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McAfee Antivirus Review — Is It Good Enough in 2022?

Ben Martens
Ben Martens
Published on: August 8, 2022

McAfee Review: Quick Expert Summary

McAfee provides excellent real-time malware detection along with some of the best web protections on the market for an excellent price. McAfee also has a ton of useful extra features, and provides coverage for up to 10 devices (more than what most competitors offer).

McAfee’s antivirus scanner scored an impressive 100% malware detection rating in all of my tests across Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. It was able to identify and block both simple and sophisticated threats, including viruses, trojans, spyware, ransomware, and cryptojackers.

McAfee also offers more additional features than most other antiviruses, including:

  • Firewall and Wi-Fi network protection.
  • Anti-phishing protection.
  • Virtual private network (VPN).
  • Performance optimization.
  • Password manager.
  • Parental controls.
  • Identity theft protection.
  • Secure file storage.
  • And a lot more…

Most of McAfee’s features work exactly as promised — I’m a huge fan of McAfee’s anti-phishing and anti-exploit browser extension, which blocked more dangerous sites than Chrome or Firefox in my tests. I also think McAfee’s firewall and Wi-Fi protections are better than similar protections offered by premium competitors like TotalAV and Avira.

On the other hand, I don’t like that the full system scan often causes system slowdown (but you can schedule full scans when you’re not using your computer), and I’d like to see all of McAfee’s features integrated into a single dashboard. I also think the VPN could use some improvement — it doesn’t allow torrenting, and it’s unable to access some popular streaming sites (it works with Netflix and Amazon Prime, but not with Disney+ and Hulu).

That said, I still think McAfee is one of the best-value antiviruses out there. It has a high-quality malware scanner, provides a wide range of security features, and is easy to use — and all of this for a very low price.

McAfee offers 1-year plans for 1, 5, or 10 devices, as well as heavily discounted 2-year plans for its multi-device plans, making McAfee one of the most affordable premium antivirus suites in 2022. McAfee has a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of its plans, so there’s no risk in trying it out.

🏅 Overall Rank #5 out of 69 antiviruses
🔥 Firewall Yes
👤 VPN Yes (with unlimited data)
🎁 Free Plan No
💸 Pricing Starting at $49.99/year
💰 Money-Back Guarantee 30 days
📀 Operating Systems Windows, Android, Mac, iOS

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McAfee Full Review

McAfee Full Review

McAfee is a premium anti-malware suite with a huge range of security features.

I spent a few weeks stress-testing McAfee’s security protections across my PC, MacBook Pro, Samsung Galaxy, and iPhone, and I was really impressed with how well it performed in all areas (especially considering that it has more extra features than almost any competitor).

McAfee is definitely one of the most impressive internet security suites in 2022 — it’s very reliable, very easy to use, and its 2-year subscription plans are among the cheapest around.

Save 46% on McAfee's 2-Year Plans for 5 or 10 Devices

Discount applied automatically at checkout.

McAfee Security Features

Antivirus Scanner

McAfee Security Features

McAfee’s antivirus scanner uses traditional malware detection methods, which check files against McAfee’s huge virus database, as well as heuristics, which identify potentially dangerous files based on their behavior.

I tested McAfee’s antivirus scanner by downloading a massive database of malware files onto my PC — including viruses, trojans, rootkits, ransomware, and spyware. Then, I installed McAfee and ran a full system scan. The scan detected 100% of my test malware. But I can’t say I was surprised with the result.

McAfee is one of the rare antiviruses with consistently excellent results against all kinds of malware — the only other brands that can compete with McAfee include Norton, Bitdefender, TotalAV, and Avira, which all successfully identified and removed all malware samples during all of our tests.

McAfee’s full system scan took around 1 hour to complete — this is on par with competitors like Bitdefender, but both Norton and Avira’s scans are faster, taking only 40 minutes to finish. I also ran McAfee’s quick scan, which took under 2 minutes to finish, and the duration of McAfee’s custom scan depended on the types of files I chose to scan (from a couple of minutes to 1 hour).

The only thing I don’t like about McAfee’s scanner is that it does cause some system slowdown. When McAfee was scanning my PC, it ran slower than normal — I could still browse the internet and use word processing programs to get some work done, but watching a video or playing a game was out of the question. But McAfee lets you schedule scans whenever you want, so you can schedule a full system scan to run when you know you won’t be using your PC. That said, some competitors like Avira and TotalAV don’t impact a system’s performance during system scans.

