McAfee Antivirus Protection

  • Antivirus software starts at $29.99 per year for one device
  • VPN, password manager, identity theft protection and more available bundled with antivirus software
  • 30-day Total Protection trial for Windows PCs
Page Contents

If you’ve heard of one antivirus software, it’s most likely McAfee. But unfortunately, like many of its competitors, McAfee’s website is an overwhelming combination of many different products and prices, so it can be hard to find what you’re actually looking for. Well, we’ve compiled all this seemingly disparate information into one page to help you make your buying decision.

McAfee Web Protection Menu
McAfee Web Protection Menu

McAfee Antivirus: Is There Such Thing As A Free Lunch?

If you have a Windows PC, an iOS device or an Android device, then you’re in luck; McAfee gives Windows users a 30-day free trial of Total Protection, and there are completely free versions of both mobile apps. However, there’s no free version of the Windows app that lasts forever, so after the first month, you’ll need to pony up and pay.

Note: Only the iOS and Android apps have free subscriptions that don’t end. On Windows, the free version only lasts for 30 days.

Subscription Options for McAfee Antivirus

While Total Protection plans apply to Windows and macOS devices as well as browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Microsoft Edge, there are separate plans for iOS and Android, unless of course, you sign up for LiveSafe which covers them all. Confused? Sit down, because we have a ton of data to share with you.

Total Protection

We bought the Total Protection plan for $29.99 a month, but if we wanted to, we could’ve bundled with a VPN, parental controls, identity theft protection and some other premium features. However, note that if you want to buy the VPN, ID theft protection or parental controls on their own without the virus protection, those are options as well and we detail the prices below.

McAfee Full Scan In Progress
McAfee Full Scan In Progress
Total Protection Total Protection Plus VPN Total Protection Ultimate
Antivirus Protection
Safe Web Browsing
Password manager
Identity protection X
VPN X X
Parental controls X X
Device optimization X X
Free customer support over phone, chat or online X X
1 device, 1 year $29.99 n/a n/a
5 devices, 1 year $34.99 $99.99 n/a
10 devices, 1 year $39.99 n/a $119.99
10 devices, 2 years $29.99 n/a n/a

$29.99 for a year of Total Protection seemed like a good deal to us, but to learn more about our testing experience, read our McAfee antivirus review.

McAfee Identity Protection Menu
McAfee Identity Protection Menu

Android Mobile Security

With Android, there was a free option that could last indefinitely, but it only covers one device and lacks a VPN, safe web browsing, and some other features. However, for basic antivirus protection, we think the free Android Starter subscription is sufficient.

Starter Standard Plus
Number of Devices Covered 1 1 1
Security Scan
Privacy Check
Anti-Theft
Safe Wi-Fi
Battery Booster
Memory Booster
Storage Cleaner
Track Data Usage
Media Backup X
24/7 Phone Support X
No Ads in App X
Secure App Lock X
Guest Mode X
Safe Web X
Wi-Fi Guard VPN X X
Yearly Cost $0.00 $29.99 $79.99

iOS Mobile Security

The deal worked the same way for iOS devices, with a free Starter subscription that covers one device. Again, if you want a simple scan of your iPhone or iPad, this plan will work for you for free.

Starter Standard Plus
Number of Devices Covered 1 1 1
System and Wi-Fi Scan
Media Vault
Anti-Theft
Contacts Backup
24/7 Phone Support X
No Ads in App X
Safe Web X
Wi-Fi Guard VPN X X
Annual Price $0.00 $29.99 $79.99
McAfee PC Protection Menu
McAfee PC Protection Menu

LiveSafe

Yet another antivirus bundle is LiveSafe, which combines antivirus protection with a VPN, parental controls, identity theft protection, anti-spam software, a password manager, Web Advisor for safe browsing, optimization for PCs, and more. It covers as many devices as you want for a year, starting at $39.99 for the first year. But note that it only includes a VPN if you enlist in auto-enroll, a relatively new feature.

FYI: LiveSafe is McAfee’s only antivirus software that covers an unlimited number of devices.

Sound familiar? Technically, LiveSafe has the same features as Total Protection, but the major difference is that LiveSafe is better for detecting viruses, indicators of identity theft and protecting your privacy; it also has encrypted storage, although it lacks the VPN of Total Protection unless you select auto-enroll, essentially signing up for two years. If you don’t need a VPN, LiveSafe is a much more cost-effective solution than Total Protection, covering all devices for just $39.99 (for the first year, anyway).

McAfee LiveSafe
Compatible devices Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
Price $39.99

Gamer Security

McAfee Gamer Security
Price for First Year $19.99

Gamers will appreciate the antivirus software from Gamer Security; aside from detecting viruses, it also optimizes your device so that you minimize lag while gaming.

Small Business Security

Small Business Security
Compatible Devices Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
Price for First Year $94.99

To cover five Macs or PCs plus an unlimited amount of Android and iOS devices for your business, go with Small Business Security. Its prices are heavily discounted as compared to the Total Protection plans, although we wish they covered more than five desktops.

Cancelling McAfee Antivirus

You have 30 days from your purchasing date to cancel an annual subscription from McAfee for a full refund; in fact, it’s a money-back guarantee! However, monthly subscribers will not be able to get their money back.

