McAfee is a big name in antivirus computer protection, and for good reasons. With over 5,000 employees, it is the world's largest company that is dedicated solely to security technology. The company was founded in 1987 after programmer John McAfee began working on software that would combat computer viruses.

The Good

McAfee offers extensive security software for a variety of devices, including PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones. The company sells a variety of other products and services, such as PC utilities and troubleshooting services. McAfee also runs daily security tests on certain websites, protecting site operators and users from identity theft, credit fraud, adware, spam, and scams.

The software has all the basic features you would expect from an antivirus company, as well as some attractive “extras.” It protects computer files, email, and web downloads from known viruses, worms, Trojans, and spyware with tested accuracy and reliability, detecting 100% of the AV-Test reference set of widespread malware. The firewall has buffer overflow protection for the most vulnerable situations, preventing software exploits in hotspots. McAfee’s ad protection detects
hidden iFrame code, which stops cybercrime network ads from loading, and most of the products have identity security and parental controls. Additionally, McAfee’s All Access package offers complete mobile protection, password manager, and secure cloud storage.

The Bad

When it comes to detecting new threats, no antivirus product is perfect. McAfee actually scored lower than average in AV-Test’s “Real World” testing of 0-day malware attacks, even though the tests within AV-Comparatives have indicated that McAfee is “advanced” in that area. McAfee is a long-standing antivirus company, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily on the cutting edge of virus detection.

There have been complaints about McAfee’s default subscription renewal system, which automatically re-subscribes customers for another year of service once the subscription is over. It’s simple enough to turn the renewal off, but some might consider that an inconvenience. (By the way, if your subscription is automatically renewed you can contact customer support for a refund within 60 days, and McAfee will refund the full subscription price!)

The Bottom Line

McAfee is a well-known, trusted brand to consider for computer protection. The software performance measures up to that of competitors, and protection is available for most operating systems and devices. After researching the product and company, we recommend McAfee as top-of-the-line.

Price (*subject to change)

McAfee’s antivirus products have a one-year subscription minimum. Yearly subscriptions are automatically renewed unless the customer opts out.

Prices vary according to the comprehensiveness of the coverage.

  • All Access: $44.99/year (unlimited device protection, including protection for PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets)
  • Antivirus Plus: $24.99/year (protects 1 computer)

Free trial offer

Each of McAfee’s antivirus products is available for a 30-day free trial download. In addition, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee for any purchase that is made.

Mobile protection

McAfee’s All Access package offers smartphone/tablet protection in the following areas:

Anti-malware

  • Scans files, SD cards, apps, and Internet downloads for viruses, adware, and spyware

App Protection and Safe Surfing for Android

  • Blocks phishing sites, browser exploits, and risky links in texts, emails, social sites, and QR codes
  • Tracks apps accessing user’s private data, location, and device details

Call and SMS blocking

  • Blocks mobile spammers, incorrect numbers, and unwanted texts

Loss/Theft Protection

  • You can lock, back up, restore, or wipe your smartphone or tablet to protect your data as you track and recover a lost or stolen device

Security

All of McAfee’s antivirus products have the following features:  

  • Anti-malware Scanning
  • Anti-bot Protection
  • Two-Way Firewall
  • Malicious Ad Protection
  • Safe Web Browsing
  • Social Media Protection
  • Vulnerability Scanner (seals up holes in Windows and apps to prevent infection)
  • Digital Data Shredder (erases cookies, memory, cache, and browser history)
  • Wireless Open Network Protection (protects passwords and personal files)
  • Parental Controls and Surf Report (all antivirus products except basic)

Additionally, McAfee’s All Access package includes a username and password manager, secure cloud storage, and touch-friendly interface for tablets and smartphones.                                      

The 2013-2014 AV-Test results for McAfee’s antivirus scanner yielded excellent scores in protection, performance, and usability. In 2013, McAfee was given the “Advanced” Real World Protection status by AV-Comparatives along with the 2013 Silver Award for phishing protection.


