McAfee VirusScan

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McAfee LiveSafe
McAfee logo (2017).svg
McAfee SecurityCenter.png
McAfee SecurityCenter on Windows 10
Initial release1988; 32 years ago (1988)
Stable release(s)
SecurityCenter17.1.126 / May 31, 2018; 2 years ago (2018-05-31)
Anti-Virus20.9.139 / August 2, 2017; 2 years ago (2017-08-02)
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux

McAfee VirusScan is an antivirus program created and maintained by McAfee, Inc. (formerly known as Intel Security, and Network Associates prior to that). It is not available as a standalone package, but is included in McAfee LiveSafe, McAfee AntiVirus Plus[1] and McAfee Total Protection. Additionally, BSkyB and McAfee have previously produced a "Sky Broadband" branded version of VirusScan, offered free to Sky Digital customers upon broadband modem installation. McAfee LiveSafe integrates antivirus, firewall and anti-spyware/anti-ransomware capabilities.[2]

VirusScan Enterprise[edit]

McAfee also produces an enterprise-level product named VirusScan Enterprise: McAfee has designed this for use on larger networks designed to make management of antivirus software on multiple computers easier. 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[edit]

In November 2008 McAfee announced[3] VirusScan for Mac 8.6. (Earlier versions used the name Virex, developed by HJC Software.) Key changes in VirusScan 8.6 included Leopard Compatibility, a universal binary package that ran on both Intel and PowerPC-based Macs, On access scanning and Apple Mail support.


Poor independent test results[edit]

In tests by Virus Bulletin and additional independent consumer-organizations, McAfee VirusScan has not fared well, frequently failing to detect some common viruses.[4]

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

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

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

Customer support criticisms[edit]

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

2010 reboot problem[edit]

On April 21, 2010, beginning approximately 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 system file (svchost.exe) on those machines, causing 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[edit]

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 promptly of the issues when they learned about it.[12][13]

Current standing[edit]

McAfee, though well-known, continues to have mixed reviews by industry sources,[14] and the company has prepared a 2015 release series to address current market conditions. This repositioning includes voice and facial recognition authentication for cloud-based data security.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "McAfee AntiVirus Plus". PCMAG. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  2. ^ "McAfee LiveSafe". PCMAG. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  3. ^ "McAfee, Inc. Releases VirusScan Software for Leopard". Archived from the original on 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
  4. ^ Virus Bulletin (registration required)
  5. ^ a b Tedja, Irsan (2005-11-09). "McAfee VirusScan 2006 Reviews". CNET. Retrieved 2020-06-12.
  6. ^ Release Notes for McAfee VirusScan v4.5.1
  7. ^ "Computer Shopper Review". 2009-09-13. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
  8. ^ "TopTen Reviews". Retrieved 2010-11-09.
  9. ^ Adware Support review
  10. ^ "McAfee DAT 5958 Update Issues". 21 April 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
  11. ^ "Botched McAfee update shutting down corporate XP machines worldwide". 21 April 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2012-11-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^
  15. ^

External links[edit]