McAfee Vs Avast

McAfee Vs Avast - The Ultimate Comparison

Written by Ria du Plessis - Web Developer

Updated on August 12 , 2021

You definitely heard of both McAfee and Avast while searching for the best antivirus solution. Both of these antivirus solutions are giants in the world of online security and antivirus software. With cyber-attacks happening every 39 seconds on average, it’s crucial to have capable protection in place. In the guide, we’ll be comparing McAfee vs Avast to help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of each of these providers.

  • Complete Protection For All Devices With a single License
  • Configurable Firewall
  • Virus Protection Pledge Or Full Refund Guarantee
  • Real-time malware protection
  • Advanced security features
  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • Value for money

Overall Comparison

Our verdict on overall best antivirus program is McAfee Antivirus

McAfee Pros

Avast Pros

  • Great protection against viruses, malware, ransomware, and spyware
  • Instant notification of threats
  • User-friendly
  • Prompt customer service
  • Frequent useful updates
  • Free version available
  • Great protection against malware
  • Powerful network security protection
  • Useful bonus features
  • Scans are fast

McAfee Cons

Avast Cons

  • Scans are sometimes long
  • Ads pop-ups
  • Frequent updates can become a pain
  • Some bonus features require a purchase
  • Pop up banner can’t be disabled
  • Frequent reminders to purchase the full version

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McAfee and Avast are both reliable antivirus solutions. Both of them offer great malware protection and threat detection. 

When it comes to McAfee vs Avast, the features they offer are on nearly equal footing. There are only a few things that set them apart from each other. 

Avast offers web protection for example, and McAfee does not.

McAfee is the better choice, as it offers impressive protection results, better value for the price, and less impact on devices while running in the background. 

Overall winner: McAfee Antivirus

Key Features

Key features are a vital consideration when it comes to choosing the right antivirus software

You may not need certain features for your lifestyle and the way you use your Internet. However, there may be features that you absolutely need.

Let’s take a look at McAfee vs Avast side by side:




Virus Scanner



Threat Protection



Malware Removal



Phishing Detection



Spyware Protection



Ransomware Protection



Cloud Backup

Yes, but only backs up files on your computer. If a file is deleted from the computer, it’s removed from the cloud







Yes, subscription-based

Browser Protection


Yes, with a dedicated Avast browser

Webcam Protection



Password Manager



Identity Theft Protection



Parental Control



Safe Banking



Performance Optimization



Cleaning Tools



File Shredder



Game Mode



Mobile App



Key Features Compared

As you can see from the features listed above, McAfee vs Avast is a close matchup. It all comes down to the performance of each of the features in comparison to the other.

McAfee does have a few bonus features that add to its usefulness. 

These bonus features are;

  • File Locker, where you can securely store sensitive files
  • Dark web protection;
  • and even an app boost that automatically updates all out-of-date apps on your mobile device.

Avast offers webcam protection through its Webcam Shield, which is a feature not currently offered by McAfee. 

Avast also has a Sensitive Data Shield, a useful Anti-track feature, and a sandbox mode to allow you to safely test files.

McAfee Features;

McAfee Features

Avast Features;

Avast Features

Malware Protection Capabilities

Any antivirus program should be able to detect and protect you against malware and viruses. 

In the most recent AV-Test results, we can see how McAfee and Avast compare to each other when it comes to malware protection capabilities.

McAfee Test Results;

McAfee Test Results

According to this AV-Test done, McAfee detected 100% of all zero-day attacks, and widespread malware attacks over the course of 4 weeks.

Avast Test Results;

Avast Test Results

Avast also detected 100% off all malware attacks used to test its capabilities. This makes it incredibly difficult to choose a winner.

This means we need to look back across their scores from the last few tests to see who consistently scored better. 

In 2020, McAfee scored a perfect 100% every month except April and February, where they scored 5.0 and 5.5 out of six respectively.

Avast, on the other hand, only had a drop to 5.0 out of six in April, the rest of the months were perfect scores. As such, Avast outperformed McAfee just slightly on consistency.

Best for malware protection: Avast

System Performance

System Performance is a key factor to take into account when comparing antivirus programs. 

McAfee has been known for not impacting the performance of your system too much while running in the background. 

McAfee has consistently had a perfect score in system performance from AV-Test. They’ve maintained this score since April 2018

McAfee Results;

McAfee Results

Avast, on the other hand, has a bit of a reputation for having quite an impact on system performance when running. 

They did, however, surprise us when they scored a perfect 100% during the last AV Test. This is their first perfect score for performance since June 2019.

Avast Test Results;

Avast Test Results

Best for System Performance: McAfee - for consistency


The price of each software is another significant consideration. You want to make sure that you get back value for the money you spend. 

Avast Pricing;

Avast offers a free version, the free version has all the basics. Avast offers Premium Security for a single device for $69.99/year or 10 devices for $89.99/year. Avast Ultimate is $99.99/year for a single device or $119.99/year for 10 devices

McAfee Pricing;

McAfee does not offer a free version like Avast. McAfee offers Total Protection for one device for $79.99/year, protection for five devices for two years at $24.99 per year, and protection for ten devices for two years at $39.99 per year.

Best for price: McAfee

Ease of Use and User Friendliness

Ease of use is really important, as it’s a determining factor in keeping users happy. Both of these products are well-designed for ease of use.

McAfee is straightforward to install; with just a few clicks, it will install itself. However, it can take quite a while to complete the installation process. 

The software has a nice, clean look that’s free from clutter, so it’s easy to navigate

McAfee Ease of Use

Avast, however, sports a dark theme that makes the program stand out. The design is highly intuitive, and the platform is easy to use

From the home screen, you can access the security features, and takes less time to install.

Avast Ease of Use

Best for ease of use: Avast

Customer Support

Customer support is another aspect to take into account. No software is without flaws, so you must be able to get help and support when you need it. 

McAfee has a Help and Support section you can visit when you get stuck. From there, you can access the Virtual Assistant, read through the community forum, and browse FAQs, which also contain YouTube videos for users that need a visual explanation. 

You can also fill in a form with your personal information and get access to their live chat function. If this doesn’t help you, they also have a contact number for further assistance.

Avast has a FAQ section and forums available, but if you want to talk to a person, they have a toll-free number that’s available 24/7 for you to call. 

However, the toll-free number is only toll-free if you have a paid-for version of Avast. 

Best for customer support: McAfee


Both of these antivirus programs are excellent options. They’ve been in the industry for a long time, with that comes experience and reliability. 

During our comparison of McAfee vs Avast, it was clear that these two programs are almost equal when it comes to certain aspects. 

When we look at malware protection, both scored equally during independent lab testing. We had to go back a whole year to see which of the two had more consistent results. In this case, Avast came out on top. 

However, McAfee outperformed Avast when it came to system performance, pricing, and customer support. 

Overall, with all the different features available and the performance of both antiviruses, both in lab tests and individual testing, McAfee outperformed Avast slightly in the end. That’s our pick for the best antivirus program.

Which antivirus do you think is for you? Choose Now!

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