McAfee Review

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Best For

  • If you’re planning on protecting your home and/or business (it can be a tiny enterprise or a huge firm), the McAfee Antivirus is a great pick.
  • Because of the smart licensing policy, you’re free to protect as many devices as you want with one single license, which, again, is perfect if you’re running a business.
  • McAfee offers a line-up of totally free tools that allow you to implement parental control and block the spam that keeps knocking on the door of your email.

McAfee Antivirus: Is McAfee Any Good?

Without a doubt, McAfee is one of the most respected and trusted brands in the world of antiviruses. It’s capable of protecting your computers and gadgets from the modern-day threats. The 30-day money-back guarantee, 24/7 support and advanced encryption options on the more advanced products turn it into a competitive player on the market.

The unfairly high “pressure” they put on your device and the average real-time protection are the biggest downsides of the McAfee products. But again, the prices are competitive. And anti-spam, parental control, and the True Key app only add to the overall appeal.

Pros and Cons

Like any other Antivirus out there, this one comes with its fair share of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at both and find out whether it’s the right choice for us or not.

We like:

The McAfee Antivirus is extremely easy to install, use, and change the settings
The level of protection and the rate of virus detection are well above average
The viruses are removed from your device 100%, without leaving any traces

We don't like:

Despite the industry-leading protection algorithms, the above average price compared to the rivals is a big turn-off
The McAfee Antivirus needs more of your system’s resources to work than some of the other offers on the market

 

Today, with international hackers stealing Bitcoins with untraceable apps and planting viruses on our devices to gain access to sensitive data, it is very important to use contemporary solutions in order to protect ourselves. Windows 10 and the latest Mac OS have improved security measures, but they’re just not enough, especially if you’re connected to the Internet 24/7. McAfee certainly is one of the most recognized antiviruses today, and for a good reason. This antivirus is easy to use, support is excellent, and the prices are affordable.

The company was founded more than three decades ago (in 1987, to be exact), and has always had a perfect reputation. As a branch of Intel (since 2010 when Intel bought the company), the famous American tech giant, it has all the resources needed to provide the best possible protection. As of 2014, it is one of the five major antivirus manufacturers and holds 5.7% of the worldwide market. Numerous moguls around the world trust McAfee to keep their precious data safe.

On the downside, real-time protection could be stronger, even though it does perform better than average in multiple tests ran by third-party companies. So, what does that mean for the average consumers? Is it wise to trust this company with protecting your sensitive data or not? Or maybe it’s time to switch your focus to other providers of antivirus packages like Kaspersky or Bitdefender? Read our detailed McAfee review and find out! Our team of experts will help you decide whether this antivirus engine is on par with the leaders or lagging behind the top-5.

Highlights

  • McAfee offers full-featured protection.
  • This is one of the most intuitive and easy-to-use antiviruses.
  • Reliability is well above average, but not superb.
  • Value: above average.
  • Money-Back Guarantee is 30-days-long.

Features

Price$39.99
Discount Available30%
Money back Guarantee30 days
Real-time Antivirus
Manual Virus Scanning
USB Virus Scan
Registry Startup Scan
Auto Virus Scanning
Scheduled scan
Anti-Spyware
Anti-Worm
Anti-Trojan
Anti-Rootkit
Anti-Phishing
Anti-Spam
Email Protection
Chat/IM Protection
Adware Prevention
Windows
Mac
IOS
Android
Ease of use5/5
Personal Firewall
Parental Control
Game Mode
VPN Service
Smartphone Optimizer
Device Tune-up
Safe browser
Live Help
Phone support
Email support
Ticket support

Reliability & Security

Obviously, the #1 concern when it comes to antiviruses is security. As a general rule, there are two areas where they need to prove their worth. Those include the regular routine of scanning for viruses and the much more advanced and complicated process of real-time protection while data is being copied to your operating system.

So, does McAfee impress or disappoint? According to several well-respected third-party companies that specialize in testing various antivirus packages, McAfee security is in the top league for traditional virus detection (that’s true for every single package).

Lab Test Results

Let us take a look at the lab test results. These were done by independent third-party companies and are as objective as they come. With AV-Comparatives, the most trusted virus testing company, every single McAfee antivirus solution (package) performed flawlessly in the traditional virus detection tests. In real-time scanning, however, this product fell a bit behind the leaders and only managed to achieve average results. Still, the performance is solid and better than what most rivals on the market can offer.

