McAfee Antivirus Review – Can You Count On It in 2021?

McAfee Antivirus Logo

McAfee Antivirus provides both PC and Mac users with comprehensive protection against cyber threats. This software guards against viruses and spyware, rootkits, web attacks, and especially harmful malware. In addition, there’s no shortage of tools to help you customize this software to your needs. But is it really as good as they say it is?

McAfee Antivirus software provides top-quality protection from malware, including viruses, Trojans, worms, adware, and spyware. It effectively blocks infected websites to prevent you from visiting unknown or phishing sites, a significant cause of viruses and malware infections.

Finally, the all-in-one design ensures that there is no need to juggle different standalone security tools.

Whether you have a habit of visiting risky sites or your kids do, McAfee’s application is good to protect your computer. It ranks among the most effective in our rating at identifying, blocking, or eliminating malware and other threats. 

A VPN (a virtual private network) is included in all tiers with automatic renewal. With VPN technology, you can connect to public Wi-Fi more safely. Identity theft services are also available for purchase.

“How good McAfee is” has been the subject of much debate. Yet despite concerns that have been raised, McAfee remains one of the most popular antivirus products in the world.

In this review, we’ll review McAfee’s history, features and functionality, performance, and cost to answer the question: Is McAfee worth it?

McAfee: A Brief Overview

McAfee is a leading tech company that has been making high-quality antivirus software for over thirty years. In addition, it has been the pioneer in internet security for more than thirty years. 

It is committed to supporting innovation and delivering a portfolio of intelligent, practical solutions. They help to solve businesses and consumers’ complex security challenges worldwide. Whether it is at home or on the go, McAfee provides powerful protection against viruses, spyware, hackers, identity theft, and more.

McAfee Total Protection Home Page
Your journey with McAfee starts here

The #1 brand in security products, McAfee continues to be the leader in antivirus software. McAfee is one of the most popular antivirus developers in the world. You can trust that their software will continue to keep you and your computer safe from threats and viruses.

In 1989 one of the first mass-market computer viruses, Brain, was discovered spreading via shared disks. John McAfee and his wife’s computer got infected by the virus.

They then developed an antivirus program using the signature they had stolen from the original virus’s author and distributed it as McAfee Anti-Virus.

Today, McAfee is a well-established name in data security and regulation. It is one of the largest antivirus providers in the world. With over 2 million subscribers. And as an integral part of Intel since 2010, McAfee can leverage Intel’s resources and technologies.

What features are offered with McAfee Antivirus?

The new McAfee antivirus software not only protects your computer and data from all significant hazards but also optimizes your device for smoother performance.

McAfee also protects your smartphone from malicious apps and safeguards personal information by monitoring your online identity. It also offers comprehensive features, which are classified into three major categories:

  1. McAfee Livespace
  2. McAfee mobile protection
  3. McAfee’s new gamer security

McAfee Livespace

McAfee LiveSafe offers protection to 5 devices and includes virus definition and software updates and an Internet Security Suite. In addition, with the bundled password manager, you can sync your passwords across multiple devices. 

With the VPN client, you can securely connect to your home network through any infrastructure (VPN). McAfee LiveSafe boasts robust security options that protect you against viruses, malware, spyware, and the latest cyber threats across all your devices. 

Don’t worry about anything less than complete protection with this security suite. Whether you’re at home or traveling, keep your information protected with McAfee Secure VPN. It helps keeping your identity safe and locking down public WIFI is as simple as opening an app. 

It’s included for FREE with McAfee LiveSafe. This family of premium product suites helps to protect you from the ever-growing threat of online and smartphone threats. It also has hands-free voice control. So you can monitor your PC while you’re doing other things or be in another part of the house. Plus, with their Virtual Private Networking (VPN) included for free, there’s no need to buy a separate one.

McAfee Mobile protection

McAfee Mobile Security delivers powerful, proactive protection from a downloaded app on your Android device. It provides superior detection and prevention of malware found in text messages, web browsers, Bluetooth sharing, and more. 

McAfee Mobile Security also keeps sensitive information safer with alerts and notifications when apps try to access it without your permission.

This antivirus tool protects you with leading sandboxing and behavioral analysis technologies. As a result, McAfee is considered one of the best anti-virus software for Android. Its virus detection capabilities are far more potent than other programs, and there are no data charges when using the program while connected to an unsecured Wi-Fi network.

