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McAfee AntiSpyware 2006

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March 9, 2006



Having spyware protection on your computer is essential in today's world. Spyware protection protects your system from malicious files and programs that you can pick up all over the Internet. These programs then can wreak havoc on your system, such as compromising secure personal information and slowing down your computer. McAfee's security products have done a great job in the past at keeping your system secure, but does their 2006 anti-spyware product live up to that expectation? Our full review tells you all that you need to know.

To start, this is McAfee's second version of its relatively new AntiSpyware suite. We do believe
that McAfee did a much better job with 2006 than they did with last years version, as they have fixed a lot of the shortfalls and bugs. McAfee is priced at $19.99 if bought as a download or $29.99 for the boxed version, but these prices are after a $10 rebate, so that means that you'll have to spend $20 to $30 initially to purchase McAfee AntiSpyware 2006.

The biggest change from last years version is the new interface to the same style that McAfee's AntiVirus suite uses. They have also changed the spyware threat detection engine to a much more functional and effective version. Real-time scanning has also been added, so files are constantly being scanned for spyware threats as they are updated and changed.

During several test scans, the full system scan took an average of about 30 minutes to scan the entire system, which isn't terrible, but it isn't fast either. What might even be worse is that despite the mediocre scan times, the program still missed significant spyware threats, including the spyware's very own system registry modifications. McAfee AntiSpyware 2006 also includes a scan scheduler and can automatically update its definitions, but we were disappointed that it isn't have
a tool for controlling which applications launch on system start-up. Error messages and spyware threat warnings can get a little repetitive and cryptic to the novice user as well.

In review, we do recommend that if you do not have any current antivirus and firewall installed currently on your computer, you should purchase an "all-in-one" security suite, such as
Symantec's Norton Internet Security 2006, which includes a very nice firewall, antivirus, and spyware protection. Remember, any anti-spyware program (including McAfee AntiSpyware 2006) does not protect your computer against viruses or the ever-popular and malicious Trojan horse worms. To protect against those, you'll need a firewall and antivirus program. Lastly, these programs work best if bought as a "suite," meaning that all three programs are included in one program. However, they can get expensive the first year you buy them, but after that, many companies have "upgrade rebates" that will give you money off the next year's version of the security suite.

In regards to McAfee AntiSpyware 2006, if you only want an anti-spyware program, we suggest that you look at something a little bit stronger, such as Webroot's Spy Sweeper 4.5. However, if you do want a simple and easy to use antispyware program, then McAfee AntiSpyware 2006 will do the job.

Bottom Line

Pros: Easy to use, real-time protection, lots of options and controls, nice interface
Cons: Mediocre scan times, not the best detection/removal of spyware
Editors' Rating: 3 Out of 5

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