A few years ago, most people would only have a couple of devices, maybe a desktop PC and laptop, that they had to protect from malware. Things have changed radically in the past three or four years and many customers for internet security software now have a Windows PC or Mac, a notebook, a tablet and a smartphone. Each of these is vulnerable to attack and McAfee has devised McAfee All Access 2013 to protect them all.
To do the job properly, McAfee All Access 2013 allows unlimited licences for one person to protect all their kit. So, if you have both an Android phone and an iPhone, a Windows notebook and an iPad, you're still covered.
The McAfee All Access 2013 vinterface isn't particularly inspiring, with large panels covering Virus and Spyware protection, and web and email protection. There are also two panels the same large size for Updates and Subscription, which give the patching and money-making features undue prominence.
With McAfee All Access 2013 you also get data protection and backup, with a total of nine 2GB online licences, parental controls for limiting family browsing and PC and home network tools.
There's a very good network viewer, which picks up details of each machine and device on your network, and quick clean, which removes unneeded Windows Registry entries, cookies and temporary files. The final utility looks for driver and application updates, to try and improve system stability.
The Windows version of the suite works on machines running Windows from XP through to Windows 8. The Mac version, which claims on the pack to work on OS X 10.5 and above, actually only works from 10.6 Snow Leopard onwards.
Under test, the Windows program took just over 23 minutes to scan our 50GB test basket of files and targeted 9428 files – at the lower end of those products we've reviewed – and this equates to a scan rate of 6.7 files/sec. This is the third slowest we've yet seen. A second run took a very similar time for a very similar number of files. This implies little in the way of fingerprinting, marking files and not rescanning those which haven't changed since the last run.
The impact made on our file copy by the running of a system scan was small, with an 18% slowdown, but this hides the fact that a copy with McAfee passively working in the background took a lot longer, at 1 minute 31 seconds, than most others we've tested (40-50 secs).
The German AV testing lab, AV-Test rated McAfee Internet Security 2013 at 12.0/18 which placed it 20th out of the 25 products in its most recent group test.
This result isn't particularly good, although it did receive certification from the lab.
Breaking the score down into the three main areas of testing, it scored 4.5/6.0 for Protection, the ability to protect a system from zero-day attacks; and 4.5/6.0 for Usability, which includes system impact and false positives.
It dropped off most, though, in the Repair section, at 3.0/6.0, where it was below average in both detection of widespread malware and removal of active components like rootkits.
The concept of having an Internet Security product which can protect all your different computing platforms is appealing. McAfee is not the first company to have latched on to this commercial plan. By claiming to support Windows, Macintosh, iOS, Android and Blackberry devices it looks more flexible than most. It had a large detrimental effect on the performance of a Windows PC, though, and its protection level isn't as good as many of its rivals, according to AV-Test