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August 21, 2003

McAfee VirusScan Online 8.0.16 Review

Despite once vowing to never purchase another McAfee product again I neglected to cancel my auto-renewing subscriptions to McAfee VirusScan Online and McAfee Personal Firewall Plus. But, after seeing all the new features and changes they've introduced this summer I'm quite happy I did stick with them (even though it was unintentional.)

Last night I got a pleasant surprise; a truck load of new features were added to VirusScan Online. Automatic integration with most email clients to provide native email scanning for one. They've also added instant message scanning and if thats not enough, they're the first major anti-virus vendor to include full malicious script, worm, spyware, adware, and web dialer detection in an anti-virus product.

I really can't get over how in one night the product grew so much. I even felt it was too good to be true. So I had to check it out.

I ran an incremental image so I could revert after this unscientific experiment and burned copies of the registry and system files to a CD so I could later make comparisons. Once that was done I could get to work on seeing how much would get by it.

First I set IE to its lowest security settings; with Active-X and scripting fully enabled. Then I went surfing warez pages and p0rn sites that I found through google. I wanted to see how much spyware and crap would get through unnoticed. It successfully blocked or alerted me to Gator, BonziBuddy, four different web dialers, and eleven other nasties I've previously unheard of.

I then placed the system outside the DMZ, disabled its software firewall, and went back a few restore points to open myself to blaster and its variants. Almost immediately it blocked 3 different worm attempts.

Lastly, I compared the system's registry and system files with the backups I burned to the CD and also ran full scans with SpyBot Search and Destroy, Trojan Remover, TrojanHunter, Panda's Online VirusScan, and TrendMicro's Housecall. To my surprise nothing got through.

Sure this was a very unscientific and incomplete test but it faired much better than other programs I've previously checked under the same conditions. I can say with confidence that it vastly exceeds all other anti-virus software programs, especially Norton and AVG. Everyone should have McAfee VirusScan Online on all their computers (and since the license is tied to you, and not a specific computer you can do that legally!)

Posted in Software & Downloads by usrbingeek at 2003-08-21 16:47 ET (GMT-5) | 0 Comments | Permalink


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