McAfee vs. Trend Micro — Which Antivirus Is Better in 2023?

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McAfee vs. Trend Micro: Which Is Right for You?

Sam Boyd
Sam Boyd
QA Editor

McAfee vs. Trend Micro: Which Is Right for You?

Both McAfee and Trend Micro are robust antivirus suites that can keep you protected in 2023.

However, they have unique differences you need to know about. For example, Trend Micro includes a privacy scanner, but McAfee doesn’t. That said, Trend Micro’s parental controls are quite basic, but McAfee has some of the best parental controls of any antivirus program I’ve tested.

Today, I’m going to highlight the differences between the two antiviruses so you can choose the right one for your needs.

McAfee vs. Trend Micro: Final Verdict:

  • 1st place: McAfee vs. Trend Micro: Final Verdict:
  • 2nd place: McAfee vs. Trend Micro: Final Verdict:

McAfee has better malware protection, web protection, and parental controls. If you want a comprehensive antivirus program with excellent web protection, go with McAfee.

Trend Micro is cheaper and easier to use. If you’re on a budget, go with Trend Micro.

McAfee vs. Trend Micro: Malware Protection

McAfee’s malware scanner uses a massive malware database and heuristic analysis to protect you from malware threats, including trojans, rootkits, cryptojackers, worms, and more.

I downloaded over 1,000 malware samples and hid them on my Windows 11 PC. I also ensured I had malware samples running in my computer’s memory. I then ran McAfee’s full malware scan — and I was quite impressed with the results. It took an hour to complete and found every malware sample.

Next, I tested McAfee’s real-time protection. I tried downloading the same malware samples with the real-time protection enabled, and McAfee blocked every download before it could save on my computer. This included samples that the default protections on Chrome and Firefox let me download.

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Trend Micro’s malware scanner works a little bit differently from McAfee’s. It uses signature-based scanning and machine learning to protect you from known malware and zero-day threats.

Trend Micro’s malware detection isn’t quite as good as McAfee’s. I downloaded the same 1,000 malware samples and hid them on my PC to test Trend Micro. I then ran the full system scan. Trend Micro took 40 minutes to complete, which is a little bit faster than McAfee. However, it only found 97% of the 1,000 samples, while McAfee found all of them.

That said, I’m impressed by Trend Micro’s real-time protection. It managed to block every malicious download and even stopped the exploit attacks I simulated against my computer.

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McAfee vs. Trend Micro: Web Security

McAfee’s web security (WebAdvisor) blocks dangerous phishing websites and browser-based cryptojackers and protects you from exploit attacks. It works on all major web browsers, including Chromium-based browsers and Firefox.

I tested WebAdvisor by visiting hundreds of known phishing websites, and McAfee managed to block every single site — including websites that Chrome and Firefox’s built-in protections let me visit.

I also really like WebAdvisor’s exploit protection. I ran a few simulated exploit attacks against my Windows PC, and McAfee was able to block every simulated attack. It also gave ratings for links on both Google and social media channels, which is pretty cool. I highlighted a link I wasn’t sure about on Facebook, and McAfee told me it was safe to click on.

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Trend Micro’s web protection also blocks access to dangerous websites. However, it doesn’t stop exploit attacks or browser-based cryptojackers.

I visited the same phishing websites I tried to visit using McAfee. While Trend Micro blocked more dangerous websites than Chrome and Firefox’s built-in protections, it let me visit websites that McAfee’s web protection blocked.

That said, Trend Micro makes it super easy to whitelist sites. If you’re an advanced user and get a false positive, you can permanently add an exception with one click. McAfee has a button that lets you temporarily bypass the web protection with one click, but to add a permanent exception, you need to navigate into McAfee’s settings.

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McAfee vs. Trend Micro: Features

McAfee’s top-tier plan covers an unlimited number of devices and comes with a lot of features, including:

  • Malware scanner.
  • Real-time protection.
  • Secure firewall.
  • Wi-Fi network scanner.
  • Web protection.
  • Password manager.
  • VPN (virtual private network).
  • Parental controls.
  • Computer optimizer.
  • Identity theft protection.
  • And more…

I really like McAfee’s secure firewall. It monitors inbound and outbound network traffic and stops any unauthorized intrusions. In my tests, it blocked more intrusions than the default protections in Windows Defender’s firewall. McAfee’s firewall is also really accessible to beginners. You can easily control the level of protection it offers and whitelist specific programs you trust.

McAfee’s VPN is also really good. It’s easy to use, fast, and has over 1,900 servers across 41 countries. When I was connected to the VPN servers, I didn’t experience any slowdowns.

