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McAfee Internet Security 2011 Review

Posted on May 15, 2011

A review of McAfee Internet Security 2011 and its many features and options, including memory usage and safe online searching.
 
Tags: McAfee Internet Security 2011, antivirus, review, security

McAfee is a company whose name is synonymous with antivirus applications and online security, and they have been providing security products for more than a decade. Their latest offering, McAfee Internet Security 2011, boasts a wide variety of features to help protect your computer whether you are browsing the web or sharing files with another person. It continues their longstanding tradition of excellence in helping to protect computers all over the world.

Installation

The install for McAfee Internet Security 2011 only took a few minutes on an older Windows Vista system, and it did not require a reboot. This is important because a user may need the antivirus and antimalware capabilities immediately, such as when installing this security software on an already infected machine. If the PC were infected with the type of malicious software that replicates itself or serves as a Trojan to allow other viruses to be installed, a system reboot could further infect the system before your security software has a chance to act.

Performance

After installation, you will find several different components of McAfee Internet Security 2011 running if you look in Task Manager. The total amount of RAM used on the Windows Vista test system added up to just over 80 megabytes, which is very reasonable for the amount of protection and services offered. Part of the reason why the components are separate is that some viruses and malware are designed to attack specific security software, and keeping the modules apart from one another helps to add extra layers of security. It also allows you to turn off certain services without affecting others already loaded in memory.

Security Features

McAfee's ability to detect and treat virus infections is widely regarded as one of the best in the business, and they have allowed outside labs to put their virus scanning engine through rigorous testing to prove this. ICSA Labs, an independent testing facility which checks all PC security software, has certified the effectiveness of McAfee's antivirus and antimalware function. According to the McAfee website, their software is ranked first among all over virus detection utilities. Also included in this package are anti-spam and other email security modules.

McAfee SiteAdvisor is an excellent add-on module that integrates with Internet Explorer to provide you details about sites that turn up in search engine results. The idea is to let you know if a site is safe before you click on the link. For example, if you go to Google and search for some topic, it will display a list of results and SiteAdvisor will place a green checkmark next to the link if it is safe. If there are known risks with the site, it will show a yellow exclamation point or a red X. If the site has never been tested, a gray question mark will appear. Having this quick reference available before you click on a link will save you an incredible amount of time and worry, and it only takes a couple of seconds for the links to scan. For even more security, there is an option inside SiteAdvisor called SecureSearch which will automatically block or hide links that have been deemed risky.

Home network protection is also included in this package, and it allows you to view what computers are connected through your home network. This is very helpful to have if you keep a wireless network in your home and want to monitor access to it, especially if it is not secured. It will show you how many computers are connected and provide both their IP address and MAC address. It will also show other devices like an iPod Touch or video game systems. Anything that utilizes your network will quickly be detected and then you can identify them for future reference or block access.

Additional Features

Online Backup is a great new feature available with your subscription to McAfee Internet Security 2011. It is an online backup and restore service that lets you copy your personal data and files to and from a secure online location, as opposed to burning them to a CD or flash drive. You get 1 Gigabyte of storage space for each license that you own. The main benefit of using this service is that it puts your data in an offsite location in case something catastrophic were to happen to your computer, such as fire or theft. It doesn't rely on any disposable media that could be lost or damaged, and is a great feature so that you don't have to remember to regularly back up your data.

Shredder is another great security program included with this software package and it lets you erase files in a way that they can't be recovered. This is good when deleting data that may contain personal information like financial reports, social security numbers, private photos, and so on. Protecting your privacy and personal information with Shredder is just as important as making backup copies of the data you wish to keep.

Parental controls are also included for parents who wish to lock down Internet access when they can’t be around to actively monitor how the computer is being used.

Overall

McAfee has long been a trusted name in computer security software and their tradition of excellence continues with McAfee Internet Security 2011 and its amazing array of features to protect you and your computer. It retails for $69.99 for a 3-user license that includes a 1-year subscription to their update service.

Screenshots

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