McAfee Internet Security 2013 Review: Internet Security Software
|Visit McAfee Internet Security 2013 Website|
|Standard PC security with the same interface and features as the previous version|
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In an attempt to release their software at the same time as the rest of the top security software suites, McAfee rushed out their 2013 version, which is really almost identical to their 2012 version. McAfee says that they will be rolling out some new features eventually, but in its current form the 2013 version of the software is lacking compared to the other top security software suites that have recently been released.
Just as easy as last year, the installation took almost no time and required almost no effort. You can download the software straight from the site after you purchase it, which is a big improvement over some security software which requires a confirmation email or product code.
This is McAfee's biggest problem: their user interface. While other top security software companies are constantly improving both the design and usability of their user interface, McAfee continues with the same look and design year after year. While functional, the design is boring and the interface can be confusing. When you click on each category, a drop down menu appears that looks like a Google search results page, complete with bright blue links that take you to the different features. Both the design and usability are very old school, making McAfee look like the grandpa of the security software world.
Antivirus and Antimalware
McAfee has a spotted past when it comes to independent testing from AV-Comparatives, an antivirus testing organization. In the most recent Whole Product Dynamic Test, which looks at how the different components work together against viruses, McAfee scored only 1 out of 3 stars, while many of its competitors scored the top 3 out of 3. In fact, the highest score that McAfee has received in recent history is 2 out of 3 stars. Part of why it ranks so low is because the software is designed to warn you about malicious web addresses that you might be visiting, not block them, which is one of the key components to the test. The software also historically tends to be sensitive and blocks several safe sites or files.
In our own test of the software, it performed exactly as it should. It blocked every test virus we threw at it, as well as some safe software already on our computer.
The real disappointment in this area is the lack of new features. McAfee has boosted their protection in the virus, malware, web surfing, firewall and parental control software they include, but hasn't really offered any new tools, such as a secluded browsing window for banking transactions and shopping, which seems to be popping up in all the other 2013 security software suites. Basically, the 2013 version offers the same tools and features that the 2012 version did, although McAfee does promise that new features will be rolled out in the next couple of months. Those features will be updated to the McAfee software automatically, so users will not have to do anything in order to receive the updates.
McAfee's simplicity makes it easy for the software to be light on it's feet. It never slows down your computer and keeps everything running smoothly. However, McAfee does enjoy making you aware of everything that is going on with your computer, which means a lot of pop-up messages from the software, letting you know of updates, issues or even if everything is in the clear. While it's great to be informed, so many pop-ups can actually hinder the user experience.
McAfee is one of the top names in security software and has a great reputation for keeping your computer safe from viruses and malware, and that continues with their 2013 version. However, with the same old interface and the same old features as last year, McAfee isn't doing much to compete with the other top security software suites, which makes the 2013 version a bit of a disappointment for us.
System Requirements: Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8
AV-Comparatives ratings on a variety of tasks related to the antivirus and anti-malware product. "Known Malware" refers to a product's ability to catch pre-identified viruses, while "Unknown Malware" refers to its ability to detect brand new viruses. Older scores may reflect previous software versions.
AV-Comparatives. Score indicates overall effectiveness in a variety of tests over time. † indicates that company did not take part in all tests. See reviews for details.*Averaged 2010/2011 scores for each company's antivirus/anti-malware product by independent testing agency
**Score indicates impact of antivirus product on system performance. Average of performance tests by AV-Comparatives.
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