i am getting an antivirus software and the ads from buy.com look nice but left me utterly confused. also their support was of no help.

McAfee Total Protection 2011 is what i am looking at but dont know how it differs from their "internet protection" product or their "anti virus product"

can some one suggest my best course of action to get total protection on 2 laptops please?

i am looking at these for now: http://www.buy.com/pr/product.aspx?sku=217088185



i want total protection, and not an upgrade, i want an out of the box solution thoughts?

6 Answers 6


Total protection is a package of several integrated products to protect your PC, which includes Anti Virus. One of those links you posted was for 3 user licenses, might be cheaper than buying 2 single user licenses, you would have to compare.

I don't particularly like these types of bundled software, they hook into to many windows processes and cause more trouble than they are worth. McAfee is the worst software in my humble opinion.

I like this free one from Microsoft, it does a great job of protecting and is FREE!



  • does it take care of internet attacks like downloading a virus. im tired of losing web access on my computer cause some app will only let me browse some spam site and not allow me to use my browser. im willing to pay, i just want to get rid of all the hassle.
    – kacalapy
    Dec 6, 2010 at 17:38
  • Yes it is excellent software made by the same company the made your Operating System.
    – Moab
    Dec 6, 2010 at 19:31
  • 4
    @kacalapy - It's as good as any of the other solutions you posted. But, if you're "tired of losing web access" due to viruses, you need to understand that anti-virus software is a distant third in the steps you need to take to protect your computer. Steps 1 and 2 are making sure you keep windows up to date (run windows updates regularly) and not running as administrator by default (including turning on UAC on vista and later). Both are far more important and effective than using anti-virus software. Dec 12, 2010 at 16:35
  • 2
    As Joel says, antivirus takes a very distant third place to good internet practices such as not downloading software of dubious provenance and keeping the system protected by keeping it up to date. If you're repeatedly getting virus infections then I'd suggest you need to look more at what you're doing and where you're going to get the infections, if it's a friend or someone in the family then I'd lock the machine down and only let them browse the internet in an easily wipeable virtual machine. Education (like charity) starts at home...
    – Mokubai
    Dec 12, 2010 at 17:05

Use Microsoft Security Essentials.

  • 1
    Read answer by Moab.
    – harrymc
    Dec 6, 2010 at 17:54

Symantic, McAfee and the rest of the "multi-box" packages are nothing but a pain. In my experience they suck up system resources and get in the way more often than not. They also tend to be expensive and, frankly, a bit too alarmist in their marketing tactics. Clearly some people think the free stuff from Microsoft is fine. I find it clunky, intrusive and a bit oblique. If they are asking me to stick to the "recommended settings" I would at least like to know why (and in plain English).

Microsoft includes troubleshooters that typically can't troubleshoot and an uninstaller that doesn't actually uninstall full programs. With that kind of track record, I don't feel very good about their firewall or anti-virus freebies. So, about a year ago, I went with Avast and have not looked back. It worked like a charm on my clunky old Dell (a piece if crap) and it's as wonderful on my new laptop (Toshiba Satellite, 8GB RAM, Core i5, Windows 7 64 bit). I also had my mother (a computer novice) dump Norton for Avast about six months ago and she loves it.

I started with the free edition and was impressed. It's also really free. Not a trial or a partial program. The user interface is very consumer friendly. It is very customizable so as you gain more experience you can play with more options. If you don't want to play, Avast covers all the bases and then some. I love the screen saver scan (which attaches a customized virus scan to your screensaver. Whenever your screensaver engages, so does your scan) as well as the targeted scans for email, USB devices, P2P downloads and Internet browsing. I liked the program so much, I switched to the paid version more out of guilt/appreciation than necessity.

Their online help is thorough and easy to navigate and understand. They are also very responsive to customer service inquiries. Avast Internet Security is about $50/year and it allows you to cover up to 3 PCs. It gives you anti-virus, firewall, anti-spam and an exhaustive array of network and Internet shields in one neat package. No matter what you choose, be sure that you are only running ONE firewall. Your Windows Security Center will summarize this for you. With Avast, turn off Windows Firewall but also check to see if your router if you are on a wireless network. Some wireless routers also come with a firewall.

Multiple firewalls running simultaneously can be a problem.

  • 1
    A linebreak here and there might not hurt. :-)
    – oKtosiTe
    Dec 12, 2010 at 20:14
  • Yes surely a Wall-o-text
    – Brettski
    Dec 25, 2010 at 19:56

If you really want to be well-protected, a free suite is fine.

For example: Comodo Internet Security features

  • Antivirus, Anti-Spyware, Anti-Rootkit & Bot protection
  • Defends your PC from Internet attacks
  • Detects and eliminates viruses
  • Prevents malware from being installed
  • Auto Sandbox Technology
  • Easy to install, configure and use
  • Free to both business and home users

Comodo is very strong on prevention, somewhat less strong on detection.
But you can use any other free antivirus product for your scans, such as Avast.

Another very good and free product is Online Armor Free.


Commodo is good, as are many in their singular ways, but a combo of Trendmicro titanium maximum and malwarebytes has my vote.


Sunbelt Software Vipre Antivirus Premium It's 100% the best combined Firewall and Virus protection. link text

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