McAfee is one of the most popular antivirus suites that can be used on both desktop and mobile devices, regardless of the number of users – one or a few dozens. McAfee antivirus offers advanced security options and, according to independent tests, repels the vast majority of cyber threats. Let’s dig deeper to reveal why this product is being used by millions of clients around the world.
First of all, it should be mentioned that unlike some of its analogs McAfee antivirus is very easy in use. It features an intuitive interface with all necessary buttons and provides essential features, such as:
- real-time malware and virus scanning;
- automatic updates from the global database;
- automatic enabling when you switch the device on.
Although this software doesn’t identify as much malware and threats as some professional programs do, it has one unbeatable advantage – protection from ransomware, a particularly malignant virus that manages computer hostage. This is done by scanning the incoming emails and checking their attachments to prevent infestation of your PC with malicious files. Additionally, USB devices are checked.
Being one of the most well-known software suites, McAfee antivirus plus protects computers and mobile devices against viruses, trojan, malware, ransomware, and other attacks. The software has an average rating of 3/5 or 6/10, which means there’s still a lot of room for development.
Judging by the results of independent tests, McAfee can reflect up to 85% of malware threats, which means this antivirus is far from perfect. This solution is rather tailored for average users, i.e. those who use their PC to browse the Net and play games. McAfee removal tool quickly identifies and blocks malware that’s caught from downloads and interaction with browsers.
When it comes to sensitive corporate data, usual options aren’t enough to ensure rock-solid defense. However, companies can try McAfee security scan plus – a more advanced package that adds extra features.
Pros & Cons
Reading every McAfee review we’ve found online, we revealed the following advantages and drawbacks of the software:
- Decent scores in independent tests of malicious URL blocking
- Multiple bonus features
- Excellent customer support available around the clock, live chat
- Suits for smartphones and tablets are available
- 99% of false positives – the software doesn’t block safe programs and files
- Free versions are available
- Almost all of the 12 services provided can be disabled by the malware
- The bonus firewall is rather weak
- Phishing detection rates are low
- It’s not supported by Mac computers, except for premium paid packages
- Parental control and password management features are paid
- Requires almost 80% of computing power, very resource-hungry
- Does not feature protection of vulnerable software. No CD or USB rescue files
Reliability and security
According to independent tests, McAfee is far from perfect: although it prevents most widespread attacks and blocks well-known threats, the program fails to repel banking trojan viruses.
McAfee has a gaming mode that suspends some functions while you play computer games so you aren’t interrupted by lag or pop-up reminders. However, you must enable this feature yourself since it doesn’t kick in automatically. Since 2017, the team has introduced Real Protect function: it can identify the threats by analyzing suspicious objects. The software starts registering its activity and requires cloud-based analysis – its results can rank the file as malware.
McAfee blocks about 85% of harmful links – most of them are blocked by ceasing the access to URL address. When it comes to phishing, McAfee internet security is inferior to Norton, and even content filters from Chrome and Internet Explorer. Therefore, don’t switch off your browser’s phishing prevention. Another thing you should be aware of is keyloggers – the software ignores them, too.
Good news: both McAfee total protection and other packages have inbuilt firewall that hides ports and withstands web-attacks efficiently. Instead of sending requests for connection, this firewall performs the program control on its own. It’s pretty efficient except for the cases when targeted attacks are made.
McAfee livesafe is another great feature: it ensures the protection of all personal data passed via an Internet connection. One subscription is enough to protect all your family’s devices.
Ease of use
McAfee security is very easy to install and use. McAfee download process is fast, but you need to create an account and generate your McAfee login, even if you use a free version. It has clearly labeled buttons and tools, and the most important features are displayed on the main interface. A user doesn’t have to do much manually – the software cares about:
- real-time scanning;
- automatic updates from the latest database;
- automatic enabling after the start of the device;
- scheduling of detailed scans.
If you’re new to McAfee antivirus, there’s a tour explaining how the program works, and which way the functions and tools are utilized (it’s activated when you open the program for the first time).
Every fifth McAfee review mentions that the program is a scam because it’s impossible to be deleted from the computer. However, the fact is that users try the wrong way of program uninstalling, e.g. via the list of programs in the navigation menu. What should be used is McAfee removal tool: it safely removes the program, its components, and files from your computer.
All packages of the software, including McAfee free trial, support:
- defense of all personal devices on Windows and Android. Advanced packages include protection of iOS and Mac devices;
- the whole gamut of options for multi-step authentication for password management;
- anti-spam for accounts in POP3, Exchange, and web-mail;
- a lot of extra features.
Please, note that the version for iOS does not feature the antivirus solution, however, it tracks the location of the device and may erase the data on it. Besides, backup contact copies are available, as well as taking camera shots in case of loss or theft. Android users enjoy fully-fledged protection with the antivirus, scanning of applications, Anti-theft function, filter of calls and messages, as well as many other features.
One of the main McAfee’s advantages is that it offers an unlimited number of licenses if you order 1-year subscription – you can protect any device, including your smartphones and tablets. The number of devices and users is not limited to advanced packages – a generous offer.
If you order a suite with ‘Plus’ in its name, it means the software is equipped with additional useful function. For example, in ‘My network’ section you can see the list of all devices from your home network with their names and IP addresses. The program shows whether the device is connected, whether it’s being protected by McAfee and the status of protection. You can manage the interaction between separate Windows PCs for remote control of protection.
If you want to extend the protection, you’ll need to select one of the available options: PC or Mac, smartphone or tablet, or Unprotected devices. Vulnerability scanner will notify you about outdated applications and may automate the update process. In-built file shredder deletes files safely by re-recording them prior to erasing. You can select one of the methods of recording (the process is done 1-10 times). After that, you can simply delete files from the recycle bin, temporary Internet files, or private files and folders.
QuickClean scans your computer to detect cookies and temporary files. After the scanning procedure, QuickClean provides the user with the list of detected trash files and overall size. You can cancel the deletion of separate objects if needed.
If you want to introduce multi-factor authentication, install True Key extension – it supports a lot of methods for safe authentication, even unusual ones. For example, email messages can be generated after every entry attempt (authorization is possible after clicking the link from the message). You can also connect a mobile device for your account and see push-notifications every time the application is opened. Facial authentication is also available, as well as fingertip scanning. There’s only one drawback: if you lose your password, you need to create a new account. At the same time, it means the provider cannot access your data at all.
Support and Customer Service
Another merit of the software that should be mentioned is 24/7 customer support. The assistants help at every stage of product use, starting with installation and finishing by deleting by McAfee removal tool. You can find a large knowledgebase on the official website, as well as a FAQ page and community forums. McAfee support service can be contacted via live chat, phone, or email – you can select any convenient way. This is a great advantage – many well-established companies are far from such level of support.
Although this is not the safest antivirus, users praise it for simplicity of use and excellent protection in particular cases. Such features as McAfee livesafe, firewall, and multi-factor authentication make it stand out. McAfee antivirus can be highly recommended for family use because the number of devices connected isn’t limited.