Avast vs. McAfee — Which Antivirus Is Better in 2024?

Find the best antivirus for you and your devices.
We compare security, extra features, ease of use, and more to help you decide.

McAfee vs. Avast: Which Is Right for You?

Raven Wu
Raven Wu

McAfee vs. Avast: Which Is Right for You?

McAfee includes a comprehensive antivirus engine, impressive real-time malware detection, excellent web protection, and a wide range of additional features.

Avast is a beginner-friendly antivirus, but it doesn’t include parental controls or a password manager, and many of its other extra features aren’t as good as McAfee’s.

Read on to find out about the key strengths and weaknesses of each product and decide which is the right one for you.

Short on Time? Avast vs. McAfee — Final Verdict:

  • 1st place: Short on Time? Avast vs. McAfee — Final Verdict:
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McAfee is better for malware protection, web security, and extra features. If you’re after an antivirus with the best web protection on the market, go with McAfee.

Avast is better for ease of use. If you’re after an antivirus that’s really good for beginners, go with Avast.

Malware Protection


McAfee’s malware scanner uses advanced heuristics and compares files on your computer with a massive online virus database to find new and emerging malware threats. The scanner can find all kinds of malware, including trojans, rootkits, worms, cryptojackers, and ransomware. A full-system scan only takes about an hour to finish.

McAfee was able to find every one of the over 1,000 malware samples I hid on my PC. However, there was some slowdown while the scanner was running. I also tried downloading the same malware archive with McAfee’s real-time protection enabled, and McAfee quickly detected and blocked the download before I could open it on my device.


Avast’s malware scanner also performed very well, detecting all of the 1,000+ malware samples I hid on my device. Its full scan took just under an hour, which is pretty quick, and I didn’t notice any system slowdown while it was running.

Avast’s real-time protection is also pretty great. Just like McAfee, it was able to detect and block every malicious file I attempted to download during my tests.

Web Security


McAfee’s web security (WebAdvisor) can block browser-based cryptojackers, exploit attacks, and phishing websites. In my tests, WebAdvisor blocked more attacks than the default protections built into Firefox and Chrome.

WebAdvisor also includes an optional mode that assigns websites a security rating before you visit them. On both social media and search engine results pages, dangerous websites are marked with a red X, and safe websites are marked with a green tick.

WebAdvisor is a separate download from the main McAfee suite, but it’s included in the Total Protection subscription. It works with Windows and Macs and supports Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Edge browsers.


Avast’s web protection tools were able to detect most of the phishing websites I visited. They were even able to catch several malicious websites that slipped through Firefox’s default protections.

Avast’s Real Site feature is also very handy as it prevents DNS hijacking, which can redirect you to a fake website even if you type in a legitimate URL.



McAfee’s top-tier plans cover an unlimited number of devices and include:

  • Firewall.
  • Virtual private network (with unlimited data).
  • Web protection.
  • System optimizer.
  • Parental controls.
  • Password manager.
  • Identity theft monitoring.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • And more…

I really like McAfee’s performance optimization tools, which can remove browser cookies, junk files, temporary files, and more. They cleared over 2 GB of space on my computer, which is really impressive.

McAfee’s password manager is also pretty good. It offers unlimited password storage, a password generator, and password auto-filling. Although it lacks the password auditing tools that standalone password managers like 1Password include, it’s good if you want a password manager with just the essential features.


Avast covers up to 30 devices and its plans include:

  • Anti-malware protection and real-time protection.
  • Web protection.
  • VPN.
  • Rescue Disk (not included with Avast One).
  • Wi-Fi network protection.
  • Firewall.
  • PC clean-up and optimization tools.
  • File shredder (not included with Avast One).
  • Sandbox (not included with Avast One).
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • And more…

Avast’s Rescue Disk is an excellent feature that can help you recover from a malware attack, even if your computer can no longer work properly or start up. However, for some reason, it’s not included with Avast One.

Avast’s other features are less impressive. Its VPN isn’t great — it has mediocre speeds and doesn’t have a no-logs policy. The firewall is a bit more customizable than McAfee’s, but its data breach monitoring is much more limited, only checking for leaked passwords connected to emails while McAfee scans for all kinds of personal information.

Finally, Avast lacks a password manager and parental controls, which are offered by many of its top competitors (including McAfee).

Ease of Use


McAfee is easy to install and can be set up on your device in about 5 minutes. The interface is straightforward, but you need to get used to McAfee’s features being spread across multiple apps. While most features are accessible by clicking My Protection on the main McAfee app, you need to go to McAfee’s online dashboard if you want to use the parental controls or identity theft protection. The VPN, web security, and password manager are all separate downloads.