Overall, McAfee’s antivirus scanner is among the very best on the market. If you’re looking for reliable protection against both known and zero-day threats, McAfee is a really good choice, with perfect malware detection rates, fast scans, and simple scan scheduling. My only complaint is that the antivirus scanner slowed down my PC during a full system scan, but you can easily schedule full scans during the night or when you’re not using your PC.

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Firewall

McAfee Security Features

McAfee’s firewall is powerful, easy to use, and highly customizable — but if you’re not tech-savvy, it also runs perfectly well out of the box. In my testing, McAfee detected a variety of my test threats, including network intrusions, exploit attacks, and malware programs attempting to communicate with remote servers. McAfee’s firewall protection was more accurate and effective than the built-in firewalls provided by both Windows and macOS.

McAfee’s firewall has a ton of security capabilities — for example, McAfee allows users to:

  • Decide which programs can access the web.
  • Open and close specific network ports.
  • Choose 4 different levels of intensity for network protection.
  • Adjust trust settings for saved networks.
  • Activate software intrusion detection.
  • Whitelist specific programs.

I really like the variety of options that McAfee’s firewall provides — but less tech-savvy users can also simply set the firewall to automatically block suspicious activity with almost zero user input.

McAfee Security Features

The only thing I don’t like about McAfee’s firewall is that its logs aren’t very detailed — McAfee will tell you what network activity has been blocked, but it doesn’t tell you why certain types of traffic have been blocked or what you should do about it (other than leaving McAfee installed).

McAfee Security Features

McAfee Security Features

McAfee’s firewall provides state-of-the-art protection for network users — I really like its program blocking tool, network intrusion protection, and advanced settings for tech-savvy users. While I would like to see McAfee’s diagnostics offer a little more information on the threats it detects, it’s still one of the best firewalls I’ve used in 2022.

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VPN (Virtual Private Network)

McAfee Security Features

McAfee Safe Connect VPN is powered by top standalone VPN TunnelBear — it’s easy to use, has pretty fast internet connection speeds, and is good for basic online activities like browsing and streaming content.

A VPN routes all of your web traffic through a secure server, which encrypts all of your data and hides your online traffic. This secure server also masks your IP address to make it appear as if you’re connecting from a different location. For example, if you’re located in the US and connect to a server in the UK, you’ll be given an IP address from the UK, allowing you to browse the internet as if you’re in the UK.

McAfee Safe Connect VPN’s network includes 1,900+ servers located in 45+ countries — this is a pretty good server network, but it’s not as big as what standalone competitors like ExpressVPN offer (ExpressVPN has 3,000+ servers in 90+ countries). McAfee’s Safe Connect VPN protects user data with 256-bit AES encryption, which is one of the strongest encryptions out there, and there’s a kill switch (Safe Connect), which disconnects you from the internet if the VPN connection drops.

I also really like how McAfee’s Safe Connect VPN has adopted TunnelBear’s strict no-logs policy, which prevents the provider from logging the websites you visit. Plus, TunnelBear’s no-logs policy is independently audited and confirmed every year.

In my tests, I was able to access Netflix and Amazon Prime, but I couldn’t access Disney+ or Hulu. I also watched TV shows and movies on lesser-known streaming services like Pluto TV, but I was blocked by others like Crunchyroll. If you’re looking for a VPN that consistently works with streaming services, I recommend ExpressVPN or CyberGhost VPN.

McAfee Safe Connect VPN also blocked my torrent client from uploading or downloading files in my testing — if you’re looking for a good VPN for torrenting, my top choices are ExpressVPN and ProtonVPN.

Another drawback is that McAfee’s VPN is missing extra features like split-tunneling (allows you to choose which traffic travels through the VPN server and which traffic travels through your local network) and obfuscated servers (to bypass firewalls in restrictive countries).

However, McAfee Safe Connect VPN performed really well in my speed tests — I had very fast speeds when I was connected to a local server (I’m in the US), and McAfee Safe Connect VPN maintained decent speeds for smooth browsing on distant servers in Europe and South America (although websites took 4-5 seconds to load in Australia).

McAfee Security Features

While McAfee Safe Connect VPN has an intuitive interface, fast speeds on local servers, and works with Netflix, it doesn’t support P2P traffic, and it’s missing a lot of extra features that are normally included in many standalone VPN providers. That said, McAfee Safe Connect VPN is secure and it’s an ok choice for general web browsing and streaming.

