This is my rant about McAfee antivirus. There are a great many antivirus products on the market and almost all of them are better. Trend and Panda happen to be my preference, but hey, it is what it is.
1) McAfee has serious issues with customer service. I called them yesterday because scan32.exe started sucking up 40-80% of my CPU cycles, out of the blue, along with copious amounts of RAM. Do I get help? No, I get told that even though they know they have a contract with my employer that they won’t help me because I don’t know my grant #. This is a pretty large place. Not only do I not know my grant #, I have no idea who would. I give them my work email address. I’m calling in from my office phone. It’s a large employer and we have our own exchange. They have my job title and the link to our web site that lists my profile along with my office phone # (which I’m calling from) and my email address (which I’m using to attempt to obtain support). Furthermore, hostmaster@ and webmaster@ both come to me. I offer to reply to an email sent to either of those. That still isn’t a grant #. None of that is good enough for them to accept that I actually work here and to give me some help. I know from the pages and pages of Google results (scan32.exe +CPU) that I’m not alone with this problem. I also know that I need a patch from them to fix it. Do I get it? No, that would be much too easy. Nor is this my first run in with their sucktastic technical support.
My first run in with their sucktastic support was when their product tanked our Exchange server by totally corrupting the mail store. They actually had the nerve to tell us that this was a known problem, that they had a patch to fix it, and if we wanted it we’d need to wait months for their next release and buy it. I don’t know about you and where you work, but there’s no way I can keep an email server out of operation for the next six to eight months while I wait for you to release a patch that I have to purchase. Going ballastic, I threaten to call every tech publication on planet earth in addition to blasting this to every newsgroup and tech web site I can find unless they cough up the patch right away. Doncha know they emailed me a patch, after I end up yelling at enough people to finally get passed to a Vice President.
2) I’m stuck with McAfee. Since this is a large employer, I don’t get make decisions about the antivirus software that runs on my workstation. If I did, you can bet your pinkies it would NOT be McAfee. The whole idea behind using antivirus software is that it’s supposed to work.
3) Now that I’ve managed to fix McAfee on my own – no thanks to the dorks at Technial Support – it is STILL sucking up huge amounts of RAM. I’m looking in my task manager right now. Mcsheild.exe 67MB. VsTskMgr.exe 1MB. OlAddin.exe 14MB. Framework Service 13MB. That’s 95 MB RAM for McAfee and all its little friendly sub processes. Worse yet, it’s not even scanning anything right now. On access scan is disabled because it makes my rather beefy desktop noticably draggy. That’s unacceptable. ClamWin – a free product – 16MB.
4) The on access scan is horrible. I tried it at home and noticed that my games were stuttering. I tried it here and noticed that it takes ages for my compiler to run anything. My boot time when I reboot is very slow because it takes for ever for all the McAfee stuff to start. All of my applications take for ever to open. It is much slower to save a file. The whole thing is just painful. Too painful to use. Which completely negates any advantage to even having it in the first place. I’m certain that I’m not the only one turning this off.
5) Many viruses are able to disable or modify McAfee so that they can still infect your machine. Not only do you end up with an OS that’s infected, you end up with an anti-virus that PWNED by the viruses. Nice. Not only do I have to clean up my OS because your sucktastic product let it get infected, but I have to clean up my antivirus.
6) Many viruses are able to make it look as if McAfee is still working, updating, and scanning your machine when in fact, the virus has disabled it. Again, not only is your OS virus tainted, you end up with an anti-virus that PWNED by the viruses.