McAfee offers a powerful anti-malware engine and excellent web protection, as well as a wide range of additional features to protect your computer in 2023.
AVG also includes great malware protection and some cool additional features. However, its highest-tier plan is more expensive than McAfee’s, and the web protection and customer support aren’t quite as good.
AVG vs. McAfee — Final Verdict:
McAfee is better for malware protection, web security, ease of use, and customer support. If you want an excellent antivirus program with good web protections, go with McAfee.
AVG has a wider range of additional features. If you want an antivirus program with tons of extras, go with AVG.
AVG vs. McAfee: Malware Protection
McAfee offers a powerful anti-malware engine. It checks your files against a massive online malware database and alerts you to any threats it finds. It also uses heuristic-based analysis to scan your computer for files acting suspiciously, which is a good way to protect your device from zero-day attacks.
The malware scanner worked really well during testing. I tested it by downloading an archive containing thousands of malware samples (including trojans, worms, rootkits, and more), and it consistently found 100% of the malware samples and moved them into a secure quarantine folder.
McAfee’s real-time protection is also great — it was able to prevent me from downloading, installing, or running malware found on dangerous websites and in email attachments.
AVG also includes an advanced anti-malware engine. It uses an online database and machine learning to protect your computer from the latest malware threats. Like with McAfee, I hid thousands of malware samples on my computer, and AVG was able to detect and remove every one.
I was impressed that AVG also scanned my system for vulnerabilities and performance issues. It alerted me to several sensitive files on my computer that I hadn’t password-protected and removed over 17 GB of junk from my system.
AVG’s real-time protection also works well. When I had it turned on, I wasn’t able to download or run any malicious file samples on my PC.
AVG vs. McAfee: Web Security
McAfee’s WebAdvisor is a great way to stay protected from exploit sites and phishing attacks. In my tests, WebAdvisor blocked more phishing sites than the default protections on Chrome and Firefox.
WebAdvisor can also tell you how safe a website is before you visit it. Dangerous websites (such as torrent sites) will have a red X on your search engine, while safe websites will have a green padlock symbol.
WebAdvisor is available on Windows and Macs, and it’s compatible with Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browsers. Overall, it’s a good way to stay safe online in 2023.
AVG also provides good web security that can protect you from phishing attacks, dangerous websites, botnets, and more. In my tests, it blocked more phishing websites than the default protections in popular web browsers such as Chrome and Firefox.
AVG also has a web extension that assigns color-coded safety ratings to websites (similar to how McAfee does). However, AVG’s web extension didn’t work as well as McAfee’s in my tests, and it marked sites McAfee registered as dangerous as simply “unknown”.
I also found it more difficult to whitelist websites that AVG had incorrectly marked as dangerous. In McAfee, you can click a button to override the website block, but in AVG, you have to navigate through AVG’s settings, and it gets annoying if you just want to quickly visit a website.
AVG’s web extension is compatible with Windows and Mac, plus Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browsers.
AVG vs. McAfee: Features
McAfee offers coverage on either 1, 5, or unlimited devices and includes some really good features:
- Virtual private network (with unlimited data).
- Web protection.
- Password manager.
- Parental controls.
- Identity theft protection.
- System optimizer.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- And more…
I particularly like McAfee’s firewall, which monitors your outbound network traffic and blocks any unauthorized connections. It also offers great customization options for advanced users, such as the ability to change the intensity of your network protection, open and close specific network ports, and more.
McAfee’s VPN also works really well. The VPN masks your IP address behind a virtual IP address to keep you safe from online trackers and man-in-the-middle attacks. I didn’t notice any slowdowns when connected to McAfee’s VPN.
AVG offers coverage on up to 10 devices and comes with a wide range of additional features:
- Web protection.
- Rescue disk.
- Password protection.
- System tune-up tool.
- Virtual private network (with unlimited data)
- Dark web monitoring.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- And more…
I was quite impressed with AVG’s system tune-up tool. It includes more optimization features than most antiviruses I’ve tested, and it even lets you scan your hard drive for errors. When I scanned my C:/ drive, AVG found several errors and fixed them without me needing to do anything.
However, I’m not impressed by AVG VPN’s logging policy. While AVG doesn’t log your IP address or browsing history, it does log when you connect to the VPN and the amount of data you transmit. McAfee’s VPN, on the other hand, has a strict no-logs policy. I also noticed slight slowdowns while connected to AVG’s VPN, which didn’t happen with McAfee’s VPN.
AVG vs. McAfee: Ease of Use
McAfee is easy to install, but it’s spread across multiple apps. You can access the main security features from McAfee’s user interface. If you click on My Protection, you can find the real-time scanner, home network scanner, and more. However, you need to visit McAfee’s online dashboard to access the parental controls and identity theft protection. The password manager and VPN come as separate downloads.
McAfee’s mobile app is laid out more intuitively, and all of the features are immediately accessible from either the home screen or by tapping the menu in the top right corner.
AVG is also easy to install, but like McAfee, it’s also spread over multiple apps. The main security window on the antivirus program itself is split into two sections: Basic Protection and Full Protection. Here you can find the majority of AVG’s features, like the virus scanner and web protection.
You can also access more features using the navigational menu, which is accessible in the top right corner of the user interface. The VPN, system optimizer tool, and anti-tracking tool are all separate downloads that can be initiated from this menu.
AVG’s mobile app is more intuitive than its desktop counterpart. Most features, including the junk cleaner, are included in one app. However, you still need to download the mobile storage cleaner and VPN separately, which is a bit annoying.
AVG vs. McAfee: Customer Support
McAfee offers a good range of customer support options, including 24/7 live chat and phone support.
I love how McAfee’s phone support is accessible 24/7. I could quickly get hold of a customer support agent and address any concerns I had with McAfee. The 24/7 live chat was helpful too, and the staff was knowledgeable. I liked how they offered to take remote access of my computer and fix issues — which is super rare in a customer support team.
Finally, I was happy with McAfee’s support forum and its community. When I posted a problem in the forum, I got a helpful answer a few hours later from another McAfee user.
AVG also offers a good range of customer support options, including email, live chat support, a community forum, and phone support.
My experience with the live chat was good. I connected with a knowledgeable agent quickly who showed me how to schedule a virus scan and answered other questions I had. However, I was surprised that the support agent needed to check my account details before answering basic questions. I never had to provide McAfee support agents with my details.
My only complaint is that AVG has an expensive premium tech support line, and it’s not included in any of its plans. You can pay extra for a call with one of AVG’s tech support agents, and they’ll help you resolve issues and even remove malware for you. While this may be helpful, it’s disappointing when you consider McAfee’s agents offered to take remote access of my computer for free.