Pros Virus Scan and Personal FireWall are fine
Cons SpamKiller permantently blocks valid emails - see below
Summary I have been a satisfied user of the McAfee product line for a number of years.
Up until this time - I have been very pleased with their product.
All this changed when I recently upgraded to McAfee Internet Security 2005 - I recently purchased a new computer and upgraded to DSL. Even though I owned the latest version of Virus Scan and FireWall - I thought best to buy McAfee's Internet Security Suite.
What a mistake.
It seems that there is a critical bug in SpamKiller. SpamKiller captures legitimate emails and does not pass them to Outlook,
This is a very tricky bug because it does not block 100% of the emails - so a user will not immediately realize that there is a problem.
I estimate about 30% of all emails sent to me never made it to outlook.
For me this problem went on for a couple of weeks - I initially attributed it to a new email address.
However, after checking with my DSL provider, I went to McAfee's website.
Buried deep inside the bowels of the website in the SpamKiller forum, I discovered that this is a known bug and that it has been a problem for at least 4 months.
Fortunately, the dropped emails are visible in SpamKiller - you cannot print them - you cannot not move them - they are difficult to copy and save - but you can read them.
You can only imagine how horrified I was to discover several critical business emails that I had not received.
This is a terribly disappointing experience.
To resolve the problem - I removed SpamKiller
A software bug this critical requires immediate resolution by McAfee - whatever their reason - they have not fixed it.
Worse, they have done nothing to warn users.
Pros It's cheap, lets you update your definitions indefinitely, free online chat support
Cons The buggiest software ever written; you're just asking for it to make you format your hard drive.
Summary I used McAfee since 4.0, mostly because it was cheap and could be updated seemingly indefinitely off of their website. While 4.0 and 5.0 were relatively mediocre but serviceable, 7.0 was the biggest piece of garbage on a stick software I have ever encountered. It would work fine initially, and then one day it would inexplicably stop starting correctly and at the same time stop the Windows taskbar from being accessible. So, reinstall and... the next time I tried to do an online update, it would install the updates in the WRONG ORDER, popping up error messages left and right that ultimately resulted in a broken system. It turns out the update system was so broken at that time, the same wrong order problem happened even on a new system I tried it on!
Finally, an attempt to uninstall it from Safe Mode left tons of files and junk registry settings all over the place, which happened to (magically) prevent the installation of Norton AV, and required an hour-long marathon session of searching for obscure registry entries and files to delete (they thought that making a proper uninstall "tool" would just be too nice, apparently).... On the whole, I estimate I have wasted a good 30+ hours of my life trying to make this software work properly and have needed around 10 different online chat sessions, each of which provided some insight but never attacked the heart of the problem, which is that the software was vomit packaged in a pretty red box.
While I have never used version 9.0 (2005), judging from other users' comments the quality of McAfee's software is just as low as ever. I have switched to Norton, and while it's annoying having to pay for a yearly update, it does its job and updates itself flawlessly, it's possible to find cheap deals on it, too, and it sure beats having a broken computer. I can only conclude that people who use McAfee use it because it's cheap, but that is no excuse. Hopefully, everyone will realize that feces such as this needs to be boycotted, McAfee will go out of business, and the world will be a better place.
Pros It may work for you?
Cons Ineffective, Various Schemes to get you to pay more $
Summary The short version:
They try to sell you a whole suite of products instead of making one good one so when you have a problem they can say "Oh, well you need to buy a different McAfee product to fight that, Virus Scan doesn't fight trojans!" Then when they admit that, yes, their product should protect you against that threat, you can only get help on thier message board (hey just wait and see if someone responds while your computer is useless because they sell an ineffective product!) or pay more money to talk to someone who may or may not help you. I hope your problem happens in the first 30 days, then you can get a refund. After that and they don't care what happens to you, they will not give even a partial refund to dissatisfied customers.
It was a really bad experience.
Pros Great antivirus and firewall
Cons none for me
Summary One of the best antiviruses around (had problems with norton not detecting trojans). Problems with Norton on more than one occassion. Where Norton failed, Mcafee succeeded so I switched. The firewall you don't even notice it is running.
I think it is worth the money.
Pros Powerful AntiVirus, Simple yet effective firewall, very strong Anti-Spam, pretty decent privacy protection
Cons A few minor drawbacks, rare glitches mainly on Win9x based systems
Summary I've been interested and studying computer security for about two years now, and have read alot of reviews and tried alot of security products. I think McAfee is underrated and deserves more credit than what it gets. Unlike other uses, I have used McAfee since my first computer and never had any problems with it. It installs fast and easy, and update downloads are pretty short, although the first update after you install the program will be a little long. McAfee also uses much less resources than it's rivals such as Norton, Zonelabs, Kaspersky, and Panda.
The AntiVirus, which is the best part of the program, deserves much more credit than given. First of all, before I installed MIS, I had tried trial versions of other AntiVirus software and they said the computer was clean. After I installed MIS and ran a scan for viruses, it found a trojan horse that all the others seemed to have missed. Oops. A family member of mine was running a computer with no virus protection, and tried Panda, and Panda found no viruses. Then she tried MIS, without even updating it, and it being a more than a few months old, it found a virus panda missed and cleaned it. Stories I have of how VirusScan has found viruses that other programs missed could go on and on. It seems everything else I try will basicaly protect you from all the generic and In The Wild viruses such as Mydoom with a few of the minor less known ones here and there, but for generic viruses and ITW Viruses, AND a much better deal of the small fries that other products seem to miss, VirusScan does the job.
I have tried various firewalls, and like ZoneAlarm the best, but McAfee Personal Firewall Plus comes darn close. I found Personal Firewall Plus to be extreamly easy to use and navigate. I also like how it automaticaly sends reports of attacks. I also found the visual trace program to work quite well, and it helped me to find out where my attackers were coming from. The feature to Ban and Trust certain IP adresses is also very handy.
SpamKiller was just a tad more complicated than I expected but once I figured it out I found it to be extreamly effective at catching junk mail.
Privacy service was very good, the pop-up and ad-blocker could use a little more bang. As for basic privacy protection, such as protection of names, adresses and such, was good. And the parental controls were perhaps a bit too paranoid, and my younger brother had difficulty accessing websites that we both knew were fine to visit.
I've seen a few glitches with McAfee on Windows 98 systems, where as a few script errors have occured, but then again, pretty much every program I've installed and run on a Windows 9x system has either had a script error or an annoying ''Illegal Operation'' error. It's the operating system more than anything.
I use McAfee, my father uses McAfee, my bank uses McAfee (enterprise edition), my friend uses McAfee, and technicians even recomended my friend to remove other antivirus software and told him to install McAfee, and niether of us have had a problem with it.
Overall this is a good choice for securing your computer, it has a few cons here and there, but so does everything. I give McAfee Internet Security 2005 an 8.0 for exellent virus protection, a good medium-duty firewall, exellent Anti-Spam protection, and decent privacy protection.