The inbuilt storage cleaner and memory booster increase the performance of your device in a few seconds only. Using this app, you can filter and clear the large files that are kept for a long time in your mobile but have not been used recently. Likewise, it saves your time by listing out all the unnecessary files at a place.

In the premium version of McAfee for mobile, you get additional features like VPN Guard, Guest mode, and App lock. It gives you all the essential features at a place otherwise you need to install several applications for the different tasks. Using the app lock feature, you can hide the required mobile application from the main screen. You can also customize the list of apps that should be accessible by the guest users only.

McAfee Gamer security

Game hackers are a computer gamer’s worst nightmare, but McAfee Gamer Security protects your computer from unseen threats. It is a fully-featured yet easy-to-use security suite designed by gamers for gamers. 

The AI-based McAfee game security console detects your activity while you enter a gaming zone. At that time, it prioritizes the applications to give you the best fun while playing the games. For doing so, it stops or pauses all the unnecessary programs that are running in the background and utilizing the major section of the system resources.

In this way, the application acts like an auto booster software that focuses to give you full concentration by hiding the possible notifications and updates that can annoy you in the middle of the game.

You can also customize the setting if your graphics card is under excessive stress or any particular software is eating up too much CPU, RAM, and other memory. With this detailed information in hand, you can make adjustments to help optimize your PC for a better gameplay experience.

At the same time, the McAfee antivirus protects you against phishing and other cyber attacks by using cloud technology. It decreases your limited system resources in the process of virus prevention. Hence, it gives you double benefits by putting the unnecessary applications to sleep and managing other security protection activities using a cloud server.

What features Does it Offer in terms of Phishing Protection? 

Hackers often use phishing emails to steal valuable information that can be sold on black markets. As a result, they tend to target online users of internet services to maintain active email accounts, such as AOL, Yahoo Mail, or HotMail. 

McAfee Total Protection Home Screen
The user interface is well-designed and clean

Hackers often use phishing emails to steal valuable information that can be sold on black markets. As a result, they tend to target online users of internet services to maintain active email accounts, such as AOL, Yahoo Mail, or HotMail. 

The best thing to do in a phishing situation is not to panic and simply delete the email or a message. This could be very effective if sent to you by a legitimate entity but will just further irritate a real spammer (because the scam will be wasted).

McAfee phishing protection helps ensure that you reach an actual website when you log in to your bank, social networking site, or other online accounts. 

Benefits Include

McAfee prevents you from accessing fraudulent sites that try to obtain your personal information – it can be used with any Internet browser (for example, Firefox and Internet Explorer).

With McAfee phishing protection, you’ll always be confident that you’re safely reaching your favorite websites. 

An icon displays in the address field of your Internet browser to let you know when there’s a threat, and it warns you before you enter any sensitive information. It even helps to protect against malware, so it won’t be through a phishing attack if your data is compromised.

Does it Provide Good Ransomware Protection?

Ransomware attacks typically use a combination of social engineering, encryption, and preventative measures against restoration to ensure that systems are not quickly restored. 

A ransomware infection is created by a malware program designed to block access to a computer. Some ransomware programs include a function known as “cryptoviral extortion,” The attacker holds the data “hostage” until a ransom is paid.

No matter what kind of device you’re using, McAfee Total Protection keeps your digital life safe. It defends against viruses, malware, and spyware so you can surf the web and shop online worry-free. 

Plus, it alerts you to vulnerable sites that may try to steal your personal information. And with a 99% success rate at blocking malware, it promises to deliver the most comprehensive protection on the market.

It combats viruses, malware, spyware, and ransomware attacks, blocks dangerous websites from harming you, and gives you detailed reports to show your online activity. Plus, it has a 99% success rate against zero-day malware attacks.

Can McAfee Keep your devices Safe from Malicious Software?

No matter how careful you are, it’s hard to avoid the ever-increasing ransomware and malware cyberattacks. So if your computer gets hit with a virus, count on McAfee Virus Removal Service for fast, effective, and easy removal. 

This service is part of our Total Protection for Home service, including safeguards preventing identity theft and protecting against spam, phishing scams, and other online threats.

McAfee Virus Removal Service is the ultimate solution for consumers whose PC has been infected with viruses, Trojans, worms, and other malware. It works with your existing security software to deliver constant protection against all types of malicious software.

McAfee Virus Removal Service combines advanced technology with industry expertise to scan and destroy viruses, Trojans, spyware, and other malware. This service also applies necessary security updates to your operating system and security software when necessary.

