I've just been looking at McAfee's new antispyware product, called, modestly enough, McAfee AntiSpyware. And maybe a modest title is appropriate for this utility. It seems to work okay, but it's nothing to write home about. But first I want to say, it's about time that veteran security companies got involved with the fight against spyware. Hello, Symantec? Anyone home? I mean, if you know how to build a solid antivirus program, it's no stretch to turn that into an antispyware program. It's mostly about building a different definition file.
But that's the hard part. With McAfee AntiSpyware, I see a solid program offering real-time protection, different types of scans, but no scheduler. It also doesn't offer some of the advanced features of truly great programs, such as start-up, home page, and host file protection. Its scan ran pretty quickly, and it uncovered a number of remnants in my registry that other programs hadn't caught. But what I really want to know is, how does McAfee generate its definition file? Although the McAfee Web site has extensive information about viruses, nothing is posted about spyware definitions. The auto-update function isn't actually controlled through the AntiSpyware interface, but through an associated McAfee Security Center, which gets installed on your computer as part of the program. With McAfee's experience, I think this program could have been better, but it's better than Symantec's nothing at all.