June 27, 2021

McAfee Total Protection Review

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Everyone knows McAfee for its antivirus software. But are the new, amped-up features of McAfee Total Protection worth the cost? Find out before buying.

5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Good value
  • Tons of features
  • Antivirus could be better
  • Limited parental controls

Bottom Line

Decent beginner-friendly antivirus for the price

McAfee Total Protection offers top-tier features to protect you on every digital front.

Not to mention, a 100% virus removal guarantee.[1]

But are these features worth the new higher price?

Find out what the software offers beyond its antivirus features, how much it costs, and more.

What Is McAfee Total Protection?

McAfee Total Protection is McAfee's top tier antivirus software.

But it's not just antivirus software like its predecessors. It's the "full package", protecting all your devices and your peace of mind.

With the latest version of McAfee Total Protection, the focus is on keeping your personal data private and secure.

They aim to address all threats coming from all possible angles, whether you're banking or shopping online, going through emails, storing passwords and files, or just protecting your home network.

For example, they'll immediately notify if your bank account info ends up on the dark web. You can also turn unsecured networks into a private connection. McAfee Total Protection even color codes websites in your search so you quickly know what's safe and what you should avoid.

Review the full suite of features that you get with McAfee Total Protection below.

What Does McAfee Total Protection Include?

As you'd probably guess, McAfee includes antivirus software - that's what McAfee is known for. It still does a stellar job at protecting computers with its full scan and quick scan capabilities. But that's not all McAfee offers.

In addition to their award-winning antivirus, each Total Protection Plan comes with all of the following:

  • Online Support: Fast technical assistance from McAfee's team of security experts

  • Secure VPN: Bank-grade encryption that keeps your personal info private while browsing online; get 1 or 5 licenses depending on which plan you purchase

  • Home Network Security: Strong firewalls to keep hackers from accessing your home network

  • PC Optimizer: Boosts the speed of your computer while ensuring security, preserves battery and bandwidth, and optimizes power to apps you're actively working on

  • Password Manager: Secure storage for your passwords on your computer and mobile devices, tools for generating complex passwords, and auto-fill capabilities for easy log-ins

  • WebAdvisor: Protects you from web attacks, including malware and spyware, by labeling risky websites, links and files

  • QuickClean: Removes temporary files and cookies to free up storage space and minimize your exposure to security threats

  • File Lock: 256-bit AES encrypted storage for protecting sensitive documents like tax returns and financial statements

  • Shredder: Securely deletes files in a way that hackers can't piece back together to steal your sensitive information

  • Vulnerability Scanner: Updates Windows OS and apps from one place, scans for threats, and installs critical safety-focused updates

  • Email Spam Filters: Built-in spam filters to clear out junk before it lands in your inbox (for Microsoft Outlook)

Some of the higher-tiered plans also come with:

  • Identity Theft Protection Essentials: Special tools that scan the Dark Web for your personal info (like SSN) and monitor for identity theft and recovery (available if you enroll in auto-renewal)

  • Safe Family: Monitor kids' online activity, set rules and time limits for apps and websites, create rule "exceptions"

  • 1 Year Free Gamer Security: Cloud-based antivirus, tools to boost game power, system monitoring and more (available if you enroll in auto-renewal)

On top of all that, they provide a 100% guarantee that they'll remove any viruses that make their way to your computer, and they'll protect you on any internet connection with a private VPN (more on that later).

McAfee Total Protection Pros and Cons

All software programs have pros and cons. Understanding them will help you determine if McAfee Total Protection is right for you.


  • Inexpensive for what it provides
  • Protects multiple devices with one purchase
  • Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Protects you from viruses, malware, and spyware
  • Protects you from suspicious websites
  • Offers PC performance optimization


  • The parental controls are limited
  • There's no reimbursement for identity theft - just help to fix it
  • Mixed reviews on its antivirus capabilities

McAfee common complaints
If you search McAfee Total Protection, you may see a lot of complaints about it. Why is McAfee so bad?

Many people think it's great - you are usually pro-McAfee or violently against it. The users who "hate it" complain about the crazy number of pop-ups (not internet pop-ups) that McAfee has, trying to keep them safe. While the intent is good, the annoyance of the pop-ups has been enough to make many people cancel their subscriptions, which many users claim isn't an easy task either.

McAfee Total Protection VPN

McAfee's VPN, or Virtual Private Network, masks your IP address, giving you complete anonymity even when you're on a public network.

This makes it safer to use your credit card or even do your banking while on a connection other than your home connection. McAfee uses bank-level encryption to ensure your data is safe.

McAfee Total Protection Price

With the number of features and the level of protection you get, the price for Total Protection is surprisingly affordable.

  • Premium Individual: $49.99 USD
  • Premium Family: $64.99 USD
  • Advanced Individual: $89.99 USD
  • Advanced Family: $119.99 USD
  • Ultimate Individual: $199.99 USD
  • Ultimate Family: $249.99 USD

Is McAfee Total Protection Any Good?

McAfee products are typically good, but let's focus on what sets McAfee Total Protection apart from the others.

Total Protection focuses on keeping your personal data safe, which is a current concern with most people accessing sensitive information at home and while out. With the rise in malicious attacks online, it makes sense that McAfee put its focus there.

McAfee makes it easy to determine if you're "safe" or "at risk" by using the banner at the top of the program. It also easily alerts you of any urgent messages, updates, or threats you should know about before using your device.

Furthermore, McAfee's internet security performance received an accuracy rating of 99% from independent tests conducted by SE Labs.[2]

McAfee LiveSafe vs Total Protection

Like most antivirus programs, McAfee offers several options besides the Total Protection program. Its most commonly compared to McAfee LiveSafe.

Let's look at McAfee LiveSafe vs Total Protection.

McAfee LiveSafe offers the following:

  • Antivirus protection
  • Cross-device protection to protect computers, tablets, and phones
  • Secure VPN when away from home
  • Vulnerability scanner
  • Identity theft protection
  • PC optimization
  • McAfee Shredder
  • File lock to encrypt your personal data

It comes down to the price and how many devices you want to cover. McAfee LiveSafe covers an unlimited number of devices for $119.99, and Total Protection costs $159.99 for unlimited protection.

Which is better: McAfee LiveSafe or Total Protection?
McAfee LiveSafe is plenty of protection for most people, but if you have a large number of devices, use public Wi-Fi often, or worry about identity theft, Total Protection may offer a greater sense of security.

Bottom Line

You have to protect your computer even if you just consider yourself an "internet surfer." Today there are too many ways hackers can get a hold of your information and make your life very difficult.

McAfee Total Protection covers all the bases, ensuring you not only avoid a virus but that your identity is safe, your Wi-Fi is encrypted, and your personal information is locked up so that no one but you can access it.


Write to Sam Hawrylack at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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