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McAfee Total Protection
Tuesday 17th April, 2007 09:55 Comments: 1
My 90 day trial of Trend's anti virus software ran out a little while ago and although I thought it performed pretty well (it caught the EICAR test string, although it did it silently, which is great if you're a dumb user that might otherwise click the wrong option, but annoying if you wanted to check the software works works; the service didn't crash or cause anything else to crash), I decided to try McAfee's anti virus software, as I have a copy from McAfee from when I was at their office in Slough the other week.

Because I'm using Vista, I had to download the new setup file from the website, which was relatively painless, but made me wonder what would happen if I'd typed in the wrong URL or the McAfee site was infected with something. The installation was painless, I went for the custom option and only installed the SecurityCenter and VirusScan, as I figure I'd rely on Windows Defender and IE7 to save me from my own stupidity (Site Advisor hasn't typically fared well in independent tests compared to the IE7 Phishing Filter). So I was amazed when Vista told me that Windows Defender had been disabled! I restarted the service, it doesn't appear to have caused any problems, and I have anti spyware software again. I then went into the SecurityCenter console and noticed that despite only installing VirusScan, I apparently have the following services protecting my computer and files:
  • Virus Protection
  • Spyware Protection
  • SystemGuards
  • Windows Protection
  • PC Health
Considering I specifically asked it to install just the VirusScan software, I'm amazed that I have things like Spyware Protection. Isn't that what their anti spyware application - that I chose not to install - is for?

Anyway, despite the initial confusion as to what I have running, the software appears to catch the EICAR test string without any trouble, and it seems to update itself without the problems I had with Trend when I was using a wireless connection (it would often try and check for updates after I resumed the PC from hibernate, when the wireless connection sometimes looked valid, but the router wanted to establish a new connection). A small part of me is tempted to pay money for a full subscription and go back to Trend, but I'll give McAfee a chance, and I think they might be slightly better in terms of definitions for new exploits. Not that I plan on getting infected, but I did stumble across the Asus website looking for drivers (thankfully on another machine with AV software, rather than the one I was about to start patching) the other day when it was serving a file that exploited the ANI vulnerability.
Avatar Robert - Saturday 28th April, 2007 20:59
Another problem I'd noticed was my CPU usage would peak at 100% roughly every second. I've now uninstalled McAfee (in order to uninstall Trend, which refuses to run the installer in order to uninstall itself, because it sees McAfee installed), and the CPU usage is back to normal. So do I install McAfee again? Do I go back to using Trend and pay for a full version now my trial has expired? Do I try one of the others? I'm tempted to try NOD32 again, but on an x86 platform instead of x64 (like on my other machine before I abandoned x64), to see if it behaves any better.
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