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McAfee Antivirus Review 2022
There was a time in the ’90s when you could walk in a retail store and pick your McAfee Antivirus CD and install it on your computers, and boom! Your PC was safe from any virus, and life was pretty much sorted, but times have changed.
We are in 2022, and there has been a lot of progress when it comes to cyber security, and the threats have multiplied at an exponential scale. No doubt, you can still walk into a retail store to buy antivirus software packages, but most people download them right away.
Things are getting complicated over time in terms of the type and nature of cyber threats, and at the same time, users are turning out to be technically more sound than they were in the past.
In fact, there are many antivirus software players in the market today, and the ideal solution must offer a lot of things for everybody and at a sweet price tag. So we have decided to check whether McAfee is still relevant to us. In this antivirus software review, we will try to understand McAfee’s latest offerings and see if it’s a good fit for you in 2022. Let’s get started!
McAfee Antivirus Quick Summary
McAfee was founded in 1986, and it has been one of the largest players in the antivirus software industry for decades that followed till date. As of today’s date, McAfee has a market share of 7.57%, which is decent given the fact that even the vendor with the largest market share holds 13.16% of the total volume.
It is a full-service security suite with all necessary tools for both Windows and Mac users, along with Android and iOS users. It is also known as a value-for-money antivirus software vendor owing to many of its comprehensive, cost-effective subscription plans like the McAfee Antivirus Plus.
It has been in the business for the last 30 years, and with time, they have increased the scope of their product through features like a password manager, VPN, and more. It also contributes to McAfee’s value for money tag, while its easy-to-use interface continues to be one of its strengths.
Here’s a list of our favourite features that make McAfee Antivirus software offers:
- Wi-Fi Network Protection
- Parental Controls
- Identity Theft Protection
- Vulnerability Scanner
- Anti-Phishing Protection
- Password Manager
- Ransom Guard
- File Manager And Storage Facility
- Simple UI, Easy to use
- Affordable pricing options for multi-user subscription plans
- Storage feature supports encryption
- One of the finest customer support teams in the antivirus software industry
- Dependable detection of malicious and fraudulent websites
- No free plan
- Some pricing plans can be confusing for buyers
- Many features don’t work as promised (e.g. PC Boost)
- Apple users get lesser features than Windows users
McAfee Antivirus Review
McAfee has some great positives and a few substantial negatives that you must be aware of before paying the money. On the negative side, it does fail some of the advanced security lab tests, which can be a concerning factor for some super users. Also, Apple product users, no matter, if you use a Mac or any other iOS device, you don’t get an equal piece of the pie as Windows/Android users.
However, it has many positive points to its advantage and has been a consistently well-performing antivirus package. While it does slow down your PC performance during the scanning process, which can take one full hour, it provides you with the option to choose your preferred time.
With that said, many comparable solutions take about 40 minutes for a full scan, but they don’t offer the scheduling feature, and many among them don’t slow down your PC performance as well. Regardless, this isn’t something that bothers most users but what makes it a great offering is its customization features that go well with even the not-so tech-savvy.
The pricing plans can be a little confusing but if you are looking for group user plans, they are very affordable. With a lot of controls such as deciding internet access for specific programs, whitelisting, and 4-level network protection intensities, McAfee makes a strong case for all types of users to choose it over others.
McAfee Antivirus Pricing and Plans
Let’s look at the various subscription plans offered by McAfee. Currently, they are offering a total of two subscription plans: Total Protection and LiveSafe.
McAfee Total Protection
This antivirus package is further divided into three plans depending on your requirements:
- Single Device, One Year Plan: $84.99 for the 1st year
- Individuals Plan: $49.99 for the first year; it supports up to 5 devices
- Family Plan: $54.99 for the 1st year
Digging deeper into the pricing options, our experts found that the single device plan is just not relevant for a wide majority of users. Most people own at least two to three devices, rendering them completely useless and unwanted, even for comparison purposes.
While the Family Plan and the Individuals Plan make sense for most buyers, we would like to suggest you skip the Total Protection package altogether. Surprisingly, the other plan, McAfee LiveSafe, offers practically the same benefits and features for unlimited devices. Why does Total Protection even exist? Likely for advanced users seeking very specific comprehensive features.
It is a rather simple offering that costs you $39.99 for the 1st year with no upper limit on the number of devices you can connect. That is roughly the same as the Family Plan on the Total Protection Package. On the contrary, the Family Plan allows you to connect a maximum of 10 devices which isn’t the case with the LifeSafe package, making it the clear pick above the other.
Since you get a 30-day free trial without submitting your credit card details, we can consider that it is relatively easier to test if McAfee can do the job for you or not. The major difference for buyers is when choosing whether to go with auto-renewal or if you should take a chance by bargaining a better deal for yourself.
If you are a Windows user, chances are, you might want to go for auto-renewal. It will help you get the Virus Protection Pledge, which is a remote troubleshooting and assistance service that would otherwise cost you a whopping $89.95 in case you bump into a serious malware issue.
