Thursday, August 5, 2010

Remarks on Security Suites


In the paid version of the Windows Secrets blog I read an article; among others it talks about an anti virus suite causing horribly long boot times. Due to the rules and organization of this blog I can not link directly to this part of the article. So I quote the relevant pieces here.

To set the stage: Generally I recommend to remove all those big, cumbersome and expensive security suites like McAfee, Norton, Trend Micro and so on. When I try to get the customer’s permission for this the most common question I encounter all too often is “Why?”. Here are some of the many more relevant answers, as I said above quoted from an article in the paid version of the Windows Secrets blog.

Feature duplication: 

For example, Trend Micro lists 13 major features and subsystems in its security suite, McAfee lists 14, and Symantec lists 33!

Many of these features duplicate abilities already built into Windows and the major browsers. For example, Internet Explorer and Firefox have built-in link-checkers, pop-up-blockers, parental controls, and more.

Windows itself (especially Win7) has a capable firewall built in.


So the large security suites are including features you probably already have, and all of these redundant features consume memory and CPU time.


… my current favorite security tool, Microsoft's free Security Essentials (site), lists just two major functions: antivirus and anti-malware protection.

When used with Windows' built-in firewalls and a fully current browser (say, IE8 or Firefox 3.6.x), you end up with essentially the same capabilities provided by the huge commercial security suites.


What's even better, it's all free!

I hope this is enough to convince even those people that say “But I paid for it”.

As usual I welcome comments and suggestions right here in the blog. Thank you in advance.

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Anonymous said...

McAfee Antivirus will soon be changing its name. Intel, who owns the McAfee brand name, has decided to rename the product "Intel Security."

Mr. McAfee, the founder of McAfee Antivirus who left the company in 1994, had this to say about the upcoming change in product name.

> "I am now everlastingly grateful to Intel for freeing me from this terrible association with the worst software on the planet. These are not my words, but the words of millions of irate users.
> "My elation at Intel's decision is beyond words."


Eike Heinze said...


Nothing new, has been announced quite some time ago. BUT:

Changing the name alone would be the most terrible thing Intel could possibly do, IMHO at least!

This software just has gone in a new iteration with a newly modified name. And I can tell you from numerous experiences that computers suddenly work well and more fluidly - for lack of a better word once you remove the McAfee software.

Before John McAfee sold his company (ca. 1994 or 1995) the McAfee anti virus software was good and mostly worked. Almost immediately after the sale the quality of the software went bad and further declined downhill with every new version.

After Intel took over the NcAfee brand and sotware (ca. 2011) the quality increased again and I have seen machines that worked fairly well until the very last change, see above.

Still Intel seems to know that a thorough change is necessary for this software before they tag their good name on this stuff.