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WebAdvisor (Windows Only)

McAfee WebAdvisor blocks phishing sites, exploit attacks, and browser-based cryptojackers, and it also provides security ratings for some websites. It’s a free Windows-based tool that can be downloaded separately as an add-on to your browser, and it’s also offered as part of Total Protection. WebAdvisor is available for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Explorer.

WebAdvisor analyzes every website you visit for known exploit attacks, and it also identifies phishing sites from a massive phishing database that is continuously updated.

WebAdvisor blocked all of the phishing sites and exploit attacks in my testing, detecting numerous dangerous sites that Chrome’s and Firefox’s built-in protections failed to detect.

McAfee Security Features

WebAdvisor also includes an optional Secure Search mode that assigns color-coded safety ratings to your search results. I tested it with Google, and while it didn’t provide ratings for a lot of sites, it did provide “Dangerous” ratings for some pirate sites. Also, it didn’t mislabel any safe sites as unsafe.

McAfee Security Features

WebAdvisor can also rate links on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. In my testing, this link rating was surprisingly accurate, labeling most links as safe, and it correctly flagged phishing sites when a friend was hacked on Instagram.

McAfee Security Features

Overall, WebAdvisor is one of the best online protection tools on the market. Its anti-phishing and anti-exploit protections are better than Chrome’s and Firefox’s built-in protections, and its search engine and social media link ratings are really helpful, especially for less-advanced users that have a hard time identifying unsafe sites.

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Performance Optimization

Total Protection offers 2 decent performance optimization tools — Tracker Remover and Web Boost — for desktops and browsers, but it doesn’t make them very easy to access. 

McAfee’s QuickClean removes cookies and other unwanted temporary files from your computer. Confusingly, it can only be accessed from the PC Security tab by clicking on the “Tracker Remover” button.

McAfee Security Features

QuickClean’s scan took less than 1 minute and freed up nearly 2 GB of space on my computer.

McAfee Security Features

I especially like how easy it is to view the details of the QuickClean scan — McAfee separates files into a variety of categories, offering drop down menus that list the specific file names that are being tagged for removal in each category. This makes it really easy for advanced users to decide which files to keep, while less tech-savvy users can just let McAfee remove all of the files.

McAfee Web Boost is a Chrome extension that prevents videos from auto-playing online — this can be useful for improving browser speeds, but I mostly found it annoying, as it prevented thumbnail previews on YouTube from loading.

McAfee’s performance optimization tools are pretty good — I especially like QuickClean’s junk file removal, which is informative and easy to use (but I don’t think the Web Boost extension is very useful).

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Password Manager

McAfee Security Features

McAfee’s True Key password manager provides good password protection and decent functionality, but it’s missing some of the additional features included in the best standalone password managers in 2022.

True Key stores and syncs user data in the cloud using 256-bit AES encryption and zero-knowledge architecture — this prevents anyone else (including McAfee) from being able to access your saved logins. McAfee’s password manager can be installed on Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android devices and supports Firefox, Chrome, Explorer, and Safari.

True Key offers essential features like unlimited password storage across devices, credit card and document storage, secure notes, a password generator, and zero-click autofilling. But I was disappointed to find out that True Key doesn’t offer a secure 2FA option (you can log in on mobile devices with biometric scanning, but True Key isn’t compatible with TOTP authenticators or USB tokens like Yubikey).

I also don’t like that True Key is missing features like secure password sharing, password vault auditing, or password breach monitoring like Dashlane and LastPass.

However, True Key is a good basic password manager. I found it very easy to generate, save, and auto-fill passwords — you can set True Key to auto-fill passwords with a single click, or even to automatically enter your login information when you navigate to a saved website (which is a good time-saver, but not a great feature to use from a security perspective).

True Key also offers simple master password recovery — if you forget your master password, McAfee will send you an email to change your password. While this is a nice feature for most users, it’s not a very secure practice, which is why top password managers like Dashlane don’t offer such simple account recovery tools.

Overall, I like how user-friendly True Key is — even if its features are limited when compared with the best standalone password managers, True Key is still a useful addition to Total Protection that can help generate and store unique passwords using advanced encryption. You can read our TrueKey review here.

