Updated May 13th, 2015 – With the McAfee 2016 beta just announced, it’s time once again for us to start tracking the upcoming release of the 2016 versions of McAfee antivirus and security software. From what we’ve heard so far, the release is scheduled to occur around the same time as it did last year (around September 10th). And just like most other internet security companies, McAfee gives all of their current subscribers free upgrades to the new versions when they become available. So if you’re on the fence and don’t know if it’s worth getting new service or upgrading/extending your existing service, then rest assured that you will be entitled to all future updates through the life of your membership.
The one thing that we are not yet sure of is if the “McAfee” brand will stay or not in the 2016 release. Intel, the chip makers, purchased McAfee a few years ago and have slowly been making the branding transition to reflect the Intel brand. However in light of the negative media brought on by founder John McAfee, including his own jabs at the company, we wouldn’t be surprised if Intel decided to completely rename the entire security line to completely disconnect from him.
What we would like to see changed in McAfee 2016
If you’ve recently been researching different review sites to determine which antivirus/computer security software to buy, then you’ve probably seen that there are good and bad things to be said about all of them, regardless of the brand you choose. Each one has it’s own plusses and minuses. And the funny thing is, every brand that we’ve seen has almost an equal amount of users saying that the installation process was easy while the the other half of users were complaining how difficult/horrendous the installation process was for them. I guess the same is to be said about all software.
The last month we’ve had the opportunity to talk to several existing McAfee users as well as read some of the reviews coming from those on the 2015 versions of McAfee Total Protection, Internet Security and Antivirus. We’ve narrowed down all the feedback to this list of changes that we would like to see in the 2016 release:
- Improved Product Performance – This is one of these issues that will vary greatly depending on your specific system, it’s technical parameters, and the operating system you are running. With that said, certain users on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 64-bit systems have reported that McAfee causes their PC’s to slow to a crawl due to the programs CPU usage. It appears that the issue can be traced to the McAfee Vulnerability Scanner (when it’s on) and full system scans. Some users have even reported that the software uses up to 200MB of RAM when in use. We hope that for 2016 that this issue will be improved. Until then, your only option is to disable the scanner and/or run computer scans at night or when you’re not using your computer.
- Bring back McAfee Online Backup – At the end of 2014, McAfee announced that their Online Backup service will be discontinued. For those of you who’ve been using it to keep their important files safe, or for those looking to switch over from Norton’s Security Software, then this is quite a disappointment. We hope that McAfee decides to brings it back in one form or another.
- Improved Customer Support – This is an issue that’s not exclusive to McAfee as it also tops our list for improvements in Norton 2016. Seems like in the last few years every major computer security company has outsourced their technical and customer support teams overseas. As a result, the quality of help has significantly declined which can be extremely frustrating especially when your computer is being taken over by a nasty virus. And it doesn’t help that most of the reps are generally poorly trained, following a pre-written script, and usually can’t assist in more advanced or unique cases. But what makes McAfee worse than the rest are the fees that they demand for help. Technical support can run you upwards of $80.00 for one intervention or $180.00 or more for one year support. And they won’t even begin to help you without getting your credit card number first.
- Adware not considered a virus in McAfee (i.e. “Rockettab”) – Adware is considered a “non-virus” issue in all flavors of McAfee and tends to not block it unless you specifically tell it to do so. By default the program should block this stuff as on the most part it’s not wanted by most users.
- Other Improvements – Several other McAfee users have asked for UI changes, complaining that it’s slightly confusing and overall amateurish in design. Others complain that McAfee/Intel is sometimes slow in reacting and sending updates for new malware (however we can’t independently confirm this). And when there is a new threat, McAfee’s interface doesn’t let users submit malware samples or a “false positives” within the program itself. Finally, we’ve hear that most versions of McAfee 2015 versions have problems working well on systems running Windows XP even though it’s listed as being compatible in the system requirements.
What do you want to see changed in McAfee 2016?
Let us know what you would like to see changed in the 2016 release of McAfee Antivirus, Internet Security, Total Protection or any other version of their computer security software that you are currently using. Leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.