Review: McAfee Total Protection Service, why hosting is a godsend for small business

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Review: McAfee Total Protection Service, why hosting is a godsend for small business

McAfee actually hosts the Web management for its security package, making it perfect for small businesses that don't run their own servers.

We've been big fans of McAfee's Total Protection Service ever since it launched. Where most other small business solutions require you to install your own Web server for management purposes, McAfee actually hosts the service for you, making the job of setting up and administering the security systems vastly easier. It makes it perfect for small businesses that don't run their own servers.

As an administrator, all you have to do with the Total Protection Service is pay for your licences. McAfee then provides you with a password and an administration URL. To manage clients, you just log onto the McAfee Web site.

To install new clients, you can just send a URL link to individual users and ask them to install the software it links to. They will automatically be associated with your account and will appear as another client in your management console.

This simplicity is sure to have tremendous appeal to small and medium businesses alike, many of whom don't have the technical expertise to manage their own Web server.

The suite doesn't lack for features, either. It provides comprehensive security, a light client agent that's largely invisible to the end user (as it should be) and a management interface that provides excellent individual, group and global management of clients.

The management console allows you to change all the clients' settings as if you were sitting in front of them. You'll never need to actually visit the PC.

The client-side agent provides your basic protections - firewall, antivirus, anti-spyware - as well as providing an excellent Web and phishing protection system, a rare feature on small business security products.

The basic service doesn't provide spam filtering, though you can acquire server-side anti-spam by upgrading to the Advanced version of the Total Protection Service.

Given its simplicity, power and very reasonable price (especially if you commit to three years), McAfee's Total Protection service comes very highly recommended. Quite simply, the hosted service is a godsend, the protection it provides is excellent and the management tools are top notch.

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