McAfee vs. TotalAV: Which One Is Better in 2023?

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McAfee vs. TotalAV: Which Is Right for You?

Katarina Glamoslija
Katarina Glamoslija
Head Content Manager

McAfee vs. TotalAV: Which Is Right for You?

McAfee and TotalAV offer great features, but they differ in many key areas. McAfee caught more malware files in our tests and has a wider range of features than TotalAV. But TotalAV doesn’t cause any system slowdown and is easier to use than McAfee.

McAfee vs. TotalAV — Final Verdict

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McAfee is better for malware protection, extra features, and pricing. If you want premium protection for all of your devices at a price that’s lower than many competing brands, go with McAfee.

TotalAV is better for speed and ease of use, and it has a better VPN. If you want a good internet security suite with functions that are incredibly simple to use, go with TotalAV.

McAfee vs. TotalAV: Malware Protection

McAfee’s antivirus scanner checks files against a huge virus database and uses heuristics to identify potentially dangerous files.

It detected 100% of the hundreds of malware samples I downloaded to my PC. However, the scan did cause some slowdown on my computer. While I could still use it for browsing the web, gaming was out of the question while the scan was running.

The full system scan took around an hour. If you’d rather not run it while you’re using your computer, you can easily schedule scans for a convenient time.

McAfee also offers a real-time protection engine, which successfully blocked me from downloading or opening any malware files.

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TotalAV’s malware scanner is a whitelisted version of Avira’s scanner, which is among the best on the market.

TotalAV’s malware scanner detected over 99% of malware in my tests. This included hundreds of files such as viruses, rootkits, spyware, and keylogging malware. Like McAfee’s scan, it took about an hour, but unlike McAfee, it didn’t use up much CPU. There was no impact on my computer’s performance, which was great.

TotalAV’s real-time protection immediately blocked all the malware files in my tests, putting it on par with McAfee.

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McAfee vs. TotalAV: Web Security

McAfee’s WebAdvisor tool offers excellent web protection, and it’s available as a free download for Windows and macOS. It identifies phishing sites from a massive database that is continuously updated.

In my tests, it blocked 100% of phishing sites and exploit attacks, and it detected many dangerous sites that Chrome and Firefox’s built-in protections failed to. If you’re looking for online protection for your Windows or Mac device, WebAdvisor is a great option.

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TotalAV’s WebShield blocks phishing sites and online malware distributors. Like WebAdvisor, it also detected more phishing sites than Chrome or Firefox when I tested it.

WebShield uses blacklists of dangerous websites and its own AI-based dangerous website detection system, which works well.

WebShield can be downloaded for free, with no purchase necessary. Unlike WebAdvisor, it’s available on Android and iOS as well as Windows and Mac.

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McAfee vs. TotalAV: Features

McAfee Total Protection covers either 5 or unlimited devices and includes:

  • Customizable firewall.
  • Web protection & browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.
  • System tuneup tools.
  • Network scanner.
  • Parental controls.
  • VPN with unlimited data.
  • Password manager (True Key).
  • Identity theft monitoring.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.

McAfee offers excellent parental controls with its Premium and Advanced Family plans. You can filter web content, limit device usage and internet access, block specific apps, and track device locations. In my tests, all the features worked really well and were easy to navigate.

McAfee’s True Key is a decent password manager — it offers all the essentials, like unlimited password storage across devices, secure notes, and a password generator. However, there are no secure 2FA options, and it’s missing password sharing and breach monitoring.

McAfee’s Safe Connect VPN is really good. It offers decent speeds, works with most streaming sites (except for Disney+ and Hulu), and allows torrenting.

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TotalAV Total Security covers 6 devices and includes:

  • Web protection & ad blocker.
  • System speedup and cleanup tools.
  • VPN with unlimited browsing data.
  • Basic password manager.
  • Basic dark web monitoring.
  • Identity theft protection (US only).
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.

TotalAV’s Safe Browsing VPN is a bit better than McAfee’s VPN. It’s pretty fast, and has more than 70 server locations all over the world. When I tested it, my download and upload speeds remained high, and unlike McAfee’s VPN, it worked with Hulu and Disney+.

