Although the product suffered in performance, we definitely did like Total Protection 2012's interface. (Credit: Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET)

For a high-end suite, McAfee Total Protection 2012 (download) isn't a bad program. It's just not a particularly good program, and it misses being great by several miles.

We liked its interface, a continuation with only minor adjustments from its 2010 overhaul. The feature set is generally competitive, too, although this update really only brings it into line with the middle range of competitors. It doesn't really push the envelope as to what a high-end suite can do for its customers.

Its biggest problems lie in its performance, and for a security suite that can be the kiss of death. This kind of program has deep hooks into your Windows computer by necessity. Where competitors fight tooth and nail for fast scans and as small an impact as possible on startup and shutdown times, McAfee blunders ahead. Worse yet, it received terrible ratings in the past year from three independent labs on its ability to keep you safe.

For more details on McAfee Total Protection 2012, where it went wrong and what it did right, check out our full review.