We’ve looked at quite a few online security packages of late and we’ve been impressed with how comprehensive they have been.



However, McAfee, the long-established leader in this space isn’t about to let others lead the way. When we say they’re big, we mean big, with over 3000 staff and over 100 million products sold.

Internet Security Suite 2006 is the latest update and maintains the clean interface of last year’s version. The main screen covers your resistance to viruses, spam, spyware and even hackers. You’ll find the status of your machine clearly displayed with green standing for a clean system, while red flags up a problem.

There are a slew of security suites now on the market, so one of the main questions you should ask yourself is - what does this one offer that the others can’t?

In the case of McAfee the answer is two-fold. The first is the ease of installation. This isn’t a program that thinks you know every there is to know about your computer. So, the average person can load it without having to worry about what they’re doing.

The other key feature is the post-installation support, which in the case of security tools is regular uploads to anti-virus patches, effectively limiting danger to your computer. A new feature is automatic spyware detection, which blocks secretly download themselves and run without you even knowing they are there.

An anti-phishing feature is bundled with the suite and works with Internet Explorer, which is still the world’s favoured web-browser with 90% of us still using it, according to IDC. The feature works by blocking access to sites that are known to be used for fraudulent means. The first time this happens you’ll get a warning on your screen, which is a little nerve-wracking and heavy handed but helps protect the inexperienced internet user.

One neat little feature that’s appeared this year is in the SpamKiller toolbar, which when used in conjunction with Microsoft Outlook allows you to unlock email accidentally trapped in the spam-filter. Any mail you want to get rid of can be sent through the Shredder, along with deleted files, so hiding your traces on the system.

If there is any problem with the suite it’s the same problem that most security tools suffer from, it’s one of over-caution. This manifests itself in the number of pop-ups you’ll need to wade through when setting the suite up. Whenever a program legitimately, or not, tries to connect to the Internet, you’ll need to allow it permission to do so. In this way, you can train your computer to prevent attacks.

Verdict

When it comes to protecting your computer from attacks, you can’t skimp or take the easy route. Fortunately, McAfee is here to take almost all the strain out of it.



When it comes to security suites, this has to be one of the easiest to use - simply buy it, install it and forget it's there and it’ll keep you covered.