AOL 9.0 Security Edition review: AOL 9.0 Security Edition

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Setup and interface: 8.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Service and support: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Easy to set up; easy to use; great tech support; lots of features, including built-in e-mail, virus protection, spyware removal, and a personal firewall.

The Bad Costs more than other ISPs.

The Bottom Line AOL 9.0 Security Edition offers free antivirus and firewall protection as part of its basic service, making it a good deal for Internet novices.

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Intro

With AOL 9.0 Security Edition (SE), AOL is the first ISP to offer free brand-name virus protection and personal firewall, along with top-notch spyware removal as part of its monthly service charge. As any geek will tell you, just about everything AOL offers can be found elsewhere online for free, and you can certainly find dial-up Internet access for less than AOL's standard $23.90 a month. Still, the new features bundled in the AOL 9.0 SE will make life easier for new Internet users looking for one-stop, secure Internet connectivity. Existing customers, if they don't already have antivirus and personal firewall protection, should take advantage of these free apps by downloading them separately from AOL. Installation takes only a few minutes. Current AOL customers should download AOL 9.0 Security Edition directly from AOL. You can also order a CD from AOL if you prefer. AOL 9.0 SE will be available at AOL's Web site and no doubt on countless AOL CDs bundled with computer magazines. During installation, this version of AOL runs a disk cleanup utility that removes unnecessary files from previous AOL installations. The extra files taking up space on your hard drive been a problem with older versions of AOL. By running disk cleanup, we were able to recover 55MB of hard disk space.


AOL 9.0 Secure Edition has the look and feel of AOL 9.0 Optimized.

AOL 9.0 SE's interface looks and feels just like that of AOL 9.0 Optimized. The familiar e-mail and messaging icons are at the top, your AOL Instant Messenger Buddy list lines the right side, and the start page consumes much of the middle of the screen. The only noticeable interface change is the Safety Toolbar, which has been enhanced to include the new virus scanner, firewall, and spam control settings.

In addition to adding McAfee VirusScan Online and McAfee Personal Firewall Express (these are custom versions of McAfee VirusScan 9.0 and McAfee Personal Firewall Plus ), AOL also beefed up its spam control settings to let you set your spam filter to Low, Medium, or High, in addition to blocking specific e-mail addresses. AOL added a Report IM Spam button on all instant-messenger forms, letting you identify and eliminate instant messages from unknown senders.

As its name indicates, most of the new features in AOL 9.0 Security Edition are designed to protect your privacy, your PC, and, by cutting down on spam and pop-up ads, your sanity.

On the corporate back end, AOL runs virus scans on all of the e-mail attachments that travel over its network. Now, all AOL users will have a personal virus scanner on their PC. The desktop apps include automatic updates, which are important, because even if you have a virus scanner installed, you may forget to keep its definitions updated. The McAfee virus scanner runs in the background, always scanning your PC for infections.

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Where to Buy

AOL 9.0 Security Edition

Part Number: CNETAOL Released: Nov 18, 2004

Download for free from CNET Download.com.

Quick Specifications

  • Release date Nov 18, 2004