McAfee Review- Antivirus For all Devices

McAfee is well-known antivirus software that provides multi-device protection against a range of computer viruses. In this review, you will learn about the performance of its suite of security, privacy, and optimization tools, along with its scanning performance, user interface, and customer support options. To test this, we used McAfee Total Protection Ultimate and looked at all the important features. Take a look at this review and see why McAfee might be a good choice to keep your devices safe.

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Table of Contents

    Latest McAfee Discounts

    McAfee currently offers an $80 discount for its McAfee Total protection plan, an introductory plan for the new customers.

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    Pros and Cons


    • Offers security across different types of devices, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices
    • Good malware detection rate
    • Real-time threat protection
    • Safe web browsing experience with web extensions


    • Does not offer many discounts
    • There are several pricing plans that may be confusing to users
    • Expensive basic plan
    • VPN makes the internet speed significantly slower and needs more privacy features
    • Most of the features are not accessible directly from the UI.

    Latest McAfee Discounts 

    McAfee currently offers an $80 discount for its McAfee Total protection plan, an introductory plan for the new customers.

    McAfee Overview 

    While having a range of security features with good real-time protection rates against different malware types, McAfee offers safe web browsing options for online threats protection. Its privacy tools like the password manager, spam protector, and tracking files remover are packed with many functionalities. But its secure VPN provides you with just the basic privacy you need. 

    Its optimization features are very useful for organizing and speeding up your PC environment and applications while keeping your device safe. McAfee has several subscription plans, and its most affordable option is only $29.99 for the first year. Yes, it is a bit more pricey than many other antivirus software basic plans like Norton, Kaspersky, and AVG. 

    If you compare it with other antivirus software, there are many other aspects where they can improve, for example, its pricing plans, offers and discounts, VPN features, and user interface. Based on our experience using it, we give McAfee 4.5 out of five stars for its overall performance.

    Main Features

    • Firewall
    • Password Manager
    • Identity Protection
    • Safe Browsing

    McAfee is Also Good for

    • Secure VPN
    • Parental control
    • File shredding

    Table of McAfee Features

    The following table sums up the general features of McAfee Antivirus:

    Money-Back Guarantee

    30 days

    Free Version 



    Mac, iOS, Windows, Android

    Parental Controls


    Email Protection




    VPN Services


    USD Virus Scans


    Automated Virus Scans


    Game Mode


    Safe Browser


    Passive Mode


    Smartphone optimizer


    Back up 




    Threat Protection

    The following table sums up the availability of threat protection capabilities in McAfee Antivirus:













    Adware Prevention


    Malicious URL Blocking


    Privacy Features 

    McAfee knows the importance of privacy. It offers several features that will protect your privacy while you browse the internet. In this section, we give our review of those privacy features and a ranking based on our experience using them. 

    • Safe Browsing VPN 

    It is always great when antivirus software comes with a free secure VPN, and McAfee VPN comes with all its subscription plans except the Antivirus Plus plan. The Ultimate plan offers unlimited data with five licenses, bank-grade encryption, and a connection to 20+ server locations

    However, in terms of additional security features, it has nothing much to offer. It lacks the most useful VPN features like kill-switch, split-tunneling, ad tracker blocking, which other counterparts like Norton provide. Therefore, we think it is just a basic VPN that provides you with the essential privacy you need. But it allowed us to download torrents which we saw as a positive feature. 

    macafee data privacy

    We did several internet speed tests before and after connecting to the VPN to determine how it affects our internet download and upload speed. As with many VPNs that come with antivirus software, it also significantly reduced the upload and download speeds and increased the number of pings.

    Here is how our download and upload speeds looked like before we connected to the VPN.

    Macafee download and upload speeds

    The following image shows how our download and upload speeds looked after connecting to the McAfee VPN using the closest server location.

    As you can see, there is a huge difference which is almost double download speed reduction. Therefore, it is not comparable to industry-leading standalone VPNs like ExpressVPN, NordVPN and yet alone to other antivirus VPNs like Norton.

    • Tracker Remover

    Cookies are often seen as unwanted items that can track your online presence when you visit websites. McAfee Tracker Remover or Quick clean feature allows you to remove those cookie files and other temporary files that websites use to track you online.

    Not only that, but also you can clean unnecessary system files inside your various folders, including the recycle bin, which you always forget to empty and lets you unclutter your email inbox, enabling you to delete sent and deleted messages. The following image shows how Quick clean could find unwanted files in systems folders and different browsers. Thanks to this helpful tool, we could save lots of space on our PCs. Therefore, this is a privacy-protecting feature and also a feature that boosts the performance of your device.

    tracker remover

    • Spam Protection

    McAfee provides great anti-spam protection for your local email inboxes. You can set different spam protection levels from minimal protection to restricted protection, which can label all the emails as spam, except if they are from your friend list. Even you can control how you should store the spam emails, provide a custom spam filter, add a list of email addresses that you want to allow, and scan the emails you send to make sure your emails do not have spam.

