McAfee VirusScan Professional 8.0 review: McAfee VirusScan Professional 8.0

ViusScan Professional also includes McAfee Shredder, which overwrites deleted files with 1s and 0s for added security, and QuickClean lite, an app that deletes temporary Internet files and other garbage that can build up on your PC. Finally, like Norton AntiVirus 2004 Professional, two user licenses are included in the $59.99 retail price, with an annual renewal fee of $14.95.

In our CNET Labs' tests, VirusScan Professional 8.0 caused less of a drag on system performance than Norton AntiVirus 2004 did. But McAfee scanned our 1GB drive much more slowly than Norton. Here are our test results:

  Test system McAfee VirusScan 8.0 Professional Norton AntiVirus 2004 Professional
SysMark 2002 Internet-content-creation (ICC) score 233 234 223
Normalized score 100 100 96
Percentage of degradation N/A 0 4
Average boot time (seconds) 40.8 48.38 52.72
Scan 1GB directory, average scan time (minutes) N/A 4.75 3.59

In past &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Evirusbtn%2Ecom%2Fvb100%2Farchives%2Fproducts%2Exml%3Fmcafee%2Exml" target="_blank">VirusBulletin tests, McAfee's VirusScan has been tested and passed only once, back in June 2002. By comparison, Norton AntiVirus has been tested six times and earned the coveted VB 100 percent title each time. It's hard to draw any meaningful conclusions from such limited data. Previous versions of VirusScan have also been certified by the independent antivirus testing laboratories at &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Echeck%2Dmark%2Ecom%2Fcheckmark%2Fproducts%2Ehtml" target="_blank">West Coast Checkmark, &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eicsalabs%2Ecom%2Fhtml%2Fcommunities%2Fantivirus%2Fcertification%2Fcertprod%2Eshtml" target="_blank">ICSA Labs, and &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eav%2Dtest%2Eorg%2Fdown%2Fspecial%2F2002%2D07%5Fmarket%2Den%2Exls" target="_blank">AV-test.org.

McAfee, like Symantec, charges for its telephone phone support: $3 per minute (with the first two minutes free) or a flat $39 per incident ($10 more than Symantec's flat fee). A more affordable option, obviously, is McAfee's free online technical chat. On the plus side, McAfee's online support site contains a handy wizardlike Answer Center that helps you pinpoint and resolve technical problems. And the live technicians, once we contacted them via chat, were always polite and helpful.

Unfortunately, we often found the chat queue to be unbearably long, day or night; once we waited 1 hour and 20 minutes. Chat also exhibited flaky behavior: we were once booted off after 15 minutes in the queue, even though we hadn't yet chatted with anyone. Hopefully, McAfee will correct these technical glitches soon.

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