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Parental Controls

McAfee’s Safe Family app offers excellent parental controls for Windows, Android, and iOS devices. It’s offered as a separate download with purchases of the top-tier McAfee Total Protection plans.

Safe Family allows you to:

  • Filter web content.
  • Limit device usage and internet access.
  • Block specific apps.
  • Track device location (within 10 meters).

When I tested Safe Family, I found its interface very intuitive and uncluttered. I like that McAfee offers presets for every child’s app usage and web usage rules based on their age. You can then manually adjust permissions for individual apps and content categories, add websites to be blocked, and schedule screen time for each child’s individual needs.

McAfee Security Features

McAfee Safe Family worked well during my tests, blocking all unwanted web content and apps. I tested it against a variety of content, including pornographic websites, violent games, social media sites, and sites hosting hate speech — it blocked all of these unsafe sites, and it also logged my searches (this is really helpful for parents that want to stay informed about what kinds of content their kids are searching for).

One of Safe Family’s best features is its location tracking. You can track your child’s devices to within 10 meters, and your child can also send a quick update to you via the Safe Family mobile app when they’ve safely arrived at their destination. I tested the location tracking with my daughter’s iPad and was surprised at how accurately Safe Family could track her device — it was much more responsive and precise than Apple or Google’s “Find My” tools.

McAfee Security Features

Overall, McAfee Safe Family is an excellent parental control app (which is why it’s on our list of the best antivirus programs with parental controls).

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Identity Theft Protection

McAfee Security Features

McAfee Identity Theft Protection service provides real-time monitoring for a huge variety of personally identifying information (PII) by using live dark web monitoring along with Experian’s credit network.

The Identity Theft Protection service is available for customers in the UK, the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, NZ, and Spain. This is much better than TotalAV, which only offers its ID theft protections to US-based customers.

McAfee’s identity protection allows you to monitor:

  • 1 SSN (Social Security Number).
  • 1 driver’s license.
  • 1 passport.
  • 1 international bank account.
  • Up to 10 medical IDs.
  • Up to 10 email addresses.
  • Up to 10 phone numbers.
  • Up to 10 credit and debit cards.
  • Up to 10 other cards (store cards etc.).
  • Up to 10 bank accounts.

You also get Identity Restoration, which is assistance if you lose your wallet, credit card or a document, as McAfee’s recovery team can help you organize necessary cancellations, re-orders, and re-issues.

McAfee Security Features

McAfee also offers a Privacy Protection tool, which scans data broker directories for your personal info and helps you to prevent those brokers from capitalizing off of your PII. Data brokers (like YellowBook, AllPeople, and EmailFinder) are online metadata aggregators that pool publicly available information about you and sell detailed personal profiles to advertisers and other businesses.

Fortunately, most of these companies are legally bound to respect your wishes if you request that they keep your information private. McAfee’s Privacy Protection tool lists all of the data brokers with your information and makes it easy to remove yourself from their directories — if you upgrade to the premium service, McAfee will even remove you from all of these lists automatically. Norton offers a similar service with its identity theft protections, and in my testing, it was also quick and easy to use.

There are a few different levels of identity theft protection offered by McAfee. Total Protection users that don’t sign up for auto-renewal get dark web monitoring for up to 10 email accounts and access to dedicated support representatives. Auto-renewal Total Protection plans also add monitoring the dark web for 55 pieces of PII (including phone numbers and more). And users who buy Total Protection Ultimate get access to $1,000,000 in Identity Recovery Insurance, and $10,000 stolen funds reimbursement coverage (Norton only includes stolen funds reimbursement coverage for its LifeLock Select plan, which costs more than McAfee’s plans).

Overall, McAfee Identity Protection is a strong identity theft prevention feature that uses a variety of tools to monitor a good range of PII — it’s an excellent and affordable option for users in many different countries who want to safeguard their identity.

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Additional Features

McAfee Total Protection offers many more security tools, such as:

  • File Lock. Encrypts and stores files behind a password and security question.
  • Anti-spam. Checks your email messages and filters out spam and phishing emails.
  • Home network analyzer. Alerts you if an untrusted device tries to connect to your network.
  • Vulnerability Scanner. Ensures that all of your programs are up-to-date.
  • Secure file shredder. Writes over your sensitive deleted files so they cannot be restored.

I really like McAfee’s home network analyzer, which offers an easy-to-understand map of any network, allowing users to identify and troubleshoot the devices on their router.