    Password Manager

    Password Manager

    McAfee password manager is called True Key. It lets you easily configure your passwords, enabling you to automatically enter passwords when you log in to your accounts. Signing in to the McAfee password manager was easy, and you just had to enter your details and give a master password on the True Key.  Then the true key will show you a list of popular accounts, and you can add passwords to the True Key. McAfee password manager uses 256-AES encryption and multi-factor authentication and saves up to 15 passwords for free and unlimited passwords with its premium subscription.

    In summary, McAfee offers you several tools to protect your identity and passwords. While we think its VPN has many things to improve, its other tools exceeded our expectations. Thus we give McAfee 4.5 out of 5 stars for privacy.


    McAfee offers you several security options to protect your device from a range of cybersecurity threats. Keep reading to find out our review on how its Malware scanners and other security options worked.

    • Malware protection

    Macafee Malware protection

    McAfee malware scanners kicked-off real-time scans every time we downloaded anything from the internet. It can protect you from various cyber threats such as Malware, Spyware, Ransomware, Adware, Scareware, Trojan Horse, Rootkits, etc. Because McAfee guarantees 100% virus protection from its Virus Protection Pledge

    McAfee shows the number of viruses removed and risky connections blocked at the end of a malware scan. You also can view the details about them separately. 

    We did several rounds of tests by downloading test malware files from The McAfee malware scanner was able to detect and remove all those malware quickly. So we saw a 100% successful malware detection rate in Mcafee antivirus software.

    Mcafee total protection

    • Web Protection and Web Advisor Extension

    Web Protection and Web Advisor Extension

    Web protection shows an overview of your risky downloads, websites, and ads blocked during the last 7, 30, and 1 year. When we installed the software, it automatically installed Web Boost and Web Advisor browser extensions.

    Web Boost and Web Advisor

    Web Advisor did a great job in identifying potential malware sites. When we visited malware-hosted websites, it quickly identified that they were risky sites and prevented us from downloading test malware files from

    • Firewall

    Macafee Firewall

    McAfee firewall is a robust firewall that protects your PC from different cyber-attacks and data leakages. Several customization features include a traffic controller that can control how programs can access the internet, smart advice to control which programs can access the internet, and block risky connections. We noted that they worked as expected when we tested some of its settings, especially its monitored access and lockdown traffic controller settings. 

    • Secure apps (Vulnerability Scanner)

    Outdated apps can make your device vulnerable to cyber threats. However, it is difficult for us to always keep track of those vulnerabilities. Therefore, the Secure app’s toolItsup toof the McAfee antivirus is an immensely beneficial tool that scans your system and recommends to you the outdated apps that need updates. You can either install every update at once or only select what you want to update, and if an update is critical, it will indicate it as ‘Critical.’ 

    Secure apps

    • Shredder

    The file shredder tool works similarly to the tracker remover tool, but it will permanently delete files. It will be great to ensure your information is kept intact from unwanted tracker files. You can choose to shred the recycle bin, temporary internet files, or you have the flexibility to choose any folder you want to shred. Shred type lets you choose how many times you want the shredder to shred the folder. 


    • Parental Controls

    The McAfee Safe Family tool is a great way to enforce parental controls if you have kids. It is a tool that you have to download separately and set it up either as a parent or a child setup. Once installed, you will see how helpful it is to control what your kid is doing on the internet.  If your child tries to access a site like Facebook, it will notify them that they need permission to access it. Then your child can send you a request asking to access it, which you will receive in your parent dashboard.

    Parental Controls

    It will show you kids activities in the system, like the apps and websites they access and even your child’s location. Therefore, overall,l we think this is a useful tool for families having kids to control how their children access the internet to protect them from visiting unwanted sites and applications. 

     kids activities

    Overall, McAfee has several useful and smart security tools that worked well in all our tests. We think McAfee provides 100% protection from viruses, unwanted tracking files, outdated apps, and online threats. Therefore, based on our experience, we give McAfee 5 out of 5 stars for security. 


    Let's look at the different scanning options of McAfee.

    • Scanning options

    McAfee Antivirus comes with the following scanning options for all subscriptions.

    • Quick Scan - Scan only the places where threats usually present in the system
    • Full System Scan - A comprehensive scan that scans the whole system except the network drives
    • Scheduled Scan - Scan according to your own schedule. 

    The quick scan only took us around 8 minutes to complete, and there were no significant performance hindrances we could observeFull System Scan took us around 35 minutes on our Windows PC which we also did not observe any impact on the machine performance. 

