The 2007 version of McAfee VirusScan includes a total of three programs - a virus scanner, firewall, and spyware removal tool. Sounds like the full package, doesn't it? These tools certainly form a nice suite of security, but there has recently been uproar in McAfee’s customer base - and not necessarily for all the right reasons. Let's roll up our sleeves to get in up to our elbows on this one:
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
First, The Good
At first glance, customers will notice that McAfee has completely redesigned the user interface. This new interface seeks to allow even the most basic of computer users to effectively run their security package. In this respect, McAfee hit the nail on the head. The overall program is very intuitive, and the sleek look is always a big plus.
After installation, users will be able to configure each of the three tools. One of the more handy tools is the inclusion of SiteAdvisor. This tool will help users identify phishing attempts by marking “bad” websites as a potential threat. This is a great time saver for those who aren’t fond of checking the exact URL of every webpage, to ensure it isn’t a phishing attempt. Users of Paypal and other secure websites will be glad to have this tool at hand, but even MySpace users will appreciate a break in all the phishing attempts.
The virus scanner and firewall are fairly reliable. Each time an unknown program requests internet access, the McAfee firewall promptly denies it access until the user makes a further decision. The virus scanner is both continually and automatically updated for new threats - so users can enjoy a constant sense of security. The anti-spyware tool is also fairly comprehensive in eliminating threats - and users also enjoy the peace of mind that comes from a constantly updated threat list.
A few other unrelated tools come in the suite that may or may not be of use to some users. The ability to track down an IP address from an attack attempt is a nice feature. A disk defragmenter, file shredder, and disk cache cleaner all make up some odds and ends programs McAfee decided to throw in. And of course, add-ons such as the instant messenger and email scanner are always an appreciated bonus we have come to expect from McAfee.
Next, The Bad
McAfee has started to fall behind the competition in terms of performance. The total disk space needed to actually run McAfee is fairly small, but the abundance of processes McAfee runs brings meaning to the phrase resource hog. As technology marches on, better and faster computers are developed. Most new computers will run perfectly fine - but beware if you run an older computer! User complaints of McAfee’s 2007 VirusScan Plus 2007 slowing down older computers to a mere crawl have become all but too common.
McAfee’s performance issue could cause a few problems for those still in need of a computer upgrade, but it also affects everyday tasks. Online video game addicts, for instance, will likely want to turn McAfee’s VirusScan Plus 2007 off before starting up a round of gaming with friends. Workstations designed to maximize performance for other demanding applications might see a little decrease in productivity as well. While this probably won’t be a huge impact, it’s likely to be noticeable as compared to the competition.
And Finally, The Just Plain Ugly
One of the key parts of a developing a product is to both help customers with their problems, and to listen to what they think should be fixed. McAfee is renowned for both ignoring customer suggestions, and also giving the cold shoulder when help is needed.
The tech support is famously rude, which can be proven by the vast amount of negative reviews that litter both McAfee forums and review websites. Among things such as outsourcing work to barely-English speaking tech help, the tech support overall is considered to be a last resort. Most users have more success in emailing or contacting McAfee via the support chat room, than actually calling them. Yes, it’s a bad business practice to avoid your customers, and they will inevitably see the repercussions of it. Until then, pray you won’t have any troubles with the software - if in fact you do decide to install the program.
The majority of McAfee users fail to see the improvement from previous versions of McAfee’s VirusScan suite. Aside from a few minor updates and an improved graphical user interface, it seems the only thing worth paying for is the continued support. And as the reviews point out, that isn’t always something to rely on.
There are better solutions available, but McAfee VirusScan Plus 2007 isn’t a bad buy by any means. However, A little improvement would go a long way. But, as they say, “close” only counts in horseshoes - and waiting for next year’s incarnation might prove to be the best bet.