Tune-up & Speed

All of McAfee’s home antivirus products offer a PC Tune-up feature, which detects and removes unused applications, cached browser files, and other junk to improve the speed of your PC. The antivirus scanning engine itself checks for threats quickly without compromising much battery performance, so your computer doesn’t have to take too hard of a hit for installing an antivirus service. This was determined in AV-Test’s 2013 performance analysis, which ranked McAfee’s impact on computer speed—in visiting websites and installing programs, for example—as slightly better than average.

For a more comprehensive tune-up, including improving system boot time and scheduling automatic defragmentation, McAfee sells products specific to PC performance.

 

Foreign?

McAfee’s headquarters is located in Santa Clara, CA.


Customer Service

McAfee offers customer service assistance 24/7 through chat, email, and phone. Customers also have access to unlimited technical support for the life of their product subscription.

Supported Operating Systems: 

  • Windows XP SP3 or higher (32-bit)
  • Windows Vista SP1 (32- and 64-bit)
  • Windows 7 (32- and 64-bit)
  • Windows 8 (32- and 64-bit)
  • Windows 8.1 (32- and 64-bit)

McAfee’s All Access package supports these additional systems:

  • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher
  • Google Android smartphones and tablets 2.3 and 4.0 (runs on Kindle Fire Devices)
  • BlackBerry 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0
  • iOS 5 or higher (only supported by the SafeKey password manager)

System Requirements:

  • 512 MB RAM for XP
  • 2 GB RAM for Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1
  • 500 MB free drive space
  • 1 GHz processor

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take our accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Give feedback here.

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27 McAfee Reviews

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  1. User Score

    3

    September 20th, 2016 Windsor, CT

    It slows down the computer even on startup and takes priority over every program and to stop the scanning is difficult. Also the full scan takes a very, very, very long time. I have scanned back to back to see if there was a real threat and if it was eliminated which, it seemed to say I had a virus every time or I needed a repair with some software, command issue. So I never knew if it was doing something or just pretending.

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  2. User Score

    0

    May 6th, 2015 Tyler, TX

    A free trial of McAfee came on my new computer. After the free trial I bought it for a year. It’s awful. It always turns itself off. I’ve had at least 6 attacks on my computer that it didn’t prevent. The first couple they helped out. After that they wanted to send me to a special “virus” team and upcharge me over and above what I had already paid for them to prevent. Don’t recommend them AT ALL and will not renew.

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    3

  3. User Score

    3

    April 21st, 2015 Sacramento, CA

    McAFee youguys left me in the middle of the road,with out informing me anything,youguys told me to pay 19,99 for one year service,and I paid it,but still McAFee youguys left me hanging,i talk to the service rep,she was one crazy customers service rep,i gave all the information she needed but still ,I didn’t get no help,i have no security system working in my pc,and youguys keep popping up 5 to ten times daily,and not doing nothing,i trusted youguys McAFee and see what youguys done to me,thanks a lot.

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    2

  4. User Score

    10

    April 20th, 2015 Clearwater, FL

    I have the enterprise, and the feeling of security is mind calming. There are so many threats that could give you months of grief.

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    4

  5. User Score

    0

    April 17th, 2015 Dandridge, TN

    It keeps telling me I am not secure! I darn well better be!!!!!!!!!!!

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  6. User Score

    3

    April 16th, 2015 Albuquerque, NM

    I have now used the McAfee ALLACCESS service for 4 days. It started blocking all my LIVE and OUTLOOK mail, treating as spam. Took me several hours to find the correct settings. Also keeps removing (losing my homepage (even though I have a lock on it). Have tried to look for support on this, and it just takes me to a purchase another product page to fix this. I thought ALLACCESS was all-inclusive of McAfee services. Evidently not!! I got this because my son, who is an IT specialist recommended it to me. I have been dealing with computers since pc’s first started coming out. But so far this product is very difficult to fine tune the setup , other than the default settings that it installs. Getting very frustrated and may just go back to MS Security essentials. Not sure if I would recommend this to anyone at this point.

