McAfee Agent is a software that is part of the McAfee Security or Anti-virus Center. It comes installed along with the other components of the McAfee Virus Scan software suite. Whenever a computer is turned on, McAfee Agent is prompted to load some components of the McAfee Security Center. Under normal installation and configuration, McAfee Agent loads itself automatically upon computer boot-up.
Once McAfee Agent is activated upon computer start-up or boot-up, it will then try to deploy some services of the McAfee Virus Scan software suite. One of its basic functions is to keep the McAfee Antivirus protection and definition updated and running. Whenever there are updates available, it is the McAfee Agent’s task to update corresponding software components either automatically or through a message prompt to the user. Updating of the various components of the McAfee suite involves communication between the McAfee Agent and the central server of McAfee called the McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator or ePO server. When communication with this server is successful, McAfee Agent will then update all installed and related products to McAfee.
McAfee Agent also performs regular virus-scanning in one’s computer. While this task is ongoing, some users may notice some slowing in the other opened applications. This is basically due to the fact that this software component will also eat up some of the computer’s resources while scanning it for viruses and malware. For people who have limited RAM allocations, they may need to stop McAfee Agent from running in the background when they use memory-extensive programs and applications. It is also through the McAfee Agent that some kind of computer firewall is established. This simply means that various programs need to have the permission of the McAfee Agent before they can run or pass through a certain network. The firewalling capabilities of McAfee Agent make it a very useful software tool to protect one’s computer from unauthorized access and from unwanted programs and possible viruses.