VIRUSCAN, CLEAN-UP, VSHIELD. (virus detection, removal and early-warning software) (Software Review) (Evaluation)
by Bradley M. Small
Every once in a while, a software company comes along that just seems to do everything the right way and at the right time. McAfee Associates is one of those companies. It has produced a line of virus detection, removal, and early-warning software that's head and shoulders above the competition.
I've used one form of virus protection or another since I was first exposed to computer viruses in college, but I always seem to come back to the McAfee products. The reasons are quite simple: They work, they work well, and they work simply.
I have encountered several viruses in my travels, what with being an avid user of bulletin board systems (BBSs) as well as a collector of shareware. Not only has VIRUSCAN (the virus detector) never missed one, but CLEAN-UP (the virus remover) has never failed to remove even the boot-sector viruses.
The really interesting thing about McAfee products is that you probably won't see them in your local computer store. They're distributed through the shareware or user-supported concept of distribution. This means that you use the software and, if you like it (that is, it's a useful utility that you use with some regularity), you pay the author some registration fee. If you don't like it, you just quit using it.
The other way you may get one of the McAfee products is if it comes with your computer. McAfee has signed bundling contracts with some computer manufacturers, such as Austin and Leading Edge.
The programs come with very easy-to-read documentation that fully explains all of the options available. I feel that a specific word of warning is warranted, though: When installing the early-warning software VSHIELD, do so after all networking and disk-caching software and before any shells such as Windows or MS-DOS Shell.
Registration for personal use allows you free upgrades and phone technical support for a year. For business use, a site license is required. It entities you to two years' worth of free upgrades and phone support.
Another trait I find admirable is that virus elimination is the company's only business. McAfee doesn't write DOS shells or word processors, just virus detection and elimination programs. This means that all of its efforts go into keeping viruses out of our machines These programs prove that McAfee is doing its work well.