    Quick Scan

    •  Web Boost Extension

    If you are annoyed with auto-playing videos that can cut down your mobile data, Web boost extension is the tool you need. It can stop auto-playing videos and help you save your connection data and device battery life. It worked just the way as expected when we tested with several auto-playing ads on news websites, and it automatically paused the video, as you can see from the below image. 

    Web Boost Extension

    • App Boosts

    App boosts automatically give your apps the performance boosts they need, and it is another useful performance optimization option. It does so mainly for the apps you frequently use and are currently open. The performance boosts for those apps helped us load them faster, but the performance gains were barely noticeable for small apps.

    App Boosts

    In summary, the malware scanners worked pretty fast without any performance impact, and web boost and app boost were great for network performance and to improve app load times, respectively. Therefore, we give McAfee 5 out of 5 stars for Performance. 

    McAfee Mobile Security

    The McAfee antivirus provides support for both Android and iOS mobile devices. We installed and tested how it works on an iPhone, and there are three ways you can download the mobile app. 

    • Download directly from the app or google play store
    • Scanning the QR code provided in your account from your mobile camera
    • Send a download link to your email account

    Among these options scanning the QR code is the easiest way you can download it because it will directly download the app and install it on your phone.

    McAfee for iOS

    The McAfee antivirus iOS mobile app is similar to its web version, but it is lightweight and has only a few features.

    • Web Protection
    • Virus Scanner
    • Secure VPN 

    But more advanced iOS antivirus comes with several useful for mobile. For example, Photo manager, Battery monitor, etc., as in TotalAV. Therefore we think it gives you the basic security and privacy features you need and needs improvements for supporting optimization options.  

    Its virus scanner could immediately identify the vulnerabilities in the iOS device. It shows if your system needs updates and prevents accessing malicious websites. Its secure VPN also works as expected, but it provides only 500MB of data. 

    virus scanner identify vulnerabilities in the iOS device

    Lab Test Results

    Lab Test Results 1

    McAfee has been chosen for independent lab tests carried out by several well-known institutions. The AV-Test Institute is one such institution that does several lab tests for antivirus software. It rates antivirus software in 3 different categories: protection, performance, and usability, and products can get a maximum of 6 points for each category.

    According to the lab test for best windows antivirus products for home users conducted from July to August 2021, McAfee has achieved protection and usability categories but 5.5 for the performance category and certified as a top product. It is slightly a lower score when compared with other competitors like Norton, Kaspersky, AVG, and Avast, who have gotten 6 for all the categories. 

    Another lab test it appeared in was Real-World ProtectionTest done by AV comparatives in July-October 2021. The results showed 0% false positives, 99.8%  blocking of viruses, and 0% compromisations. According to the results, the protection rate was slightly lesser than Norton, Kaspersky, AVG, and Avast, which showed more than or equal to 99.9% protection rate. 

    Lab Test Results 2

    Lab Test Results 3

    Ease of Use and User interface (UI)

    McAfee has a simple and attractive user interface with only the main features directly accessible through its three categories, PC, Web, Identity, and other features you can access from its settings menu. The quick actions button will let you easily access the scanner, tracker remover, and VPN. If those features are also listed on the main screen, it will be easier for the user. While on the one hand, not listing those features helps avoid clutter on the main screen, it reduces the quick access to some of the main features like VPN because there is no search option.

    We observed several customizations, including the types of alerts you want to display on the main screen. There are help and support options that show you the links you need to access for support.

    User interface

     We evaluated this section based on the following criteria.

    • The overall quality and look and feel of the UI.
    • How accessible the tools, features, and settings are
    • The customization options
    • How easy for someone who newly uses an antivirus to grasp its features

    According to our experience, we give 4 out of 5 stars for the ease of use and UI section.

    How to Set up and Uninstall

    McAfee installation and setup is quite an easy and quick process. The whole McAfee installation took us around 8 minutes. End of the installation, you will get a product tour so that the first-time users can be more familiar with its features and settings. 

    1. First, download the McAfee Downloader from the download page from your accounts page. The download only takes approximately 2 minutes.

    2. After you download it, you can click on the Install button.

      How to Set up and Uninstall

    3. After that, it will start installing the software, which will take less than 5 minutes to complete.

      How to Set up and Uninstall 2

    4. If the installation were successful,  it would open up the main screen with a product tour notification. 

      How to Set up and Uninstall 3

    To uninstall the software, you can go to the windows start menu, locate the McAfee icon, right-click on it and click on the uninstall option.

    Pricing and Packages

    McAfee Currently offers several subscription plans. The following table shows you the annual rates of each plan.


