McAfee Internet Security

McAfee Internet Security 14.0

An Internet security program with various optimization and protection features
3.8  (69 votes)
3.9
14.0 (See all)

There are so many viruses on the Net one wonders how come the virtual Apocalypse hasn't started yet. Really, with all the evil code always at the door trying to ruin my day, why hasn't it gained the critical mass to make the Internet unbrowsable? Well, it's because antiviruses are like superheroes - one can take down thousands of enemies and stand unharmed. And, much like superheroes, there are a lot of colorful different ones for you to choose.

McAfee Internet Security is probably one of the most famous internet protection antivirus programs. It's a big player in the field, and rightly so, since it protects our computers from the evils of the net. What it offers is basically not simply a tool for searching and destroying viruses. It provides a whole security grid, like a good protector should.

What I found immediately appealing about McAfee Internet Security is that its scanning modes are way faster than what I'm used to. It has all three standard ones: fast, full and custom scans. But even the full scan is performed quickly and without taking a heavy toll on performance. I actually did it as a background process and forgot about it until the results came out. This was helped by the fact that the interface is non-intrusive and doesn't pop up every few seconds to tell you: "Hey, I'm working! Look how busy I am!" It won me over at that exact moment.

One would think that fast and easy search is let down by poor virus identification and lack of means to treat them. But no, the program finds most of the known trojans, viruses, spyware, rootkit, spam programs and browser parasites. It all depends on the database, of course, but I had no problems with my update. I even cross-checked the results with other similar software.

Eradicating the bad code is also easy. If you have the tools activated, it's a matter of a few clicks of the mouse. The program tells you what kind of a threat you're dealing with and suggests the procedure. So, you won't miss anything or accidentally wipe out your OS.

Preventive measures are no less prominent. Once installed and activated, McAfee Internet Security will block anything harmful from accessing your computer, browser of system directories. Again, it depends on the database and settings. You can adjust firewall, prevent certain operations if they interfere with important activities - it's all pretty flexible. Add to that McAfee's Active Protection technology, and your PC will be your castle.

One additional feature of this software that I found most amusing is Parental Control. It actually serves as a locking mechanism preventing unauthorised users from accessing specific internet resources, sets time limits for active Internet connection and forms detailed reports on browsing history for people with access to use. So, no kid is going to get away with searching for porn on a virus-riddled site without McAfee keeping a vigilant eye on them.

Of course, parental control is only one part of privacy. McAfee Internet Security offers extended settings for that, too. A plug-in called McAfee Shredder helps you effectively erase sensitive files like financial documents or personal correspondence with no traces left in the system. If you use a Wi-Fi connection, the program monitors and blocks incoming or outgoing traffic if it is trying to establish unsafe connections. This is good for both safety and personal security. No one would violate your computer through wireless breaking and entering.

By the way, about breaking. In addition to protecting, McAfee Internet Security wants to optimize your machine. It scans your computer and identifies software in need of security upgrade by defining its vulnerability according to databases. Also, plug-ins like QuickClean help clearing out temporary files, cookies and other 'trash' always piling up in the system. You can, of course, ignore this feature or refuse what the program offers you. but it's a nice little bonus.

So, is it all good and proper? Not exactly. I found it a bit annoying when the program revealed that you should buy it just to be able to use it at least once, despite a free trial being offered. Yes, it is not built-in, you actually need to download the trial period like a regular paid subscription. A minor detail, but it doesn't help a customer's desire to explore the software.

All in all, I liked this program. it's non-intrusive, easy on the system and has some handy additional features. It's a bit costly, but my guess is that it's worth it.

James Lynch
Editor rating:

Review summary

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Non-intrusive
  • Extended features

Cons

  • Trial not easy to get
  • Can easily be ignored by users with little attention
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