Avira and McAfee are among the best internet security suites on the market. Both are able to detect 100% of malware samples and both provide excellent additional features. I also found both Avira and McAfee easy to set up and use.
However, there are a few differences between them. For example, McAfee provides parental controls, but Avira does not. In addition, McAfee’s family plan covers either 5 or an unlimited number of users, whereas Avira’s top-tier plan only covers 5 users.
Today, I’m going to explore more differences between the two antiviruses so you can make an informed decision.
Avira vs. McAfee: Final Verdict:
McAfee has better parental controls, web protection, and customer support. If you want a comprehensive antivirus with some of the best anti-phishing tools and parental controls on the market, go with McAfee.
Avira vs. McAfee: Malware Protection
Avira uses a powerful cloud-based malware scanner that offloads the CPU-intensive scanning process to the cloud, meaning you can scan your computer without any slowdown to your device. The scanner uses heuristic analysis and a massive malware directory to detect all malware threats, including trojans, worms, rootkits, and more.
To test Avira, I downloaded 1,000s of malware samples onto my device. This included rootkits, spyware, keylogging software, ransomware, and more. I then ran a full system scan, and Avira was consistently able to find 100% of malware samples on my device.
Avira’s real-time protection also worked well, blocking 100% of malware samples I tried downloading onto my device.
McAfee also uses heuristic analysis and a large malware database to protect your computer from zero-day attacks and known malware threats. McAfee doesn’t offload the scanning process to the cloud like Avira does, and I had some slowdown when running scans.
I downloaded the same 1,000 malware samples I used to test Avira and ran a full system scan. Like Avira, McAfee found every malware sample, and it only took an hour to complete the full scan, which is pretty good.
McAfee also provides excellent real-time protection, which blocked 100% of malware samples I tried to download.
Avira vs. McAfee: Web Security
Avira’s web security extension — Browser Safety — works across most web browsers. It stops you from visiting dangerous phishing websites, seeing ads, or having trackers steal your data on websites.
Avira blocked most phishing websites I tried visiting in my tests. It had better results than the built-in protections on Edge, Firefox, and Chrome. However, I found it wasn’t that good at blocking exploit attacks.
That being said, Avira is excellent at blocking ads. For example, when I tested Browser Safety on AOL, it blocked 116 ads, and the default protection on most web browsers doesn’t block any ads.
McAfee uses a web shield called Web Advisor, which works on Windows and Mac (like Avira). It’s pretty good and blocks more dangerous phishing websites than the default protections on web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.
McAfee’s Web Advisor doesn’t block ads. As said, Avira includes an ad blocker, so I’d love to see this in McAfee.
That being said, McAfee was much better at detecting exploit attacks than Avira was. It’s also able to block cryptojacking attempts, something I didn’t really see in Avira.
Finally, I really like how McAfee adds color-coded safety ratings to search results. A secure website will have a green lock symbol on the Google search engine results page. Similarly, a red cross will indicate a dangerous site you should avoid.
Avira vs. McAfee: Features
Avira Prime offers protection on up to 5 devices and includes:
- Malware scanner.
- Real-time protection.
- Password manager.
- VPN (virtual private network).
- Device optimization tool.
- File shredder.
- Browser security.
- Driver updater.
- And more…
I really like how Avira includes a driver updater. You’re vulnerable to exploit attacks if you have outdated drivers on your computer. Because Avira doesn’t have the best exploit protections, keeping your software updated is essential to staying protected from exploits.
I’m also impressed with Avira’s VPN. It uses 256-bit AES encryption to keep your data protected, includes DNS leak protection, and has over 1,400 server locations. This is comparable to some of the top standalone VPNs on the market. Unfortunately, Avira doesn’t allow you to access popular streaming websites like VPNs such as ExpressVPN do. That being said, I didn’t notice any slowdown while running Avira’s VPN, and I love how it provides up to 5 simultaneous connections (i.e. your mobile devices and computers).
McAfee gives you coverage on either 5 or an unlimited number of devices and includes:
- Malware scanner.
- Real-time protection.
- Web protection.
- Network scanner.
- Computer optimizer.
- Password manager.
- Identity theft monitoring.
- Parental controls.
- And more…
McAfee’s performance optimization deletes cookies, unnecessary system files, trackers, and more. After running it, I noticed a significant speed increase on my computer.
I also really like McAfee’s parental controls, which are included in the Premium and Advanced Family plans. In my tests, I could easily block dangerous websites — including those that show violence, drugs, and pornography. McAfee’s geofencing capabilities are great too. Most antiviruses only let you see where your kids are located when you check the parental controls, but McAfee allows your kids to send you a notification when they arrive at a safe location — such as school or a friend’s house.
Avira vs. McAfee: Ease of Use
Avira is one of the easiest antiviruses to use in 2023. It takes less than 10 minutes to install, and you can access most of Avira’s features with just a few clicks. I particularly like how easy Avira makes it to schedule virus scans. All you have to do is click on a calendar icon next to the scan type and choose the frequency you want the scan to happen (i.e. daily, weekly, or monthly).
I also didn’t notice any slowdown when running Avira. I could run a malware scan and still play video games or stream HD video — which is pretty good.
Avira’s mobile app for iOS and Android has a pretty intuitive interface and includes some really good features, such as a call and app locker — something many mobile antiviruses don’t include. I never had difficulty navigating the mobile app, so beginner users will find it super straightforward.
McAfee is also well-designed and pretty easy to use. I like how the main dashboard shows everything available on your current subscription and makes it easy to run a virus scan.
However, some of McAfee’s features are only available from the online dashboard, which is pretty annoying. It can make it difficult for beginner users to find where everything is located. Further, if your internet connection drops, some of the more important features — such as the parental controls — are inaccessible.
That being said, McAfee’s mobile apps are really good. The design is intuitive and well laid out, and each feature is easy to access and run. I never struggled to find anything, and unlike the desktop app, everything is localized in one efficient location.
Avira vs. McAfee: Customer Support
Avira’s customer support is pretty good, but it’s disappointing there’s no live chat option. That being said, Avira does offer email and telephone support, in addition to an online knowledge base that’s intuitive to navigate. You can solve most issues with the knowledge base alone.
Avira’s phone support is only offered to premium users, which is a shame because Avira has one of the best free plans on the market. That said, it’s a toll-free number and available in over 30+ countries. If you live in an unsupported country, you can also call an Avira support number that charges your local telephone rates. I tested the phone support multiple times and always connected with a helpful agent who provided clear answers.
I also really like the email support, but they took 24 hours to reply to my email. Though the support team was really helpful, I’d love to see a quicker response time. McAfee’s support team got back to me in 6 hours.
McAfee has an excellent range of customer support options. It offers email, live chat, and phone support, as well as community forums and an online knowledge base.
I tested the phone support and always received quick, straightforward answers. I had a very similar experience with McAfee’s live chat.
Unfortunately, McAfee’s knowledge base was disappointing. It’s not updated regularly, so many of its instructions weren’t compatible with the latest versions of McAfee.
That said, McAfee only took around 6 hours to respond to my emails — which is pretty good. The email support was always clear, concise, and helpful, like the phone and live chat support.