I’m done with McAfee VirusScan
For years and years and years, I’ve been a loyal customer of McAfee for their virus protection and security software. Lots of people swear by Norton, but I’ve never been one of their customers; just didn’t happen that way. There’s a saying in retail that if you can get a customer early in their buying days, you can have them for life because they’ll practice brand loyalty. I happen to believe that’s true, because if you’re comfortable with something, why bother changing?
The answer to that question is actually pretty obvious: You change if the product drives you away. Like McAfee freaking VirusScan.
Over the past couple years, VirusScan has gone from a solid security suite to one of the most annoying Windows applications on the planet. It didn’t get there overnight (or maybe it did and I’ve just been dulled by the prolonged pain). During my past few years of using it, it’s been a gradual progression of building frustration to the point of boiling rage.
Somewhere along the way, McAfee lost sight of something: Its users’ appreciation for it helping thwart possible security threats (the .0004-percent-chance-possible threats, that is) is far, far, FAR outweighed by the BOILING CUMULATIVE RAGE created by the fact that McAfee is such an annoying pain in the ass.
Basically, my problems, Mr. McAfee, are these:
1. You bug me with too much piddly shit too often.
2. You don’t give me enough options to tell you to leave me the fuck alone.
3. Pop-up spam.
McAfee goes to great lengths to protect you from yourself. After all, you’re your own worst enemy when you get out on “the Google” and surf “the Internets.” You’ve never accidentally downloaded a virus in your life, but McAfee doesn’t trust you to do anything. McAfee is the overprotective mom who says not to cross the street because, you know, you might get hit by that hypothetical runaway bus coming down the cul-de-sac in the lazy residential neighborhood.
It’s bad enough that McAfee warns you about every tiny little registry change — even if it’s made by what should be a trusted application. And clicking “Remember this action” doesn’t seem to do jack. Unless it’s just remembering that it’s okay to change that one registry setting that allows Internet Explorer to install the ActiveX whatever-the-hell in this particular situation that will NEVER ARISE AGAIN. Thanks for remembering THAT, McAfee!
But mainly it’s that it’s become a hog. Always with the downloading of the updates the second I log on. Always with the automatic virus scans that start when THEY feel like, which cannot be scheduled or overridden. (Sure, you can cancel them when they start, but only after they start, at which point your four-year-old computer has slowed to a crawl.) Always with the notifications that I should BUY MORE McAFEE PRODUCTS THAT I DON’T WANT. Enough already. Shut up! If this thing could do half of what it does quieter and faster — in short, doing its job invisibly rather than drawing attention to itself — that would be a start.
But McAfee does too many things on its terms and does them too slowly. I’ve had it. The only regret I have is that I didn’t do this many months ago, rather than waiting for my subscription to expire. Windows Live OneCare, which is my replacement, is like the most user-friendly anti-virus software ever made, in comparison.