McAfee Antivirus

 McAfee VirusScan is a popular antivirus program created and maintained by McAfee, formerly known as Network Associates. VirusScan is designed for home and home-office use; McAfee also develops VirusScan Enterprise for use in corporate environments. The product is not available as a standalone package, but is included in the McAfee VirusScan Plus package or as part of McAfee Internet Security Suite. McAfee also produces a similar product for Mac OS X under the name of VirusScan for Mac.



The 2007 edition of VirusScan Plus integrates antivirus, firewall and anti-spyware capabilities.

It includes, amongst other things;

  • On-access file scanning
  • Inbound and outbound firewall protection
  • Spyware protection
  • Daily definition updates (except the weekend)
  • Daily pop-up reminders, appearing at random intervals, even over full screen applications and video games. This feature cannot be disabled.
  •      McAfee X-Ray rootkit detection
  •      McAfee SiteAdvisor - displays a safety rating for websites based on tests for evidence of spam, malware and phishing
  •      McAfee SystemGuards - monitors the computer for activity that may be caused by virus infection or hacker activity        
VirusScan Plus 2007 is compatible with Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista only.

VirusScan Enterprise

McAfee also produces an enterprise-level product named VirusScan Enterprise which is designed for use on larger networks. It contains features designed to make management of antivirus software on multiple computers easier. Unlike the home-user edition, it consists of a client application which is loaded on all networked computers and a server application, through which signature and application updates are installed and settings for all client programs are configured. Clients can be controlled with the ePolicy Orchestrator (EPO) or with ProtectionPilot (PRP). ProtectionPilot is easier to configure and use but only control VirusScan. EPO is a unified console (it can control VirusScan and other McAfee products).

VirusScan for Mac

Previously known as , in November 2007 McAfee announced VirusScan for Mac 8.6. The main highlights of this new version are:

  • 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 or written to the machine and blocks infections if any. 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.
  • 5200 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.


    In tests by Virus Bulletin and other independent consumer organizations, McAfee virus scan has not fared well, frequently failing to detect some common viruses.

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