Joe Schwartz | Antivirus Editor
Our chief content editor, Joe manages a diverse team of content writers. He holds a degree in online communications and his writing has been featured in a wide range of online publications.
Founded in 1987, McAfee is one of the leading antivirus software providers on the market, with over 30 years experience when it comes to protecting your devices. In addition to their award-winning antivirus software, McAfee also offers a selection of scans, system tune-ups, encryption and a firewall to ensure your devices are running at their best and are free of any viruses or threats. McAfee is a complete security package that goes beyond basic virus protection.
In fact, McAfee has been rated favorably by almost all independent labs including ICSA Labs and West Coast Labs. In an antivirus comparison test run by West Coast Labs, McAfee was tested against other leading antivirus programs, with malware files provided by both WCL and McAfee. McAfee proved its technological capabilities and was able to detect 96% of harmful files provided by WCL and 99% of files in the McAfee collection. Only Avira surpassed McAfee’s detection rate. This strong file-detection rate was also awarded an Advanced+, the highest possible rating, by AV-Comparatives, an independent antivirus testing platform.
Another advantage of McAfee is that it is extremely easy to install and configure. The important features such as real-time scanning and automatic updates are enabled automatically. There are also longer, scheduled scans which, by default, are performed at 4:00 AM, once a week. These scheduled scans are a necessary part of ensuring the continued health of your device and will thoroughly check your PC for viruses and other threats.
McAfee works well on both PC and Mac, though antivirus software is no longer a must just for computers and is necessary for other devices such as tablets and smartphones as well. Thankfully, McAfee also has a mobile security feature which protects your device from threats while using and downloading apps, browsing online, making payments, or using social networks. This software is compatible with iOS and Android phones.
Spyware, Malware & Ransomware Scans
Detecting and removing malware, spyware, and Ransomware is no simple task. Very few antivirus solutions are able to remove all infestations. However, when compared to other antivirus products, McAfee fares quite well. In tests run by PC Magazine, McAfee was found to have an approximately 75% detection rate and was able to remove almost all threats found. Furthermore, McAfee really stands out when it comes to malware blocking. McAfee is able to block possible threats on multiple levels by blocking malicious websites or detecting them before you even click on a link. McAfee, on average, has a 92% success rate when it comes to blocking malware and spyware, while its Threat Intelligence Exchange swiftly detects Ransomware and eliminates it.
Many times, viruses, worms, and other security threats originate via ordinary looking emails. To combat and detect these threats, McAfee Security for Email Servers provides a comprehensive email scanning solution. This includes thorough inbound protection for blocking spam and other malicious incoming emails. The email security feature protects your email will from phishing, viruses, spam surges and DoS attacks. In fact, the service has over 99 percent accuracy, ensuring that any virus trying to reach your device via email, will be stopped in its tracks.
McAfee also allows you to filter out messages based on size, content, or attached content. You can block or quarantine messages that contain specific words and use McAfee’s comprehensive prebuilt dictionary to cover any potentially harmful emails. Furthermore, this email solution also offers email encryption to prevent data loss. When it comes to protecting and encrypting emails, McAfee offers outstanding protection.
Every file you download will automatically be scanned beforehand keeping your computer safe and virus-free. Depending on the protection level you set, McAfee will either stop a download or ask for your permission to continue with the download. This pertains to websites you visit as well. When you perform a Google search, for example, McAfee scans and rates every site so you know whether or not to click on a link. This even works on social media sites, ensuring you never click on malicious links or download harmful content.
It goes without saying that running an antivirus in the background can impact the running of your computer. The good news is that on average McAfee is much faster than other antivirus solutions. A February 2019 test run by AV-Test found that McAfee only slowed down PC performance by about 5% compared to the industry average of 19%. This was tested after visiting 50 websites and means that you are very unlikely to notice that McAfee slows down performance at all. The same is true of app usage and of other software performance. McAfee will run in the background, protecting your device, without slowing anything down significantly.
Like other leading antivirus providers, McAfee offers real-time virus scanning to help protect your device from incoming threats. This real-time scanning feature checks files for viruses each time you or your PC accesses them. For maximum security, we recommend keeping the real-time scanning feature activated.
McAfee's Total Protection antivirus plan starts at $29.99 for 1 device and goes up to $44.99 for 10 devices. All plans have basic features such as antivirus, anti-Malware, anti-Spam, ransomware protection, PC boost, and more. However only the 5 device plan and 10 device plan offer identity theft protection, and only the 10 device plan offers family safety features. It's important to remember that the number of devices includes smartphones, whether Android or iPhone devices. These devices contain sensitive information and are by no means immune to viruses and other threats.
The main differences between the plans are outlined in the chart below. Aside from these differences, all plans offer the same antivirus, anti-malware, anti-spam, and other security features.
|Total Protection 1 Device||Total Protection 5 Devices||Total Protection 10 Devices|
|Price per year||$29.99||$39.99||$44.99|
|Family Safety Tools||✔|
|Identity Theft Protection||✔||✔|
|Password Manager||1 License||5 License||5 License|
It’s important to keep in mind that McAfee collects a combination of personal and non-personal information, all of which is securely stored, in accordance with the State of California’s privacy laws.
The customer support offered by McAfee is thorough, efficient and extremely reliable. In addition to a robust knowledge base which offers advice and lets users ask questions, there’s the option to contact customer support via chat, email or phone. The knowledge base is conveniently organized into Technical Support, Customer Service and McAfee TechMaster. Each of these support categories consists of the most commonly asked questions and also includes some handy video tutorials.
For even quicker service, McAfee offers a Virtual Technician which you can download and run on your device. If the Virtual Technician is unable to identify and solve the issue, a McAfee support technician can use the information to fix the problem.
|McAfee Total Protection 1 Device||McAfee Total Protection 5 Devices||McAfee Total Protection 10 Devices|
|Price per year||$29.99||$39.99||$44.99|
|License duration||1 year||1 year||1 year|
|Blocks 250,000,000+ daily threats|
|Mobile security (for both Android and iOS)|
|PC Optimization Tools|
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