The vulnerability scanner is another really useful tool — it analyzes all of the apps on your device, and gives a notification if you need to update any of your programs (this is especially important because of the growing threat of zero-day attacks and software exploits in 2022).

I also like McAfee’s secure file shredder, which can completely remove files from your desk in just a few seconds.

However, while McAfee’s File Lock is a neat feature, it doesn’t do anything that isn’t already included with Windows and macOS. The anti-spam feature may have been useful a decade ago, but Gmail and other prominent email services all offer excellent anti-spam protections.

McAfee’s additional features are hit-or-miss, but I appreciate that the company works hard to provide such an impressive array of useful protections with its premium antivirus offering.

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McAfee Plans and Pricing

McAfee currently offers 3 different pricing tiers for its Total Protection plans, and its Plus and Premium plans are both available for a massive bargain for users that buy the 2-year subscription plans.

For all of its plans, McAfee allows you to request a refund:

  • Within 30 days of purchasing your subscription,
  • Within 60 days of automatic renewal.
  • During the lifetime of your subscription if McAfee fails to remove malware.

Also, all McAfee plans include some extra features which are available only to the customers who subscribe for auto-renewal (like the VPN and ID theft protection).

Note: Depending on location, McAfee’s plans may include different names, features, and subscription duration.

Total Protection Basic — Good Protection for 1 Device

McAfee’s bottom-tier program offers a ton of good features, but only for a single device. Those features include:

  • Antivirus scanner.
  • Unlimited secure VPN (must be enrolled in auto-renewal).
  • Firewall.
  • Identity protection.
  • Web browsing and anti-phishing protection.
  • Password manager.
  • File encryption.
  • File shredder.
  • 24/7 online support.

If you’re only looking for protection on a single PC (or Mac), then McAfee’s Total Protection Basic plan provides all of the security features you could want, but it costs $84.99 / year, which is more expensive than Norton’s similar 360 Standard plan.

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Total Protection Plus — Complete Protection for a Great Price

McAfee’s Total Protection Plus plan includes all the features of the previous plan, plus it covers up to 5 devices and provides up to 5 VPN licenses (for auto-renewal subscribers only).

At just $49.99 / year, this plan is actually cheaper than McAfee’s Basic plan, and it offers excellent protection across all devices. Users looking for excellent protection at a bargain price should check out this plan (although the lack of parental controls means it’s not as good for families).

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Total Protection Premium — Overall Best Value

McAfee’s Premium plan provides all of the features of the Basic and Plus plans across 10 devices, along with parental controls.

Total Protection Premium is available for a 2-year subscription for only $54.99 / year, which is a really good bargain. I found McAfee’s parental controls worked really well on all of my devices, so this plan is a great option for families, or anyone that wants coverage on up to 10 devices.

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McAfee Ease of Use and Setup

McAfee’s download and installation only took a few minutes. Immediately after installation, McAfee offered to run an antivirus scan, which only took about 45 minutes on my PC.

McAfee’s dashboard seems simple enough, but it’s more confusing than it needs to be. There are 6 main features on the home screen:

  • Antivirus.
  • Tracker remover.
  • My subscription.
  • Security report.
  • Firewall.
  • General settings.

Some of these buttons are useful — for example, the Antivirus button pulls up a window where you can easily schedule a scan, select from different scan types, or run a quick scan on your system.

McAfee Ease of Use and Setup

However, while I like the option to look at subscription details, or see a list of previous security scans with the Security Report button, I found it kind of annoying that other McAfee features could only be accessed from the My Protection sidebar, which displays features like real-time scanning, the file shredder, the quarantined file list, and the home network scanner.

McAfee Ease of Use and Setup

Furthermore, McAfee’s parental controls and identity theft protections are only accessible through McAfee’s online dashboard, which means you have 3 different menus to navigate to access these features. And that’s not even mentioning the password manager and VPN, which are both siloed into separate apps! Ideally, I’d like to see McAfee integrate all of its features into a single intuitive interface, like TotalAV and Bitdefender do.

For the most part, all of McAfee’s features are easy to use. I had some frustration finding the system tune-up features, and I wish that the VPN and Safe Family apps were included in the McAfee dashboard, but considering how many features it has, McAfee makes its internet security tools pretty simple to find and utilize.

