Internet Security Firewall: McAfee Total Protection Antivirus Review 2020

Internet Security Firewall: McAfee Total Protection Antivirus Review 2020 – McAfee is a name that is well known in the antivirus community, but is commonly known as a middle-class antivirus. However, over the past few years, the company separated from Intel, then redesigned the interface, and has become one of the strongest antiviruses, on par with other industry giants such as Norton and Kaspersky. I have spent a lot of time testing the latest version of McAfee Total Protection. Initially, I was interested in its sleek interface, in addition to additional features such as Web Boost and a safe browsing extension, WebAdvisor. After trying all the Total Protection security and performance features, my overall conclusion is:

McAfee is good, but not perfect.
It is packed with many security features as well as additional add-ons. It is effective at blocking most zero-day attacks and widespread malware. In addition, buying 10 Household package devices is also in accordance with the price. You will get all the features you need from an antivirus – such as real-time protection and a secure firewall – and some extras – such as performance optimization and password manager. But the ease of use clearly needs to be improved, and I feel the WebAdvisor tool and its performance enhancement features are very disappointing.
McAfee Security Features
McAfee Total Protection protects against viruses, malware, spyware and ransomware, and also keeps you safe from suspicious or vulnerable websites. Fend off zero-day malware attacks, Total Protection has 99% success in detecting and preventing attacks. This is equivalent to well-known brands such as Avast and Bitdefender. When I tested Total Protection against samples of other types of malware, the score was 100% perfect. And although McAfee’s score is now much better than in previous years, Norton 360’s score is still better overall. Nevertheless, Total Protection provides a variety of features, from safe browsing to permanent file deletions and others, including:
  • PC performance optimization.
  • Encrypted storage (128-bit encryption).
  • Home Network Security (firewall).
  • Password manager.
  • Multi-device compatibility.

Many of these features, such as password managers, secure search extensions, and PC performance optimization, are nothing special. The same features are also found in the majority of other antivirus software such as TotalAV. But if you are looking for a comprehensive, affordable antivirus – cheaper than many premium antiviruses like BullGuard and AVG – McAfee is the right choice.
Virus Scan
McAfee Total Protection offers two types of virus scanning:
  • Quick Scan
  • Full Scan

To run Quick Scan on an old computer, it took me 20 minutes and scanned more than 12,000 files. Honestly, 20 minutes is long enough for a “quick scan”. I tried it with a newer computer, and it scanned less than 6,000 files in 5 minutes. The result is much better, even though only half the number of files before.
Like Quick Scan, I run Full Scan on two computers. Old computers take almost 20 hours to scan, a very long time. But Full Scan on a new computer only takes an hour. Although the amount of time is much more reasonable, the second duration is still longer than some other antivirus scanners such as Bitdefender and Avira.
Like Quick Scan, I run Full Scan on two computers. Old computers take almost 20 hours to scan, a very long time. But Full Scan on a new computer only takes an hour. Although the amount of time is much more reasonable, the second duration is still longer than some other antivirus scanners such as Bitdefender and Avira.
After the scan is complete, you can see how many files were scanned, what problems were found, and what infected files were deleted. I was not given the option to quarantine or check which files were infected – Total Protection only deleted them. If you do not intend to investigate suspicious files, this is not a problem for you. But if you want more control, other programs like Malwarebytes allow you to quarantine, delete, or ignore files. You can also view your full scan report through the Security Report feature. Overall, Quick Scan and Full Scan both run as intended, although I feel the scanning engine is very slow compared to other antiviruses such as TotalAV and Norton. I personally also prefer that the scan details are included in the dashboard when the scan is done, but again, most people probably won’t care. I also want the option to quarantine or delete the problem files after scanning, not just delete them automatically. But again, for most people, that might not be too much of a problem.
Vulnerability Scanner – Keeping Programs Up-to-date
Out-of-date software is a major security risk, so Vulnerability Scanner is an excellent addition to the Total Protection package. He searched for all the outdated programs and software on my computer. McAfee will automatically run the Vulnerability Scanner on a certain date or you can install a schedule and run a scan every week, every two weeks, or every month. For me, the Vulnerability Scanner takes less than 10 minutes to complete. He showed how many updates were found, followed by ratings of how important it was to update the program. In my case, my Adobe Reader needed a “critical” update because, based on the McAfee rating system, the chance of vulnerability was rated “high”.
the only problem for me is that it’s not called the “Vulnerability Scanner” in the Total Protection dashboard. He was labeled “Update my apps”. This is not a big problem, but can cause confusion. If you search for “Vulnerability Scanner”, you won’t find it.
Overall, this is a useful little feature. If you forget to update an old application, Vulnerability Scanner will find it and update it for you.
QuickClean – Delete unnecessary files
The QuickClean feature removes all unwanted cookies and temporary files from my browser. Before clicking Clean, I choose which file system to check or not. Among them are cookies and files in the browser that I have installed and files in e-mail. When scanning, I can “Hide” the scan and force it to ask for my permission before deleting any file. I also have the choice to tell him to delete the item immediately, but I don’t want to do it. Not much can be said about this tool. He walked as intended. In less than a minute, he released 4.4 GB from my computer. I get full details here – McAfee informs where files were deleted, how many were deleted, and which files were selected not to be deleted.
App Boost and McAfee Web Boost – Make Applications and Browsers Run Faster
On the PC Performance tab, McAfee provides two tools to improve computer performance:
  • App Boost
  • McAfee Web Boost

