I was diagnosing an intermittent WiFi fault with a laptop, when the company general manager wanders in and asks if I’m doing anything on the network.
I say, yes, I’ve put a new WiFi adapter in the laptop.
He say his McAfee just started warning him about an intrusion on the network…
So I go and take a look, and sure enough, his laptop is running McAfee security suite, and is saying that an unknown computer was found on the network.
Its easy enough for me to label the computer as trusted.
But I start to think: detecting unknown computers on a network is a good idea, in principal, but it only really works if the person being warned has an understanding of networks.
In this case, detecting unknown computers could just generate confusion, particularly on a small sized network (with no full-time computer tech), where one might not be aware (and not want to be aware) of all new computers appearing on the network.
In this case, the GM probably just wanted some virus/spyware protection, but ended up getting a lot more than he really wanted.
The “unknown computer on the network” feature is probably not appropriate in a product that gets sold to the general public… particularly when most people just stick the CD in the drive, install the software, and then want to get on with their work without having to worry about their internet security.
I really didn’t have time to see if I could turn off this feature, but next time I get a chance, I’ll probably disable it.