Ever since a leaked copy of AOL’s Active Virus Shield software for Vista hit the web, I had been waiting for AOL’s official announcement. Well, now I know why AOL never released a new Vista-compatible version of their Kaspersky-powered antivirus software…they were instead preparing for the switch to McAfee!
The screenshot above was taken from the current Active Virus Shield website which kindly explains that Active Virus Shield is no longer available, and has instead been replaced with a special McAfee suite. It does include virus protection, spyware protection, and a firewall, but come on…it’s McAfee! They are just as bad as Norton when it comes to dragging down the performance of your computer. AOL does try to make it sound great by saying:
Buy this protection yourself, and you could spend as much as $39.99, but with an aol.com email address, you can receive this comprehensive set of safety tools free.
Yep, they even require you to get an AOL.com email address in order to use the software. Where’s the humanity? ;)
Kaspersky, and therefore Active Virus Shield, always ranked highly on the antivirus tests which made the now deceased app even more appealing. It didn’t do quite as good on the retrospective/heuristic testing, but I didn’t expect a free program to be the best in every area. This is one freeware program that I will truly miss.
I haven’t tried the new one myself because, well, I’m not exactly McAfee’s #1 fan. I’ve known people who had paid for their software before, and they always end up complaining a month or two down the road that their computer is horrendously slow. I always give my condolences to them for having purchased the software, and immediately install Avast (or sometimes AVG). I’ve yet to see someone complain that their computer is extremely slow after doing that.
So if you’re up for it, you can get the new AOL McAfee Security Center at no monetary cost, but don’t be surprised if you have to forfeit a good chunk of your system’s resources. Current Active Virus Shield users (those that have it downloaded and activated with a key they received) can continue to use the program, but future sign-ups are no longer allowed.