    Price (USD)


    Antivirus Plus





    Antivirus Plus






    Total Protection


    Keep it remembered that the above prices are only applicable to the first year, which means McAfee will automatically renew the price at the regular monthly or annual rate from next year onwards unless you update or cancel the plan. McAfee will notify you via email about the renewal within 30 days. All the plans have the following general features. 

    • Antivirus
    • Web protection
    • PC optimization
    • Expert security support
    • 30-day money-back guarantee

    Now, let’s quickly look at the details of their subscription plans to see the best option that suits your needs. 

    McAfee Family Plans

    Apart from the above-listed features, all family plans include additional security, privacy, and optimization options.

    • VPN with unlimited data and five licenses
    • Password Manager
    • File Shredder
    • Identity Protection service
    • Firewall
    • Antivirus Free Plus

    This cheapest option of McAfee family plans costs you only 39.99$ for the first year and protects up to five devices. So it is great if you are looking to secure your PC, laptop, and mobile devices at once. When compared with other family plans, it lacks Parental Control. Therefore, it is not good if you have a family with kids and need to control how they access the internet.  

    • Antivirus Premium

    Apart from all the Antivirus Free Plus Plan features, the premium’s only additional feature is parental control. This option of McAfee family plans costs you 49.99$ for the first year and protects up to five devices

    • Antivirus Ultimate

    Antivirus ultimate plan is a good option if you need extra protection for your family with kids, offering identity theft insurance. This option of McAfee family plans costs you 69.99$ for the first year and protects an unlimited number of devices

    McAfee Individual Plans

    Individual plans are suitable for individuals who want to protect only one device. Apart from the main features, all individual plans include additional security, privacy, and optimization options.

    • Password Manager
    • File Shredder
    • Identity Protection service
    • Firewall

    • Antivirus Free Plus

    Apart from all the general and additional features, the only extra tool you get with this option is the secure VPN. This option of McAfee family plans costs you 34.99$ for the first year, protects only one device, and the VPN has only one license, which you need to auto-renew

    • Antivirus Basic

    This is the cheapest option of the McAfee subscriptions, which costs you only $29.99 for the first year, but for this price, you can protect up to ten devices. Also, it lacks many features like a VPN, file shredder, identity threat protection, password manager, and even the firewall. So if you want just the basic protection, this one should be your ideal choice. 

    McAfee Antivirus Total Protection

    Although it is not much clear if this is a separate plan or not, this option will cost you $129.99 without a discount. With the discount now it is only $49.99. As the name suggests, it could be providing total protection against many types of cyber threats.

    Customer Support

    Macafee Customer Support

    If you need support for general problems you face, McAfee chatbot is there to help you. You can get instant answers to inquiries about installation, account and subscription management,  payments, troubleshooting, purchasing additional products, and many more from that chatbot. Our experience with their live chat support was quite good. 

    If you still want to contact their staff, 24/7 live chat support and community support are also available for their subscription plans. Not only that, but you can also connect with McAfee support even through social media.

    Its customer support page is a comprehensive knowledge center where you can find information regarding any topic. All the articles have been categorized and well-organized into topics.  There are several FAQs available for you to refer to that will be helping solve the problem on your own, and you can also search and find the help topic you need. There are also several youtube video tutorials available for you to watch and learn. 

    So overall, we think McAfee offers you several excellent customer support options with a comprehensive knowledge base.

    Overall, we think  McAfees’ Customer support is excellent because it includes essential support options like live chat support and a comprehensive knowledge base. Therefore, we give McAfee 5 out of 5 stars for the customer support part.

    Our Verdict

    In summary, through our tests using this product, we can say that it provides great protection from viruses and other types of malware in real-time and immediately blocks you from visiting malicious websites. It has several optimization tools to save the space of your computer and boost app performance. Its parental control gives you so much control over your children’s internet activity. Throughout this article, all of those features we tested had pros and cons, which we highlighted in each section.

    In our opinion, there are many areas McAfee can improve as well. It is especially by adding more security features to its VPN, introducing affordable basic plans, and a search option to the UI to make it easy to find the feature the user wants. So by considering its usage experience, we give McAfee an overall score of 4.5 out of 5 stars.


    1. Does McAfee antivirus have a free version?

    No, and it does not have a free version. But, there is a 30-day free trial.

    2. Is McAfee a good antivirus?

    Yes, it is a good antivirus. Major lab tests have proven that it has a 99.8% protection rate.

    3. How much does McAfee antivirus cost per year?

    The table below shows the pricing of their plans for the first year.


    Price (USD)


    Antivirus Plus29.99


    Antivirus Plus39.99
    Total Protection49.99

    4. Is McAfee safe for the iPhone?

    Yes. It offers separate antivirus apps for iPhones with features to protect your device from different types of threats.