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McAfee Security-as-a-Service review

  • McAfee desktop client
  • Total Accuracy Rating Weighted
  • Protection Rating weighted
  • False Positive Score - Blocked
  • Protection Score
  • McAfee SaaS web interface


An easy to use web interface fails to make up for shockingly poor defence against malware

Review Date: 20 Nov 2012

Price when reviewed: £109


Reviewed By: Kat Orphanides

Our Rating 1 stars out of 5

Although McAfee's web interface is easy to use and particularly helpful when it comes to getting an overview of the protection status of all your PCs, we'd have liked additional features, notably content filtering. Email protection is also an optional extra. Most importantly, at £109 for five licences, you're paying quite a bit for very poor protection. We recommend buying Kaspersky Small Office Security instead.


Protection Score

This graph is a straight percentage of the threats that were either blocked immediately, or neutralised on a further system scan. Each product lost marks if it was allowed to be compromised. With 100 threats per bit of software, each percentage point counts as one bit of malware.

False Positive Score - Blocked

False positive score: blocked

This graph is a straight percentage showing how many bits of legitimate software were blocked. We didn't include any scores for warnings here. With 100 bits of software, each percentage point counts as a single legitimate application. On this graph lower scores are better.

Protection Rating weighted

Protection Rating (weighted)

Our protection ratings, scored out of 300, award products extra points for completely blocking a threat, while removing points when they are compromised by a threat. We awarded three points for defending against a threat, one for neutralizing it and deducted five points every time a product allowed the system to be compromised. The best possible score is 300 and the worst is -500. The reason behind this score weighting is to give credit to products that deny malware any opportunity to tamper with the system and to penalize heavily those that fail to prevent an infection.

Total Accuracy Rating Weighted

Total Accuracy Rating (weighted)

Our total accuracy rating combines the scores from the Protection Rating and adds scores for weighted False Positive ratings. Each product scores one point for each legitimate program it lets through. We deducted points if a program was warned about and more points if it was blocked. All deductions were based on a program's prevalence, so the more popular the application, the more points that were deducted. For example, blocking Skype is worse than blocking the Vuze BitTorrent client. In this graph, there is a maximum possible score of 400 and a minimum of -1,000.

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