McAfee Antivirus Review 2021

Rating:4.5 ★★★★
Price:from $19.99/year
Free version:Yes (Android, iOS)
Platforms:Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Current deal:Get McAfee, now 58% OFF!
Article: McAfee Antivirus Review 2021

When you consider antivirus software, McAfee is perhaps one of the top companies that come to mind. Founded in 1987, McAfee has kept computers safe from viruses for more than thirty years. Intel even briefly acquired the company. However, after several years it regained its independence. It remains a workplace together with the best antivirus software developers in the world.

Security experts and users alike consider McAfee to be one of the simplest antivirus programs. It has excellent malware detection rates, many additional features such as a password manager and VPN, and helpful customer support. In addition, it is very easy to align and use.

But how good is McAfee really? How safe is it compared to other antimalware products? and how much does McAfee cost? Learn all that and more in our in-depth review of McAfee antivirus.

Pros & Cons


  • User-friendly
  • Cheap multi-user options
  • Superb customer support
  • VPN
  • Password manager
  • Encrypted storage


  • iOS version is lacking
  • App boost does nothing
  • Confusing pricing plans

Security Features

As one of the simplest antivirus offerings, McAfee features a very sophisticated set of security measures. From constantly protecting your computer against ransomware, cryptojacking, and malware, to offering you additional features to speed up your web browsing and protect your documents, data, and passwords. Simply put, it has everything you would like to make your Internet experience safe and hassle-free.

But what exactly are these McAfee security features? Let’s analyze it.

Ransom ware protection

Ransom Guard, McAfee’s ransomware protection offering, provides an elegant layer of real-time protection without interfering with your online experience. In fact, what we love most about McAfee’s Ransom Guard is how discreet it is when you’re online. You will never know it is there unless you look for it or you have a security issue.

As soon as there is a File Content Transformation, which is McAfee’s fancy way of describing an effort to encrypt your files, it will increase your security. It will also create protected copies of the threatening files, so you can be sure that you will not lose any of your data.

The danger will be monitored by McAfee’s Ransom Guard. If the problem persists, it will be quarantined and your contents will be restored from backup.


McAfee Antivirus Review
Article: McAfee Antivirus Review 2021

QuickClean, a tool of McAfee, may help you clean up your computer and enhance security and speed. Scans your computer for cookies and temporary files, which can take up precious storage space and reveal information about you to a hacker.

Once QuickClean has found the tracking cookies and junk files that it will dispense with, it will provide you with a report allowing you to recognize how much space it will free up. there is an option to check everything that QuickClean has discovered. Otherwise, you could go the easy way and continue cleaning with the click of a button.


McAfee Antivirus Review
Article: McAfee Antivirus Review 2021

McAfee Shredder Tool is one of our favorite features. In general, safely deleting files is not as simple as hitting Delete. this will only be moved to your Recycle Bin, which can still be accessed by anyone taking over your machine. And even if you skip or empty your Recycle Bin, your deleted data will remain on the disk, suggesting that it could be recovered. But with McAfee’s Shredder feature, you will confirm that your file is gone forever. It works by overwriting the file’s data type multiple times before it gets deleted.

Three levels of shredding safety are offered here:

  • Basic overwrites the file twice before deleting it
  • Safe overwrites the file five times before deleting it
  • Complete overwrites the file ten times before deleting it.

To make life easier, it will destroy the entire Recycle Bin or Temporary Internet Files in one go.

Vulnerability scanner

McAfee Antivirus Review
Article: McAfee Antivirus Review 2021

Hackers look for security flaws to compromise popular applications and operating systems. This is often the reason why software companies and application developers regularly implement security patches. And McAfee Vulnerability Scanner looks for them and lets you know when any of your applications need to be updated for security reasons.

All you have to do is hit Install updates and it will install any pending security patches.

McAfee WebAdvisor

McAfee WebAdvisor
Article: McAfee Antivirus Review 2021

As soon as you have downloaded McAfee, it should find the McAfee browser extension installed automatically. This extension, called McAfee WebAdvisor, gives you quick access to McAfee’s suite of security measures.

In our McAfee WebAdvisor review, we found that it protects you against malware and phishing attempts while online without hampering your browser’s performance. Again, this is often another feature that keeps you safe without interfering with your Internet experience, unless there is a roadblock.

McAfee Accelerates

The service offers improved speeds for web browsing and your applications:

McAfee Web Boost

McAfee Web Boost speeds up your browsing by preventing autoplay videos from starting. It does this by overlaying a message on the video that says Paused by McAfee Web Boost. Upon testing, we found that it worked quite well and helped some websites load faster. However, while it is a nice little feature, it is unlikely to transform the speed of your browser.

Also, it’s worth keeping in mind that it only works on Google Chrome, so it’s not very good if this isn’t your browser of choice.

McAfee App Boost

McAfee runs its PC Boost feature in the background to divert resources to applications that require it. this is often intended to reduce loading times. Their lab results show that this makes loading times 6% faster. In our tests, we didn’t notice any real difference in speed. But according to our McAfee report, our app performance had improved by 8%.

