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McAfee Vs Avast: An Ultimate Antivirus Comparison in 2021

Between McAfee and Avast, which antivirus will come out on top? Both are two very well-known programs in the market, so it can be overwhelming to choose which software is best for you. You would want the perfect antivirus that would fit your needs, right?

Key Takeaways

  • Both companies are trusted by millions of users around the world to protect their PCs and other devices against malware threats.
  • McAfee gets more approval mainly because it continuously shows better results in antivirus and antimalware tests.
  • Avast is the better choice if you’re only concerned about speed and performance.

There are many aspects that both of these software differ, and it can range from network security related features, performance against malware, how it affects your device, and of course the price! Luckily, we are here to help as we will go through all these aspects and more in this article. We also provide the best antivirus for Linux review, for the growing army of the open-source OS.

It’s important to have any personal or work tech devices protected because as the world shifts to an online space, you’re more susceptible to running into online attacks. These online attacks can range from viruses, malware, spyware, ransomware, and trojan worms. No matter what type of attack it is, your personal data is at risk of getting leaked and used by other people.

This research said that more than 10 billion viruses has come in contact with people’s devices just last year. Want to know the most dangerous type of attack in that period?  Well, it’s “Ransomware”, this type of attack grew by 117% from 2019.

Since a lot of us own smart phones, hackers are also targeting people by sending mobile malware to their devices. It’s so bad that attacks are increasing day by day, but it gets even worse because hackers are growing more sophisticated by the day.

You should be careful about how your online identity or data security is being protected, so an identity theft protection is a must. While low-end security products are a good way to start at, these solutions don’t cut it.

The defending power of the free antivirus software is not as strong as it should be. Furthermore, these types of suites are very limited, and aren’t frequently updated by their antivirus companies. That’s why you should invest in actual software that will keep you safe and remove viruses in an all-around manner.

We’ve actually compared both McAfee antivirus and Avast before with other software before. Below are links you can check out:

Avast Vs McAfee: A Brief Comparison

Before diving into the in-depth Avast comparison with McAfee antivirus, let’s go over a brief comparison between the two software. This will help you quickly understand the different aspects we will go through later on in the article.

  1. Features

Features are what’s going to make and break a software’s business. These antivirus protection tools should be able to give you a peace of mind with how it protects your device from these online and offline attacks. Most antivirus companies have different suites of their software depending on your needs. So by having a varying suite for different causes like the number of devices, or what platform your device is on, users should be able to choose their suite with ease.

Having compared both software in this area, McAfee antivirus turned out to be a front-runner as it offers better security-enhancing extra features for offering next-level protection for your device. This extra protection allows you to keep your privacy online and can therefore safeguard you from any incoming infected traffic that you may even miss. McAfee offers hardware, online, and offline protection proving that all their suites are pretty all-around in providing that extra layer of protection that you need as attacks continue to evolve.

Winner: McAfee

McAfee Logo

2. Malware Protection

Never purchase an antivirus that doesn’t have the feature to protect data from malware, spyware, ransomware, and other cyberattacks. This is the whole point of creating an antivirus because these attacks can be irreversible and all your data can be easily leaked in a matter of seconds. With AV test results, we have concluded that the McAfee antivirus gets ahead of the race as it performs better than industry standard benchmarks. This therefore beats Avast.

Winner: McAfee

McAfee Logo

3. System Performance

How your antivirus performs while it is running in the background is important as your productivity will be affected every time you use your device. You won’t be able to properly use the antivirus if it’s putting too much impact on your operating system performance.

After testing both McAfee and Avast in this category, we found out that McAfee does exceptionally well in this category. Avast trails behind which indicates you have a high chance in experiencing a lag situation on your device. Results were based on AV-tests which pushes even the best antivirus software to its limit.

Winner: McAfee

McAfee Logo

4. User-Interface (UI)

The security software which is more consumer friendly offers an effective user-interface (UI). This means that whenever you open the antivirus program, you can easily look up the utilities you need without any problem. The layout shouldn’t be an eye strain, and of course, you can easily indicate the state of your device and how well it’s protected.

According to the layouts of both programs, we concluded that McAfee offers better intuitiveness, user friendliness and easy to use interface that can be used by those who are beginners in understanding the safety in their tech. It’s modern and easy to read style of the program will not have you waste time in trying to figure out the antivirus program.

Winner: McAfee

McAfee Logo

5. Pricing

Which paid version offers the best benefits? The main concern here is that we don’t want you to spend more than you need to in order to feel safe.

Well, with McAfee, you get a bargain pricing point with the amount of protection and customer support that you pay for.

Winner: McAfee

McAfee Logo

6. Satisfaction

Having taken a look at the reviews and ratings, we found out that both programs do exceptionally well through BBB (Better Business Bureau). Therefore, this will be a tie!