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    2

  7. User Score

    2

    April 16th, 2015 Laurens, SC

    good and bad.good the 1st year.bad the 2nd yeari was automatically charge but it still keeps telling me that i need to buy it to get coverage. i’m trying to cancel it,but can not get a hold of anybody.

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    1

  8. User Score

    10

    April 16th, 2015 Cypress, TX

    McAfee is the best

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    3 1

  9. User Score

    0

    April 16th, 2015 Hartselle, AL

    I would never recommend this product. Since installing, my computer has all but stopped working. It keeps telling me I do not have web protection and to buy now. You have to go around the world to get to your account to put in your verification code. There is no where for tech support. I miss Norton. They are so much more helpful. After the initial installation, BING ( which seems to be hated by everyone) showed up on my computer. I can only assume that it was installed with McAfee and impossible to remove. I would NOT recommend this product for any reason.

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    1

  10. User Score

    1

    April 15th, 2015 Zebulon, NC

    I experienced a continuous problem with the Java and Adobe starting in Oct/Nov 2014. After scheduling numerous appts for repair (which were never answered at time scheduled) the problem continued and continued and continued. I originally paid $60.00 for this repair and to date the problem is STILL NOT REPAIRED.

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    1

  11. User Score

    0

    April 15th, 2015 Clayton, IN

    I used McAfee a few years ago, in one years time I had to format my hard drive 4 times to get rid of virus’ that McAfee wouldn’t. no Customer support. Then I tried Norton 360, it was just as bad. Now I’m using Webroot it’s been the best so far.

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    2

  12. User Score

    5

    April 14th, 2015 Albuquerque, NM

    Purchased the “ALL ACCESS” version with unlimited license. After a successful download to my primary pc, have been unable to download it to my second laptop. It just says “no internet or Mcafee server unavailable”. Would not download to my Windows 8 tablet or my android phone. Had to use the “free app” that is available for each device, and not sure if they are as secure as “ALL ACCESS”.Meantime, even though I have pop-up blocker on, I am seeing and increase in pop-ups and known suspicious websites are also popping up. After 2 days, it’s shaky, but will try it a while longer. Got it because my son told me it worked great on his equipment.

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    3

  13. User Score

    10

    April 14th, 2015 Livonia, NY

    This is the best Anti virus software I have ever had

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    3

  14. User Score

    0

    April 13th, 2015 Austin, TX

    McAfee would not download on my computer for renewal even after using it for years. Customer service unable to help.

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    4

  15. User Score

    1

    April 12th, 2015 Leesburg, FL

    I have used McAfee for several years.I was satisfied until they took out of our checking account for auto renewal when we did not authorize it.When i called customer service ,One person i talked to tried to sell me a subscription for 49.95 then in the same conversation she changed the amount to 19.95.All i wanted was for her to put the money back into our account.After that i cancelled my subscription and went to a different company.

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    2

  16. User Score

    2

    April 8th, 2015 High Springs, FL

    It’s fine UNTIL you have a problem & need an operator to help you. Then I was on hold for about 45 minutes, then after speaking to an operator, I was put on hold another 30 minutes. THEN when I finally get an operator, I’m informed it’s going to cost me $189 to $250 to have whatever done to fix the computer. And all I called about was it running slow & getting popups, telling me that I was running out of Disc Space on the HP Tools “E” drive thing. Soooo needless to say ASA my subscription runs out I will not be renewing it!!

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    4

  17. User Score

    10

    April 8th, 2015 Ohatchee, AL

    great antivirous software

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    3

  18. User Score

    5

    April 6th, 2015 Chapin, SC

    It took 2 days for it to complete a scheduled scan on my laptop. This has been happening frequently.

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    2

  19. User Score

    5

    April 5th, 2015 Arlington, TX

    last year I buy macfee antivirus and u guys u did not sent to me the mail in rebat

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  20. User Score

    5

    April 3rd, 2015 Clearwater, FL

    I purchased McAfee Enterprise and I’m still getting notices to buy on my tablets, it was supposed to cover all three , desktop, and tablets !

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    3