Important note: the biggest concern with McAfee has always been its inconsistency. Last August, it was ranked #5, with 100% detection; however, a month later, it dropped to #14. That’s why AV-Comparatives often publishes summary reports that include results of 5 independent tests. And in that report, McAfee has a 99.6% protection rate and is ranked #6. For example, Avira and Kaspersky, industry leaders, have a 99.7% protection rate. In the AV-Test test, McAfee performed even better and successfully blocked 100% of the potential threats.

McAfee antivirus review - is McAfee good

 

McAfee Performance

Detection rates are critical, no doubt there, but the overall performance also plays a key role. And with McAfee running on your device, you won’t feel a significant drop in performance. The Task Manager shows that even though there can be as much as 20 background process working when McAfee is active, they require very little resources to operate.

Overall, they use up to 200 Mb of RAM, which is quite alright. As far as CPU and hard drive usage go, McAfee is one of the least demanding engines on the market. Again: there is almost no impact on performance with this one.

Malware Protection

In 2016, McAfee earned only 15 points out of 18 in the AV-Test tryouts and became top antivirus software 2016. However, this year, it earned a perfect score (18) – that means it’s excellent at protecting against malware, detecting malicious websites, and putting little strain on performance. Kaspersky and Avira are the only two other antiviruses that earned 18 points. Bitdefender came in second with 17.5. That proves that while in the past, McAfee wasn’t the most reliable solution, today, it’s on par with the leaders of the race.

Ransomware Detection

According to the experts, you’ll never have a complete picture unless you run a ransomware simulator on your device and see how the antivirus behaves. Ransomware is an app/small program that infests your computer/gadget and encrypts any images, documents, and MP3 files it can get to. And a good antivirus should be able to find it and kill it.

For example, during our test, Kaspersky was able to detect it early on. First of all, it neutralized the threat. Secondly, it “healed” the encrypted files. Sadly, McAfee failed at even recognizing our ransomware as a potential threat and let it encrypt a massive number of files. But don’t let this test disappoint you. As mentioned, in real-world tests, this engine successfully detects and neutralizes most threats based on behavior alone, and that’s what counts at the end of the day.

McAfee review - running scan

Phishing Protection

For malware to steal data, get in control of a device remotely, or cause any other harm, the coder needs to know the OS by heart and find ways to “fool” it. A phishing coder, on the other hand, has only one job: to make the user enter his/her login and password into a replica of a well-protected web site.

That way, they steal the credentials and can instantly access users’ credit cards, bank accounts, and more. The list of potentially dangerous websites is being constantly updated, but we decided to check whether McAfee would be able to recognize replicas that were reported but not yet analyzed.

We launched several phishing URLs in four browsers and were impressed by the results. According to statistics, 50% of the antivirus engines fail at protecting the device. Kaspersky used to be the leader with an ideal 100% protection rate. Well, now we have another victorious antivirus: McAfee with the same 100% protection score. Furthermore, it even proved to be better when tested on Mac OS. Kaspersky only blocked 84% of the dangerous URLs, while McAfee managed to perform flawlessly (100%).

Ease Of Use

We can say with certainty that McAfee is among the friendliest antiviruses available right now. The main window is very informative and shows all the necessary information, keeping the users up to date on the current state of things. By the way, you won’t have to reboot the antivirus or the device after installation – it will start to work as soon as it’s successfully installed.

The user interface allows you to get access to parental control, tune the anti-spam settings, configure the firewall, and schedule future virus scans that will automatically launch when the time comes. Navigation is fast and intuitive.

McAfee Interface

In 2017, they changed the user interface of the Windows client, and now it’s faster, more intuitive, and looks great. In 2018, the Mac OS client received the same changes, and the two are almost identical. There’s a menu at the top that gives you access to every single feature the antivirus has. The menus include Account, Privacy, Identify, Security, and Home. Everything is right there in front of you and easily accessible. The buttons might seem too big, and the windows might look like they’re empty, but you’ll get used to it in no time.

