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Pros / McAfee LiveSafe works on Android and iOS mobile devices.

Cons / This program slowed down our test computers.

 Verdict / McAfee blocks more malware than the average personal firewall software, plus it includes extra protections for kids, passwords and mobile devices.

LiveSafe includes personal firewall protection along with McAfee’s well-known antivirus protection. You can schedule virus scans, manually start them or opt to have LiveSafe scan your computer in real time. When you pick the last option, the software blocks malware as it makes its way into your system, rather than catch it after the fact.

McAfee has performed inconsistently in third-party lab tests used to evaluate how well it protects against malware; however, it seems to be getting better. In the most recent tests, it scored high enough to be considered a top antivirus solution. In our own tests, LiveSafe detected 96 percent of the over 200 live malware samples we used. Overall, McAfee protects against more malware than most programs.

However, it created some slowdown on our computer while it ran. During our performance tests, there was noticeable lag when we shared files, downloaded programs and played games online. Often, our computer had to buffer, which resulted in us clicking on files and opening programs we didn’t intend to because the curser couldn’t keep up with our movements.

The McAfee firewall monitors your internet connection for threats such as rootkits, spyware and bots – programs that hackers and internet snoops use to watch your online activities and snatch sensitive information. It is also compatible with Apple devices and Android cell phones and tablets. Since you get unlimited licenses when you purchase McAfee LiveSafe, you only need one program to protect all your web-enabled devices, making it a budget-friendly option.

The detailed security logs let you see exactly what McAfee finds and blocks. You can also see if there are any outdated programs on your computer and download the newest versions. This feature is valuable since out-of-date programs create weak spots hackers can use to break into your system.

LiveSafe includes tools to protect you against identity theft. For example, its Anti-Spam tool blocks emails from sketchy sources, and the WebAdvisor warns you if a website has known threats before you visit it. The software also scans for phishing schemes, blocking malicious emails and pop-up messages that appear to be from legitimate sources such as your bank or the IRS.

One of McAfee LiveSafe’s unique features is its secure file shredder. When you drag and drop files into the shredder, the program permanently deletes them from your computer, along with any embedded threats. This is especially helpful if you deal with sensitive documents that need to be digitally destroyed after you use them.

We were especially impressed with LiveSafe’s parental controls. You can block dangerous content by selecting filter categories for things like alcohol, drugs, violence and pornography. Once enabled, the filters block content and websites that have information about those subjects. You can also place time restrictions so your kids can only be online when you allow it.

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Summary

LiveSafe is a top internet security program made by McAfee. Its personal firewall, antivirus protection and identity theft tools are compatible with all operating systems and devices. Since one license protects an unlimited number of devices, you only need to purchase the program once to secure all your computers, cell phones and tablets. The software includes parental controls that let you set time limits and block dangerous content. LiveSafe’s performance improved in recent third-party tests, and it is now considered a top choice.

You can learn more about McAfee's internet protection tools in our review that is part of our internet security suites comparison.

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