McAfee Total Protection 2010

McAfee Total Protection 2010 hits many of the right notes. It's easy to use and it's effective, but years of below-average releases will likely leave many users unwilling to give it a try.

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Several features have been discontinued from previous versions. SystemGuards has been fully replaced by Artemis, and local backup has been replaced by Mozy. The Personal Information Protection, in which a user could enter personal data such as social security numbers or credit card info and expect to have its unintended dissemination over the internet prevented was discontinued for not being effective. The PasswordVault for securing passwords on the web has been replaced by browser-provided password protection, and the EasyNetwork system for local file-sharing has been replaced by Windows 7's file-sharing system. This anticipates data just released, that in the few months that Windows 7 has been available to the public it has taken more than 10 per cent of the operating system market share.


As with most program overhauls, McAfee promises faster install times, faster scan times, more effective scans and a small memory footprint. In empirical testing, the first fast scan finished in under 10 minutes. Because of file marking, subsequent fast scans finished in under a minute. The first full scan took nearly 85 minutes.

McAfee claims that the first full scan will be 55 minutes faster on the 2010 version as compared with the 2009 version. Subsequent full scans should be an astounding 120 minutes faster, from 135 minutes to 15 minutes. McAfee also claims that users should see their computers with the 2010 version start up 300 per cent faster than with the 2009 version, and that computer shut-downs with the new version should be 30 per cent faster.

The most likely reason for the massive improvement in start-up time is that, like a few other security vendors, McAfee doesn't fully load all of its processes by the time that you can start using programs on your desktop. Brian Trombley, McAfee's director of consumer product management, stated that this doesn't affect the security of the computer, only that the McAfee interface isn't fully accessible until about 90 seconds after the system tray icons appear.

In benchmark tests performed by CNET Labs, McAfee's 2010 programs generally scored near or slightly above average, but not in every case. Some highlights from the charts here include noting that the high-end McAfee Total Protection 2010 slowed start-up times by three seconds, while the base-level McAfee AntiVirus Plus added only 2.1 seconds. By comparison, many competitors added anywhere from 10 seconds to 19 seconds to start-up times. Across the board, two of the McAfee programs added only one second to shut-down times, and one added 1.1 seconds. Both those numbers are very good.

However, in full-scan times, McAfee Total Protection is so far the slowest of the 2010 security suites we've tested, taking 40 minutes to complete a scan on our test machine. Many competitors took less than half that time. McAfee also did well in our iTunes decoding test, with McAfee Total Protection taking 193 seconds, tied for the fastest program with Avast. Meanwhile, McAfee Internet Security was one of the fastest programs in the Cinebench test, tied for fourth fastest.

What this means is that as a group, McAfee's 2010 suites have a smaller-than-average impact on your computer's resources, although they tend to be slower than average at their primary scanning task.

Malware detection and blocking tests performed by independent evaluator found McAfee Internet Security 2010 in the middle of its test pack. In mid-December 2009, it detected 87.2 per cent of threats launched at it, with few false positives. It successfully blocked 86.7 per cent of those threats. found the 2009 product to score Advanced+ on three tests, Advanced on three tests, and Standard on two tests. This placed McAfee in the middle of the AV-Comparatives testing group, as well.


McAfee's support exists, but it's almost entirely online as forums and live chat. Seeing as how some competitors still offer live phone service and include robust help files, it's hard not to wonder why McAfee is deficient here.


Overall, McAfee's 2010 products felt light and didn't interfere with heavy computer use over a half day of real-world testing. The initial indexing scan is the key to enjoying faster scan times with the McAfee's 2010 products, and users looking for a change of pace might appreciate the new interface. While the performance benchmarks are fairly strong, and the program's usability has improved, what we've seen from third-party testers is that the benchmarks need to improve before the program can earn a rating.


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cooltype posted a review   

Totally failed at preventing and then detecting Antivirus .NET and then McAfee Tech Support said that the only way they could help was if I paid $129.95 AUD for them to remove it even though I still have 18 months left on the original subscription.


DJCurren$y posted a reply   

My unlce had the same problem and called the customer service line only to be asked to pay money even though he still had a subscription. After paying for Tech support the call centre gave him a number to call its been almost a week and he still hasn't received support. Being an IT student i could never recommand McAfee. What a joke!


MPP posted a review   

The Good:Total Protection

The Bad:Bulky

Best for expert users who can admin the firewall and other settings.


Two posted a comment   

The Good:Better design packagewise

The Bad:Poorer content

Glossier and slickier package but did not have key features of the one item I really liked beyond the usual spam, virus scan, firewall that could be found in the lower priced packages. That is the maintain computer option. Also, I bought the 2010 last fall with all the features in it (delete system restore points etc.) and now in midstream, in the latest update, all is downgraded on me. Seems like I should get a refund. Why was the maintain computer (now optimization) downgraded? Is there no agency overseeing these companies? I do not see other companies getting away with selling something and then arbitrarily deciding to take something back without giving a refund! This was done once before in a package that included clean, virusscan and firewall-- sometime in the early to mid 2000s and then one year McAfee removed the clean option entirely from the package--I have forgotten the name of the package. Seems like they are on the road to doing the same with Total Protection and possibly Internet Security if optimization is still in that package. A shame.


Fred posted a comment   

The Good:fast and does the basics well

The Bad:see review

I have been using McAfee for the last 4 years and have been very happy with the product especially their Quick Clean (Now called PC optimisation)
I downloaded Internet Security 2010 from the McAffee site as my subscription was due,it arrived with only 4 features instead of the 6 it should have, it was minus pc optimisation and Data protection and back up (just like the picture in cnets review which does not match any picture in McAfee's web site of any product ie. none of them only have 4 features) and not what I paid for, it took 6 hours of Indian techie time via virtual tech and remote help to sort this on the weekend.
2010 has no system restore point cleaner as in the last version,a very naff interface, no quick link right hand click to maintain computer from icon in notification bar as in last version and you cant check what files have been deleted in PC optimisation as in last version and who's brilliant idea was it to put the M logo in a shield ? Oh and if you want to delete the short cut on your desktop you can't unless you get special instructions.
I don't think this product was quite ready for release.
However their customer service is efficient and this was an Easter weekend..

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User Reviews / Comments  McAfee Total Protection 2010

  • cooltype



    "Totally failed at preventing and then detecting Antivirus .NET and then McAfee Tech Support said that the only way they could help was if I paid $129.95 AUD for them to remove it even though I stil..."

  • MPP



    "Best for expert users who can admin the firewall and other settings."

  • Two


    "Glossier and slickier package but did not have key features of the one item I really liked beyond the usual spam, virus scan, firewall that could be found in the lower priced packages. That is the..."

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