McAfee Antivirus is premium software that promises ultimate security and peerless protection. But does it really hold true to its claims? We’re going to find out today. In this McAfee review, we looked at its security features like Firewalls, scans, VPN, ID protection, and a lot more.
We then compared all of these to other contemporary software, like Norton and Kaspersky, to determine their efficiency and usability. So let’s get on with it.
Our Verdict: Is McAfee Antivirus Worth It?
McAfee isn’t just an antivirus with its advanced set of security and protective measures. It has tons of great security features, scan capabilities, vulnerability detections, and banking data protection that can keep you safe from the worst threats that roam the internet.
We would recommend McAfee for large families or people who want to protect their banking details more effectively. It is also quite affordable compared to other premium VPNs with its yearly price of $29.99 for the basic plan. Overall, we’d say McAfee antivirus is well worth its price.
Overview of McAfee Antivirus
|San Jose, California, United States
|Security and Safety
|Windows, iOS, Android, MacOS
|$159.99 per year
|$29.99 per year
McAfee Antivirus Security Pros & Cons
|Extensive Virus Protection
|Slightly weak compared to alternatives
|Malware and Spyware Protection
|No monthly plans
|Identity and Transaction Monitoring
|Takes up more resources
|ID Theft Coverage
|No Cloud Security or Backup
|Credit Lock and Security Freeze
|Affordable Compared to Alternatives
McAfee Antivirus System Requirements 2023
|Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS
|Build 4.11.1 or higher for MacOS 10.15
Build 4.9.1 for macOS 10.12 or better
|Windows 8.1, 10, 11
|Android 8 or higher
|Apple iOS 13 or better
|ChromeOS 102.0.5005 or higher
|1.3 GB Free Space
McAfee Antivirus Pricing
McAfee offers multiple plans and packages for individuals and families. The features of these plans vary according to their prices. To give you a better idea of what they offer, we’ve covered each plan below.
|Price (First Year)
The essential plan doesn’t include online scans and lacks some other benefits as well, so much for being essential. McAfee also has a basic plan that costs $29.99 for one year. The basic plan includes only essential features like scans and privacy protection.
You’ll need a family plan if you want McAfee on multiple devices. The family plan allows you to protect 2 devices for adults and 4 licenses for children. You also get parental controls on the parent devices.
We recommend the Ultimate or Advanced plan because of its better features and more theft coverage. The ultimate plan offers theft and fraud coverage of up to $2 million.
McAfee Antivirus Features
McAfee has multiple robust and strong features that keep your device protected and your information secure. What are these features? Let’s discuss them in detail.
Spyware, Malware, and Ransomware Protection
With built-in shields and a huge list of virus patterns, McAfee can easily identify most viruses. You can initiate a full or quick scan to search your files for viruses and deal with them adequately. McAfee also has extensive ransomware protection and liability coverage.
McAfee is willing to cover almost 2 million dollars worth of losses with the ultimate plan if you’re a fraud or ID theft victim. The Austrian Lab, AV-Comparatives, tested McAfee in 2020. According to their tests, McAfee performed well in almost all tests, with a 98.5 detection rate.
However, some anti-virus softwares were slightly better than McAfee, with perfect scores. But when you compare the prices, we would say McAfee is good enough. On the downside, McAfee also slows down resources quite significantly.
It runs in the background and doesn’t bother you, but on a system with limited capabilities, McAfee could be burdensome. Your mundane tasks could be slower if you use a system with less RAM or an older hard drive. McAfee features tend to hog resources, so McAfee introduced an App Boost. This reassigns resources in a more efficient way to prevent lags and clogs.
Real-Time Threat Protection
McAfee offers multiple features for real-time protection. It has an additional Firewall that blocks unnecessary and malicious intrusions in real-time. You can also use its online account cleanup to identify vulnerabilities and plug any leaks from your previously held accounts.
You also get a Home Management Network feature that protects your home wifi and LAN devices. McAfee also protects your devices on Public Wi-Fi. You won’t get snooped or tracked. Unfortunately, McAfee doesn’t have dedicated features for protection Webcams, Microphones, or other WebRTC features.
Superb Web Protection
You can also identify malicious websites on the internet with McAfee’s color-coded threat identifier. For clarity, Red means bad, green means good, and yellow means meh, who cares? We would have loved it if McAfee could load safe versions of some red-coded websites like BitDefender or Norton.
McAfee also covers your email by establishing a wall against spam and worms. Now, most people don’t worry much about worms when they really should be worried. For example, a worm named Code Red wreaked havoc around 1987 by self-replicating and attacking the system.
The issue was so big that it even affected the White House. The worm was tamed and defeated, but there are newer worms and viruses now. In 2023, you’ll have to watch for even more significant threats like the Mirai Botnet and DDSG ransomware.
Having adequate web protection can keep you safe from these threats. McAfee offers this opportunity. Unfortunately, what it doesn’t offer is cloud protection like Norton. Nevertheless, McAfee is a great option to protect yourself on the web.
Sensitive Data Protection
McAfee has a unique True Key Password Manager that you can use to store sensitive credentials. You can easily use this password manager to store more secure and complex passwords. Whenever you need to log in, just autofill the details with True Key, and you’re good to go.
Apart from this, you also get Identity Monitoring, which scans shady selling sites for your data. If your information has been leaked or put up for auction, McAfee will notify you, and you can follow up with the hammer of justice and vengeance through the Data Cleanup feature.
