McAfee.com Updates Clinic

SAN FRANCISCO (05/17/2000) - Keeping tabs on your PC's health and performance isn't always easy. But McAfee.com Corp. is adding more utilities to its online Clinic services to help.

In addition to VirusScan and performance tools, McAfee.com is adding two applications, Fileswipe and Hardware Upgrade Analyst, to its clinic, which costs $29.95 for a one-year subscription. And McAfee.com has boosted compression by 45 percent--updating the data files of VirusScan is now a faster 1MB download, down from 1.6MB.

Part of the regular Clinic subscription, Fileswipe helps you erase files more completely. It overwrites files multiple times so they are virtually unrecoverable.

"Generally, just because you delete something, it's not completely gone from your system," says Eddy Hsia, director of engineering at McAfee.com. Fileswipe is helpful for erasing a spreadsheet with personal information or a wallet application, he adds.

Another new McAfee.com function helps you determine how to enhance your PC.

Based on the user profile you select, Hardware Upgrade Analyst scans your system and compares it to an ideal system.

"If you're a gamer, it checks if you have the appropriate video and memory," Hsia says. If you're a mobile user, or "road warrior," it looks to see if you have enough memory and a fast enough processor, Hsia adds.

Fast Guide to an Upgrade

I signed up for the free trial of McAfee.com Clinic. Besides the new tools, you'll find online antivirus scan products, performance optimizers, an application remover and restorer, and a software update-finder.

When I clicked on the hardware upgrade analyst, a pop-up window offered six user profiles from which I could choose: Bargain Hunter, Home User, Business User, Game Player, Power/Professional User, and Road Warrior.

I chose Power/Professional User. McAfee.com says my 21GB hard drive and modem (I have a T1 connection) meet my needs. My 128KB of memory as well as my DVD-ROM drive, 17-inch monitor, and video card are adequate, although I could consider shopping. But my CPU, a 550-MHz Pentium III, doesn't cut it for a power user. McAfee.com recommends I get at least a 600-MHz processor. My system scored a little better when I ran the upgrade analyst for a Business User.

McAfee.com says the Business User profile is useful for small-business or home-office users who have no technical support staff.

Besides the Clinic services, McAfee.com also offers other online self-improvement tools, including a $19.95 Personal Firewall service.

Other E-Mail Protections

McAfee.com isn't the only one updating its virus-hunting tools in the wake of the "ILOVE YOU" virus.

Competitor Symantec is working with Yahoo Mail to reduce the spread of viruses.

Outgoing Yahoo Mail file attachments such as documents, spreadsheets, zip files, presentations, and executable files are now automatically scanned for viruses using Symantec's technology.

Yahoo mail users can choose to scan incoming e-mail file attachments, as well.

The software also attempts to deactivate any virus it finds.

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