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Software Review of:
VirusScan 7
Home Edition


Bill Klutz does consulting work, primarily in the areas of Management and Computer Applications/Hardware/Software.

From the January, 2003 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

The "King-Of-The-Mountain" antivirus supremacy struggle, between the various packages available, will be there as long as there are viruses to defeat. The question in the user's mind is usually, "Which upgrade wins this round?" In the latest round, between McAffee VirusScan 7, Home Edition and NAV (Norton AntiVirus) 2003, McAfee may have the slight edge.

It appears to scan faster than NAV, scans and cleans IM (Instant Messenger) attachments, and includes firewall protection. However, by default, virus elimination is not automatic.

VirusScan 7.0's interface remains almost unchanged from the previous version, with the exception of a new feature that allows you to schedule scans of individual folders. McAfee has put a HAWK (Hostile Activity Watch Kernel) in place to figuratively "fly around" and detect unfriendly viruses, such as mass-mailer worms. HAWK supports SMTP-based e-mail clients such as Microsoft Outlook Express and Eudora, in addition to Outlook.

VirusScan's in-memory VShield scanner also monitors active scripts for Visual Basic and JavaScript to ward off trouble, plus it scans file transfers between your PDA and PC. The program also examines file downloads from IM applications like Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft.

Version 7, like its predecessor, includes McAfee Firewall to prevent unauthorized access when PCs connect to the Internet. The firewall now automatically allows desktop applications such as Internet Explorer and AOL to access the Net.

Unlike NAV, which automatically deletes viruses once it intercepts them, VirusScan's default setting posts a warning dialog asking you whether you'd like to delete, clean, or quarantine the infected file. VirusScan users who prefer the hands-off Norton method can change this setting.

VirusScan fully automates its virus-definition downloads and includes a complimentary one-year subscription to McAfee's virus-definition service, which thereafter costs $9.95 per year (at present). For $49.99 (before $20 upgrade and possibly additional competitive upgrade rebates) it will give you the current edge in the antivirus supremacy struggle to defeat almost all of the current viruses. Rest assured that McAffe will try to keep the software current, through upgrades, to eradicate new viruses.

System minimum requirements: 
Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, 64 MB RAM, the usual free HD space, CD-Drive if not electronically downloaded.

Contact Information: 
Network Associates, 888-847-8766

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