The data cleanup scans and service scour the web for your data and erases them from existence if it finds any leaks. If the worst comes to pass and you lose your wallet, ID, or Debit, McAfee allows you to cancel them quickly.
That’s not all; McAfee will also help you make new ones. The PC version of McAfee also comes with a Tracker Remover. What does it do? It removes unnecessary and malicious cookies and other small packets that could track your data and activities.
These features make it an excellent option for people who want extensive protection for their critical data.
Banking Detail Protection
McAfee is also perfect for people who want to protect their banking details and ID. The ultimate plans come with a Data Monitoring and Reporting feature that keeps track of your transaction and reports them to bureaus like TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
If someone is using your banking details, you will be notified promptly. McAfee also gives you the option to take immediate action. With its Security Freeze and Credit Lock features, you can quickly and easily freeze your transactions.
The dregs of society tend to take loans in your name. To protect you from this, McAfee offers Loan Monitoring. You get Credit, 401(k), Investment, and Payday Loan monitoring, which keeps an eye on your data.
If someone takes over your account or tries to take a loan in your name, McAfee will notify you. You can take quick measures and save yourself from financial fraud and theft.
McAfee family subscriptions come with Parental Controls. The family subscriptions cover 2 adult and 4 child devices. You can control the screen time of the children’s devices through the interface on the parent’s device.
You can also block and contain explicit content and web pages. You can also track the location of your children’s devices. This feature is a bit limited compared to Norton, which even enables check-ins and check-outs.
Extra Protection and Suggestions
McAfee has a special protection score that you can access from the left-side menu of their dashboard. It rates your protection on a scale of 1 to 1000. If you get a score less than 200, you’re as good as the stale fried chicken in a closed roadside fast food joint.
The protection score feature also includes suggestions and tips to increase your security. You can follow these to improve your security and make yourself safer. McAfee also shares information about new threats with their devs automatically. Unfortunately, you cannot opt out of this.
You also get a File Shredder to erase files permanently. When you delete files from the recycle bin, they can still be recovered. To prevent this from happening, you can use the File Shredder. Even advanced recovery tools like RecuDisk cannot recover files once they’re shredded.
McAfee has its own unique VPN included in every plan. This VPN includes servers from more than 24 countries and modern security protocols. Unfortunately, they lack other essential features like Kill Switches, Double VPN servers, and Obfuscated Servers.
Also, the locations are pretty limited. A good VPN should have optimized servers and a wide network to unblock content worldwide. Apart from this, McAfee’s VPN also slowed down our internet speeds by more than half when we tried it out.
We wouldn’t recommend using it, especially when VPNs like Surfshark and ExpressVPN exist.
McAfee Antivirus User Interface
McAfee has a smooth user interface on all of its applications. All of the features are included and grouped into neat sections that you can access via the side menu. The previous versions were a bit clunky, and it seems that McAfee took the feedback seriously and fixed everything.
You can initiate scans and look at statistics, performance, and usage through the interface. From our tests, we found the Android applications to be very responsive and efficient. The Windows and Mac applications were also quite good, with a user-friendly theme and design.
McAfee Antivirus Compatibility
McAfee is compatible with most mainstream devices, including systems and mobile devices. You can even run McAfee on browsers. We’ve listed the requirements for each device below:
|Build 4.11.1 or higher for MacOS 10.15, Build 4.9.1 for macOS 10.12 or better
|Windows 8.1, 10, 11
|Android 8 or higher
|Apple iOS 13 or better
|ChromeOS 102.0.5005 or higher
McAfee Antivirus Customer Support
McAfee has great customer support just what you’d expect from a million dollar enterprise. Their support staff is well-informed and quite affable. You can contact them via chat, call, or email.
If you have some problems installing or using McAfee, their customer support will help you remotely. We’ll give them full marks for great support.
McAfee is a great antivirus software and a lot more. The most remarkable features that McAfee offers include banking detail protection and spam ware prevention. Although it does lack some features and lacks some protection, we would still say it’s on par with Kaspersky, Norton, and ESSET in most aspects. It also has smooth applications and great compatibility.
The VPN also offers affordable subscription plans for individuals and families. Even though McAfee doesn’t offer monthly plans, we still won’t blame them because the yearly plans are a steal. There are even better antivirus software on the market, but they also cost more. Overall, McAfee is a great antivirus, and that’s all for our McAfee review.
Is McAfee better than Avast?
Yes, McAfee is better than Avast in terms of web and system protection. McAfee offers better security features and wide coverage. It is also more versatile and powerful. Avast is better than McAfee only in resource usage. Avast takes up less resources and doesn’t slow down your system as much.
Will McAfee Slow Down a Laptop or PC?
McAfee will slow down your Laptop or PC if you’re running a full scan or any other scan. Other than that, it has been designed to run smoothly in the background. If you think your system is slowing down, try McAfee’s Boost function or schedule a scan when you’re not actively using your device.
Does McAfee Have a VPN?
Yes, McAfee has a VPN, and it’s included in all of their subscription plans. The VPN offers multiple servers in 24+ different locations. However, the VPN also lacks some essential features for privacy and security. You could also experience speed drops with McAfee’s VPN. We would recommend an affordable alternative like Surfshark.
Who owns McAfee?
In 2021, the Symphony Technology Group, or STG for short, bought McAfee Enterprise for $4 billion. The merger was completed in October of 2021, and as of now, STG also owns Fire Eye and McAfee.