Avira vs. McAfee — Which Offers Better Protection in 2022?

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Avira vs. McAfee: Which Is Right for You?

Sam Boyd
Sam Boyd
Contributor

Avira vs. McAfee: Which Is Right for You?

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:

  • 1st place: McAfee. Avira vs. McAfee: Final Verdict:
  • 2nd place: Avira. 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 is more intuitive to use and has a better VPN. If you want a simple antivirus with a good VPN, go with Avira.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Avira vs. McAfee: Features

Avira Prime offers protection on up to 5 devices and includes:

  • Malware scanner.
  • Real-time protection.
  • Firewall.
  • 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).

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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.
  • VPN.
  • 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.

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Avira vs. McAfee: Ease of Use

Avira is one of the easiest antiviruses to use in 2022. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Latest Positive Review*User reviews are not verified
Aug. 16, 2020
little slow but good
Avira takes time to do things such as fixing problems. other than that it...
Prince Matema
Sep. 16, 2019
Avira with more than 10 years Experience
Avira is very good at preventing and recognizing malware attacks and...
Maria Davis
Dec. 28, 2020
It's good product for protection
I have purchased McAfee antivirus now, try to download and install then I...
Dec. 20, 2020
Pretty good
I'm still trying to figure out how to use this software, but it has served...
Latest Negative Review*User reviews are not verified
Alec Heesacker
Jul. 14, 2021
Accused As A Cyber Theft Criminal
Their Free Download Version Was Infected With PUP Malware That Forcefully...
jason
Jul. 1, 2021
avira the virus
was forced to reformat hardrive after using it was unable uninstall it or...
Beverley Husson
Nov. 28, 2021
Retired Senior
It's an ok program, my complaint is with the staff. I shut off my auto...
Marie
Oct. 23, 2021
Quite frustrated with McAfee.
I have a McAfee on my laptop. I have their 2-year-plan for 10- devices. My...
Our Verdict
Sam Boyd
Sam Boyd
Contributor
Both Avira and McAfee are excellent antivirus programs that come with their own unique set of advantages. Avira has one of the best malware scanners on the market, and it has a 100% malware detection rate and offloads itself onto the cloud — meaning there are no slowdowns while running it. While McAfee doesn’t offload onto the cloud, it also has a 100% malware detection rate. McAfee has some great extra features, including excellent parental controls and web protections that offer color-coded results to inform you whether a result is safe or dangerous. Both Avira and McAfee also provide really good customer support. However, it’s disappointing that Avira lacks live chat — something McAfee does include. You can try Avira with a 60-day money-back guarantee and McAfee with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
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 2022.

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.