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SecurityCenter is the name of the desktop user interface (UI) and Internet Security is the name of one of several packaged products that McAfee sells. However, depending on where your software comes from (ISP, PC maker etc.), the package can also be called SecurityCenter. That makes it a little confusing at times.
The A/V protection is exactly the same in both.
Yes McAfee is doing quite well in tests lately.
Thanks. I also noticed that my SecurityCenter provided by Dell UK (AffID 977-102) is slightly behind in the latest versions of software compared to my friends PC with McAfee Internet Security 2013 on it (AffID = 0), although the DATs are bang up to date, same on both systems showing 7080 today. Compared to McAfee IS 2013, i'm running SecurityCentre 11.6 (IS=12.1), AV&AS/VS 15.6 (IS=16.1), Firewall 12.6 (IS=13.1), and AntiSpam 12.6 (IS=13.1) although 'Content version' is same at 4584. Only SiteAdvisor is same software version on both systems at 18.104.22.168
I'm presuming from what you say that these differences only relate to marginal improvements to UI and to engines etc, and not to AV detection/protection capabilities - which should be same for both as both using same DATs?
The daily updates carry through to everyone but those 3rd party "resellers" such as Dell, HP, some ISP's etc. often will hang on to upgrades for quite some time and in rare cases never pass them on. Unfortunately there isn't much McAfee can do about that.
Once you upgrade to MSC v12.1 and above you'll notice a difference. It no longer uses DAT;s but actual engine updates instead.
Just for my own interest i uninstalled my Dell supplied McAfee Security Center and downloaded McAfee Internet Security trial, updated, carried out full scan and played about a bit for a couple of days to compare. The Dell supplied older version is faster compared to latest IS. Internet Security seems to take a while to load at boot, noticably slows down browsing (on IE9), causes browser 'hangs'/long pauses during page loading, doesn't cope with scripts very well (several pop ups 'a script is taking a long time to load do you wish to continue running script' etc, and i observed CPU spikes.
I have uninstalled the IS trial and reinstalled to MCafee SC from Dell (running McAfee removal tool & pre-install tool inbetween). Of course many people will have a different, better experience with IS. My laptop is running Vista with only 2GB RAM, so it could be that it just struggles a bit to cope with the latest version with the new UI and different engines etc.
These days 2gb of RAM is about the minimum I would say, although officially it's fine.