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McAfee Antivirus Review

Do you want to protect your PC and mobile device from online threats and malware using antivirus software? If so, read this McAfee Antivirus Review and see whether McAfee is the right choice for you.

McAfee Antivirus Review

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works on:

Windows Windows
Mac OS Mac OS
Android Android

Best For

Malware protection


  • Easy to set up
  • Encrypted files
  • Built-in firewall
  • Free browser extensions
  • Real-time malware protection


  • Too many pop-ups
  • Scanning slows down your device
  • Longer scans

In this McAfee Antivirus Review, we will go over the main features of the McAfee Antivirus software and help you decide whether you should choose it as your malware protection software. We will cover the following topics:


  • What is McAfee?
  • Security and Performance
  • Plans and Pricing 
  • Setup and Privacy
  • Customer Support
  • Competitors
  • Reviews

What is McAfee?


McAfee is a computer security software company located in Santa Clara, California, USA. It was founded in 1987 under the name McAfee Associates by John McAfee. It has since evolved into one of the most prominent cybersecurity software developers out there. 

Apart from offering the best virus protection available, McAfee also works as a personal VPN and provides a built-in firewall and mobile security. In this article, we will look at McAfee security features and go over each feature in detail.


Security and Performance

In this section of this McAfee review, we will go over its main features and the services it provides.

Ransomware Protection

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts your files and threatens to destroy them unless you pay ransom for the decryption key. If you fail to do so, you will permanently lose your data. The McAfee antivirus software provides two tools for protection against a ransomware attack:

  • Ransomware Interceptor – detects ransomware and prevents a ransomware attack before it happens
  • McAfee Ransomware Recover (Mr2) – a tool that provides the decryption keys for files that have already been encrypted 

Both tools are extremely useful and come for free. They are available on all versions of Windows OS, from Windows 7 onwards. You can download them from the McAfee official website. 

Quick Clean 

This feature lets you clean your PC of any unnecessary files that can slow down your hard drive. By doing so, it optimises your PC’s performance providing an all-around better user experience. 

Here are some of the items you can clean using McAfee Quick Clean: 

  • Recycle Bin
  • Temporary Files
  • Windows History
  • Cookies
  • Cache
  • Browsing History
  • Shortcuts

The Quick Clean is a helpful feature that optimises your PC’s performance and frees up space on your hard drive so you can store other necessary files.

McAfee Shredder

A common feature of any antivirus software is the shredder tool. It allows you to delete unnecessary items from your PC, making sure you will not be able to recover them. More specifically, with the McAfee Shredder, you can shred a file up to 10 times.

The smaller a file is, the longer it takes to shred it. Generally speaking, it takes more time to shred several small files than to shred one larger file. McAfee Antivirus guarantees that even the most advanced file recovery software will not be able to recover a file once it’s been shredded. 


Vulnerability Scanner

A “vulnerability” signifies a security hole that a cyber attacker can use to breach a computer’s security system. The McAfee Vulnerability Scanner essentially recognises these vulnerabilities or weaknesses and ensures that all your apps are up to date. It operates in the following order:

  • Scans all your apps, looking for the ones that need an update
  • Presents you with a list of updates needed
  • Allows you to choose which update to perform first
  • It lets you know which apps need to be updated manually

By default, the Vulnerability Scan takes place weekly. You can, however, change that option according to your preference. 


The WebAdvisor feature allows you to stay safe from threats, malware and phishing attacks while browsing the Web. It does this while making minimal to no impact on your browsing speed and overall browsing performance. You can download the WebAdvisor tool for free on the McAfee official website.  In the list below, you can see the services it provides:

  • Anti-Phishing Protection 
  • Cryptojacking Blocker
  • Safe Downloads
  • Social Media protection
  • URL Hijacking protection
  • Security Alerts 

Once you’ve downloaded and installed the McAfee WebAdvisor, you need to add it as an extension to your browser. 

McAfee Web Boost

The McAfee Web Boost is a helpful tool that you can use to speed up your browser, save your laptop’s battery life and protect data. It comes for free, and it is easy to install. 

You only need to install it as an extension to your browser, and the McAfee Web Boost does the rest. It automatically stops autoplay videos, such as advertisements and promoted content from sites, which in turn speeds up your browser and allows for an enhanced web browsing experience. 

We found that it only works on Google Chrome, though, which might be a problem for those who use a different browser.

McAfee App Boost

The McAfee App Boost tool helps to enhance your PC’s performance by making apps run faster and smoother. It does this by providing more CPU power to the app. 