For Mac users, this isn’t a thing at all as they don’t receive the Virus Protection Pledge. If the experts can’t help you with the problem, McAfee will provide you with a full refund. Additionally, you will not get the VPN or the Gamer Protection features if you don’t choose the auto-renewal option.
Overall, the LiveSafe package is the most straight forward bang for your buck.
McAfee Antivirus Protection and Performance
McAfee has been scoring good results in tests carried out by AV-Comparatives over the years, and it also performed well at the lab tests carried out at MRG-Effitas. Considering its performance in malware download prevention tests and a whole lot of other parameters, the results were quite promising.
However, it had failed a few crucial lab tests like the Banking Trojans, which may concern users. We recommend taking that with a grain of salt as not many antivirus software solutions pass all tests hands down. If you look at the larger picture, it is one of the most dependable and safe-to-use antivirus solutions available in the market.
McAfee also scores an almost perfect rating when it comes to anti-phishing tests, adding to its credibility.
Ever since McAfee sold its enterprise business, it has been focusing exclusively on the retail customer segment and this, too, works in its favor.
Antivirus Scanner and Firewall
Now its antivirus scanner is one of the features where McAfee benefits the most from its three-decades-long legacies as it employs a traditional malware detection model. It uses its virus directory to find any security risks, which has a long-standing recording of working well. Its Firewall is another feather in McAfee’s cap as it is on par with a full-suite solution despite being a standalone antivirus product.
The Vulnerability Scan is comparable to most other solutions out in the market, and McAfee, too, updates this feature frequently to uphold security. Generally, this process is automated, but at times, you may require to update the system manually.
Additional features like App Booster work quite fine, but it comes with its limitations. For Apple users, there’s not much to expect with McAfee’s App Booster, while Windows users may find that it only works well with Chrome.
The Web Protection Chrome extension helps stop video ads from auto-playing when browsing the internet.
To block malware-hosting websites and phishing frauds, McAfee provides you with features like WebAdvisor and Cryptojacking Blocker. It also keeps you protected when browsing your favourite social media platforms like Reddit, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. McAfee gives you an alert when you share content on these platforms that could potentially risk your security.
The Identity Protection feature is available in the following countries:
- New Zealand
This is a comprehensive advantage over other competitors as most of them provide the Identity Protection feature to only their US-based users. This feature covers:
- A single SSN (Social Security Number).
- Up to ten medical IDs
- A single driver’s license
- A single passport
- A single international bank account
- Up to ten bank accounts
- Up to ten credit and debit cards
- Up to ten other cards
- Up to ten email addresses
- Up to ten phone numbers
Gamer Security Feature
The Gamer Security feature is hailed as a great value addition as it provides you with real-time performance monitoring and a cloud-based scanner. It is much more powerful and advanced than the Windows Task Manager, providing users with comprehensive insights into their PCs. In fact, non-gamer users can also benefit from this feature if they want to keep an eye on their resource utilization in a much more detailed manner.
With all that said, we think that McAfee is definitely one of the best options for protection and performance.
McAfee Antivirus Ease of Use
When it comes to ease of use, McAfee is definitely a simple and straight-forward product. The UI is intuitive, and it has one of the most logical user experiences among all antivirus software. It also provides users with different levels of customization for their online activities, which is a much-needed option. The fact that it works just as well without any input makes it a good choice for users who don’t have the skills or the time to do so.
McAfee Antivirus Customer Support
Customer Support is definitely one of the strongest factors for McAfee. They provide 24/7 live chat support, which is lacking in a lot of its competitors, with 24/7 phone support too! For the extra savvy users, McAfee has curated a proper support forum where they can post and answer queries. On top of that, McAfee has a comprehensive online knowledge base.
While these are the things discussed on paper by many antivirus solution providers, customers have reported a great experience when contacting their team. The customer support team is prompt in addressing any troubles, they have the authority to make decisions such as refund processing, providing free upgrades, and of course, they are skilled at addressing and solving your concerns.
Final Word – McAfee Review
After considering all the parameters, we can say that McAfee is surely the best pick for your money with its do-it-all, intuitive, full-service antivirus protection software with fantastic customer service. It isn’t the best when it comes to ticking all the boxes in security lab tests, but it still performs better than a sizable chunk of its competitors. Given the fact that it is solely focused on customers and not enterprises, we can consider these factors of lesser significance for most regular users.
Do our experts recommend McAfee? YES. McAfee is arguably one of the best picks in the market, with or without any special considerations. It either outperforms or performs on par with other leading antivirus software, at a much more affordable price.
McAfee Antivirus FAQs
How do you install McAfee antivirus?
Follow the steps below to install McAfee antivirus after purchasing:
- Click on the subscription button under My Account
- Click on the “Add Device” option
- Select device type
- Next, click “Download”
- Select the McAfee package that you want to install and click Download
Is McAfee antivirus expensive?
No. McAfee has one of the most affordable multi-device plans (LiveSafe) without compromising on either security or additional features.
Is McAfee antivirus safe for Canadians?
McAfee is completely safe for Canadians, and it also provides Identity Protection to Canadians, something no other antivirus software supports currently.