Anti-virus software, perhaps more than any other IT application, requires constant update maintenance. Even the best anti-virus solution is only as good as its last update. In order to deliver the very best level of virus protection to our customers, our anti-virus research organization, McAfee Labs, has the world's largest deployment of security and virus researchers and developers working 24/7 to keep McAfee solutions ahead of the pack. McAfee Labs develops new signatures to combat the latest virus threats and works with our engineering team to ensure our scanning engine technology continues to lead the industry.
Collectively we describe signature file (.DAT) updates, engine revisions, and new software versions as software maintenance. Access to all forms of software maintenance is provided under the terms of our Technical Support services. Without a Technical Support service agreement, the customer has no entitlement to access any form of software maintenance.
Customers must have a current Technical Support agreement in order to be entitled to download product updates and upgrades, including engine and .DAT updates for both subscription and perpetually licensed software. At this point in time, .DAT files and engine updates may be downloaded without entry of a valid Grant ID, however this does not legally entitle a customer to do so.
How to ensure you have access to product updates and upgrades:
McAfee offers two key forms of licensing: Subscription and Perpetual.
Subscription Licenses: The current 2.1 subscription licensing model was introduced on January 1, 2001. This separated entitlement to software maintenance from entitlement to use the software. The customer must have a current Technical Support agreement in order to be entitled to access software maintenance. The first year of the two-year term product license includes Technical Support. Entitlement to software maintenance during the second year of the product license term is obtained by purchasing an additional one-year Technical Support agreement.
Perpetual Licenses: This is for customers who prefer an indefinite software license term, backed by renewable annual Technical Support contracts. McAfee perpetual licenses require the customer to choose an appropriate Technical Support agreement in order to gain entitlement to software maintenance.
It is important to note that a license agreement does NOT confer maintenance rights for the customer to upgrade to new versions or update the product. Specifically, the entitlement to upgrade to new versions or access new virus signature files is ONLY available through a Technical Support agreement, which includes software maintenance.
All customers receive a copy of the McAfee End User License Agreement (EULA). This extract from the EULA is our legal position:
Updates: This license is limited to the version of the Software delivered by McAfee and does not include subsequent versions, upgrades, updates, modifications, or revisions, unless a separate maintenance contract is purchased. If such contract is purchased, then, for the time period specified in the applicable price list for the Software, you are entitled to download revisions or updates to the Software when and as McAfee publishes them via its electronic bulletin board system, website, or through other online services. After the specified time period, you have no further rights to receive any revisions or upgrades without purchase of a new license to the Software.
McAfee Technical Support entitles a licensed user to full online maintenance, accessible on our downloads website.