’t have to.
- Password Doctor. A feature which’s name is a bit of an overstatement. While it detects and shows you the weak points of your password, unfortunately, it offers no cure. This means you’ll need to pay a visit to the office of Mr. Password Generator. What a bureaucracy.
- A Secure Browser is offered for visiting the most sensitive websites. Unfortunately, its Windows-only at the moment of writing this Trend Micro review.
- Smart Security. Locks your passwords when you’re away from your device.
Is Trend Micro password manager safe?
Yes, the Trend Micro password manager is safe. However, some security features are missing, and the company has had some vulnerabilities in the past.
For starters, Trend Micro doesn’t support two-factor authentication. While it uses top-level 256-bit encryption (although the company doesn’t specify which cipher), and a strong master password should keep your data super-duper safe, using two-factor authentication has become a new standard to which Trend Micro is yet to adhere.
On January 5, 2016, one Google researcher found a bug on a Trend Micro product that would allow remote code execution and enable cybercriminals to steal your encrypted passwords. Trend Micro reacted by publishing a fix. Six days later. While the company said that only users of an old and no longer available password manager version were exposed, it nevertheless hurt Trend Micro’s reputation.
The second time that Trend Micro’s name was linked to security issues was on July 23, 2019. SafeBreach Labs, a security research company, found a bug that would allow a hacker to remotely access files and processes on a computer that’s running Trend Micro password manager. The patch has been released on July 31, 2019, with the company encouraging its users to update their apps as soon as possible.
With that said, vulnerabilities do occur, and Trend Micro has managed to avoid them for the most part.
How to use Trend Micro on your device
Trend Micro supports Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. It also has browser extensions for Internet Explorer 11 (!), Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
Customer support has told me that they’re planning to include Microsoft’s Edge, but of course, no timetable was given. For the fans of this browser, there actually is a dedicated Trend Micro Security for Microsoft Edge product. In fact, it’s not only a password manager but an ad blocker and web threat protector as well – 3-in-1.
Below you’ll find my insights from the hands-on experience with this password manager.
Trend Micro on desktop (Windows & macOS)
There is no Trend Micro app for Windows or macOS as such. It works solely on your browser, which can be Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer (!), or Safari. Strangely enough, there’s also a browser extension that duplicates functionality and also adds a couple more features.
To ensure maximum safety, make sure you’re using the latest version of your browser, browser extension, and Trend Micro app.
Creating Trend Micro account
Everything starts with creating a Trend Micro account if you don’t have one already. You’ll need two passwords here: one for your account and the other, master password, for all the rest. You should spend some time to come up with something that you won’t forget and that’s also secure enough. The minimum character count is 8, but as anyone in cybersecurity business would tell you, the longer, the better.
Using Trend Micro
You probably are familiar with the native ability of your browser to capture and store passwords so that you don’t have to re-enter them next time.
Trend Micro offers the same thing, but stores your info in a much safer vault.
Your personal information will be stored under three different categories: Passwords, Secure Notes, and Forms.
The Passwords section stores all your passwords and informs you which aren’t good enough. The list is sortable and searchable. Each password can be moved to a new folder or completely removed. There’s also a line for adding a note to each of them.
Form Filling does what you’d expect. Entering your basic info, phone, email, mailing address, and credit card information can save you loads of time spent registering to various online shops. Just don’t expect that Trend Micro can capture all forms for you – ordering something on the dark web will probably require manual labor.
Lastly, Secure Notes are there for anything that you want to write down and keep from the prying eyes, such as the amount of weight you’ve gained after Christmas.
Tweaking Trend Micro settings
You can access Settings via the top-right icon of your app or browser extension.
The Master Password section allows to change it and toggle how often Trend Micro will ask for it if your browser’s been idle.
Under Data, Password export is possible in an unprotected .csv or Trend Micro format. When it came to import, we were disappointed to find the lack of support for competitor password managers – you can only move from LastPass and Kaspersky Password Manager.
Exception List allows setting websites for which Trend Micro won’t save any passwords. Additionally, you can exclude particular pages from getting opened with the Secure Browser.
Other settings include automatic sign-in and form filling.
Trend Micro for macOS
There are no notable differences between the Windows and macOS version of Trend Micro password manager. That’s mainly because it’s browser-based and the Safari extension is also similar to those for Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer (!).
Trend Micro browser extensions
Browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox are pretty similar. In fact, they have some of the key features that the desktop version lacks.
One of them is the Password Generator that creates strong combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols.
