McAfee VirusScan

McAfee VirusScan is an antivirus program created and maintained by Intel Security (formerly known as McAfee, Inc., and Network Associates prior to that). McAfee VirusScan is intended for home and home-office users; McAfee VirusScan Enterprise is intended for corporate environments. It is not available as a standalone package, but is included in McAfee VirusScan Plus (for Windows), VirusScan for Mac , or as part of McAfee Internet Security (for Windows) or McAfee Internet Security for Mac . Additionally, BSkyB and McAfee have produced ” Sky Broadband”branded version of VirusScan, offered free to Sky Digital customers upon broadband modem installation.


The 2010 edition of VirusScan Plus integrates antivirus, firewall and anti- spyware capabilities.

It includes, among other things;

  • On-access file scanner (McAfee OAS)
  • Inbound and outbound firewall protection
  • Spyware protection
  • Daily definition updates
  • McAfee X-Ray rootkit detection
  • McAfee SiteAdvisor – displays a safety rating for websites based on spam , malware and phishing
  • McAfee SystemGuards – a computer for activity that can be caused by virus infection or hacker activity (discontinued: see below)
  • In the upgraded release in February 2010 McAfee discontinued SystemGuards in favor of its Active Protection (Artemis), which detects suspicious activity in real-time and contacts McAfee labs to determine whether the file is a threat. Artemis was released around August 2008. [1]

VirusScan Enterprise

McAfee also produces an enterprise-level product named VirusScan Enterprise: Unlike the home-user edition, the enterprise edition consists of a client application for networked computers, and a server application, which the system installs updates and configures settings for all client programs. Clients can be controlled using the included ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO), which is a unified console that can control VirusScan and other McAfee products.

VirusScan for Mac

In November 2008 McAfee announced [2] VirusScan for Mac 8.6. (Earlier versions used the Virex name , developed by HJC Software.) The main highlights of VirusScan version 8.6 included:

  • Leopard Compatibility : First version compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
  • Universal Binary : First universal binary version in the Virex product line. It will run on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Mac computers natively.
  • On Access Scanning : Features true blocking On Access Scanning. It scans every file being accessed from the handwritten machine. On Access Scanner can be configured to scan on Read Only, Write only or both. It can also be configured to scan files on network volumes.
  • 5301 engine support : The latest McAfee Anti-Virus engine.
  • Apple Mail Scanning : It will now scan Apple Mail messages for any infections. This feature is available through both On Demand Scanner and On Access Scanner.


Poor independent test results

In tests by Virus Bulletin and other independent consumer-organizations, McAfee VirusScan Has not fared well, frequently failing to detect Some common viruses. [3]

A review of VirusScan 2006 by CNET criticized the product of “pronounced performance hits in two of our three real-world performance tests” [4] and some users reviewing the same product reported encountering technical problems. [5]

Some older versions of the Virus Scan engine use all available CPU cycles. [6]

As of 2009 McAfee virus-scanning products did not handle false positive well, often removing or quarantining known clean files even after the user restores them. [7]

Customer support criticisms

Reviewers have described support for McAfee products as lacking, with support staff slow to respond and unable to answer many questions. [8] [9]

2010 reboot problem

On April 21, 2010 Approximately Beginning at 2 PM GMT, an erroneous virus definition file update from McAfee affected millions of computers worldwide running Windows XP Service Pack 3. The update resulted in the removal of a Windows file system ( svchost.exe) Those are machines, machines to lose network access and, in some cases, to enter a reboot loop. McAfee rectified this by removing and replacing the faulty DAT file, version 5958, with an emergency DAT file (version 5959) and has posted a fix for the affected machines in its consumer “KnowledgeBase”. [10] [11]

2012 update issues

An August 2012 update to McAfee antivirus caused the protection to become turned off and users to lose internet connections. McAfee was criticized for not notifying users when they learned about it. [12] [13]

Current standing

McAfee, well, known, [14] and the company has prepared for 2015 current market conditions. This repositioning includes voice and facial recognition authentication for cloud-based data security. [15]

See also

  • Comparison of antivirus software
  • Comparison of firewalls
  • Internet security


  1. Jump up^ “McAfee Press Release” . Archived from the original on 2009-01-30 . Retrieved 2010-11-09 .
  2. Jump up^ “McAfee, Inc. VirusScan Software Releases for Leopard” . Archived from the original on 2009-03-01 . Retrieved 2010-11-09 .
  3. Jump up^ Virus Bulletin ( registration required )
  4. Jump up^ Tedja, Irsan. “McAfee VirusScan 2006 Reviews –” . . Retrieved 2010-11-09 .
  5. Jump up^ Tedja, Irsan. “McAfee VirusScan 2006 Ratings –” . . Retrieved 2010-11-09 .
  6. Jump up^ Release Notes for McAfee VirusScan v4.5.1
  7. Jump up^ “Computer Shopper Review” . 2009-09-13 . Retrieved 2010-11-09 .
  8. Jump up^ “TopTen Reviews” . . Retrieved 2010-11-09 .
  9. Jump up^ Adware Support review
  10. Jump up^ “McAfee DAT 5958 Update Issues” . April 21, 2010 . Retrieved 22 April2010 .
  11. Jump up^ “McAfee Botched update shutting down corporate XP machines worldwide” . April 21, 2010 . Retrieved 22 April 2010 .
  12. Jump up^
  13. Jump up^ “Archived copy” . Archived from the original on 2013-02-04 . Retrieved 2012-11-13 .
  14. Jump up^
  15. Jump up^

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