McAfee Internet Security Suite 2009: interface

In line with the suite's inconsistent performance, McAfee's interface is good in some ways and less appealing in others. McAfee Internet Security Suite 2009 does a good job at organising features into intuitive categories such as ‘Computer & Files' or ‘Internet & Network', and generally it provides good information up front.

But surprisingly it lacks context-sensitive help, so if you click the help link while viewing the useful network map, for instance, you won't go straight to the relevant help section; instead you'll have to manually search or sift through the topics to find the information you need.

That said, McAfee Internet Security Suite 2009 does offer some convenient touches. Most notable: on the aforementioned network map, you can click the icon for your home network router to bring up its web configuration page in your browser.

Less well-designed is McAfee Internet Security Suite 2009's handling of a common adware file. When we attempted to download a screen saver from Zango that installs adware that most people would prefer to keep off their PCs, McAfee's suite correctly displayed a warning about the download attempt, but the only remediation option was to remove the program. Electing to do so brought up a McAfee uninstaller, which failed because the Zango program wasn't actually installed.

McAfee Internet Security Suite 2009 did the same thing when we scanned the Zango adware on an attached thumb drive. The suite might have become confused by Registry entries added by the site or download, but other suites were able to successfully get rid of the entries and the file.

Written by Robert Vamosi, PCWorld.com

OUR VERDICT

You'll find a wide array of features in McAfee Internet Security Suite 2009, including backups, parental controls and antispam, along with smaller offerings such as a file shredder. And the suite did a decent job at detecting malicious software in tests. But for protecting your PC, you have superior alternatives.