McAfee’s password manager: True Key

McAfee’s password manager, True Key, is one of the most popular password managers out there. That’s right. It allows you to manage your passwords while keeping them truly safe and secure.

True Key uses AES-256, one of the strongest encryption algorithms out there, to ensure that no one can access your login credentials. Only you will be ready to crack your passwords.

The app also offers multi-factor authentication to further protect your account. You will need to verify a minimum of two factors before logging in. And you will even add more factors if you want to increase security further.

McAfee plans & pricing

McAfee offers a variety of payment plans that support what percentage of devices you would like to protect.

Unfortunately, there is no free desktop version, although there is a basic version of the free app for Android and iOS.
And if you’re not sure whether or not you want to sign up for McAfee, you’ll test running the McAfee Total Protection plan in a 30-day free trial. You don’t even need to enter your card details. At the top of 30 days, you will simply lose access to the app unless you pay to keep it.

Confusingly, the two McAfee security packages, Total Protection and LiveSafe are quite similar. McAfee’s own website does not clearly differentiate between them. Therefore, it is not so easy to make an informed decision about why to travel. Fortunately, we’ve done an in-depth analysis to find the difference between McAfee Total Protection and McAfee LiveSafe to help you choose which one is right for you.

Single DeviceVPN, set-up, network security, customer support, password manager, shredder, encrypted storage$29.99
IndividualSame as a single device and support for 5 devices with fraud protection$34.99
FamilySame as a single, individual device, plus support for 10 devices$39.99
LiveSafeJust like a single device, individual and family with unlimited device support$34.99
Article: McAfee Antivirus Review 2021

Total Protection

McAfee Total Protection offers three different plans based on the number of devices you need:

  • The single device supports one device for $ 29.99 during the primary year
  • Individuals admit up to 5 devices for $ 34.99 during the elementary year
  • Family supports up to 10 devices for $ 39.99 during the elementary year

Nowadays, when most people use multiple devices, the single device plan doesn’t seem all that useful. But if you already have security built into your phone, otherwise you just want virus protection for one PC, this plan might be enough for you.

However, if you are like us and need to keep your data safe on multiple devices, otherwise you want to protect the whole family from cyber threats, you will probably have to spend cash for the Individual or Family plan.

It is worth bearing in mind that the costs mentioned above are introductory offers and therefore only last for the first year subscription. then your subscription will automatically renew and therefore the price is likely to go up. However, you will be ready to negotiate a much better renewal offer or cancel your subscription and rejoin as a replacement customer to form the main special offer.

That said, if you decide to exit McAfee’s automatic renewal scheme, you will lose some exclusive benefits. This includes the VPN and virus protection pledge, which suggests offering a refund if you have an outbreak that McAfee cannot eliminate.

McAfee LiveSafe

To make matters more confusing, McAfee LiveSafe costs the equivalent of McAfee’s Total Protection Family plan. That’s $ 39.99 for the elementary year. And, on the surface, at least, they seem to boast a uniform set of security measures.

The most important difference between McAfee Total Protection and McAfee LiveSafe is the number of devices you will use it on. McAfee LiveSafe offers protection on a large number of devices. So instead of being limited to a maximum of ten with the most expensive Total Protection plan, you will use your account to download McAfee software on as many devices as you like.

Ease of use & setup

Ease of use & setup
Article: McAfee Antivirus Review 2021

We tested McAfee antivirus software on Windows and it was very easy to align. However, I first tried to download it on my Mac and I got an error message informing me that the McAfee free trial was not compatible with Mac. So if you are looking for a free sample of the McAfee antivirus offering, Windows is the thank you for going.

The software downloaded quickly and automatically installed the application and browser extension without you having to click

McAfee interface

Once discovered, the essential features were fairly easy to find in the app and WebAdvisor. If you want to run a quick scan for viruses, you are ready to do it very quickly. and therefore the state of your computer is clearly formed by a huge green tick if there is no problem or a huge Red Cross if there is a threat.

McAfee Antivirus McAfee interface
Article: McAfee Antivirus Review 2021

But beyond that, the design of McAfee software is often confusing. If you want to run the Boost feature online or access the Shredder tool, you will likely end up clicking in the dark for a short time before figuring out what you are trying to find.

Vulnerability Scanner, for example, is actually titled Update my apps and it’s hidden within the PC’s security tab. However, once you have clicked on it, it will provide you with much more useful information.

If you’re not sure, you’ll find most of the features under the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the dash. Here, you are ready to access:

  • The firewall
  • Scheduled scans
  • Anti-spam
  • Real time scanning
  • Automatic updates
  • Quarantined items
  • General settings and alerts
  • QuickClean
  • App Boost
  • Web Boost
  • Vulnerability scanner

We recommend examining the settings of several of these to confirm that they work as you would like. We found out once we were researching within the gear icon, that our scheduled scans were supposed to occur at 4 am. Since I always turn off my laptop before going to bed, this was a useless touch for me.


What was a little concerning about this was that if I hadn’t tried to find this information, I would never have known that I had virus scans scheduled in the slightest, including the fact that it was thanks to them happening at an unsociable hour. There are no reminders or notifications to let you know that this happens often.

