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Security software Reviews
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McAfee Internet Security Suite 2009 review

£40.64 inc VAT

Manufacturer: McAfee

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

McAfee Internet Security Suite 2009 is the latest iteration of security giant McAfee's internet security suite, featuring Artemis, a new internet-based malware detection feature.

McAfee Internet Security Suite 2009 is the latest iteration of security giant McAfee's internet security suite, featuring Artemis, a new internet-based malware detection feature.

Offsetting Artemis and McAfee's otherwise generally good malware detection rate, however, were its slow scanning speed, its interface annoyances, and its very poor performance in proactive, behavioural detection tests.

In AV-Test.org's malware-detection tests, which use 654,914 collected malware samples and then measure how well antivirus detects the nasties, McAfee Internet Security Suite 2009 performed respectably.

It caught 97.4 percent of malware thrown at it, although McAfee Internet Security Suite 2009 lagged with a 90 percent success rate at identifying spyware varieties that steal passwords and financial information.

These results mean that McAfee Internet Security Suite 2009 doesn't quite compare to the score of about 99 percent for top performers such as the Avira security suite and the Norton security suite, but is much better than the sorry 55.7 percent rate that the Trend Micro package produced with password stealers.

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The new Artemis feature sends a signature of to-be-scanned files over the Internet to McAfee's servers, which can then compare the files against a much larger and more up-to-date signature database that the one that resides on your PC. Artemis probably contributed to McAfee Internet Security Suite 2009's decent showing.

On the other hand, McAfee Internet Security Suite 2009's performance in behavioural tests, which examine how well antivirus products can identify unknown malware based solely on how it acts, was dismal. McAfee's package was able to warn about some aspect of malware behaviour for only 2 out of 15 samples, or 13 percent of the time.

McAfee Internet Security Suite 2009 also failed in scan speed tests. It was second to last of all the 2009 suites we've tested for on-access scan speed, which refers to how quickly files are scanned when you access or open them. It did somewhat better in on-demand speed, which involves scheduled and manually run scans, although it is by no means the quickest.

NEXT PAGE: McAfee's interface

McAfee Internet Security Suite 2009 Expert Verdict »
Microsoft Windows 2000 (32-bit) with Service Pack 4 (SP4) or higher, Windows XP (32-bit) with Service Pack 1 (SP1) or higher, Windows Vista (32 or 64-bit)
800 X 600 or higher resolution
256MB RAM
150MB of available free drive space
internet connection
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later/Mozilla Firefox 1.5 or later
Anti-spam fully integrates with the following email clients: Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Outlook 2000 or later, Qualcomm Eudora, Thunderbird 1.5 or later. Anti-Spam also supports any other POP3 email client (without SSL) and web accounts (MSN/Hotmail paid accounts and accounts with POP3 access)
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

You'll find a wide array of features in McAfee Internet Security Suite 2009, including backups, parental controls and antispam, along with smaller offerings such as a file shredder. And the suite did a decent job at detecting malicious software in tests. But for protecting your PC, you have superior alternatives.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
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