TotalAV’s system tune-up is great too. It helps clear out junk files and speeds up your computer’s performance.

However, I’m not keen on TotalAV’s password manager. It’s pretty basic, and it’s only included with the most expensive plan. While it has all of the essentials for password management, it’s a shame that it doesn’t offer a mobile version. McAfee’s True Key isn’t amazing, but at least it’s available on mobile.

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McAfee vs. TotalAV: Ease of Use

McAfee is really simple to install and use. It’s extremely easy to schedule a scan with McAfee. It’s also simple to customize your firewall protection, access the VPN, and run system tune-ups. That said, it did take me a little while to find all the system tune-up features.

McAfee’s mobile apps are well designed, intuitive, and feature-rich.

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TotalAV is intuitive to use and simple to set up. The interface is attractive and simple, and it’s never confusing. To customize the interface, you can use the advanced options under the Settings menu. You can also find the online dashboard in Settings, which has some useful video tutorials and FAQs.

TotalAV’s mobile apps are also decent, with solid security and some good features. However, they’re not quite as feature-rich as McAfee’s.

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McAfee vs. TotalAV: Customer Support

McAfee’s customer support is really good. There’s 24/7 live chat and phone support, an active forum, and a useful knowledge base.

McAfee’s phone support resolved an issue with my plan very quickly. The live chat support was great, too. I was connected to a support person within seconds, and they were helpful and knowledgeable. The support reps can take control of your PC through a downloadable applet and solve your issue while you watch, which is helpful for beginners.

I also like the McAfee support forum. There’s an active community available there to answer your questions, and each time I asked a question, I got an answer within 5 hours.

The only thing I don’t like is the knowledge base. Many of the FAQs refer to outdated versions of the software, so you can’t get the answers you need. However, McAfee’s other support channels are so helpful that it’s not a big issue.

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TotalAV’s customer support is decent, but it can’t compete with McAfee’s. It offers live chat, email, and 24/7 phone support.

Unfortunately, the live chat feature is not available in many countries, including the one I live in. So, I had to use the Incognito mode on Chrome and use a VPN to access the live chat support. Once I got past the restrictions, I found that TotalAV’s live chat support was fast and provided helpful assistance.

TotalAV’s email support team was really helpful, but not very fast. When I contacted them about an issue I had, I got a great response, but it took 18 hours to arrive.

However, TotalAV’s phone support is great. There’s country-specific support for the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and Spain. Otherwise, you call a ‘Europe’ or ‘International’ number. Each time I called, I got a quick and knowledgeable response.

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Latest Positive Review*User reviews are not verified
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...
May 17, 2023
Good Antivirus
I've been using this for approximately four years and it's excellent.
Vladimir Medakovic
May 17, 2023
good product
works well, no issues so far. Great for the price.
Latest Negative Review*User reviews are not verified
May 1, 2023
McAfee VPN Has Major Issues
McAfee virus protection seems to work alright but their VPN has major...
The Big Duck
Jan. 6, 2023
Terrible and Just spams you constantly
Worst AV I have ever used. Constantly get spamming pop-ups that just don't...
Marc Silverberg
Feb. 9, 2023
Stay Away!
Total AV is the most disreputable company I have ever dealt with. They...
Feb. 5, 2023
Our Verdict
Katarina Glamoslija
Katarina Glamoslija
Head Content Manager
McAfee has one of the best anti-malware scanners on the market, is really good at detecting fake and risky websites, and provides a ton of useful tools, like system tuneup, network protection, a VPN, a password manager, parental controls, and ID theft protection. TotalAV is a good antivirus, but it missed some of the malware samples that McAfee detected. But TotalAV comes with system tuneup tools, a VPN, a password manager, basic dark web monitoring, and ID theft protection. Overall, however, McAfee just has the edge. Both products come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try either of 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 2023.

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 to find the most up-to-date and unbiased information about the best cybersecurity products on the market today.