So while McAfee is quick and easy to line up, it’s not the easiest to use antivirus software we’ve tested, and you’ll probably have to play around with it for a while before it gets to work the way you’d like.
McAfee mobile app

Mobile App

McAfee Antivirus Mobile App
Article: McAfee Antivirus Review 2021

The McAfee mobile app provides very fast and easy virus protection for your phone. And you will get the basics for free. We tested the McAfee mobile app on Android and it is a very clean and easy-to-use interface.

Both the Android app and thus the iPhone app offers you some basic features that you just don’t have to buy, including a scan for malware or viruses on your phone. It also scans your apps and even your Wi-Fi connection for potential threats.

There are many more sophisticated features that you simply need to purchase, including a Wi-Fi saver, an app lock, and Safe Web, which blocks dangerous websites and links. And if you regularly connect to a public Wi-Fi network, otherwise you share your device with someone else, it is definitely worth upgrading to the purchased subscription. But if all you want is some basic security measures, the free app is certainly an honest starting line.

Customer Support

McAfee Customer Support
Article: McAfee Antivirus Review 2021

As you might expect, once you visit the Customer Support section of the website, you will find tons of helpful guides and answers to frequently asked questions to help you solve your problem without having to bother a member of the McAfee support team.

Sure, this will be annoying if you have an urgent problem along with your antivirus software and you want to talk to a real person. For many everyday problems, chances are good that you are looking for what you are trying to find on this page.

However, I found it extremely annoying that to qualify for an audience with a customer service agent, you would like to fill out a form with tons of private data. Include your first and last name, phone number, email, and email verification, and problem descriptions. Even when your requests are submitted, you find that they cannot fulfill some requests because they must be done over the phone. If you want to request a refund and need to give it a try via chat, you won’t be ready to roll on the floor.

Does McAfee customer service Really Help?

If you have to speak to one person, there is certainly more dedicated help available. After you have clicked through a couple of pages of preliminary questions about the nature of your problem, you will arrive at a page that gives you the option to contact one of McAfee’s customer service advisers via live chat. This is usually a service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In our testing, we found that we reached a representative within a few minutes, although this may take longer during particularly busy periods. When live chat experiences a high volume of requests, there will be a banner at the top of the McAfee support page warning users to expect longer wait times.

There’s also the McAfee Community Forum that provides help and advice on a huge variety of topics. The forum is also quite active. Just ask a problem and it will almost certainly be answered fairly quickly.

And for more basic problems, you’ll use the McAfee Virtual Assistant to diagnose and fix technical problems. It is not the most sophisticated tool in the world, but it will help you solve simple problems.

Alternatively, if you’re away from your computer, you’ll pay to use Techmaster, which can fix problems without you having to try too hard.

And if you really want to talk to someone, you will find a hidden phone number in the Contact Us section of the McAfee website.

Final verdict

McAfee offers one of the most comprehensive online security suites we’ve tested, with a host of really useful features to keep your devices safe from viruses. In particular, we loved the Shredder tool and thus the WebAdvisor browser extension.

Although there are cheaper antivirus deals online, McAfee gets a lot for its money, including using McAfee’s secure VPN, True Key password manager, and encrypted storage.

We were very impressed with how effectively it provides online protection without hampering your internet speed or online browsing experience.

But McAfee is not without its flaws: the website, app, and pricing plans are a bit confusing and disorganized, and therefore the Web Boost / App Boost features are often disappointing.

However, if you are trying to find antivirus software to protect all your devices at an affordable price, you can’t go far wrong with McAfee antivirus software.


Here, we will answer some of your burning questions about McAfee antivirus software.

Is McAfee an honest antivirus program?

Yes. McAfee can be a good antivirus and put a price on the investment. It offers an in-depth security package that will keep your computer safe from malware and other online threats. It works quite well on Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS, and therefore the McAfee LiveSafe plan works on a large number of private devices. McAfee security software is available as a web application, mobile application, and browser extension.

What is the difference between McAfee Livesafe and Total Protection?

The main difference between McAfee Total Protection and McAfee LiveSafe is that you can simply use the McAfee LiveSafe plan on a large number of private devices. this is often the only real difference between the 2 plans. You will find all the equivalent security measures in both. The McAfee LiveSafe plan costs $ 39.99 for the first year, the equivalent of the more expensive Total Protection plan.

Is Norton Antivirus better than McAfee?

Yes. While both offer excellent virus protection, Norton offers better speeds, security, and overall performance. They are more security measures than McAfee and it is easier to protect against malware and other online threats.

However, McAfee’s plans are a bit cheaper. Most importantly, McAfee’s LiveSafe plan is often used on unlimited personal devices, while even Norton’s 360 Premium plan remains limited to a maximum of 10 devices. To learn more, read our McAfee vs Norton comparison.

How to claim a refund for a McAfee subscription?

After purchase, within 30 days, you will receive a full refund for your subscription. However, you won’t be ready to roll through the hay via live chat. You will need to call customer service and make sure of your decision. Therefore, please confirm that you are confident about this service before committing.

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