Goodbye McAfee, Hello Avast anti-virus

A tale from February 2014. Still no fan of McAfee but have moved on from Avast to the free version of Bitdefender.

When I purchased my new Dell desktop computer about a year ago it came with a thirty month subscription to McAfee anti-virus software included.

As I had never been a fan of McAfee my first thought was to remove it and put another anti-virus program on instead. But as it was effectively free and did not seem to slow my new reasonably high spec computer down I decided to stick with it and see how it went.

After a while I started noticing problems with my email program, Thunderbird, freezing. A search pinned this down to a setting in McAfee which was rectified by altering a value. However the problem kept returning and I had to keep changing settings. It was rapidly becoming a pain.

Change to a better anti-virus program?

Last week I was in a newsagents and noticed one of the computer magazines had an article on anti-virus software including tests. Being nosey I browsed the article.

The most striking thing was how low they rated McAfee!

So what did they recommend? Well the paid for software that came out top was Kaspersky. I used to use Kaspersky years ago and it has always had a pretty good reputation.

The other ‘recommended’ anti-virus program was the free version of Avast. I was happily using Avast on the desktop computer I was running before I bought my new Dell and had always been impressed with it.

The swap over

It was now pretty much a no brainer. Get rid of an anti-virus program that I didn’t like, that was causing me problems, that scored low in a magazine review, and replace it with a better, free, alternative.

I downloaded the install program for the free version of Avast and saved it to my desktop. I did the same with a program called McAfee Consumer Product Removal tool (MCPR) available from McAfee.

As a safety precaution I then switched my internet router off. For a short period my computer would have not anti-virus protection, so better to be safe than sorry.

Removing McAfee was straightforward. First I went into ‘Programs and Features’ in the Windows ‘Control Panel’ and uninstalled the program. The next step was running the previously downloaded McAfee Consumer Product Removal tool (MCPR) to clear out all the remnants uninstalling alone had not.

Old program gone I now ran the downloaded install program for Avast. This was quick and simple.

Once all this was done I switched the computer off and back on again. I may well have got away without doing this but it is always safest after a major software change.

Of course I then had to restart my router to restore my internet connection.

The whole process was painless and quick. Having Avast back is great. I much prefer it to McAfee and wish I had bitten the bullet earlier.

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