Guaranteed privacy features

McAfee products and services are designed to help you protect your computer, computer network, mobile devices, and other electronic information and devices from viruses and other security risks.

McAfee does not control or regularly monitor the information collection or dissemination practices of our distribution partners. McAfee protects consumers from fraud and identity theft and helps their devices run smoothly and securely. 

They can provide early warnings about potentially harmful websites, filter out viruses and other online threats, protect against online bullying, manage wireless home networks, help users recover lost data, ensure your privacy when shopping or banking online, track lost or stolen devices and provide a safe place for your digital records.

Additional Features of McAfee Antivirus

McAfee spam Blocker provides a front-line defense against the rapidly evolving threat landscape. McAfee spam Blocker combines advanced machine learning with an easy-to-use interface to provide near real-time protection from ever-changing threats.

McAfee Real-Time monitoring is designed to protect your entire business with a communication layer that delivers all the protection needed by different technologies.

McAfee Antivirus provides malware protection with strengthened threat analysis, combined with a firewall, antivirus, anti-spyware, and identity theft protection for your computers for one year. 

McAfee Total Protection delivers complete protection for you and your family. It offers industry-leading protection against viruses and malware, spyware, and phishing. It also protects against malicious websites that seek to steal your personal information or lock up your computer and demand ransom in exchange for your files.

Total protection rebuffs all the latest and most dangerous viruses, trojans, worms, and other malware types. It combines four powerful layers of Protection: Total Defense, Total Protection cloud engine, Behavior blocker, and the time-tested Avast clean-up tools.

How do we conduct our hands-on testing?

We conduct our hands-on testing by installing the antivirus in our system, We’ve spent hours testing the antivirus and reviewing here, so it will be easy for you to make decisions.

McAfee Total Protection Security Features

First, McAfee Total Protection is comprehensive; you get a lot of the money. This solution provides a firewall, anti-spyware/anti-phishing, and malware protection for computers with up to 5 separate user accounts.
The Safe Browsing Extension (WebAdvisor) warns about websites that could be dangerous before you browse to them. Additionally, Total Protection includes a multi-layer approach to discovering, blocking, and destroying viruses, spyware, rootkits, and Trojans at both the operating system and application levels. While McAfee Total Protection features a friendly, simple interface, you’ll appreciate it on Windows.

However, it’s missing some basic features like parental controls. WebAdvisor is an excellent browser protection tool, but using it may end up costing you extra money if you use the free version. Though Viruses aren’t as rampant as they used to be, any software should provide solid protection.

Virus scan

We noticed that the Full Scan seems to take a lot longer than Quick Scan and takes up many more resources, but I’m not sure why? Maybe it’s scanning for particular things, or perhaps it starts by checking a drive and then moves on to another.

McAfee Total Protection File Scanning Process

Once you’ve run a scan, the antivirus will analyze the results and will create a dash with four different tabs to display it more clearly. There’s a “Potential Threats” tab to display potentially dangerous items found, a “Passed” tab for those items that have passed two or more scans, a “Suspicious Activity” tab for files that were flagged but didn’t turn out to be dangerous in the end, and an “Excluded Items” section.

Vulnerability Scanner

We found the vulnerability scanner to be extremely helpful. It showed me how many updates were out for my programs and how important it is to keep them updated. 

We also liked that the program informed me of when something was “high priority” to know that those updates should be my top priority. The Vulnerability Scanner helps protect your network from malware by identifying any missing patches. 

McAfee’s proprietary Scoring Engine is built directly into the software and lets you know at a glance how your environment stacks up against best practices. In addition, the Vulnerability Scanner is easy to use, so you can quickly and effectively secure your domain.

Quick Clean

We were amazed that the QuickClean feature removed all the cookies and temporary files from my browser. I wasn’t sure how effective it could be since we have quite a few plugins to Firefox, but these are still listed in the Vault, and QuickClean easily located all of them. 

We were also amazed by how many temporary files were present in the Documents and Settings folder on my computer. The same site has several other free scan sites, so you might want to check out more similar free software for your computer as well.

McAfee WebAdvisor

The McAfee WebAdvisor is a free product that helps you avoid malicious websites and warns you before downloading any suspicious attachments. The WebAdvisor icon appears in your browser, next to the web address, displaying an image of a shield. Clicking the icon opens a page with more information about any site from which it detects suspicious activity.

