Antivirus to antispyware

Antivirus to antispyware

Summary: 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.

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TOPICS: Security
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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.

Topic: Security

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6 comments
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  • Double check your facts ...

    I'll grant you that Symantec's antispyware is pretty mediocre; I still rely on Ad-Aware SE, Spybot S&D, Spyware Blaster, and HiJack This to do the majority of the real work. But, as you pointed out, searching for spyware is just a matter of Symantec adding definition. According to their website, they've at least started this process. It's just not a stand-alone product, it's integrated into their anti-virus.

    http://www.symantec.com/nav/nav_9xnt/features.html
    Key Features: (6th or 7th on the list) Detects spyware and certain non-virus threats such as adware and keystroke logging programs.

    Norton has enough problems and shortcomings without "journalists" making up new ones.
    ac2_z
  • symantec blo*w*s

    their antivirus sucks i can't even imagine how bad the antispyware is i dropped symantec 4 years ago if you use symantec products you are asking for whatever you get
    liskanich
    • I agree - enough said period.

      short and sour.
      moses_z
    • Symantec bad - McAfee worse

      Symantec's NIS has major issues; software bloat and being a resource hog, causing slow boots and even slowing access to files. But McAfee Internet Security is even worse, their 2004 was found in reviews and acknowledged by them to actually have conflicts between their own security components.

      It's no wonder that most reviews drop Norton down to second or third best, and McAfee down to third or fourth. Much better options available on the market these days, some of which are even freeware.
      ac2_z
      • McAfee's corporate AV kicks a***

        We've been using McAfee's corporate AV for years now. Their latest VirusScan includes the option to treat spyware as viruses, and it does a pretty good job of keeping the *really bad* adware/spyware off of computers. Their enterpise tools (EPO) are pretty usefull too. I don't know about their other products though.

        I would have to agree about Symantec. In the last several years, the quality of ALL of their products has taken a serious nose dive.
        toadlife
  • McAfee is Bloatware Trash

    I have a subscription (through Verizon) to MSN Premium, which included a free subscription to McAfee AV and Firewall with Security Center.

    A huge kludge of a program, after installing is this homebuilt computer (A gigabyte MB with AMD 64 CPU and 2 gigs RAM) ran most noticably slower.

    Not only that, I spent over three months trying to get McAfee to fix two huge bugs.

    First, the firewall prevents the Windows Internet Time Update service from accessing the internet. One has to manually configure each and every time server as trusted IP's. Not something most users can do (I am that "guy who knows about computers" who family and friends consult to setup/configure/maintain/install new software.).

    The second really huge bug - every major add-on to Office XP/Outlook/Word gotr screwed with by either the McAfee Firewall or AV.

    Ever since I installed it, Outlook connector, Live Local (the thing that adds maps to Outlook appointments), MSN toolbar for Outlook, and even certain Exchange forms, all stopped working, frequently crashing Outlook.

    I had no idea that McAfee was the culprit until I finally uninstalled it today because I grew weary of fighting garbage software from McAfee.

    McAfee Security Center is a piece of bloatware trash that everyone would be well advised to avoid.
    Hempman