McAfee VirusScan Professional 6.0
The primary qualms that we had with VirusScan involved installing the software. The initial installation was fast and easy; VirusScan was up and running in under 10 minutes. However, the process of getting the available updates and upgrades for the package was nerve-racking, at best. The six available updates took close to 30 minutes to download and install (each used a different install utility) on a broadband connection. Then, even after restarting our computer, we still received a ton of error messages. After searching for technical help online, we finally found an upgrade (different than an "update") at an entirely different McAfee site that fixed all of the glitches. Total installation time, including research: about 90 minutes.
After installation McAfee performs very well. Setting up the firewall was easy: three options allow varying levels of protection, and the interface for monitoring your Internet activity is streamlined and attractive. The options for customization feel like the correct amount: you can manage the programs you trust for Internet access, configure how and when the firewall starts up, view your current Internet activity, and a few other tasks--all in one handy window.
Working with the antivirus component was equally attractive, although it did try our patience a bit. Scanning a complete hard drive took about 40 minutes (scanning over 70,000 files on a 40 GB hard drive with a 750 MHz processor) and it did detect a few infected files. However, these "infected" files were found in both legitimate spots and in places (like our computer's help files) where we doubted a virus would hide out. VirusScan provides a number of options for dealing with infected files and walks you through what to do with each. First it attempts to clean the file; then, if unsuccessful, it suggests deletion. If McAfee is unable to delete the file, you can quarantine it to a remote location on your hard drive where it can be dealt with in a more aggressive manner (i.e., be eliminated).
We found VirusScan's add-on applications to be impressive. The Auto Update feature checks for and downloads updates for the McAfee package (although, honestly, we were a bit leery considering earlier troubles). The Safe & Sound feature serves as a strong and simple backup utility that will make an image of your hard drive either in a safer location on the same drive or on removable media. And our favorite was QuickClean Lite, a quick and easy way to remove all those files and file fragments cluttering up your hard drive. This application looks through the recycle bin, deleted (and not-yet-removed) e-mail items, temporary Internet files, cookies--and then lets you decide which files you wish to keep or delete.
Aside from the early problems, we can't argue that the interface is friendly, the number of options and capabilities offered feel well-balanced, and the package overall brings a sense of security--for those with a fair amount of patience and persistence. --Emilie Herbst
Integrated firewall protection prevents hackers from accessing the user's PC, ensuring system security. The Hostile Activity Watch Kernel (HAWK) detects suspicious activity and eliminates malicious threats, keeping the PC safe. PC cleanup ensures better system performance. Comprehensive Internet filtering provides maximum security while browsing. Secure data shredding keeps sensitive information private.
PDA-synchronization scanning reduces the sources of virus threats. Palm OS virus cleaning and detection is included for comprehensive Palm OS security. Easy updating for automatic virus definitions (DATs) keeps PCs safe from the latest virus threats. Diligent checks at all entry points, including e-mail and Internet downloads, provide superb protection while online. Intrusion detection system detects common attacks. Flexible scheduling options for automatic scanning save time. Quarantine of infected files provides full isolation and added security.