I like McAfee’s mobile app, which has an easy-to-navigate interface. Most features (including the malware scanner and identity protection) are available with one tap.


Avast has a very intuitive interface. All of its basic features come with brief explanations, which makes it a great antivirus for beginners. I like that it has a search function for its settings as well. If you get Avast Ultimate Security or Avast One, you can access all of its features from a single app.

Avast’s mobile app is available on both Android and iOS and is just as easy to navigate as its desktop version. Avast One lacks anti-theft protections, but then again McAfee doesn’t offer anti-theft either.

Customer Support


McAfee includes 24/7 live chat, phone support, a support forum, and an online knowledge base. I really like how its live chat and phone support are accessible 24/7. Many antiviruses only offer support during certain hours, and it can be frustrating when you’re looking for quick solutions.

McAfee’s support reps impressed me by offering to remotely access my computer. Most support teams are more hands-off and generally just provide basic instructions.

The McAfee knowledge base was disappointing, as it contained outdated instructions. However, answers to your questions can still be found through its 24/7 support channels.


Avast offers support through live chat, phone, an online forum, and a digital knowledge base. Despite the representatives being amicable and readily accessible, they were unable to respond to some of my more complex inquiries.

At least Avast’s support articles are pretty detailed and well-organized, so for the most part, users should be able to find their answers there.

Starting Price
Money Back Guarantee
Free Trial
30 Days
30 Days
Ease of Use
Latest Positive Review*User reviews are not verified
Dec. 16, 2021
very good
I'm very pleased with the antivirus. I used Kaspersky and Bitdefender...
May 16, 2021
Very Good
I've used McAfee for 25yrs plus and I have had NO problems whatesoever. I...
Mar. 15, 2021
Reliable in virus detection, average in virus removal
I am satisfied. It detects viruses very well. It removes them with 1-3...
Kshitij Bajaj
Dec. 16, 2020
Nice Software
I like this antivirous. It has protected my pc from so many attacks and...
Latest Negative Review*User reviews are not verified
Larry Andress
May 1, 2023
Terrible Customer Svc
It is easy to sign up and pay them but if the McAfee doesn't agree with...
May 1, 2023
McAfee VPN Has Major Issues
McAfee virus protection seems to work alright but their VPN has major...
May 21, 2023
Avast took $77.99 out of my checking account that I did not authorize. I...
May 9, 2023
Besides it being annoying, it also affects my chrome browser. I...
Our Verdict
Raven Wu
Raven Wu
McAfee offers a comprehensive malware scanner with 100% detection rates and includes excellent features such as performance optimization tools and a basic but useful password manager. Although you need to get used to McAfee’s protections being spread across different apps and browsers, it’s not a big deal. Avast also offers 100% malware detection, and it’s super intuitive to use. However, most of its extra features are disappointing, and its customer reps aren’t too knowledgeable. Both products come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try them risk-free.
Time To Decide Which One Is Best For You

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find the best antivirus for me?

The first thing to do is to understand what you need — all antiviruses come with different internet security tools to help you stay protected, so identifying what level of protection you want will help you figure out which product is right for you.

Some antiviruses have a virtual private network (VPN), some have safe browsing extensions, and some have a password manager. Some only work on certain operating systems, while others cover all operating systems across multiple devices.

It’s important to compare the best antiviruses on the market to find the perfect one with the functionality you need.

What makes an antivirus secure?

A high-quality antivirus suite will detect, flag, and remove viruses and various types of malware. It will also offer real-time protection against all threats, regardless of whether you are browsing the internet, downloading software, shopping online, or opening email. For additional security, many antivirus suites offer a VPN, secure storage, and a password manager — these things all add several layers of protection against various cyber threats.

For more information on how antiviruses work, read this.

What do I need to look for when searching for an antivirus?

An antivirus needs to protect against all types of malware — trojans, rootkits, worms, spyware, viruses, ransomware, and anything else that might cause damage to your devices. This is done in a variety of ways, but the most essential feature of an antivirus is real-time protection — this makes sure that an active threat is effectively stopped before anything serious can happen.

Other things to look for include — excellent detection rates, fast system performance, included extra features (like a VPN, password manager, etc.), easy-to-use interface, good customer support, and overall value.

Go here for a list of the best antivirus software of 2024.

How do I know if one antivirus is better than another?

When researching antiviruses, it’s a good idea to visit a few well-known antivirus software websites such as Norton, McAfee, and Bitdefender to directly compare each antivirus’s features.

You can also look at the expert opinions of our reviewers at SafetyDetectives.com to find the most up-to-date and unbiased information about the best cybersecurity products on the market today.

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