McAfee VirusScan Plus 2007 review

Price when reviewed

McAfee can claim more than 10% of PC Pro readers among its subscribers, and VirusScan Plus certainly has the air of a professional product. Installation was speedy and, once up and running, the software disinfected incoming emails silently and quickly without drawing undue attention to itself. While scanning, CPU usage often reached around 90%, but rarely tied up the system entirely, which was good to see. The software also drew nice distinctions, denouncing some items as viruses, while restraining itself to describing other packages as merely “potentially unwanted”. It even scrupulously advised us when the removal of some items might be prohibited by the licensing terms of other software on our system.

In light of this confident performance, it was a shame that, in our tests, VirusScan Plus proved only middling at detecting actual viruses. The XP version achieved an unremarkable 78% detection rate, while, mysteriously, running the same test under Vista resulted in a score of just 60%. We’d expect this anomaly to be fixed before long, though – there’s no reason why the two versions shouldn’t achieve identical scores as with this month’s other packages.

VirusScan Plus also comes with McAfee AntiSpyware, a firewall and a few other utilities including a disk cleaner and defragmenter. These aren’t compelling additions, however, and barely seem to justify the £34 price (higher than any other package here except Norton). It’s particularly interesting to note that the same product appears on the company’s US website for $40 – roughly half the UK price.

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