by January 23, 2006 0 comments

A complete security suite with anti virus, anti spam and privacy protection that’s effective and easy to use, allowing you control over those who can use your PC for Internet access

You can’t secure your desktop with an anti-virus software
alone these days, which is why the available solutions combine all the necessary
elements into one. Take the McAfee Internet Suite for instance. It’s an
all-in-one package that includes an anti virus, a firewall, a privacy service
that provides security from information thefts and a spam killer. It’s pretty
easy to install, that takes just six steps, and using it post installation is
also a breeze. The McAfee Privacy Service is one interesting feature that
requires the user to authenticate before connecting to the Internet. The updates
process is also easy and straightforward, and wraps up in appreciable time on
most connections.

Price: Rs 2,500 
Meant For:
Windows desktop users
Key Specs: Detailed port monitoring, multi-user management, transparent scanning and updates
Pros: Easy to deploy and use, good set of configuration settings, simple interface
Cons: None
Contact: McAfee India,
Tel: 56935278.
RQS# E52 or SMS 130152 to 9811800601

We put the suite to a rigorous test against a compilation
of some of the most notorious viruses created. It managed to detect pretty much
everything we threw at it, whether it was single virus files or compressed files
with viruses; or compressed files within compressed files with viruses. The
firewall provided by McAfee has a good set of configuration settings, and
provides more features than the Windows firewall. It provides an option for
summary, which is further categorized into Main Summary for general category and
Application Summary, Event Summary and Hacker Summary. The latter three provide
summaries for the activities of applications, events and hacking attempts
respectively. It also provides options for viewing all activities of these
categories in detail. The firewall provides four different security
levels-Tight, Standard, Trusting and Open. There is also a feature of locking
down the computer, which blocks all traffic including browsing, e-mail and even
McAfee updates. The Privacy Service feature lets the user monitor all activities
on the machine while connected to the Internet. It creates a log of activities
that display detailed activities from the date and time of first run. The user
can save logs at a custom location but we didn’t find any auto-save option for
the same purpose. The user can set ‘Allowed Sites’ list for the privacy
service. One thing we liked about this package was that you can create different
users and grant them different access permissions. Permissions are for
allowed/restricted sites, cookie preferences and even specific words. 

McAfee Security center wondow that shows the options to configure all the features

The good thing is that it you can define permissions as per
user’s age. The users that are created are not the same as Win XP users, which
is pretty good. So even if you’re logged on as administrator, you can’t
access unless you provide the right credentials. Coming
to the Spam Killer, the feature maintains a global ‘filter’ which it keeps
updating. Users are, of course, allowed to create their own black lists. The
good thing is that besides recognizing pop e-mail accounts, it also recognizes
Web-based accounts. You’ll have to provide the password for the latter though. 

Once configured, the Spam Killer acts as a layer between
the mail client and the mail server, keeping the mail client away from any
direct access. Another notable feature of Spam Killer is that it constantly
scans the e-mail address book and keeps a tab on the friend’s list.

Bottom Line: Overall, it’s a pretty good security
suite that meets all the security needs of individual desktop users. We liked
its Internet control feature. A small hitch while going through some forums on
the Internet was that a good number of users feel that McAfee’s ‘Live
Technical Support’ is expensive.

Anadi Misra

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