The other feature locks the password manager and no longer allows any sign-ins until you re-enter the master password.
After installing the browser extension and providing a master password, you can already start logging in to the websites that’ll be handled by Trend Micro from now on.
When you log in, a pop-up will ask if you’d like to save this password to your Trend Micro vault, do it later, or never save it. Basically it’s similar to your browser’s feature of auto-login.
Trend Micro on mobile (Android & iOS)
A key Trend Micro feature available to mobile users only is the Local Mode. Using it doesn’t require creating a Trend Micro account. Even if you have one, you won’t need to log in – that’s how local this mode is!
Another difference is the way mobile Trend Micro acts. Contrary to the desktop version, where the password manager is opened in one of your browser’s tabs, Android or iOS will have you open your browser inside the password manager app, or, to be precise, its secure browser. This might be a bit confusing, especially if you’re planning to use Trend Micro on multiple devices.
The most important feature of mobile Trend Micro is the ability to switch master password to fingerprint or face authentication. Even if you have to enter that one super-strong password once in a while, it still is a hassle, especially if done on your smartphone while mildly intoxicated. What’s more, using master password means you should be locking the vault after each use to ensure that no one else can sneak in.
Trend Micro pricing
Trend Micro password manager has a free version. It comes with all the premium features but allows only 5 passwords and 5 secure notes. This means that if you want to use Trend Micro, you’ll probably need to get the paid version.
Trend Micro password manager has two pricing plans:
- 1-year unlimited passwords – $14.95 or $1.25/month
- 2-year unlimited passwords – $24.95 or $1.04/month
Payment options include credit cards (American Express, VISA, MasterCard, and Discovery) and PayPal.
You’ll also get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Should you buy the Trend Micro password manager?
You probably should not buy the Trend Micro password manager. It’s much cheaper compared to LastPass or RememBear, but don’t forget the difference in the overall quality of the service. Then again, there are less expensive password managers than Trend Micro, such as Enpass ($11.99 for lifetime access) or KeePass which is free.
If you’re buying a full cybersecurity suite from Trend Micro with the password manager included, then I could say it’s worth the price, especially since premium customers get priority support. Otherwise, make sure you’ll be happy with what you’re paying for after the 30-day money-back moratorium expires.
Is the free version good enough to use?
Trend Micro free version is a good preview of what the premium version has to offer and is virtually unsuitable for long-term use.
While there are password managers that are free and fully functional, such as KeePass, free versions often have significant limitations that push you into upgrading to the premium. In the case of Trend Micro, its free version has all the features that come with the paid plan. That’s great if you want to see if you’d be a happy Trend Micro password manager owner.
Unfortunately, Trend Micro’s free version limits your password list to 5. That means you’ll need to get the unlimited option sooner than later to use this software.
Trend Micro offers these customer support options:
- 24/7 phone
- 24/7 live chat
- Chatbot (Facebook / Messenger)
- Community forum
- Knowledge-base (tutorials, blogs, glossaries, installation guides and so on)
While the knowledge-base of Trend Micro is impressive, most users would rather choose a live chat or a phone call. Just have in mind that the 24/7 phone support is available to premium clients only. Standard support covers the range from Monday to Friday, 5:00 AM – 5:00 PM US Pacific. On the other hand, there’s not much help one might need while using a free version because of its hard password limit we’ve already mentioned more than once in our Trend Micro review.
The number of support options you may get to choose from also depends on your question. This usually means that the live chat won’t be available for some inquiries. But that’s not a big issue as the phone call option is always there.
Overall, I can say that Trend Micro offers good customer support. I had to wait a few minutes in the live chat queue, but I got my answers right away and even more.
How Trend Micro compares to other password managers
There are many good password managers out there, so each time we compare one with another, we try to see how the one we’re reviewing fares with one from the top. Below is our Trend Micro and LastPass comparison that should help you decide if it’s worth paying extra for the features that Trend Micro lacks.
Trend Micro vs LastPass
|Automatic fill of web forms||Yes||Yes|
|Password strength report||Yes||Yes|
|Synchronization||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux|
|Import from||LastPass, Kaspersky||A LOT of apps|
Should you use Trend Micro password manager?
It depends. The Trend Micro password manager probably doesn’t live up to its slogan. While this tool might be sufficient as one of the apps when you’re buying the whole cybersecurity suite, those who are looking for a great password manager for a reasonable price should look elsewhere. One of the better places to start would be our list of Top 17 password managers.