McAfee vs. TotalAV: Which One 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. 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.

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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.

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.


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.

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.


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.



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 (though my US colleague couldn’t watch Disney+ or Hulu), and allows torrenting.


TotalAV Total Security covers 8 devices and includes:

  • Web protection & ad blocker.
  • System speedup and cleanup tools.
  • VPN with unlimited browsing data.
  • 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+ (as confirmed by my colleague in the US).

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

TotalAV’s password manager, Total Password, is also very good. It includes all the standard features you’d expect from a good password manager like unlimited password storage, auto-fill, password history, data breach monitoring, and more.

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.


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.

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 and live chat support are excellent. Whenever I reached out to either, I was immediately connected to an agent who was very helpful. I also found it super convenient that there’s an option to grant remote PC access to support, which makes it much faster and easier to fix a tricky issue.

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.


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

It’s a shame that TotalAV’s live chat is inaccessible in various regions, including my own. I had to resort to Chrome’s Incognito mode and a VPN to reach the live chat, which, once accessed, proved efficient and supportive.

TotalAV’s email support team turned out to be helpful, although their response time was less than satisfactory. They provided a thorough solution to my issue, but it took them 18 hours to reply.

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.

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...
Patty Boggs
May 12, 2024
Simple to download
Everything was ok, except for the ads at the end asking if I wanted to...
Laura Roberts
May 9, 2024
total av
works as described
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...
Jan. 23, 2024
totalav problems
This program does not reflect installed versions and only wants to sell me...
Dec. 9, 2023
Refund Circus
Signed up for 12 month premium service on special AUD $49. Yes will auto...
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 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 to find the most up-to-date and unbiased information about the best cybersecurity products on the market today.

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