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McAfee CyberSecurity Review

Amanda Bradley

In a Nutshell

McAfee has retooled its antivirus software offering for optimization and peak performance, reducing slowdown and improving protection. Streamlined and light on your operating system, McAfee antivirus detects and blocks security threats, including viruses, malware, and ransomware from infecting your computer without causing lags.

pros

  • High-scoring malware protection
  • Won’t slow down computer
  • Fast virus scanning

cons

  • Interface can be confusing
  • Expensive upgrades

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Highlights

  • Features: comprehensive protection and bonus features

  • Ease of Use: interface confusing but customizable

  • Reliability: highest level of threat protection

  • Value: good value with promotional discounts

  • Money-Back Guarantee: 30-day money-back guarantee

Best For

  • Personal use

  • Small-to-medium businesses

  • Families

Why Choose McAfee

McAfee is faster than ever, even when updating while offering enhanced scanning with robust 2-way firewalls. The basic platform includes a wide range of optimization tools and services such as a Vulnerability Scanner to identify security gaps and update out-of-date programs, a Quick Clean tool that scans your files and deletes cookies to give you more disk space, the File Shredder feature that deletes and overwrites sensitive files to make sure your information is safe, McAfee's True Key password manager to keep up with your logins, and more.

McAfee is lighter on system resources and more efficient than previous iterations, and while the interface can use some improvement, this software is a solid choice for security, ease of use, and cost-efficiency. The customer support is also exceptional, although some service requests may require additional costs.

What McAfee Offers

Antivirus software from McAfee is available for a number of specific needs. For most individuals, families, and small businesses, Total Protection or Live Safe licenses offer a robust suite of security offerings that will keep you covered. In addition, McAfee offers special packages for Gamer Security and a premium Small Business Security license.

McAfee offers security coverage for your network, with packages ranging from 1 to an unlimited number of devices and licenses tailored to your security needs. All packages include protection from:

  • Malware

  • Spyware

  • Ransomware

  • Secure Encrypted Storage

  • Secure Payments

  • Privacy Protection

In addition to complete threat protection, McAfee also includes some great optimization tools to make sure your systems are running smoothly and that your sensitive files are secure:

  • File Shredder

  • Quick Clean

  • App Boost

  • True Key Password Manager

Premier features that are included only with multi-device licenses include:

  • Identity Theft Protection (in the US)

  • Safe Family parental control

McAfee LiveSafe offers the same features as McAfee Total Protection, but covers unlimited devices and also delivers 1GB of SecureCloud Storage to protect and store sensitive data in the cloud.

Features

McAfee antivirus packages offer a wide range of features, however, the main focus of any antivirus software is its ability to protect systems from security threats. The main protections included in McAfee licenses are:

  • Malware Protection

McAfee has been a leading name in antivirus software for decades, yet the company is hardly resting on its laurels. It has positioned itself on the cutting-edge of cyber threat protection with ever-evolving digital security tools that protect both computer and user alike. Its packages feature impenetrable antivirus and anti-malware technology in addition to its host of extra features.

  • Ransomware Protection

McAfee offers a docket of cutting-edge cybersecurity tools specifically designed to detect and prevent ransomware attacks. With a team that constantly follows the evolution of ransomware, the company is able to offer ever-evolving digital security tools, including endpoint security, which is backed by McAfee Global Threat Intelligence, a network of millions of sensors that are constantly monitoring unique ransomware signatures.

  • Phishing Protection

McAfee Internet Security, an included component in McAfee Total Protection, protects and monitors against any possible phishing attacks. The warning system can integrate with both internet browsers and desktop email clients in order to provide links before users visiting any website that has been reported as forming part of a phishing attack. Additionally, users can configure a whitelist of trusted websites. These will be allowed even if they have been reported as phishing by other users.

For those that would like to train their own anti-phishing instincts, McAfee’s Knowledge Center also contains some helpful articles designed to coach users in spotting these threats.

Ease of Use

McAfee antivirus can be easily purchased online. Downloading and installing the product is quick and easy. While you will need 500MB of free disk space and a 1GHz processor, installation doesn’t require a ‘clean’ computer and can be installed on an infected system.

Despite many improvements made to McAfee antivirus’s interface, it is still less straightforward than other programs. However, once you get the hang of where to find things, it will allow you to seamlessly control all of the features included with the license. The main window displays necessary information and up-to-date system monitoring and navigation to parental controls (in multi-device packages), customizable settings, scanning scheduling options, anti-spam, and more.

Parental Control

Safe Family is McAfee’s parental control product that can be purchased separately for a monthly or yearly subscription. It is also included in McAfee Total Protection Family Edition. 

Safe Family provides the following features:

A detailed device activity summary from protected devices. This allows parents to see exactly which websites the child has visited including the timestamp and time spent on the website.

Live map geolocation. Parents can locate their children on a live map and receive automatic notifications if they are detected to have left a defined “safe place”—such as home or a school. Parents can even configure alerts which they will receive when their child has safely arrived at school.

