McAfee VirusScan Professional 7.0 review: McAfee VirusScan Professional 7.0

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
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The Good Scans for viruses faster than Norton AntiVirus Professional Edition 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 Professional 6.0.

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

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Like its archrival Norton AntiVirus Professional Edition (NAVPE) 2003, McAfee VirusScan Professional 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 $60. Unlike NAVPE 2003, VirusScan Professional 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 NAVPE 2003, VirusScan Professional 7.0 is a fine first-time antivirus choice for any Windows user. If you're choosing between NAVPE 2003 and VirusScan Professional 7.0, we give the edge to VirusScan Professional 7.0. Like its archrival Norton AntiVirus Professional Edition (NAVPE) 2003, McAfee VirusScan Professional 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 $60. Unlike NAVPE 2003, VirusScan Professional 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 NAVPE 2003, VirusScan Professional 7.0 is a fine first-time antivirus choice for any Windows user. If you're choosing between NAVPE 2003 and VirusScan Professional 7.0, we give the edge to VirusScan Professional 7.0.

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 NAVPE 2003, VirusScan Professional 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 NAVPE 2003, which automatically deletes viruses once it intercepts them, VirusScan Professional 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 Professional 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 Professional 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 NAVPE 2002, VirusScan Professional 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 NAVPE 2002, VirusScan Professional 7.0 now examines file downloads from the popular instant-messenger applications of Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft.

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Where to Buy See all prices

McAfee VirusScan Professional 7.0

Part Number: VSL70E001RAA
MSRP: $59.99 Low Price: $40.00 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Category security applications
  • Compatibility PC