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McAfee Mobile App

McAfee Mobile App

McAfee’s mobile app, Mobile Security, is available for both iOS and Android. You can activate your mobile subscription by emailing or texting yourself a link from McAfee’s online dashboard, or you can just download the app from your device’s app store and enter your login information.

The mobile app’s interface is uncluttered and easy to navigate. You can activate some tools using the buttons on the screen, and the rest can be accessed from the menu at the top right corner.

McAfee detected all of the Android-specific malware on my device after a 10 minute scan. I was pretty impressed with the speed and accuracy of this scan — many competitors fail to catch files like rootkits, adware, and data-gathering spyware apps.

McAfee doesn’t offer an antivirus scanning feature for iOS, because iOS apps can’t be infected with traditional malware files, but it does offer excellent anti-phishing protections, which can detect malicious websites.

Unfortunately, McAfee recently updated its app and removed the anti-theft features, which previously made it one of my favorite mobile security apps.

However, there are still some other useful features of McAfee’s mobile app, including:

  • Wi-Fi network scanner. Scans every Wi-Fi network for security issues.
  • Secure VPN. Encrypts your browsing traffic and protects your true IP address (but it’s not as good as standalone VPNs like ExpressVPN).
  • ID theft protection. Alerts you if your email address is found in any data breaches.

McAfee’s mobile app isn’t the most feature-rich option (I much prefer Norton’s mobile app) but it is an affordable choice for both iOS and Android — especially if you get it with McAfee’s Premium plan.

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McAfee Customer Support

McAfee’s customer support options include:

  • 24/7 live chat support.
  • 24/7 phone support.
  • Support forum.
  • Online knowledge base.

I really like being able to contact McAfee via telephone for pressing concerns. When I had an issue with my plan, the phone support team was able to upgrade my plan, refund my purchase, and give me a discount in just a few minutes.

I also had a good experience with McAfee’s live chat support team. Before I could access the chat, I had to fill in a form with my details and submit my question in writing. Then I had to wait for an available support person.

I contacted McAfee’s live chat a few times, and, on all occasions, I only had to wait a few seconds for someone to become available — which is really good, especially compared to slower competitors like BullGuard! Every McAfee support person I chatted with was knowledgeable, polite, and to the point.

McAfee Customer Support

McAfee’s chat agents always offered to take control of my PC through a downloadable applet and fix the issue for me while I watch them do it. Beginner users might find this option appealing, but I prefer to just ask for instructions and do everything myself — and McAfee’s support staff were fine with that, too.

My questions were always answered in detail, and I was given a case number for every inquiry in case I needed to follow up on it.

McAfee’s support forum is also quite active and responsive. Both McAfee support staff and the community of McAfee users are available to answer your questions there. I got my question answered in less than 5 hours — which is pretty quick!

In contrast to McAfee’s live chat and support forum, I found the online knowledge base pretty frustrating. A lot of the FAQ answers only pertain to older versions of the software, which makes it basically impossible to get the answers you need without connecting with a live support person. But since McAfee’s live chat and phone support teams are so responsive, this shouldn’t be a problem for most users.

Overall, I found McAfee’s support excellent — easily one of the best out of all antivirus brands that I have tested. And I was very impressed that its 24/7 live chat support is available for all users, so you can access it even if you just have a free trial.

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Is McAfee the Best Antivirus in 2022?

McAfee’s Total Protection is a well-rounded security suite, and its antivirus scanner is one of the best I’ve ever tested — McAfee scored a 100% detection rating in my testing, successfully identifying and removing all types of malware. The only minor downside is that the full system scan may cause system slowdown, but this can be prevented by scheduling scans when you’re not using your computer.

I really like McAfee’s firewall (which is a major improvement over built-in firewalls from Windows and macOS), and its web protections are exceptionally good. McAfee’s parental controls and mobile apps also have excellent features and intuitive interfaces across a variety of devices.

I think McAfee’s VPN and password manager are decent, but they aren’t nearly as good as the top standalone VPNs and password managers in 2022.

However, with the huge amount of useful features it provides, along with super-affordable plans for individuals and families, McAfee is one of the best value premium internet security suites on the market. Whether you pick up the Basic plan for a PC or Mac, or the Plus and Premium plans for 5-10 devices, you’re getting excellent malware protection for a great price.

Overall, McAfee is a comprehensive antivirus that comes with high-quality protection for PCs, Macs, Androids, and iOS devices, excellent customer support, and a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Is McAfee a good antivirus?

