Computer Security & Viruses/free anti-virus subscription


QUESTION: I'm not a techie and have a pretty basic question you may know the answer to. I currently use the free Avast antivirus program, but the Dell desktop pc I plan on buying comes with a free 12 month subscription to McAfee (is this a decent program?). When they offer this, do you know if it will already be activated, or will it require me to do something first? What, I don't know. My concern is connecting to the internet with first being protected.  Thanks

McAfee is a decent program. The only way to determine if it's truly for you or not is to test it and read the reviews.  Leading search engines will provide over a dozen sites that have reviewed it and give their opinions.
As far requirements, you'll need to register your PC and their installation with them, but that's normal.
Basically, it will work just find without much effort.
Still, it's not for everyone - so if you wish to return to Avast, or try another antivirus, make sure you download it to desktop, and uninstall McAfee completely before installing the new program.,2817,2469309,00.asp

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QUESTION: Thanks James. In the past, whenever downloading/installing an antivirus program I was always paranoid about going online to do that, because my PC was unprotected during that time. Sounds like I'll have to do that again with McAfee. Kind of ironic, but is it a risk to be online without antivirus protection, while registering and setting up an AV program?

When you go online to activate McAfee, you're directly connected to them and nothing else.

From my experience there's really no risk (or a miniscule risk), but you can likely confirm this in a timely manner by signing up to their free community forum and asking:  

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James Filmer


Viruses, Spam, hacking, Rootkits, Trojans, Keyloggers, all other forms of Malware, Internet access problems, slow systems, application and system instability, network abuse, Firewalls, layered security configurations, system maintenance support and general troubleshooting.


System, network and website administrator



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