Website-specific time limits: McAfee Family lets users set website-specific time limits as well as more general screen time schedules. Children are also able to request extra screen time, or app access, if either is blocked by the program. Unlike other parental control programs, this added degree of flexibility helps keep both parents and children on-board with the system. 

Detection Rates and Reliability

Independent third-party tester AV-Test examines antivirus performance periodically, and consistently finds McAfee to be a high-performance and reliable antivirus program. McAfee successfully blocks 100% of the potential threats in virus detection tests. While McAfee performed well on real-time tests, other providers do have higher scores. Nonetheless, it remains near the top with consistently high detection and protection rates.

Pricing

McAfee Total Protection
McAfee Total Protection
McAfee Total Protection
McAfee LiveSafe
1 Device
5 Devices
10 Devices
Unlimited Devices

$34.99 ($45 off after promotion)

$39.99 ($60 off after promotion)
10 Devices – $44.99 ($75 off after promotion)
$104.99 ( $5 off after promotion)

Value for Money

McAfee offers a 30-day free trial and several packages for home and business. With special promotions bringing costs down, McAfee AntiVirus for one computer for a year begins at a limited promotional price of $34.99. The software delivers above-average performance and protection, making it a good overall value. With a no-questions-asked, 30-day money-back guarantee, McAfee lets you try the service before committing, bolstering the software’s value for money.

Help and Support

McAfee offers 24/7 tech support via toll-free phone, online chat, and a virtual assistant. Support personnel are very courteous, professional, and knowledgeable. Aside from round-the-clock support, McAfee customers can also purchase a range of TechMaster support packages:

  • One-time service call tune-up or set-up: $69.95

  • Concierge Gold 1-year support subscription: $179.95

  • Virus Removal Service: $89.95

Along with comprehensive service offerings, McAfee maintains robust FAQ section and knowledge base on their site. Many times, answers to pressing questions can be found in these resources without needing to contact customer support. The blogs page is also a great source of information with constantly updated, measured, and important content on a broad range of relevant topics—including family safety, cloud security, and leading-edge research in the cybersecurity space.

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Bottom Line

McAfee is a solid choice for individual users. The software scores well for reliability and threat detection and offers a suite of useful features to help optimize performance while maintaining network security. While previous versions were bulky and weighed on operating systems, McAfee has addressed this complaint, and scans will not slow computer performance.

About McAfee

McAfee is a subsidiary of Intel Corporation and is the world's largest company dedicated to computer security. McAfee was founded in 1987 and, since its inception, has strived to keep online threats from impacting customers. The software is constantly being improved and propelled by leading-edge innovation to keep customers safe.

McAfee customer reviews

Based on 47 reviews

Ease of use

Brand satisfaction

Value for money

Service quality

Top Reviews

Ease of use

Brand satisfaction

Value for money

Service quality

8 months ago

I like how it worked for me. It was easy to install and easy to follow directions. It was also recommended to me by a friend.

8 months ago

I used this product for my laptop. It was good and did It's job but was a little difficult to install.

8 months ago

An excellent and innovative cyber security provider that is well designed for the small business user.

8 months ago

It met my needs when it comes to protecting my computer from any viruses that may come. It was also great value because I got it for a discount.

9 months ago

McAfee has been very reliable for me for protecting my computers and phone from viruses. I will continue to use McAfee.

9 months ago

I'm very satisfied with McAfee and will continue to use them in the future.

9 months ago

Secure, safe, easy to use, value for money, overall a good deal for me. So I use it.

9 months ago

Always scanning and reports out issues. Monthly recaps and speeds up apps as needed. on call if needed. Never any issues. STOP with the annoying tell us more crap.

9 months ago

They did exactly what they said they would do and protected my information. It was a good investment.

10 months ago

McAfee is an industry standard when it comes to maintaining security on a computer.

10 months ago

We don't have to worry about security. This was so easy to use we feel safe using our computers and providing credit card numbers for purchases. There is nothing else I can add.

10 months ago

I have used it for one year, and it updates me and is very easy to use and download.

10 months ago

I have always used McAfee for security protection in everything on my phone and all of my computers. Such as my laptop, my desktop comet and my phone. They have never let me down and they have always taken care of any problems that could potentiality arise. I don't have to worry about contacting a customer service representative because this app does everything for me by scanning through everything alerting me to any possible changes that I need to be aware of.

10 months ago

It was alright but a little expensive. Good Customer service overall and pretty trustworthy in my opinion. Neat.

a year ago

I used this because it was cheap and available in stores. The annual update is also easy to do.

a year ago

McAfee leads the pack when it comes to security as well as amazing customer service teams.

8 months ago

It was pretty good, but some room for improvement. Needs better customer service as well. But still very good overall.

8 months ago

It's easy to use and affordable. Installing only takes a few minutes and it does not slow my computer down.

8 months ago

Overall I was very impressed with the services provided by McAfee, the company was great.

8 months ago

I enjoy McAfee. I got it originally when I bought my Dell, and I have stuck with it ever since. It is easy to use and very reliable.

47 reviews