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When McAfee told us it completely re-engineered its security suite from top to bottom, we agreed to include it in this roundup knowing full well we had probably been duped like the guy who drives off the used-car lot without a warranty. We were wrong.
To our eyes, this is a completely revamped McAfee. MIS 2010 rolls off the lot with a much-improved UI over previous versions, and manages to balance ease of use with a high level of customization. For those who care to do so, McAfee makes it easy to dig deeper into each of the main menu’s modules, but you’ll never feel lost or overwhelmed.
Underneath the hood sits a more performance-oriented engine than what you would expect from a McAfee product. Where last year’s version felt like a dilapidated Pinto, the 2010 model has all the makings of a sporty sedan. To reduce the time it takes to scan a system, McAfee caches files and puts together a white list of files it can safely skip. Depending on how clogged your hard drive is, McAfee claims this can result in up to eight-times-faster scans (we saw a 50 percent improvement).
Adding value to an already fleshed-out security suite, McAfee includes a few thoughtful extras, including 1GB of online backup space. There’s also a QuickClean module, which streamlines the process of deleting temporary files, and a file shredder for more securely deleting your data.
McAfee cruised through our malware tests with little incident—that is, until it let a malicious file write a registry entry blocking access to the Task Manager. To McAfee’s credit, it did neutralize the actual virus responsible, but the fact that it let a program write to our registry worries us, and cost the product a 9 verdict and a Kick Ass award.
Reduces scan time by creating a list of files it can safely skip. 1GB online backup space. Customizable UI.
It allowed a malicious file to write a registry entry.