To install any McAfee product, you need to go online and activate the license key you received after paying for a package. If you click “Yes” on Automatic Renewal, you’ll get the company’s Virus Protection Pledge service. With it, when any malware gets past the antivirus undetected, a team of highly qualified experts will solve the issue remotely. On its own, this service will cost you 89.95 dollars. And if they fail at neutralizing the malware, you’ll get your money back. To install McAfee, download the .exe file, launch it, and follow the guide.

It might take a while (up to 25 minutes on some older devices), but we had absolutely no problems with the installation during our test. As mentioned earlier, the engine doesn’t put a strain on your CPU or your RAM, which means you can keep on using your computer/mobile gadget with it working in the background.

Scanning Options

Unfortunately, the most important button – the one that runs a scan – isn’t accessible through one click. You’ll have to find the “Scan for viruses” feature and then choose between a Full and a Quick Scan. Custom scans aren’t available. And, the very first scan can take a while (up to 30 minutes). New scans will take significantly less time to complete. The McAfee scanning is average in terms of speed. Plus, it has an excellent detection rate and doesn’t raise any false alarms during the scan.

Available Packages And Pricing

McAfee 1-10 devices

Unlike its competitors, McAfee doesn’t offer a variety of packages anymore. Currently, you can choose between McAfee Total Protection and McAfeeLiveSafe. There are also free mobile versions of the antivirus for Android and iOS. Here is what you get with McAfee Total Protection:

  • Antimalware, antispam and ransomware protection;
  • Secure Encrypted Storage
  • Secure Payments
  • PC Optimization tools (file shredder, quick clean)
  • PC Boost
  • Identity Theft Protection (comes with 5 and 10-devices licenses)
  • Parental control (only available with 10-devices license)

The antivirus is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices. There are packages for 1, 5 and 10 devices.

McAfee LiveSafe offers an almost identical set of features as McAfee Total Protection, but it covers an unlimited number of devices.

As one of the leading antivirus solutions on the market, McAfee offers competitive pricing. McAfee currently offers discounts for Total Protection package:

  • 1 Device – $39.99 (30% off)
  • 5 Devices – $44.99 (45% off)
  • 10 Devices – $49.99 (60% off)

McAfee LiveSafe will cost you $104.99 (with $5 off).

McAfee Support and Customer Service

On the official website, you’ll find a FAQ section along with an extensive knowledge base. It will help you solve most problems on your own without reaching out to customer support. The online chat system is excellent; you can also go old-school and call support or send an email. Tech support is available 24/7 (the phone number is toll-free, of course). McAfee customer service is highly professional, friendly, and the staff is always ready to lend that helping hand. Furthermore, users can buy all kinds of support packages.

PC Tune-up is a service for the computers that are too slow and freeze all the time. The experts at McAfee can help you improve your device’s performance by removing unnecessary apps/programs, stop non-essential apps from taking up precious CPU and RAM resources, and remove “junk” to free hard drive space. Furthermore, they will optimize your browser for a better experience, set up scheduled auto-organizational routines on your device, along with auto-checks, and enable automatic updates of the OS.

A one-time service will cost you $69.95; 1 year of constant support costs $179.95. This is the company’s McAfee®Concierge Gold package. With it, you’ll also get McAfee TechMate, home network setup, virus/malware removal, software installation/configuration, and, of course, PC and Internet tune-up for 1 PC/Mac (protection for two computers costs $209.95). On its own, the Virus Removal Service costs $89.95.

McAfee Antivirus Coupons: Get Your Promo Discount

Under the framework of the McAfee promo campaign, you can obtain this top-notch antivirus product with an alluring discount. Its Total Protection suite for 1 device purchased with McAfee coupons costs just $34.99, which means you save $35 or 50% of the original price.

The best deal is the Total Protection pack for 10 devices. Its cost with a promo code is $44.99, which is $65 lower than the initial price for this plan. The intermediate option is the Total Protection for 5 devices at the price of $39.99 instead of $89.99.

CLICK TO SAVE ON MCAFEE

McAfee Alternatives & Competitors

Looking for good alternatives to McAfee Antivirus? We can help you:

 

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Tony Cortez
Tony Cortez

I think that Mcafee antivirus is the simplest antivirus in the best sense of the word. I’ve never experienced any troubles with installing and tweaking it.

