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McAfee Review

McAfee Total Protection is a stellar choice for remote workers and privacy-conscious users Visit Mcafee.com

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Our Verdict

McAfee is one of the best-known and most widely respected names in computer security, and its leading software suite provides a comprehensive feature set. It’s a particularly compelling choice for people who work on the move, thanks to the inclusion of a VPN service that keeps you safe when connected to public wireless networks. McAfee Total Protection has also been rated as a top product in independent lab tests.

Pros

  • Protection for the entire family
  • Additional privacy and identity protection
  • Secure and unlimited VPN
  • File encryption included
  • Powerful phishing protection

Cons

  • VPN is poor compared to standalone options
  • Quite expensive

Ease of Use

The most recent version of McAfee Total Protection comes with a completely overhauled user interface that greatly improves upon the disorganized and clunky one of old. Installation is fast and simple, and all you need to do is activate the software by entering your registration code online. In this version, the VPN and password manager are fully integrated, and the new main window sports intuitively organized areas covering three main areas of protection – PC, Web, and Identity.

Security

McAfee Total Protection scored top marks for protection, performance, and usability, in recent test results by independent labs AV-TEST. Not only does it protect against viruses and other common forms of malware – it also helps keep you safe from malicious or vulnerable websites.

Where McAfee really shines is its protection against zero-day malware attacks. The software was 99% successful in detecting and preventing such attacks, making its heuristic scanning capabilities on par with all the big names in antivirus software.

McAfee offers a wide range of additional security features, including a password manager, a home network firewall, and encrypted storage. While none of these alone are very noteworthy, it can be convenient to have all major security tools bundled into one solution.

Product Features

Network Protection

While the included firewall software is rather hidden, it does give more advanced users access to a much wider range of features than the built-in firewall included in Windows. You can define custom rules per application and open or close specific ports. It even has an intrusion detection system (IDS), although there isn’t a lot of information available about exactly how it works.

Virtual Private Networking

Safe Connect is McAfee’s answer to virtual private networking. It’s powered by the industry-leading VPN provider TunnelBear and, unlike many other bundled VPN services, there are no download limits. The AES-256 encryption included in the VPN makes McAfee Total Protection ideal for those who often work remotely and connect to public WiFi hotspots. That said, it isn’t nearly as good as some standalone VPN services, especially when it comes to unblocking content.

Spam Filtering

While home users are unlikely to need extra spam filtering on top of what their email service providers already provide, McAfee’s included spam filter is a nice extra to have. It has a wide range of settings, and it includes an extension for Microsoft Outlook. This is ideal if you use Outlook to manage multiple email accounts for work and personal use.

File Encryption

File Lock lets you securely store your private files in an encrypted vault, which you can open using your chosen password or by answering a security question. However, although the data encryption algorithm is powerful enough, it is somewhat let down by the security questions, which are fairly easy for any determined hacker to guess.

Vulnerability Scanning

The Vulnerability Scanner scours your computer for common vulnerabilities like unpatched applications and drivers. If Windows Update doesn’t find anything, then this tool should let you know what needs updating. However, it is often unable to patch vulnerabilities automatically, in which case you will need to install them manually.

Support

McAfee offers prompt support via phone or live chat, and you should be able to get a response within a few minutes. There’s also a comprehensive knowledge base that you can use to get answers to recurring questions and issues, but while the resources are detailed, they can be difficult to find.