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Trend Micro’s most premium plan covers 10 devices and comes with the following features:

  • Malware scanner.
  • Real-time protection.
  • Anti-phishing protection.
  • Secure web browser.
  • Anti-theft protection.
  • VPN.
  • Password manager.
  • Dark web protection.
  • PC optimization tool.
  • Identity theft protection.
  • Parental controls.

One of my favorite features is the anti-theft protection. It works well and contains various features to protect your device. If you install the anti-theft feature on your mobile, you can remotely lock your device, locate your device with pinpoint accuracy, sound an alarm, or even wipe data from your computer.

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McAfee vs. Trend Micro: Ease of Use

McAfee only takes a few minutes to download and install. Its user interface is intuitive and lets you quickly access any feature with a few clicks. For example, on the home screen, you simply click Antivirus, then Run a scan to start a full system scan. It’s also really easy to schedule scans.

However, some of McAfee’s features are only accessible from the web app — for instance, the parental controls. This is annoying because McAfee doesn’t make this abundantly clear, so beginner users might struggle to find them or even realize they’re included with their subscription. Also, if your internet connection drops for whatever reason, you’ll be unable to access these features.

That said, McAfee’s mobile apps work well. They’re intuitive and didn’t slow down my phone when I tested them. Many of McAfee’s features are accessible from large on-screen buttons, and the rest are in an easy-to-access sidebar. It was nice not having to go between the desktop and web apps as you have to on the PC version of McAfee.

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Trend Micro is super easy to navigate. Each feature is categorized into 4 different sections you can access in one click, and unlike with McAfee, everything is localized in one app.

Each of Trend Micro’s features is clearly explained, and I never struggled to know what I was doing. For example, when I opened Trend Micro’s secure browser, all I had to do was enter websites I wanted to automatically open in the secure browser into a text field and then click OK.

Trend Micro’s mobile app is quite intuitive, too. Each feature is accessible through a large button, and at the top of the screen, there’s a big Scan button that you can simply tap to initiate a full malware scan of your device.

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McAfee vs. Trend Micro: Customer Support

McAfee offers various customer support options, including an online knowledge base, 24/7 phone and live chat support, and an online community forum. I’m quite impressed with this wide range of options, most of which work really well.

McAfee’s knowledge base is somewhat lacking, with a lot of content that seems outdated and instructions that don’t relate to the latest version of the product. This meant I had to consult the community forum instead for current answers to my queries.

I truly appreciated the round-the-clock live chat and phone assistance. I never encountered any problems contacting an agent at any hour of the day and every representative I interacted with was friendly and well-informed. I consistently received comprehensive responses to my inquiries, even when they were somewhat more technical.

McAfee only took 6 hours to respond to my emails, which is pretty good. I tested some antiviruses that take longer than 24 hours to respond. Each time I emailed McAfee’s support team, they were helpful, friendly, and able to answer all my questions.

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Trend Micro offers phone, live chat, email, and forum support. Ultimately, each option worked well — but I thought McAfee was better.

Trend Micro’s phone support isn’t as extensive as McAfee’s (which is available worldwide and 24/7), but it was usually quick to connect with a representative. As with McAfee, the reps were always courteous, clear, and thorough in their responses.

However, I’m not too impressed with Trend Micro’s live chat. While the support agents were eventually helpful, they needed a lot of information from me before answering basic questions — and this information wasn’t always relevant to my inquiry. McAfee was helpful on live chat without asking me any unnecessary questions.

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Latest Positive Review*User reviews are not verified
May 16, 2021
Very Good
I've used McAfee for 25yrs plus and I have had NO problems whatesoever. I...
Maria Davis
Dec. 28, 2020
It's good product for protection
I have purchased McAfee antivirus now, try to download and install then I...
No reviews yet
No reviews yet
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...
Oct. 11, 2022
Trend Micro will steal your money! Do not get any products from this company.
No one should ever consider buying anything from Trend Micro. This company...
May 1, 2021
Don't buy
Trend Micro highly relies on its cloud technology to determine if files...
Our Verdict
Sam Boyd
Sam Boyd
QA Editor
McAfee and Trend Micro are both good choices. They work well and include a wide range of features to keep you protected in 2023. However, I found McAfee did everything slightly better than Trend Micro. For example, McAfee’s malware scanner found more malware samples, and its web protection blocked more dangerous websites than Trend Micro. I also much prefer McAfee’s VPN, which includes more customization options than Trend Micro’s. Finally, I found McAfee’s customer support quicker to give me answers. No matter which antivirus you decide on, they both offer 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 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.

We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.