In the table below, you can see how much the App Boost tool helps to improve your PC’s performance according to performance tests run by McAfee. 


CPU Performance 33% faster
App Launch Time 6% faster
Digital Content Creation 11% faster
Browsing 14% faster


Password Manager

McAfee’s password manager True Key secures all your passwords using AES-256, one of the most reliable encryption keys available. So all you need to do is set up a master password – the only password you will ever need to remember. 

There are several ways in which you can store your info using True Key:

  • Launchpad: used for storing websites
  • Password Manager: all the passwords and login information from different sites, stored in one place
  • Digital Wallet: stores all your credit card numbers, IDs, passport numbers and other sensitive info 
  • Password Generator: helps you generate long and strong passwords

The True Key is available across different platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS and Android. It also supports the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge.

If you use True Key on an iOS device, the available browser is Safari.

Finally, here is the pricing plan for McAfee’s True Key.


Free Version/15 passwords Premium Version/unlimited passwords
                              Free £19.99/year 

Plans and Pricing

McAfee Antivirus software pricing plans can be a bit confusing, as the company provides different antivirus packages. Still, we will try to make them as straightforward as possible. You can see their pricing and features in the section below.

McAfee Total Protection

There are different subscription plans for the McAfee Total Protection package, depending on how many devices you want to protect. In the table below, you can see your options:


1- year subscription plan Price
Single Device – 1 device £29.99 
Individual/Couples – 5 devices £34.99
Family – 10 devices £39.99


All subscription plans share the following features:

  • Encrypted Storage – 128-bit encryption for the protection of your sensitive files 
  • Award-Winning Antivirus
  • Performance Optimisation
  • Home Network Security
  • Password Manager
  • Safe Web Browsing
  • McAfee Shredder
  • Online Support
  • Secure VPN – only available in auto-renewal

The Individual/Couples subscription plan also comes with:

  • Multi-Device Compatibility Feature 
  • Free 1 year Gamer Security
  • ID Protection – also only available in auto-renewal

The Family subscription plan comes with all the features mentioned above, plus the Safe Family feature.

McAfee LiveSafe

The main difference between McAfee LiveSafe and McAfee Total Protection is that LiveSafe provides the Secure Cloud Storage feature. You will get 1 GB of space for storing your private files, shielded by biometric protection. All the other features remain the same. 

McAfee LiveSafe provides only one subscription plan – £39.99 for a yearly subscription. Also, it is worth noting that McAfee protects an unlimited number of devices.


McAfee Virus Removal Service

The McAfee Virus Removal Service allows you to protect your PC from the comfort of your own home. The only thing you will need to do is contact one of McAfee’s security experts. They can access your PC remotely and provide malware detection and remove viruses, trojans, and adware. This service is available only on Windows 10, and it comes at £59.99 per incident

McAfee also offers a 30-day free trial version and a 30-day money-back guarantee for all its products.


McAfee Setup

The Setup and installation process of the McAfee Antivirus is pretty straightforward. You need to follow these steps: 

  • Purchase your preferred McAfee product or download the free trial version
  • Enter the 24-digit code found on your eCard or on the back of your Retail Card to activate your subscription 
  • Once your subscription is activated, just download the setup tool and install your McAfee product

If you’ve decided to download the free trial version, the process is even simpler:

  • Download the setup tool from McAfee’s official website
  • Agree to the Terms and Conditions
  • Install the free trial on your PC

The entire process lasts only a couple of minutes. 


McAfee Mobile App

The McAfee mobile app is available on Android’s Play Store and iOS App Store for free. Inside the App, you can see all the subscription plans available for McAfee mobile security

AV-Test has conducted multiple performance tests on McAfee mobile security over the years. The latest one from May 2021 has concluded that:

  • The app does not affect the device’s battery life
  • The app does not produce too much traffic
  • The app does not slow down the device

McAfee’s mobile app has received a maximum score of 6.0/6.0 in the Performance category.


McAfee Privacy Protection

McAfee provides the ultimate privacy protection of your data. Namely, it offers advanced security features, such as ID protection and a secure VPN to ensure all your sensitive data is safe. 

The password manager tool secures all your info with two verification methods and a strong password before you sign in. 

The encrypted storage feature uses a 128-bit encryption key for your data, making it virtually impossible for anyone to reach your private info.


How to  Disable and Uninstall McAfee Antivirus?

You can disable McAfee antivirus at any time. However, disabling it will not remove it from your PC, and you can start using it again whenever you want. To disable it, open your McAfee Antivirus and click turn off for Real-Time Scanning, Firewall, Automatic Updates and Scheduled Scans.

