McAfee Antivirus 2020 Review: A fair price, but not the best on the market

From the fundamental McAfee Antivirus Plus to the super premium McAfee Total Protection + VPN, each of McAfee’s five products uses the identical core malware-detection technology. They differ in price and in what percentage features they need, like a password manager, parental-control software, unlimited VPN service or identity protection.

McAfee’s installation policy is fairly generous, which makes its antivirus products a good option for individuals (or families) with several devices to protect.

Still, McAfee’s malware protection could be a rung below those of the simplest antivirus software makers, and its security suites do without dedicated webcam and microphone protections, or a hardened browser for online banking and shopping. It’s slightly below the highest rung of the simplest antivirus programs.

We will now take a quick look at the pros and cons of McAfee Antivirus 2020 before taking a more in-depth look at the product overall. Here is our McAfee Antivirus 2020 Review.

The top suite comes with no-limits VPN
Decent identity protection
Decent device installation policy

The malware detection is good, but it is nothing too special.
Midrange package lacks parental controls
Is lacking several device protection options


The entry-level McAfee Antivirus will provide protection to all PCs, Macs, and Android devices. It provides everything from a two-way firewall, a system optimizer, and dedicated ransomware protection, to WebAdvisor extensions, file shredding, and cryptojacking defense. It costs just $60 for up to 10 devices, meaning it offers perhaps the best price for an entry-level security suite.

McAfee Internet Security has a license for the True Key password manager and protection from unwanted spam. It does not include built-in parental controls, which is a little bit unusual, as most other competitors offer it in the midrange category. For a 10-device subscription, it costs $90, but according to McAfee, it will not enforce the 10-device cap for home users.

Every McAfee security product is compatible with Windows 7 (with SP1) through Windows 10 and macOS 10.12. They also support both Android and Apple smartwatches.

The addition of the McAfee gamer security program provides low-cost protection for $60 for a single Windows 10 PC.

The premium McAfee Total Protection and McAfee LiveSafe are similar in many (positive) ways, including Identity Theft Protection and Safe Family parental controls.

Complete Protection is available via retail as well as the McAfee site, while LiveSafe comes preloaded on new computers. Complete Protection is available in four options: $75 for one PC, $100 for five of your devices, $120 for 10 gadgets and parental controls, and $140 for a limitless number of your devices in addition to fraud security (anti-identity-theft) and limitless VPN for five of your devices.

In the event that you let McAfee reestablish your yearly membership, you can get the VPN with the less expensive Total Protection designs also, in addition to a restricted arrangement of identity protection options with the five device plans and 10 device plans.

McAfee Antivirus 2020 Review

Antivirus Protection

It’s not only viruses and trojans that McAfee defends against! You may or may not have heard of cryptojacking software. It is a virus of sorts that invades your computer and uses it to continually mine cryptocurrencies for the person at the other end of it. Every single McAfee Antivirus package in the U.S. comes with Ransom Guard. Ransom Guard rapidly copies files that come under ransomware attack before they have a chance to become encrypted.

It takes two quick clicks to start a full scan straight from the home screen. In windows, you can also select any file on your computer and run a scan on it individually in a matter of seconds. McAfee’s 2020 range of Antivirus software comes equipped with a gaming mode. This makes any alerts and updates that may have popped up on your screen ordinarily silenced, so you aren’t interrupted when lining up that perfect headshot.

A drawback worth noting is the fact that none of the available suites offer dedicated webcam or microphone protection, which means there is nothing there to stop any potential peepers. McAfee does not offer a system rescue disc either, so should you become in need of one, you would have to get one from a different company.

McAfee Antivirus 2020 Review


McAfee’s Antivirus is great at rooting out known malware threats rather than detecting new ones. German independent lab AV-Test has recently reported that McAfee was not as effective overall when compared to programs such as Norton, Bitdefender, and Kaspersky.

In all 20 monthly tests from January 2019 to August 2020, McAfee successfully detected 100% of the well-known malware. Compare this to its detection rate of brand-new malware, and you will see that it was not as good, earning scores as low as 95.4%. McAfee managed to get to 100% 7 times over the course of the same twenty tests, which is far from ideal.

In tests performed between April and June 2020, however, McAfee blocked ninety-nine percent of all malware and entirely neutralized the last one percent.

McAfee Antivirus 2020 Review

Security and Privacy

McAfee offers plenty in the way of security and privacy. The data shredder is fast and efficient, with four levels of data shredding. The vulnerability scanner will check your passwords for any potential weaknesses, which is great for those of us that feel a little unsure when it comes to choosing a secure password.

You can add your own rules to the two-way firewall, and with the Home Network Manager, you can check your WiFi network’s security for any flaws or holes.

The identity protection is in line with the best on the market, providing the option to scan your name and details on the web to prevent misuse, and will even protect you for up to $100,000 in the event of stolen identity and lost funds.

The safe family parental controls come in either five or ten-month plans in Total Protection and Livesafe, and depending on how you’d like to pay, will either cost $50 for the year, or $8 per month. It will track and stop apps and purchases, protect from dangerous websites, set schedules for your children’s screen time, and much more.

McAfee Antivirus 2020 Review – Verdict

McAfee’s 2020 Antivirus offering is a solid choice for anyone wishing to get affordable, entry-level virus protection. Although perhaps not quite as effective as some of the others on the market, it does provide a lot of features and protection for the money that it costs.

That’s our McAfee Antivirus 2020 review. Are you planning to grab it this Holiday Season? Let us know in the comments below.

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