McAfee Internet Security Suite 2009

A mix of some great and some mediocre features has placed McAfee’s security suite in the centre of the lot.

In the rankings done for security suites of 2009 in the category “Paying for Protection”, McAfee Internet Security Internet Security Suite 2009 has been placed in the middle, given ranking fifth among the tested nine products. Artemis, a new feature to be used for malware detection while on internet, is an addition to the 2009 version of McAfee security. However MacAfee’s good malware detection rate and Artemis have been offset by the slow scanning speed, interface problems and not up to the mark performance in behavioral detection tests.

In the malware detection tests performed by AV Test ORG, which took 654,914 collected samples of malwares to test how it works on the nasty ones, McAfee’s suite had a respectable result. It was able to detect 97.4 percent of malware that was subjected to it, however it lagged in detection of spywares that were responsible of stealing password and financial information, the success rate in that case being 90 percent. As compared to a score of 99 percent obtained by Avira security suite and Norton security suite, the score of 90 percent of McAfee is quiet inferior but it is better than 55.7 percent rate produced by Trend Micro package when dealing with password stealers.

The signature of files to be scanned over the Internet for malware is sent to McAfee’s servers for verification by comparing them with more updated and larger signature database than the one available on your PC. This has been made possible by the new Artemis feature and this very feature has produced decent results for McAfee suite.

On the contrary, the performance of this suite in respect of behavioral tests which determined how well unknown or new malware could be identified was poor. McAfee’s package had a success in 2 out of the 15 samples provided in respect of malware behavior that comes out to 13 percent. All the remaining suites except F-secure were able to provide higher results at least 50 percent when display of behavior based warning was concerned.

McAfee’s suite had a dismal result for scan speed tests. It finished second to last for auto scan that a suite does when accessing or opening a file; the parameter that was checked in this test was how quickly the suite is able to scan the files. However the speed in on demand test was better where scheduled and manually scan are done, the position in such a test was fifth.

Overall McAfee’s interface was good with some aspects and less appealing in others that has resulted in below par performance of the suite. The suite has organized features in categories like ‘Computer and Files’ or “internet & Network’ and is able to provide good information. But the context based help is lacking, one is not able to go the relevant section when help is required, instead one has to manually search for the topics to find the required information.

All is not bad with McAfee’s suite; the most notable touch provided by it is – on the network map if the icon is clicked for home network router that will bring web configuration page in the browser of the user. McAfee’s suite is the only one in the lot to provide such a well conceived feature.

A lot is to be desired when McAfee’s ability to handle a common adware file is concerned. In an attempt to download a screen saver from Zango that brings adware to the PC of the user, McAfee suite was able to issue the warning but the remedial action provided was only to remove it. That lead to McAfee uninstaller but it failed since Zango program was not installed actually. The same result was obtained when Zango adware was scanned on thumb drive. The suite seems to be confused by registry entries that were added on download but the reault was different with other suits, they were able to remove entries and the file.

The features for user with McAfee suite are backups, antispam and parental controls along with a file shredder. The suit had a decent percentage success in detecting malicious software but for your Pc protection there are better alternatives available.

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