Also, when I had it on my web browser, it was making small additions to pages without my consent. I didn’t like that at all. Most of the time, WebAdvisor blocks web pages correctly. However, sometimes it stops pages because of advertisements, even if these were perfectly safe paid commercials.

McAfee web boost

Web Boost is a free feature of McAfee’s Internet Security that will temporarily disable the ability for videos to run in your browser. 

Web Boose Feature of McAfee Total Protection
With McAfee, you have better control over your web browsing

Web Boost is a free feature of McAfee’s Internet Security that will temporarily disable the ability for videos to run in your browser.

McAfee’s Web Boost lets you stop annoying auto-play videos with a single click. It will also optimize your browser and extend your battery life so you can stay alert and engaged online.

For the most part, the McAfee web boost seemed to have little effect on my computer’s performance. For instance, the levels of active Firefox processes did not change, nor did the memory usage.

Is McAfee Antivirus safe?

Suppose you are looking for a decent antivirus, then McAfee is a good choice. It is easy to install, relatively user-friendly and works well. In addition, if it gets any new virus signatures, it is always one of the first to get them.

How much is McAfee per month?

With ’30 Day Trial’ on the product page, you can take advantage of the free 30-day trial before purchasing. Once downloaded, you’ll be able to run McAfee and test its capabilities for yourself.

However, McAfee also provides 4 premium protection plans to keep your devices safe from any infections.

Single device

A single device gives you all core protections: Windows antivirus, a firewall, malicious URL filtering, a password manager, plus other utilities and other features. Plus, you can manage devices using an inventory of machines with ease. McAfee for a single device can cost you $29.99.


It has all the same features as a single device. And in addition, it has five additional devices with Theft protection support. The cost of an individual McAfee plan is $34.99.


It covers all the benefits of single + individual, and on top of that, it allows ten device support for $39.99.


It covers all other three packages and allows unlimited device support at the cost of $34.99.

What payment methods does it support?

McAfee takes Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and in some countries, JCB. McAfee also accepts PayPal, ClickandBuy, and TeleCheck (the US only). Alternatively, you can go to a 3rd party retailer or PC shop.

How does the use of the McAfee in question affect computer performance?

Optimizing your computer’s boot-up sequence allows you to maximize your computer’s performance. McAfee offers a simple solution for optimizing boot-up time.
In the Startup Settings section of the Protection tab, you can see whether any of the features in your McAfee software are set to Load at Initial Startup (the default setting).

You can click a feature that is not set to Load at Initial Startup, then click Disable or Enable as appropriate. This is the recommended way to customize Silent Startup behavior, enabling you to control when items are loaded during startup.

McAfee Endpoint Security is a personal firewall software that protects computers from malware. It blocks unauthorized access and controls activity between applications.

The product sits between the operating system and all other software to filter packets, recognize suspicious activities, control data exchanges between programs, and detect unwanted programs.

App Booster by McAfee Total Protection
McAfee can boost some apps by allocating more resources for them

Does it work for Mac?

Unfortunately, macOS users don’t get many extra features with McAfee Antivirus. Mac products tend to be more secure than Windows-based ones, so it would seem like a waste to buy a program that’s supposed to protect against viruses.

Furthermore, Apple already provides their own similar protection in macOS Mojave, so you’d only need this for its additional features like crypto-jacking Apple protection and a system optimizer.

Regardless of whether you have a Mac or PC, McAfee Antivirus Plus offers robust protection against all types of viruses and malware for one low price.

Whether you want essential virus protection or extra features, such as an anti-ransomware solution or hard drive encryption to protect your data, this product has something for everyone.

The bottom line is that you don’t get much from the program for Macs. The Windows version has had some entries in the latest malware databases, but they weren’t particularly nasty.

Can you count on McAfee to protect your Android?

Android mobile devices offer a world of convenience in the palm of your hand. But with all of the new features, ensuring your privacy and security aren’t compromised can be difficult.

McAfee Mobile Security protects what you care most about; your privacy, financial data, information, and personal identity on your mobile devices from hackers and harmful apps with its unique cross-device protection.

McAfee Total Protection for smartphones

With McAfee Mobile Security, you get all the best-in-class security features you expect from McAfee, plus cross-device protection that keeps you protected on every device – even when visiting the most popular social media sites. Now you can browse and shop fearlessly on your phone or tablet.

McAfee’s customer support

Their customer support is all good, and they answer the questions of the customer via different mediums. They also have a phone and chat service to make the process smooth.

