Nerds On Site

McAfee Update Severs Internet Access for Business and Home Users

On August 17th, McAfee released an update to it\’s antivirus products that caused many computer to lose access to the internet. A fix for that update has since been released, but the experience has left a bad taste in the mouths of customers.
McAfee is a large company with millions of users, but it is NOT the first to release a defective update that causes system to lose internet access, or detect critical system files as malicious.
Earlier this year, Symantec\’s Endpoint protection experienced that very issue, where it caused Windows to no longer boot up, resulting in many frustrated I.T. departments scrambling to perform the workaround on many (if not all) of their staff workstations. Symantec did release a fix for the problem – nearly a DAY later.
A couple of years ago, BitDefender released a faulty update that caused it to falsely identify core Windows files as malicious. Our recommendation at the time was to get rid of it and use something else.
This McAfee update severed internet access for many computers. McAfee suggested the following workaround.
\”One workaround,\” states an article on PCWorld, \”intended for users who lost Internet connectivity on their computers, involved uninstalling the product, rebooting the computer, downloading an updated version of the product from McAfee\’s website and installing it.\”
That process clearly gets complicated and time consuming in a large network of business computers.
On the Tech Guy Radio Show, hosted by Leo Laporte, someone in the irc.twit.tv chatroom complained about how he had to spend TWO DAYS going around to all of the computers on the network he manages, and getting McAfee working properly again.
Leo\’s advice was blunt. \”Get rid of McAfee! You don\’t give a company a second chance to do this to you!\”
At Nerds On Site, we are not fans of Symantec or McAfee products. They tend to slow systems down, take up a lot of resources, and they can be very difficult to use and troubleshoot. That said, we understand that many of our clients have already purchased those products and aren\’t interested in switching right away – or at all, due to cost and complexity of their networks.
We are vendor agnostic, but we are huge fans of ESET\’s NOD32 Antivirus products. They\’ve never had problems like this, and NOD32 is easy to use, doesn\’t take up a lot of system resources, and it just works!
We understand that mistakes happen, but when your product is literally used by millions of people who are absolutely relying on it to work properly and not crash their systems – and it happens anyway – it\’s easy to distrust those companies, and look elsewhere for security and virus protection.
Was your home or business affected by the flawed McAfee update? Please leave a comment below, post a comment on our Facebook Fan Page, send us a tweet, or email us! ([email protected])

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