Pros / McAfee LiveSafe and McAfee Total Protection are both compatible with mobile devices.
Cons / These suites don't offer privacy browsing.
Verdict / McAfee offers many great features for an internet security program, including parental controls and privacy settings, and is one of our top picks.
McAfee LiveSafe internet security includes a personal firewall, file shredder, safe browser and password manager. MacAfee’s premium security software, Total Protection, includes all these plus a file lock that encrypts and password-protects your documents so they can’t be swiped by hackers or held by ransomware. McAfee comes with a 100 percent virus-free money-back guarantee, one of only two programs we tested to do so (the other being Norton).
McAfee has become a good security program, recently earning perfect or near-perfect scores for virus protection in independent tests, and does a good job at telling the difference between legitimate files and malicious ones. It scores average for performance, which represents how much lag the program causes on your computer while running. Third-party testers are spilt regarding how much slowdown the program creates, and we noticed some drag during our in-house tests. Overall it isn’t enough to cause too much disruption while searching the web, sending email or loading webpages. We noticed a slight delay when playing games online.
Scanning & Detection
The Anti-Spam tool blocks email from sketchy sources, and the WebAdvisor warns you if a website has known threats before you enter it. McAfee also blocks phishing schemes and cuts down on spam emails. If you are active on social media, McAfee has social network protections that block you from clicking links that are connected to malicious websites.
Both McAfee LiveSafe and Total Protection are compatible with Windows and Mac computers, as well as with iOS and Android tablets. The lowest package available comes with a single license, but you can purchase up to 10 licenses and protect all your devices. If you purchase Total Protection you can manage all of your devices from the McAfee online user portal, including changing security settings and setting parental controls.
Privacy & Protection
McAfee’s parental controls are very good. When you select a filter category, this internet security program will block your children's access to content of that type. You can also set time restrictions so your kids aren’t on their devices all the time.
Both McAfee LiveSafe and McAfee Total Protection comes with a file shredder that completely destroys files so they can’t be recovered, and cloud backup storage so you can save important files away from your computer in case it is attacked.
You can enable secure browsing features, which means McAfee will alert you if you try to access a site that is known to be malicious. It also has designated tools that shield personal information from hackers and identity thieves while you bank or shop online. The only tool we saw missing is a private, or VPN, browser that lets you surf the web incognito, so it’s harder to trace your internet activity back to your computer and location.
McAfee’s online help is well done. There’s a knowledgebase, FAQs page and community forums. You can contact support technicians by phone or online chat 24 hours a day. However, we noticed the online chat feature tends to just gather your contact information to pass along to a live representative who will then call you.
McAfee includes the best tools for internet security, including social media protections, parental controls, a personal firewall and a safe browser. McAfee Internet Security is compatible with all your devices, including cellphones, and McAfee's premium product, Total Protection, lets you manage them all from a single online portal. Independent tests show McAfee is very good at protecting against malware, and while there may be some slowdown, it shouldn’t be enough to interfere with most of your online work.