Pros Never worked consistently enough to observe any pros
Cons Uncorrectable error message about every 30-40 days which required uninstalling & re-installing each time. Thech support is terrible!
Summary My new Toshiba Satellite laptop came with McAfee. I had problems with it out of the box, getting an error message that couldn't be fixed, so I had to uninstall & re-install. I went ahead and ordered the McAfee product online & re-installed hoping it would fix the problem. It worked for about a month and then I got the same error. The website claims that they are aware of the error and it referred me to a patch. The patch didn't work, so I had to re-install again. Both times I tried to call customer service (finding the phone number is an arduous task in itself), I was on hold for more than an hour before giving up. The re-install work for about a month, but again I received the same error message. This time I removed it, went out and bought Norton 360 and so far, so good. McAfee may fix this glitch, but I will never go back because the customer service is absolutely unacceptable!
Pros Free after rebates; Firewall seems to work;e-chat with tech support
Cons Updater fails to tell you that it failed to update
Summary Just recently installed McAfee 2008 Virus Scan Plus. Hit the UPDATE button to automatically download latest virus definition files. It pops up a box and says "it is checking for updates, please continue working". It makes you feel comfortable like it is updating. It doesn't even come back to say it is complete or successful. The box just goes away after a few minutes, so you think it is done. I do this routine daily. The update status indicator also increments the date you hit the UPDATE button. After several weeks of using the product, I get a warning indicator that says my virus defintion files are 8-29 days old. This was a surprise being that I update it everyday. Chatted with tech support, they had me download a "fix", but this did not fix the problem. Contacted them again, and they told me that my installation CD did not support downloading updates thru the web. - this was insane. Then they told me to uninstall the product, and instead of installing from the CD, install the entire product via the internet. I did this, and I assume that the internet method has the latest virus def files. After the new install, same problem, the UPDATE button doesn't tell you it updated any files or if the connection failed. Til this day, I have no idea if it is updating my def files.Last year when I had problems, it was due to Ad-Aware software already on the system. Because of this, the McAfee Updater service never got installed. McAfee 2008 was not compatible with Ad-Aware. Once you removed Ad-Aware, McAfee installed correctly - Shame that their tech support did not know this until I had spoken to the 10th support rep. What also bothered me at that time was that the McAfee install process did not check for AdAware already on the system - should have warned you about incompatible programs. What really troubled me was that, the McAfee installation continues "successfully" but yet you have a hole in which the updater service never got installed and the McAfee software did not even catch it's own mistake of not installing a service. - wow. Anyhow, a year later, I am trying 2009 version. A quick installation of this shows that the McAfee 2009 install process now "checks" for incompatible programs. Will write a separate review for Total Protection 2009.
Tech support kept telling me that my proxy server was the problem, but I do not have any proxy server- i am just a home user.
What really bothers me is that in my scenario, the product does NOT even tell you that the update process failed. Poor product design.
If you have ever used Norton Antivirus product, they had a solid update process. It tell you which updates are available and shows you the install process.
Bottomline, my first experience was very bad and still unresolved. They have a 30-day money back return policy.
Updated on Dec 24, 2008
Pros Can't think of any
Cons Not effective in detecting all viruses
Summary Recently, a friend gave me his laptop where he suspected some viruses. His IE opened strange windows and the laptop was slow. He had McAfee installed on the laptop (not the security center but a console version). I checked and all the signature files were up to date. I scanned the laptop several times and no viruses were reported. Then I scanned the laptop with security center version of Mcfee (security center 2007) which revealed many viruses, trojans, spyware and adware. After removal, the IE was still behaving funny. Then I scanned the laptop with Adaware SE personal edition and it detected around 300 different types of malware. After removing these, the laptop worked much better and IE no longer misbehaved. Then I uninstalled McAfee and downloaded Comodo anti-virus. A scan revealed many more viruses. The point is that McAfee was unable to protect the laptop.
The second problem I have with McAfee is that I cannot schedule a virus scan via Windows Task Scheduler. The McAfee built-in scheduler will start a scheduled scan even when the laptop is running on batteries. This will drain out batteries fairly quickly. The Windows scheduler allows me to stop virus scan from starting if laptop is on batteries. I contacted support and they said "sorry but this feature is not available in consumer versions of McAfee". How stupid.
After installing McAfee Security center and turning on all protections, I happened to look at the process manager. I was amazed to see at least 10 processes started by McAfee. Maybe that is how it works. I am looking for another AV solution but the CNET reviews fail to tell me which AV is most effective in detecting and removing viruses, adware, spyware and trojans.
Pros 2008 product less resource hungry
Cons Tutorial would be nice
Summary The Editor's review states: "There is no tutorial, online manual, or user forums with McAfee",
Whilst a tutorial would be nice for each product, there are indeed online manuals and most definitely a Forum, which has been around for years and recently "moved house" to http://community.mcafee.com
Pros It is inexpensive and helps keep some of the spyware off.
Cons It has let several viruses past it, and can't remove them. For an additional $85 fee McAfee says that they will remove them. At this point I don't trust them to do anything.
Summary Try another brand.