McAfee has released the first public beta of McAfee Free Antivirus.
The package is very basic, and just includes real-time protection, and -- optionally -- McAfee WebAdvisor to keep you safe online. There’s not even on-demand scanning, although a grayed-out "Scan Now" button suggests it’s on the way.
This lack of functionality could be a problem, as McAfee Free Antivirus doesn’t run happily alongside other security software (it refused to install until we removed our existing suite). We wouldn’t want to rely on it as our main source of protection for very long.
Still, the program is at least easy to use. Right-clicking an icon in your system displays a "disable real-time scanning" option, an "Open" option displays your system status, and apart from a few small extras -- a log, a self-protect option -- that’s it.
Right now McAfee Free Antivirus is for McAfee fans and the curious, then. But if that sounds like you, the beta is available now for -- we think -- Windows Vista and later.