Once turned on, App Boost identifies applications that might require upgrading and gives it extra power. This should help the application to launch faster or work faster. McAfee Web Boost will stop playing videos that play automatically in your browser, which can speed up browsing and save battery. Obviously, neither of these features can increase security, and your experience will vary depending on how much influence it has on the application and battery life. I don’t see a prominent difference on my computer from App Boost or Web Boost. For example, even though Firefox gets “99 boost” for more than 48 hours, I don’t see any significant changes in search. In addition, the App Boost feature only works on Windows 10, but as I said, older versions of Windows don’t lag much.
Password Manager (True Key)
McAfee has partnered with True Key to provide a password manager for each Total Protection subscription package. True Key runs on PC, Mac, iOS and Android devices. To activate the included True Key subscription, open the My Privacy tab then click “Manage passwords”.
Next, you will be taken to the True Key information page where you can set up an account and create a Primary Password – a password that allows you to access your True Key account. You can enter through the Primary Password and multi-factor authentication options such as the authentication application or fingerprint scanning (iOS and Android devices only). True Key browser extensions can run on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge, and Internet Explorer. The password manager has a number of features, including:
  • Auto-fill
  • Password maker
  • Digital Wallet
  • Safe Notes

It can be synchronized across multiple devices, can store passwords locally, and use “strongest encryption” – which is the 256-bit AES encryption standard. Of course it’s strong and has become the standard in most password managers including Dashlane, Keeper, and 1Password. True Key is simple and easy to use. You can easily see which site logins you have added in the dashboard.
Different from many password managers, True Key allows you to change the Primary Password as often as you want. If you don’t like your Primary Password, you can replace it with a new one when you are logged in. And you can add other email addresses and other devices to maintain account security. One thing that is annoying about the True Key password manager at McAfee is that it is limited to 15 logins before you have to pay to upgrade. Even though it is “included” in the Total Protection package, you cannot use more than 15 logins. That’s too much! In fact Dashlane Free provides 50 logins. And NordPass provides unlimited login in the free package (only on one device). This is a very bad offer from McAfee and True Key.
Overall, this password manager is simple, and doesn’t have certain features that stand out, but because it’s already included in the Total Protection subscription, it’s worth using if you don’t have a password manager. But I will not download the Total Protection package just for this feature. I also certainly don’t want to be intimidated into paying a premium True Key account after 15 logins. If you want an antivirus that has a good password manager, Norton 360 offers a much better offer for you. But it’s best to keep using a separate password manager – like Dashlane or 1Password.
McAfee WebAdvisor
McAfee WebAdvisor should help you avoid dangerous websites and warn you before downloading suspicious attachments. But I experienced a number of problems with it. The first problem is that it only runs on Windows. When in the Total Protection dashboard, you can click on the “Protect me on the web” button. You will go to the landing page that explains what WebAdvisor is. I don’t know why he has to get you out of the dashboard just to explain it … but that’s OK. My real problem is the landing page itself. He does not direct you to download the WebAdvisor browser extension. The download is on another page that is completely different. This UX is not very intuitive. You also don’t need to subscribe to Total Protection to take advantage of this extension, so as long as the extension is included, anyone can download it. After installing and activating the extension, I did a quick search (with the keyword “hair”) to see how well the tool worked. I saw several websites with a green key icon and a “McAfee SECURE” badge nearby.
scrolling the mouse a little more, I realized that no other website had this badge attached. I tried another search (with the keyword “cat”). The Wikipedia and Petco websites have the McAfee badge, but again, others don’t. Looks like the website McAfee has sought and approved is limited in number. This does not mean that other links are dangerous, but the fact that McAfee doesn’t have many articles in its storage space makes this extension useless. I also don’t like how the Web Advisor add-on doesn’t explain the criteria regarding which sites get badges and which don’t (even though the site is secure). Overall, I am disappointed with Web Advisor. It seems relatively useless, especially because in most search keywords, badges only appear on 2 of the first 15 sites.
Identity Theft Protection (US only)
US customers get the added benefit of Identity Theft Protection and dark web monitoring added to their Multi-Device or Household packages. Dark web monitoring McAfee searches through the dark web to find out if any of your sensitive information was hacked or leaked. McAfee checks for related dark web:
  • Email address
  • Medical ID
  • Social Security Number
  • Bank account
  • Phone number
  • Credit / debit card
  • SIM
  • Passport

I entered an email address into the Identity Theft Protection portal, and it was said that one of my email addresses was registered in 4 separate places on the dark web!
Fortunately none of that information will cause my account to be hacked (there is a temporary password that has been leaked), but I am happy that McAfee can quickly find information leaked on the dark web. McAfee will now continue to monitor the dark web related to my data, and if certain things appear, I will immediately be sent an email.
McAfee Packages and Prices
McAfee Total Protection is available in three packages. All three have the same features, namely:
  • Real-time protection
  • Firewall
  • File encryption tool
  • WebAdvisor
  • App Boost

You can install Total Protection on PC, Mac, iOS and Android devices. The difference between the three packages is the number of devices where you can install Total Protection:
  • Individual: 1 device
  • Multi-Device: 5 devices
  • Household: 10 devices