Yes. McAfee ranks among the top anti-malware scanners on the market, with a consistent 100% detection rating for a variety of malware, including trojans, rootkits, spyware, adware, and more.

In my tests, McAfee’s full system scan took about 1 hour to complete, which is comparable to top competitors like Bitdefender, but it’s slower than Norton and Avira. McAfee allows you to conveniently schedule scans and there’s also an option to customize your scan (you can select specific files to scan).

McAfee offers affordable antivirus plans for individuals and families across a range of devices — you can check out the Plans and Pricing section of this review to find out more.

Will McAfee remove malware from my computer?

Yes. McAfee is a reliable antivirus that you can use to scan your PC for viruses and protect it in real-time. It performed consistently well in my tests, detecting all kinds of malware, such as ransomware, spyware, cryptojackers, adware, etc.

Also, this antivirus is backed by McAfee Virus Pledge. This means that the company promises to give users their money back at any time during their subscription if McAfee is unable to remove malware from their devices (Norton has a similar deal with their products, as well).

Will McAfee detect spyware?

Yes. McAfee’s malware scanner is designed to detect and remove every type of known malware (including spyware and adware). McAfee also includes a real-time protection engine in all of its plans, which can block malware files — like spyware — from being downloaded or opened on your device.

If you’re curious about the difference between standalone anti-spyware software and more comprehensive anti-malware programs, SafetyDetectives did a full breakdown on the best anti-spyware solutions in 2022.

Will McAfee slow down my computer?

Maybe. Mcafee slowed down my PC during a full system scan, but users can also schedule scans during the night and avoid any slowdown whatsoever. When you’re not performing a scan, McAfee is unlikely to slow down your system. That said, if you’re looking for a very lightweight antivirus, take a look at Avira and Bitdefender, both of which are extremely easy on system resources.

McAfee Total Protection also includes some decent system tune-up tools, which can help optimize your system startup, clean up junk files, and get a slow computer running faster.

Does McAfee have a free version?

McAfee doesn’t have a free version, but it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with all of its plans (extended to 60 days for auto-renewal customers).

Is McAfee available for iOS and Android?

Yes. McAfee Mobile Security is available for both iOS and Android.

McAfee’s mobile app offers advanced anti-malware and anti-phishing protection, Wi-Fi security check, and a VPN. It’s one the best mobile apps on the market today — and it’s extremely affordable when purchased as part of any Total Protection multi-device plan.

Which McAfee should I buy?

It depends!

Individual users on a PC or Mac will want to get the McAfee Total Protection Basic plan.

People that want coverage on multiple computers or mobile devices should check out the Total Protection Plus plan, while parents who want parental controls and coverage for up to 10 devices will want to buy the Premium plan.

Check out my full review for a detailed breakdown of all of McAfee’s plans and pricing.

McAfee Products & Pricing

McAfee Plus
$49.99 / year
Free Trial
McAfee Multi-Device
$49.99 / year
Free Trial
McAfee Small Business Security
$99.99 / year
Bottom Line

McAfee is one of the best antiviruses in 2022. Its powerful anti-malware scanner has perfect detection rates for all kinds of cyber threats, it includes excellent real-time web protections, and it comes with reliable extra features like a password manager, parental controls, identity theft protection, game booster, and much more. McAfee has easy-to-use apps with intuitive dashboards, and its customer support platforms are excellent. However, I’d like to see McAfee improve its VPN — it doesn’t work with all streaming sites and doesn’t support torrenting. That being said, McAfee is still a great value, offering budget-friendly payment plans for both individuals and families (the 2-year deals are some of the most affordable plans on the market). All of McAfee’s plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

About the Author

Ben Martens
Ben Martens
Senior Editor

About the Author

Ben Martens is a cybersecurity journalist with a background in internet ethics, malware testing, and public policy. He resides in Oregon, and when he's not advocating for the rights of internet users, he's walking with his dog and inventing stories with his daughter.

