McAfee updates their new antivirus software with a few bells and whistles making it a good antivirus competitor. McAfee VirusScan Plus 2009 comes in close behind Norton only because of a slightly slower scanning speed and slightly lower malware detection rate. But other than that, McAfee VirusScan Plus 2009 holds its own again this year with a solid antivirus model, good antispyware, and a bonus firewall that other antivirus applications simply don’t offer.
While McAfee VirusScan Plus 2009 isn’t perfect, it’s still a bargain for those comfortable with McAfee’s history of competent antivirus software. You’ll find lots of the same features, just more streamlined and easier to use.
• Surf safety ratings
• Instant updates
• Solid antivirus
• Good antispyware
• PC cleanup
• Average antispam
What does McAfee VirusScan Plus 2009 do Right?
The user interface is clean, easy to understand, and easy to use. The basic tools are all located on the left side just like a website, while the system status is located on the right for easy identification. You can also switch between the advanced and basic modes easily for those that want more options.
Independent testing shows that McAfee VirusScan Plus 2009 comes in just on the heels of Norton when it comes to scanning and identification speeds. While McAfee is still far behind our top picks of BitDefender and Kaspersky, McAfee still does an adequate job with antivirus protection in general.
McAfee’s firewall is also a welcome inclusion that should be standard in any antivirus software application.
Their antispam feature is equal to that of most other antivirus protection suites. McAfee supports Outlook, Thunderbird, Eudora, Netscape as well as POP3 and MAPI.
One of the most interesting inclusions this year is the instant update feature. McAfee tries to identify, update, and block potential threats before they even happen. While not perfect by any means, this is an ambitious leap forward from the 5 min or even 1 hour update method of previous versions. They certainly get an “A” for effort here.
• Web site safety ratings
• PC clean up
Is There a Downside to McAfee VirusScan Plus 2009?
McAfee’s tech support could be much better. It’s not bad, but they don’t make it easy to get direct help. And there’s still no online tutorial or manual like you get with most antivirus software.
If you ever need to uninstall McAfee, there’s not an instant uninstall feature. You’re required to go into your Add/Remove Programs feature to remove the software. This isn’t a big hurdle for most people, but it’s still one more hurdle to overcome that isn’t necessary.
McAfee VirusScan Plus 2009 is a step in the right direction. McAfee’s proven to be a company for the long haul, and this year’s antivirus software is proof of that. With good antivirus protection, antispyware protection, and firewall, McAfee VirusScan Plus 2009 holds its own. They still lack in speed and some bonus features, but if you’re a life-long McAfee user, you can’t go wrong with this 2009 version.
• Microsoft Windows 2000 (32-bit) with Service Pack 4 (SP4) or higher,
• Windows XP (32-bit) with Service Pack 1 (SP1) or higher,
• Windows Vista (32- or 64-bit) and Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) or higher
• 800 X 600 or higher resolution
• 256 MB RAM
• 75 MB of available free drive space
• Internet connection
• Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later
• Optional: Mozilla Firefox 1.5 or later
Supported Email Programs
• POP3 – Outlook Express, Outlook, Eudora, Netscape, IncrediMail and Thunderbird; Japanese only: Shuriken, Becky and PostPet
• MAPI – Outlook
• Web – MSN/Hotmail, or email account with POP3 access
McAfee VirusScan 9.0 automatically downloads updated virus definitions from the Internet on a regular basis. Staying up to date will dramatically decrease any possibility that a virus will infect your computer. On Average, McAfee comes out with new virus definitions on a daily basis.
You will have to register and login to get updates making the process longer than it needs be.
Feature Set: Excellent
McAfee VirusScan offers a rich list of features. You can set VirusScan to scan your computer at a preprogrammed scheduled time. The program also scans for spyware and adware.
You can’t add several tasks to the Scheduled Scan. It would be great to be able to scan all files once a month and only program files weekly or any other tasks you would like to set up.
McAfee has an Antivirus Emergency Response Team that continually monitors the worldwide virus activities to provide you with the utmost safety. The always-on protection guards against viruses, spyware and other Internet threats that may enter your PC via e-mail, instant message attachments, Internet downloads, and web browsing.
One of the newest features is also one of our favorites. It’s the QuickScan feature, which basically narrows virus scans to the most vulnerable and frequently attacked parts of your computer. This makes scanning much faster, although we still recommend doing a full scan periodically. Another great feature that can save you some time is SiteAdvisor. This system automatically gives you a visual signal in your browser telling you if the link you are about to click on will send you to a malware site. This can significantly decrease your infection rate, if used properly.
Ease of Installation: Excellent
We didn’t encounter any problems during the installation process. Recently, McAfee has simplified the setup process, making installation faster than it used to be. But don’t get too excited, installation times will still vary depending on the computer.
Help/Support: Very Good
McAfee has plenty of help options, including documentation, email and phone support. We were disappointed with their email response time – it took 5 days to respond and they didn’t answer all of our questions, hence the low rating.