If for any reason, you want to stop using its services completely, you can uninstall it from your PC’s Control Panel. If you wish to cancel your subscription, just contact McAfee’s customer support.


McAfee Customer Support

If you run into any issue regarding your McAfee product, you can contact customer support at any time. There are a few options available:

  • Virtual Assistant – provides step by step solutions to common McAfee Antivirus problems
  • Chat – you can chat with a McAfee representative, available 24/7
  • Community – you can ask the McAfee community for help regarding your problem on the McAfee Consumer Forums
  • Dial the number provided on McAfee’s official website
  • Contact a McAfee representative by email


In this section of our review, we will compare McAfee to some of its biggest competitors.

McAfee vs Norton

Most cybersecurity experts consider the contest between McAfee and Norton Antivirus a tie. That is because they are both among the best antivirus programs available. In the table below, you can see how they both performed in tests run by the independent organisations AV-Plus and AV-Comparatives.


TEST McAfee Performance Norton Performance
Real-time malware protection 0.6% cases undetected 0.6% cases undetected
Quick-scan duration  2 mins 20 s 1 min 16 s
Full scan duration 0 h 57 min 0 h 10 min
False Positives (safe files recognised as malware) 6 24


Norton received the Advanced score in the AV-Comparative tests, while McAfee received the Advanced+ honorary badge. In addition, AV-Test named both antiviruses as Top Products.

When it comes to features, Norton lacks the File Shredder, File Encryption and Secure Browser feature. On the other hand, McAfee lacks Secure Cloud Storage, a feature available on Norton.

Norton’s starting price is £34.99. In contrast, McAfee’s minimum price is £29.99, so it is a bit more affordable. Also, while Norton offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, McAfee provides a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

McAfee vs Avast

McAfee and Avast are similar when it comes to the features and services they provide. They both offer features such as:

  • Virus scans 
  • Firewall
  • File shredder 
  • Real-time malware protection

In the table below, you can see how both antivirus programs performed in detecting malware.


Test McAfee Avast
Threats stopped 98.5% of threats 99.7% of threats
0-day malware detection 100% 100%


It is worth mentioning that McAfee received the maximum score of 6.0/6.0 in the AV-TEST under the Performance section, while Avast received a score of 5.5/6.0 due to issues with system slowdowns. 

One slight advantage of Avast over McAfee is that it is available on one additional platform – Linux.

McAfee vs Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes is good antivirus software, but it lacks in certain aspects in comparison to McAfee. Malwarebytes Privacy + Premium, considered Malwerbytes’ best product, offers features such as:

  • Real-time protection
  • Ransomware protection
  • Web protection & Ad Blocker
  • VPN with unlimited data

McAfee Total Protection provides all these features, including:

  • Firewall
  • Password manager
  • ID protection
  • Network Scanner
  • File Shredder

In the table below, you can see the pricing options for McAfee and Malwarebytes.


Pricing Option McAfee Total Protection Malwarebytes Premium
Starting price £29.99 £20.99
Money-back guarantee 30-day money-back guarantee 60-day money-back guarantee
Free-trial 30-day free trial  14-day free trial

McAfee Online Reviews

On Amazon, McAfee has a rating of 4.4/5 stars with currently over 700 reviews.

As with any other product, you can find all kinds of reviews, but most users are generally satisfied with the McAfee Antivirus. Most of them mention that it is easy to set up, affordable, has no system impact while running, and provides excellent protection against all types of malware. 

There are much fewer negative reviews. Some of them mention poor customer support experiences and installation problems. Other users complained about the number of pop-ups, such as reminders and warnings.


Wrap Up

To conclude our McAfee Antivirus Review, our final verdict is that McAfee is one of the top antivirus programs available today. It will undoubtedly protect you from all kinds of cyber threats

It packages several scan options, backups, and features such as real-time protection and parental controls into affordable plans. It also comes with an intuitive interface that is easy to understand even for first-time users. 

So, if you are worried about your online safety and plan to invest in antivirus software, McAfee is one of our top recommendations.


Will McAfee detect spyware?

Yes, McAfee will detect spyware and any other unwanted program on your device.

Will McAfee remove malware?

Yes, McAfee will remove all types of malware from your device.

Does McAfee have a free version?

No, McAfee does not provide free antivirus software. It does, however, offer a 30-day free trial. 

Does McAfee work on Mac?

Yes, McAfee works on multiple platforms, including Mac.

Does McAfee provide dark web monitoring?

Yes, McAfee performs regular dark web monitoring and immediately alerts you when your info is at risk.