Marcus Sweeney
Marcus Sweeney
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What I like about this program in particular is that it is very easy to use. I didn’t see a simpler antivirus app. It works without causing any problems for a user. The interface is also intuitive. Definitely recommend!

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Brenda Brooks
Brenda Brooks
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This program is very easy to use. I grasped how to use all features pretty much instantly. I don’t even know how to install MS Word on my PC

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Joshua
Joshua
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Mcafee free trial is very good. You can try basically every single feature. Sadly, you can use it only for 30 days. It’s enough to clean up your PC.

Pros
Great antivirus
Cons
Price
Thomas D. Melchor
Thomas D. Melchor
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I don’t know whether I should purchase this program. 40 bucks for a basic version feels a bit much. Would you recommend it or should I get something like TotalAV instead?

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Moderator
Moderator

Hello, Thomas!
You can use the “compare” feature on our website. Compare Mcafee total protection suite against any other brand that you know. We do not endorse any company. Read our reviews, compare providers, and make your own choice! Cheers!

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Linda Stacey
Linda Stacey
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My friend recommended me Mcafee mobile security because my phone started working slower. The program scanned the phone and found a bunch of viruses. Sadly, the phone did not improve in terms of performance. Although, I definitely feel safer now 😉

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Rodney
Rodney
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I think that it is overpriced. Paying nearly $100 for a year of mediocrity. I don’t think of this as a good deal. Kaspersky is a much better deal considering how much you get for your money.

Pros
Easy to use and efficient
Cons
Heavily overpriced
Megan
Megan
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I also think that you don’t need to pay too much for a simple antivirus. There are much better options out there.

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Harry Stevens
Harry Stevens
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Your Mcafee antivirus review seems to be a bit too negative. I think that the software is fairly priced and deserves more credit. It found some viruses that other programs could not!

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Moderator
Moderator

Hello, Harry!
We are glad that your PC is now virus-free. We did not try to bash the program. We pointed out its weaknesses while highlighting its strengths. The program feels a bit overpriced compared to similar products available on the market. If you believe that the price is justified, we by no means want to convince you in the opposite!

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Emma
Emma
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Where can I get a mcafee antivirus free download link? You said that a free trial is available.

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Moderator
Moderator

Hello, Emma!
Yes, you can enjoy a 30-days free trial with all features unlocked. The free-trial version is available on the official website of the developer.

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Vernon Provost 7
Vernon Provost 7
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The program definitely slows down the PC. When it starts scanning, you can’t do much. It feels like you use a garbage laptop from your office.

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Mary
Mary
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I work in software development. Our company has a policy: we use only Mcafee. I don’t know much about antiviruses specifically, but our security guy does. He thinks that Mcafee is the best and I don’t argue with professionals.

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David K. Marks
David K. Marks
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I tried different programs, but not many of them worked well. Mcafee seems like a good choice. It was easy to install the software. It works wonderfully.

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Thomas L
Thomas L
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The program automatically renewed the license without my confirmation. I want the full refund but the support team never replies to my questions.

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Sue Graham
Sue Graham
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I have tried the McAfee Total Protection for a few months in my company and do not have any complaints regarding the security

Pros
security protection
Cons
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Mandy
Mandy
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After the installation of McAfee toral security, my internet speed reduced by half. I contacted the ISP but they said that there is no problem with the network and router. I am completely sure that it is because of the Antivirus.

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Manny
Manny
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I like the protection offered by the Antivirus in my mobile device. Do you provide a game booster in mobile? I am not able to find the setting in the device.

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Lee1
Lee1
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The USB drive has not scanned automatically. How will I make an automatic scan to the USB inserted to the computer?

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Mel W.
Mel W.
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What’s regarding renewal process? Is it manual or automatic?

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Jake
Jake
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The virus detection feature is amazingly good.

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Geena Lewis
Geena Lewis
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It is the worst AntiVirus that I have ever tried on my computer. After the installation of the AntiVirus, my computer run much slower than before. The apps on the computer started to frize and stopped responding. I contacted the support team regarding the problem but did not get any response. I want the refund to the purchase of the antivirus and an uninstallation guide. I do not recommend anyone to go for this crappy tool. Do not spend your money. Instead, go for AVG or Avast

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George Guzman
George Guzman
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The program delleted all of my files in the pen drive saying that it is infected. What should I do to get my files back?