Pros and Cons

Just like all the software on the market, McAfee antivirus has its advantages and disadvantages. And here’s what I found:


  • This McAfee has excellent features. Once activated, it is complicated for anyone to infect your computer with a virus, worm, or other malicious code. I have not experienced a single occurrence of any intruder while being protected by this program.
  • The automatic updates are also handy as they can tell the user when and what to update to the newest definition of intruders worldwide. 
  • With the e-policy orchestration management of the McAfee console, we can control our clients remotely by running scans on their endpoints and updating their virus definitions forcefully. 
  • The multi-layered protection helps in detecting a variety of threats and blocks them. It provides the complete visibility and control of endpoint management, network protection in addition to user controls.


  • The installation process is as easy as possible, but the uninstallation process is complicated.
  • When we installed McAfee on our PCs, it sometimes conflicted with other software installed on their computers. This meant that before the software could be used, the customer had to uninstall some other software and re-install it. We experienced this problem while installing McAfee (Security Center) and Norton Anti-Virus on Windows Vista in a test environment.
  • Sometimes the computer’s performance slows down, and sometimes it automatically shuts down. It’s not a big problem. You can also clean useless files and registry entries from your PC to speed up your PC.

Is it enough to protect your computer and devices?

McAfee antivirus protects your Macs, PCs, and other devices with powerful, award-winning software. Made for a new generation of threats, this software detects and blocks viruses, spyware, hackers, and phishing attempts before they can infect your device. 

McAfee home screen with security features

In addition, the McAfee LiveSafe service lets you install protection on all the computers, mobile devices, and tablets you care about. As a result, you’re protected from all digital viruses, everything from ransomware and email fraud to identity theft.

If you are looking for a good antivirus program, then you should strongly consider McAfee Antivirus. McAfee Password Manager protects you from hackers and identity thieves by safeguarding your passwords and other web information.

Suggested alternatives


The primary objective of Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2012 is to keep your system safe from contemporary computer threats. The product performs a complete repair of disks affected by malicious files, keeping the PC in top condition so you can work and play without interruption.


Quick Heal is a powerfully built, fast, and secure IT security solution that protects your network against any kind of latest Internet threats, fraudulent emails, cyber mobiles, etc.


Norton Antivirus software is created to protect the security and performance of your PC from online threats. Norton, the trusted name in PC protection, provides a multi-layer defense to stop viruses, spyware, and other online threats before they can reach your PC.

FAQs about McAfee Antivirus

Why do you need antivirus protection?

The antivirus software integrates with the Internet Security Suite to deliver layered security solutions for the enterprise, SMB, and consumer markets. In addition, an advanced firewall and spyware protection scan your system for suspicious files that could contain hidden threats before the Windows operating system opens them.

Can you use it for Android?

Yes, McAfee Mobile Security for Android provides extra security layers that help you stay out of harm's way. This app offers uncompromising privacy & protection for your device and all your data. Unfortunately, despite how easy it is to install apps, lookups, and emails on Android devices, there are countless ways that cybercriminals can access your private information.

How is McAfee's App for iOS?

McAfee Mobile Security is a free app for iOS devices that protects your phone from malware and viruses and locates your lost or stolen phone. Its scan feature will detect malicious apps you may have unknowingly installed and show you how to delete them. This app also uses Google Maps to track down your lost mobile device when it is out of range, in case you misplace it.

Is McAfee reliable?

McAfee is a name you can trust. Their products provide comprehensive security to help protect you from viruses, spyware, vulnerabilities, identity theft, and other online threats. 

How to uninstall McAfee Antivirus?

Open the Control Panel. If you still using Windows XP, click on the Start button and then click on Control Panel. If you have Windows 7,8 or 10, just right-click on the Start button in the lower-left corner of your screen. Then left-click on the Control Panel. Once the Control Panel window is opened, find out the McAfee VirusScan Enterprise and click Uninstall.
How to uninstall McAfee antivirus

How long does it take to scan the computer?

It really depends on the number of files on your PC. The Quick Scan feature is the fastest way to find and remove viruses, spyware, and other potentially unwanted software from your computer. Quick Scan searches over 100 popular locations where malware can reside. This includes documents, image tools, browsers, the registry, and more.
How long is virus scanning with McAfee

Is there a free plan for McAfee?

McAfee Total Protection provides essential security for your PC, devices, and identity. Plus, Cloud Storage to help safely store and share your files, photos, and more. It also has free trial software that you can access for a month.

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