Other McAfee Software and Pricing

But McAfee is more than just the antivirus software with 27 percent of the market share as of 2017.1 They also make a bunch of standalone services that you can use to increase your digital security and data privacy. While we’ve only tested out the antivirus software for ourselves, we still wanted to provide you with clear pricing information for nearly everything they offer.

Safe Connect VPN

We go into this in more detail in our McAfee VPN review, but at first glance, McAfee’s pricing is pretty fair, especially if you sign up for a year. That being said, we’re not thrilled that prices go up the second year, as most VPNs lock in your first-year pricing.

Features McAfee Safe Connect
Compatible Devices Windows, Chrome, Android, iOS
Number of Licenses 5
Monthly Cost with Monthly Plan $7.99
Monthly Cost with Annual Plan $2.92
Total Amount Billed with Annual Plan $34.99 for first year, $47.99 for second year on

Safe Family

As of 2018, 94 percent of American kids ages three to 18 had access to the Internet in their homes,2 but how can you keep them from viewing unsafe or inappropriate content? Safe Family lets parents set parental controls, block websites or apps, set limits on screen time and track their children’s locations.

Features McAfee Safe Family
Compatible Devices Android, iOS, Windows
Length of Free Trial in Days 30
Monthly Cost with Monthly Plan $7.99
Monthly Cost with Annual Plan $4.17
Total Amount Billed with Annual Plan $49.99

Identity Theft Protection

While McAfee’s identity theft protection wasn’t one we tested out, its prices are actually lower than most of its competitors, even the ones on our best identity theft protection list. Of course, we’d have to do a little more digging and testing to find out if it’s worth the prices, but hopefully, we’ll cover that eventually.

Standard Plus Premium
Cyber Monitoring
Social Media Monitoring
Smart Metrics
Social Security Number Trace
Free 24/7 Support
ID Restoration
Identity Theft Insurance
Stolen Funds Reimbursement
Lost Wallet
Change of Address Report
Credit Monitoring
Annual Credit Report X
Credit Score X
Court and Criminal Records Monitoring X
Non-credit Loan Monitoring X
Bank Account Takeover Monitoring X X
Sex Offender Monitoring X X
Monthly Cost with Annual Plan for First Year $0.99 $4.99 $9.99
Total Amount Billed with Annual Plan for First Year $69.99 $139.99 $209.99

Secure Home

Just as there’s more than one way to skin a cat, there’s more than one way to protect your Internet of Things, or IoT devices. One way is to buy a secure router, and while McAfee doesn’t sell them directly, their Secure Home Platform is available on routers from D-Link and Arris. Essentially, these routers put McAfee’s device protection into any devices on these routers’ networks, ideal for someone with an extensive smart home. But if you already have a router that you don’t want to replace, another option is simply to get a VPN that you can configure on your router, protecting any and all devices on its networks. All of the best VPNs for Xbox, for example, can be connected to routers.

Our Favorite Things

We’ve thrown a lot of information your way, so here, we’re going to quickly summarize what we liked about McAfee antivirus:

  • Fair prices
  • On-demand and on-access malware scans
McAfee Scan Options
McAfee Scan Options
  • Behavior-based detection
  • VPN, identity theft protection, safe browser, parental controls and more products available
  • Subscriptions for individuals, couples, families and businesses
  • Detected 99.9 percent of malware on Android
  • Free apps for iOS and Android
  • 30-day free trial for Windows PCs
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • McAfee Mobile Security app has a 4.7 rating on the Apple store
  • Mobile Security: VPN Proxy & Anti Theft Safe WiFi has a 4.5 on the Google Play store
  • Year-long contracts

Recap

McAfee Home Screen
McAfee Home Screen

That covers all there is to know about McAfee’s pricing, but if you want to explore other options, we recommend checking out our page on the best antivirus software. We test out each software ourselves along with researching its costs so that you can make a highly educated decision.

Frequently Asked Q’s

When it comes to McAfee, there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers. We hope we don’t fall into that category!

  • Is McAfee a good antivirus software?

    McAfee is a good antivirus software that detects 99.9 percent of all major Android malware. In our personal testing, it detected three out of five viruses, which was one of the higher detection rates compared to competitors.

  • Which is better, Norton or McAfee?

    We prefer McAfee over Norton because it has free iOS and Android apps and subscription options for an unlimited number of devices, while Norton only protects one PC or Mac. McAfee also works on more types of browsers like Edge, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox.

  • Is there a free version of McAfee?

    There is a free version of McAfee for iOS and Android as well as a 30-day free trial for Windows PCs.

  • What does McAfee protect you from?

    McAfee protects you from viruses, unsafe websites, identity theft and more.

Citations
  1. Smart Profile. (2020). McAfee remains the market leader in business antivirus solutions in Belgium, But is Losing Market Share.
    smartprofile.io/analytics-papers/mcafee-remains-the-market-leader-in-business-antivirus-solutions-in-belgium-but-is-losing-market-share/

  2. National Center of Education Statistics. (2020). Children's Internet Access at Home.
    nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/pdf/coe_cch.pdf