For one device, Individual prices are OK. This is comparable to the most basic 360 package from Norton in the first year, and you get a variety of good features. When it was time to be renewed, the price of “Individual” Total Protection jumped, but I don’t want to say he was worth it – the price almost doubled after the first year passed. It’s still cheaper than the price of a Kaspersky or TotalAV extension package, but what you get in terms of additional features from McAfee is far less. However, the Household package is worth the price – the additional cost is minimal, and contains all the features in the Multi-Device package. No free package available, but a 30 day trial is provided.
If you use that trial, you use a device package of 10 that month. You also don’t need to include your credit card information to register, and that’s good. This is really the best way to try because you can find out if you like the software before you buy it. And if you like it, you get a free month! Regarding refunds, you can also request a full refund within 30 days of purchasing a subscription package, or within 60 days of automatic renewal when you have subscribed for a year or more.
Ease of Use and Setting McAfee
The Total Protection installation is fast, for me, it only takes less than 10 minutes. After I entered the dashboard, it was quite easy to use. You can easily see many offers, but sometimes it is rather difficult to find a special tool. McAfee manages the information a little weird. He did not give a title for everything – Vulnerability Scanner called “Update my apps” in the tab “PC Security”. But I like it because after it is clicked, this feature is explained in more depth. Which is rather annoying, most of the information is hidden in the gear icon in the upper right of the dashboard.
These are all the settings for Firewall, scheduled scan, Anti-Spam, and others. I suggest checking these settings one by one to adjust them. For example, I find that scheduled scans are set to start at 4 or 5 in the morning – this is not relevant to me because my computer is turned off at that time. If I don’t check it, I will assume this scan is not active even though it isn’t. I also have never been asked to approve or change the scheduled scan time, so if I don’t check this, I will never know. My main complaint is about pop-ups. Most of the details provided by McAfee appear in the pop-up window. For example, when I use the scan feature, I have to click “run” on the pop-up. Similarly, Password Manager, File Shredder, and File Lock to lock important files. This is just a personal preference, and I know that some people prefer pop-ups, but for me it’s not like that.
McAfee Cellular Application
The mobile application runs on iOS and Android devices. You can download the application from the App or Play Store, or connect it directly through the dashboard on your computer by clicking Protect more devices.
The best aspect about mobile applications is that it offers real-time protection. He is also quite good performance. The application immediately caught all the malware that I was trying to download. You can also scan your cellphone by pressing the large shield at the top of the screen that says “Scan”. This checks to make sure your files, applications and Wi-Fi are safe. You can also clean up your device’s storage, increase memory, and view reports about your scan and data. The scan is fast and easy – takes about a minute, and I can see what file is being scanned above.