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McAfee User Reviews

*User reviews are not verified

112 153
Based on 265 reviews in 27 languages 6.8
Language
You can trust the Community! Companies can't ask us to delete or change user reviews.
Maria Davis
Maria Davis
India
10.0
It's good product for protection
Windows User
I have purchased McAfee antivirus now, try to download and install then I trouble a bit but do it successfully. I am very happy about this product, it is the best protection for laptops, mobile and other. I am satisfied with this product.
United States
10.0
Pretty good
Windows User
I'm still trying to figure out how to use this software, but it has served me well. It's worth the money by a longshot and I'm really happy with my purchase. I have had no troubles or viruses yet. I hope this helps!
farid
farid
Canada
8.0
not bad
Windows User
I don't know what other people are using but I use McAfee total protection and had no problem with it. I have no pop-ups, my laptop is not slowed and it can catch viruses. just have a complaint about its VPN which asks for my credit card details for using it. I don't give my card details and not using their VPN.
Peter Stokes
Peter Stokes
United Kingdom
1.0
Don't bother
Windows User
You might as well buy

Does what any other anti-virus protection, including free/in-built ones do. Nothing more (except the price). But what they do offer in excess of this, is that if you do not renew your subscription (for example because you are broke, don't have your own home at the moment and are trying to regroup, is a load of horrible, passive-aggressive pop-ups about 'risk' and all the threats to your computer. They also virtually cripple your system. Like the modern version of the protection racket.
user avatar
Andrew Waller Peter Stokes
They also make it exceedingly difficult to uninstall their program. Cannot get rid of them!
Rick
Rick
United States
1.0
BIG SCAM
Windows User
I have a virus the scan cant find it . Its called googleleadservices. hijacked my browser. Support doesnt know
what it is. They were not qualified to remove it. They said its not a virus, look it up it is! their virus protection is
NOT a protection. BIG SCAM!!!!!
user avatar
person Rick
Dude? its a browser ad injector not a virus. im using mcafee rn im happy with it
JP Gaunt
JP Gaunt
United Kingdom
1.0
Absolute garbage
Android User
downloaded onto my PC went to do a virus check 23 hours later it had only done 21% of the computer...Removed and binned !!!!!
user avatar
kevin JP Gaunt
It's absolute crap; and nothing and I mean nothing is worth putting up with 3,000 pop ups per second.
Deven
Deven
India
1.0
Total protection
Windows User
This is a rip off company. Even after paying for one year subscription, Their pop up windows shows asking for buying their product. It is very annoying. Besides they ask to remove antivirus for me, even when I have paid for a full year protection for my laptop. I hate them.
Ben
Ben
Canada
2.0
Get ready to lose money
Android User
Bought McAfee kept hijacking my computer and switching my search engine. Also slowed down up loading. Called customer service to politely ask for a refund. The rep started arguing with me that it's impossible. Yet had the same computer for 10 years with no issues. In fact, since deleting the software I never had an issue. I told the rep to keep the money and hung up. The guy called back 3 times.

The rep said it's not possible that it was MacFee yet, as soon as I got rid of it, the issue resolved. Even if it's true what the rep said, then the system is still crap since it missed the virus malware that was causing the issue.

Not only is it a crap system in my opinion, they will no refund your money for a substandard software. My advise ...Show More
Santoshkumar P
Santoshkumar P
India
2.0
Very Bad
Windows User
I have used this but its make my computer dam slow I have removed McAfee and installed other best antivirus... I did not like McAfee.. I have faced problem with this because had subscription. Finally decided I do not want this and removed.... I future I never use this and never suggest anybody...
user avatar
Jurabek Santoshkumar P
Dear Santosh,

Hi there read your comments regarding McAfee and I think the same also facing with slowness of my PC. Can you please advise which antivirus is best one for personal use, thank you.
JohnIL
JohnIL
United States
8.0
My review of 2020 LiveSafe McAfee
Windows User
I recently bought a Dell laptop and it came with a 12 month subscription of McAfee LiveSafe suite. The suite is OK in terms of basic protection, but it tries to constantly nag you about upgrades such a VPN, parental controls, password manager. It also tries to install a extension called WebAdvisor which used to be called SiteAdvisor. It tries to warn you of rogue and malicious web sites. Its OK, but it doesn't always catch every bad web site. Again it relies on a black list that requires updates. The nice thing about LiveSafe is that I can install it on 10 devices which is the most generous out of all the security suites I have seen. I'm gonna to use it for the year and then decide if its worth renewing.
user avatar
BEN MARTENS JohnIL
Aug. 4, 2022
You don't need this "protection" and there are cheaper and better options for VPNs, etc. It's bundled with manufacturers like Dell because that's how they con people into subscriptions. It's essentially borderline legal malware/ad...Show More

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