McAfee VirusScan Home Edition 7.0 review: McAfee VirusScan Home Edition 7.0

  • 1

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Scans for viruses faster than Norton AntiVirus 2003 does; intuitive interface; scans and cleans instant-messenger attachments; includes McAfee Firewall at no additional charge.

The Bad Virus eradication requires your involvement; doesn't retain settings from VirusScan 6.0.

The Bottom Line McAfee VirusScan 7.0 is a top-notch virus slayer for first-time users, but unless you use Outlook Express or Eudora, VirusScan 6.0 users won't need to upgrade.

Don't Miss

Like its archrival Norton AntiVirus (NAV) 2003, McAfee VirusScan 7.0 automatically downloads up-to-date virus definitions from the Internet; provides a cogent, lucid interface that's quick to navigate; squashes malicious scripts, worms, viruses, and other digital miscreants; and is reasonably priced at about $50. Unlike NAV 2003, VirusScan 7.0 has superior technical support and faster scanning times, and it comes with a firewall--essential for anyone with an always-on DSL or cable-modem Net connection. Although it's a tad less slick-looking than NAV 2003, VirusScan 7.0 is a fine first-time antivirus choice for any Windows user. Current VirusScan users who use Outlook Express or Eudora will want the new features for those apps and should take advantage of the $29.99 upgrade, while current Outlook users should pass for now. Choosing between NAV 2003 and VirusScan 7.0? No need to switch if you already run NAV, but if you're picking for the first time, go with VirusScan. Like its archrival Norton AntiVirus (NAV) 2003, McAfee VirusScan 7.0 automatically downloads up-to-date virus definitions from the Internet; provides a cogent, lucid interface that's quick to navigate; squashes malicious scripts, worms, viruses, and other digital miscreants; and is reasonably priced at about $50. Unlike NAV 2003, VirusScan 7.0 has superior technical support and faster scanning times, and it comes with a firewall--essential for anyone with an always-on DSL or cable-modem Net connection. Although it's a tad less slick-looking than NAV 2003, VirusScan 7.0 is a fine first-time antivirus choice for any Windows user. Current VirusScan users who use Outlook Express or Eudora will want the new features for those apps and should take advantage of the $29.99 upgrade, while current Outlook users should pass for now. Choosing between NAV 2003 and VirusScan 7.0? No need to switch if you already run NAV, but if you're picking for the first time, go with VirusScan.

Installation and interface
First-time installation is quick. Load the CD and click the Next button a few times; within minutes, you're done. But if you're upgrading from a previous version of VirusScan, you must uninstall your old copy before loading version 7.0, which is a major hassle. Plus, you'll need to reconfigure your customized settings--preset scan times, firewall configuration, and so on--because version 7.0 can't inherit them.

Like Norton AntiVirus 2003, VirusScan 7.0 fully automates its virus-definition downloads; you won't need to install these yourself. Version 7.0 also includes a complimentary one-year subscription to McAfee's virus-definition service, which costs $9.95 per year thereafter.

Unlike NAV 2003, which automatically deletes viruses once it intercepts them, VirusScan 7.0's default setting posts a warning dialog asking whether you'd like to delete, clean, or quarantine the infected file, which gives you more control over the process. However, VirusScan 7.0 users who prefer Norton's "don't bother the user" method can change this setting by entering the Advanced Options dialog and choosing either the Clean or Delete (infected files) menu item.

VirusScan 7.0's interface, with its browserlike Back, Forward, and Home buttons, is pretty much unchanged from version 6.0, with the exception of a new feature that allows you to schedule scans of individual folders. For example, you can schedule it to check your always-changing My Documents folder to provide you with a degree of control that version 6.0 didn't offer.

Feature set
Under the hood, McAfee's Hostile Activity Watch Kernel (HAWK) detects unfriendly viruses, such as mass-mailer worms. This time around, HAWK supports SMTP-based e-mail clients, such as Microsoft Outlook Express and Eudora, in addition to Outlook, so if your e-mail app tries to send a message to more than 60 percent of your address book, HAWK will alert you. However, like NAV 2003, VirusScan 7.0 offers only limited protection for America Online e-mail users, no thanks to AOL's proprietary e-mail format.

VirusScan's VShield in-memory scanner monitors active scripts for potential trouble from Visual Basic and JavaScript and also scans file transfers between your PDA and PC. And like NAV 2003, VirusScan 7.0 now examines file downloads from the popular instant-messenger applications of Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft.

Don't Miss

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy See all prices

McAfee VirusScan Home Edition 7.0

Part Number: VSF70E001RAA
MSRP: $39.99 Low Price: $5.70 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Category security applications
  • Compatibility PC