By clicking on the three lines in the top right corner (settings), you will be able to access more features, such as Battery Booster under “Performance”, “Guest Mode”, and the ability to track your data usage. Similar to the Kaspersky mobile app, the Anti-Theft feature allows you to lock and erase data remotely if your device is stolen. And like the Kaspersky application, there is also a “Thief Cam” feature, which allows you to take pictures of people who stole your cellphone, using the front camera. This is far better than some cellular antivirus applications – such as TotalAV – that don’t have this feature. Overall, this application works smoothly without affecting the usefulness of my cellphone. The interface does feel a bit messy, but it has a number of features, so I can’t complain.
McAfee Customer Support
McAfee provides all support:
  • Telephone
  • Live chat
  • FAQ
  • Community forum

Telephone and live chat are available 24 hours 7 days for English speakers. Depending on your language, direct chat may not be possible, and working hours for telephone support will vary. Normally, you can get a support team member in just a few minutes, but it may take longer depending on the hours of the day. If this happens, a banner will be displayed at the top of the McAfee support page warning users of the potential for longer waiting times. Also provided a detailed knowledge base that addresses many of the typical problems surrounding technical support. Unfortunately, the arrangement of these articles is inadequate. There are hundreds to choose from, but you have to rely on the search bar and scroll until the answer is found. In addition, although the supporting articles are detailed, the article is not supported by images or videos. The community forum is quite active.
People ask questions and other forum members can answer. One thing that is remarkable is that this forum is available in various languages, including Arabic, Italian, and Spanish. You can also use a Virtual Technician to diagnose and correct technical problems – it is not perfect, but it is quite helpful for simple questions. Or if you’re not at the computer, you can use Techmaster – and advanced paid services – to help solve problems. Overall, McAfee’s Total Protection support options are excellent – you can get everything from phone chats to virtual assistants. I hope the knowledge base contains more images and videos – it’s much easier to solve problems with a visual guide.
Will McAfee remove malware?
Yes, all McAfee antivirus software will remove malware from your device, including spyware and ransomware. McAfee will also protect your device in real-time, which means it will block malware from attacking your device and steal all your personal data.
Does McAfee Total Protection provide a free version?
The only free version of McAfee is a 30 day free trial of the Total Protection package that you can use for 30 days without entering your payment information. If you want to try a powerful antivirus, this is one of the best antivirus trials.
Does McAfee run on a Mac?
Yes, McAfee has a Mac version of the Total Protection package, but it’s not one of the best Mac antiviruses on the market.
Will McAfee protect my iPhone or Android device?
Yes, the McAfee Mobile Security application is able to protect your iPhone or Android device from online threats. This application will scan for Wi-Fi networks to detect vulnerabilities, which hackers can exploit to attack devices. This application also offers Anti-Theft Protection and Media Vault, a place to store photos and other files safely using a secure PIN code.