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Howard_Stark
Howard_Stark
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One of my friends in the office had recommended me to try this Antivirus now, I am able to recommend it to other people as well. COmpletely satisfied with the scan and protection offered.

Pros
very easy to use
Cons
pricey
Liam K
Liam K
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My card was not accepted to buy the software. I bought kaspersky instead.

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Suzanne Huntsman
Suzanne Huntsman
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Just purchased this McAfee from Walmart. I put it on my PC and it wouldn’t load so I called and they scanned my computer and told me to fix my IP Trojans it would cost me $199-299. I sensed that it was a scam so I immediately told them no and hung up. I thought maybe it was the wrong number. I still loaded the antivirus on my laptop. The next morning I had $100 “charity” taken out of the credit card I gave them when I signed up. I had to cancel the credit card and get a new… Read more »

Pros
Easy to buy
Cons
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Carrie99
Carrie99
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If anyone is looking for the best protection program at a good price, you can go for McAfee without any doubts.

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Jason Cruz
Jason Cruz
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The program is really simple and efficient. It has a minimal size and does not consume much memory on the computer

Pros
lightweight and simple
Cons
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Mel W.
Mel W.
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What’s regarding renewal process? Is it manual or automatic?

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Heather F.
Heather F.
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I have been using McAfee Total Protection since 2018 and I must say that the program is makes me feel safe online as well as offline.

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Frank
Frank
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I have bought McAfee Total Security. How many devices can be used with the license?

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Lucy N.
Lucy N.
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I feel completely safe when I use mcafee mobile protection. it protects my android phone from malicious programs.

Pros
android friendly
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belle_ami
belle_ami
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I have used this service for years and it is indeed incredible for detecting and protecting against malware. It effectively detects malicious websites that you never expected were even in your system. Yep! It is that good

Pros
perfect protection for my PC
Cons
a bit pricey
June
June
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McAfee’s performance is more than solid, it is better than so many other software I have made use of.

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Vernon
Vernon
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With the whole phishing issue making the rounds, it would please those still thinking of trusting McAfee to try it out as it detects phishing activities right before it even takes place. Even for your mobile protection, trust McAfee…permit me to say it has got your back. 100% reliable…
you cannot go wrong with this service. Installing involves you going online to activate whatever license key you got after your purchase. Believe me when I say it has packages for either one, five or ten devices.

Pros
100% reliable!
Cons
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Jamal
Jamal
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barely know d reason behind the no-package rule or whatever but you are sure to choose between Mcaffeelivesafe and McAfee total protection.

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Trevor
Trevor
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the ideal antivirus finds ransomware and Kills it…
guess the antivirus protection that can do all that. I strongly recommend McAfee as it can detect and wipe out ransomware.

Pros
strong anti-ransomware
Cons
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Lisa
Lisa
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I read on a site that there are no traces of viruses once they are removed from your system…can anyone confirm this? Some people say the software gives total protection and some complain it is above average…what exactly is it?

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Darell
Darell
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I can hardly fault this service and all it has to offer. I recommend…I strongly recommend. Believe me when I truly recommend. Also, customer service is top notch.

Pros
good customer service
Cons
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Hannah
Hannah
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never been a fan of antiviruses, mcafee got recommended to me by a friend and I have never regretted it since I started making use of it. It even comprises of parental control

Pros
parental control is a huge PRO!
Cons
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Brandon
Brandon
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don’t want to spoil everything, but really? What’s with the scan button not been available after I click on it. You will have to select between quick and full scans.

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E. Bayer
E. Bayer
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what can I say – it’s amazing how much you get with one mcafee package. I mean you get an immaculate av protection and also can use a personal firewall and a password manager. Great! I’m absolutely sure that my PC is completely protected.

Pros
easy to use
Cons
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Bruce
Bruce
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I don’t think that thius product is bad
but I can’t call it good either.
It’s just okay, easy to use, gets to track most fo the antiviruses.

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Francine
Francine
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you know what gets me interested in McAfee is the fact that I can protect so many of my devices with a distinct license. You won’t have to complain about spam again as you can block it all at once! Just awesome.

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Gerry Martin
Gerry Martin
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McAfee stands a class apart. McAfee.com Activate offers a quality service to their valuable customers to protect them from any kind of security threats and harmful viruses.

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