McAfee AntiVirus Plus Review

by The Team

Posted on Sunday, May 24, 2015

The reviews and rankings on this site are paid advertising.

*UPDATE*: McAfee has updated their product lineup and no longer carries McAfee Antivirus Pro. For the latest versions of McAfee software please visit their site, McAfee Consumer Products


McAfee is a global leader in internet and computer security, and they have a wide range of products created for small businesses, large enterprise businesses, and individual consumers. Since the needs of each of those groups are vastly different, McAfee has set up individual websites for each category of products to save you time and prevent confusion when shopping. Today we are taking a look at McAfee AntiVirus Plus, which offers their basic level of consumer protection software for personal computers.

Once you find your way to the McAfee consumer website, you can browse products tailored for PCs, Macs, mobile devices, and all-in-one software that covers all of the above categories. They also have a bunch of free tools and trials of their premium products so you could do everything from scan your computer for a virus to get a 30 day trial of their software without ever opening your wallet.

The Purchase:

The basic McAfee AntiVirus Plus covers one PC for one year, and is currently priced at $49.99. If you have multiple computers you would like to cover, each one is an additional $15. Every McAfee subscription service comes with their auto-renewal feature that uses the payment information they have on file to renew your subscription every year so your coverage never lapses. However, there is no way to opt out of this before you purchase their software. You must go to your account page to manually turn it off if you would prefer to manage your subscription yourself. One nice thing that I noticed was the lack of add-ons on the checkout page. There were no attempts at last-minute upsells with a backup CD or premium technical support that I had to uncheck before I made my purchase.

Download & Installation:

Once the software is purchased using either a credit card, PayPal or ClickandBuy, you can enter your product key to download my new software right then and there, or if you would prefer to wait, just check your email for an order confirmation with download and installation instructions to follow at your leisure.

Installation of the AntiVirus Plus software was quick and easy. They provide a handy installation guide that shows you exactly what you need to do. The only thinking that was required was when the program wanted to know whether I preferred a complete install or custom install. I was curious about what exactly they were installing, so I chose custom (against their recommendation!!). This brought up a menu of services that I could click to read about in more detail, and then decide whether or not I wanted to include that feature in my installation.

Using the Software:

In less than 10 minutes, and without having to restart my computer, my McAfee AntiVirus Plus protection was up and running. They have an easy-to-read user interface that sort of reminded me of the jitterbug phone commercials. No missing any text on this screen! This is the main portal that allows you to navigate to and use all of the AntiVirus Plus features.

Virus and Spyware Protection allows you to schedule regular scans and run custom scans of your PC to detect and eliminate threats. You can also turn on real-time scanning that instantly checks files anytime they are used on your computer. You can choose how thoroughly you want files scanned to strike a balance between speed and protection.

Web and Email Protection uses firewall technology to protect your computer from outsiders who may try to gain access to your network and steal information or take control of your PC. This area also manages the SiteAdvisor features that lets you know in advance if a website is safe to visit.

Data Protection manages the virtual "shredder" that helps protect your privacy by permanently erasing sensitive files. You thought that sticking something in the recycle bin and hitting "empty" got rid of it? Not necessarily so. Files can often be recovered and data can be mined from documents you thought you had deleted. McAfee's software will go in and really delete a file by wiping the file location multiple times to make sure nothing can be recovered. You get to choose between five shred types ranging from "basic" to "complete." Think of it as a paper shredder, and you get to choose how many times you want to run the same page through the machine.

The PC and Home Network Tools section gives you an overview of all devices currently on your network so you can manage security issues, plus it has a PC optimizer that lets you improve your computer's performance by getting rid of unnecessary files.

The two lower sections, McAfee Updates and Your Subscription are both pretty self-explanatory. One manages how often and how automatically updates are installed on your computer, and the other just gives you a quick overview of your subscription status and has options for changing your account info and user profile.


McAfee Antivirus Plus has all of the tools you need to keep your computer safe as you browse the internet, download files and go about your personal business. The McAfee website is easy to navigate, the shopping and purchase experience is smooth and transparent, and installation was intuitive. It doesn't take any technical skill to use the software, and everything is laid out in an accessible manner so you know exactly what you're choosing to protect and what level of security fits your lifestyle.

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