Friday, December 12, 2008

Why McAfee has Completely lost the Plot

(warning... this is rant - I know you're not supposed to blog about things when you're irritated but I've been irritated with McAfee for ages and it's not going away).

My irritation with McAfee's Anti-Malware technologies has slowly been building for the past six months.

For a start, I find myself disabling their firewall more often than I leave it enabled. The thing constantly tries to chew up 90+ percent of my systems resources. What's the point of having security software if, for usability reasons, you have to constantly turn it off?

Whenever I start Lotus Notes 8.0.2, I have to remember to stop the McShield service (from the services part of control panel) before I double-click the icon. If I forget, my PC slows to a crawl and I can make filtered coffee and still get back with plenty of hourglass watching time.

It would be easy to blame Notes for this but it performs so well when McAfee is off. In addition, several of my other bits of software perform much better without McAfee. The new Blackberry Desktop Software v4.6 which shipped with the Bold is completely unusable with McAfee running, as is our Nortel PABX Telephone system. In fact, it seems that anything using Java is dead in the water with McAfee.

To add to my irritation, McAfee doesn't even seem to stop malware. They're still in the mode of "we do anti-virus and firewall - not anti-malware". If I want to check against malware, I have to get something like AdAware or Spybot Search and Destroy. I'm sick of having to buy a different product for every different security menace on my PC. If it's designed to keep the PC secure, then one product should do the job properly.

Then there's the reporting. I used to complain about the reporting from Symantec but all I get from McAfee is that x% of your computers aren't protected. Well Mr McAfee ... why AREN'T they protected? You're the Anti-Virus Software and You're supposed to be updating. Why was I so wrong in thinking that I could set you to automatic-update and then do other work? I've got work to do... I can't sit around babysitting an anti-virus app which can't auto-update properly on its own.

Of course, the think that really, really irritates me is SiteAdvisor. This used to be a good product until McAfee started blocking whole domains. I've spoken to them on about three occasions about blocking the ENTIRE BLOGGER domain. That's right... the whole of Every single blog on blogger.

First they refused to see the issue, then they tried to say that it was my fault... that my version of the "self-updating" SiteAdvisor was wrong... both on my work computer and on my home PC. Well, as from today, I can safely say that I'm on a brand new PC with a brand new version of site advisor loaded. (though not for long).

It's their problem - and they refuse to deal with it.

How do I reward that kind of customer service....

I think it's time I started looking for a new anti-malware vendor.

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