Pros / The yearly subscription comes with unlimited licenses, so you can protect all your devices, including cell phones and tablets.
Cons / McAfee doesn’t detect as many malware threats as other antivirus programs.
Verdict / Though it doesn’t protect against malware as well as most antivirus programs we tested, McAfee is a step up from the basic protection Microsoft Windows Defender provides. In addition, it doesn’t tax your computer’s resources while it scans.
Editor's Note: A newer version of this product is now available. Clicking the Buy button will take you to this new version for purchase. We will evaluate, rank and review the latest version when we next update the Antivirus Software reviews. Meanwhile, enjoy our review below about the McAfee AntiVirus Plus.
McAfee AntiVirus Plus is a well-known antivirus program that is compatible with Windows 7, 8 and 10. It is as good at detecting and blocking malware threats as Microsoft Windows Defender, which comes built into the operating system, but McAfee doesn’t perform as well as most other antivirus software we tested. However, it doesn’t create as much lag and loss of computer resources as some of its competitors. In addition, it correctly identifies harmless files, so there are few false positives.
As we tested McAfee, we found that it is very easy to install and use. Links and tabs to each tool and function are clearly labeled, and the most important features, such as real-time scanning and automatic updates from the global virus database, automatically enable as soon as you install the program. You can adjust these setting and schedule quick and in-depth scans for when they are most convenient for you. When you first start McAfee, you can choose to go through a quick tour of the program, just in case it has a function or feature you’re not entirely sure how to use.
McAfee didn’t identify as many threats and vulnerabilities as other antivirus programs during our testing, including the keyloggers we purposely installed on our test computers. The software protects against ransomware, a particularly nasty form of malware that holds your computer hostage, and it scans your incoming email messages and their attachments to ensure any malicious files they hold don’t infect your computer. It also automatically scans the USB devices you plug into your computer.
McAfee has a gaming mode that suspends some functions while you play computer games so you aren’t interrupted by lag or pop-up reminders. However, you must enable this feature yourself since it doesn’t kick in automatically.
One of McAfee’s perks is that it comes with an unlimited number of licenses as part of the yearly subscription. This means you can protect any web-enabled device you own, including mobile devices such as smartphones.
McAfee has a knowledgebase, a FAQs page and community forums on its support site. On the forums, which are organized by product and topic, customers and McAfee employees share problems and solutions.
- Detection & Removal Score
- Loss of Computer Resource Score
- False Positives Score
- Number of Licenses
McAfee is a good Windows antivirus solution, though it isn’t as effective at blocking internet threats as other programs. The software runs scans without slowing your computer too much and comes with unlimited licenses so you can protect all your web-enabled devices, including smartphones and tablets.