The Good Quick installation; attractive interface; security out of the box.
The Bad Multiwindowed interface is confusing.
The Bottom Line McAfee Personal Firewall Plus 2005 is a useful firewall for absolute beginners, but it will frustrate advanced users. ZoneAlarm Pro is still the best all-around firewall.
McAfee Personal Firewall Plus 6.0
McAfee Personal Firewall Plus (2005)
McAfee Personal Firewall Plus 2005 (MPF) offers adequate firewall protection for any personal or SOHO computer. But while MPF's interface provides essential information, its various options make navigation a bit confusing, especially given the number of different dialog windows that MPF allows to be open simultaneously. Interface aside, the software's lack of detailed security-customization options prevents advanced users from tailoring specific security levels to their needs. Our recommendation: save your money--MPF's CD distribution costs $49.99, the download version is $39.99--and get the free version of ZoneAlarm, which performs just as well and is much easier to use.
Our installation of McAfee Personal Firewall took three minutes and proceeded without incident, after which a quick system reboot launched the product. The firewall installs with the default Standard settings, which are intended to balance security with convenience, offering common protections without inhibiting Web features such as streaming media or ActiveX Controls. A Run Setup Assistant feature is also available in the Utilities dialog to tailor the firewall's operation. It allows you to heighten security for some apps and lower security for others. We wish that the assistant would run automatically after the program's initial installation rather than making you hunt it down.
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