Winner: Tie

McAfee Logo
Avast Internet Security logo

Short Outcome!

It’s no surprise that both Avast and McAfee brings unparalleled features to the table, including one-of-its-kind protection from malware threats, spyware protection, and other threats. However, coming to the performance part, McAfee is slightly superior to Avast in malware detection.

Therefore, if you’re after the better-fit antivirus based on this “McAfee Vs Avast” protection, our recommendation is that you should pick up “McAfee” as it is slightly ahead of this neck-and-neck comparison combat.

McAfee Vs Avast: A Comprehensive Antivirus Comparison

Now it’s time to go through an in-depth comparison of both software. Both McAfee and Avast offer a wide range of suites designed to meet the specific need of the user. So, whether you’d like to take care of your important files for yourself or for your family, both software offer extra features that will have your back!

However, there’s a slight difference between the both and this is what you are about to find out.

Let’s start our in-depth comparison with McAfee’s antivirus packages below:

McAfee’s Antivirus Packages

Let’s see how you can do that by being familiar with the McAfee’s antivirus suites:

Mcafee Antivirus Suites

McAfee Total Protection

McAfee Total Protection offers next level protection. This suite is very flexible as it can work for any operating platform that you have. Also, there is a variety with this suite as you can order this suite for individual or family use. By that, you can protect from up to 5-10 devices simultaneously. Keep in mind, that the first year you purchase this suites, the price will be very cheap. Once that period ends, you will most likely charged for a slightly higher price.

In this suite, you will get added features that provide safe browsing, ID theft protection, secure VPN and detects viruses. With comprehensive internet security, you will be able to obtain spam filtering, encrypt sensitive files, and shop safely online. Your information will be protected due to the ability to also shred suspicious files securely and delete cookies of your personal data. With secure VPN,  your WiFi network will be padded with firewalls which will stop from any hacker trying to hijack your system’s connection. You can also obtain parental controls which will give you the power to monitor and filter out inappropriate content your children might be browsing.

Keep in mind, that this Total Protection suite will have limited availability depending on the type of suite you purchase. Meaning that if you are looking for a single device, you won’t have that parental control and identity theft protection. You would have to upgrade it to either a family or premium of this suite.

This suite is perfect in protecting the online safety of your unlimited devices.

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McAfee’s LiveSafe

Stay one step ahead of hackers by getting a cloud-based threat assessment and get rid of the attacks in advance. LiveSafe is another all-around suite that offers everything in the total premium suite, but it’s cloud based. This means you won’t have to download anything on your hard drive! You get additional features like PC security and optimization, and quick clean which cleans up any unwanted processes that could be happening on your device.

LiveSafe lets you connect to an unlimited number of devices so you could get the antivirus protection that ensures safety in your house hold from online threats. With 24/7 customer support, it’s no wonder why everyone finds cloud based protection a lot easier to handle.

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McAfee’s Small Business Security

Whether it’s a small-sized or mid-sized company that you own, getting flexible and comprehensive security for ultimate protection should be your top priority.

Grab an easy-to-manage account dashboard that you can access from anywhere and if your device is lost or stolen, you can remotely delete files if needed. Keep your business user data save with email, web, and firewall protection. Ensure your employees search safety with color-coded safety ratings that warn about malicious software before clicking on the website. This suite can be utilized on multiple platforms, and you can ensure that all your devices connected to the internet is safe!

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Apart from the above-mentioned suites, there are some standalone packages that you must consider if none of the aforesaid antivirus bundles caught your attention. You could also browse the Service Solutions from the same page above.

Avast’s Antivirus Packages

avast all suite

Avast’s Free Edition:

The free edition is what comes first on this list. Keep in mind that it’s very limited in features. This is similar to the free antivirus programs that are pre-installed to your one device or multiple devices, so it doesn’t really change the safety of your device. This is offered on Windows, macOS, and Android devices. This is also not a free trial, it can stay on your device as long as you need to.

Get Here

Avast’s Internet Security:

The Avast premium security is the first premium offering which has especially be designed for those who are after deeper protection from different cyberattacks happening around the world.

In addition to all the advanced  security features previously mentioned, you can get an advanced firewall which will prevent infected traffic from going into your device as you browse and download files, also it offers your webcam protection. This is key when as some viruses are hidden in sensitive files that you may not even notice as you download from the internet.

Another feature added to the Avast Premium is the ability to filter out spam in your inboxes. Spam emails and dangerous email attachments come with viruses that can infect your device as you click through your emails.

With Avast premium you are also guaranteed extra ransomware security which caters to sensitive data of your multiple devices and you get a secure browser experience. This extra layer of ransomware keeps files safe from any unwanted changes that can occur online or even offline.

With this suite, you always be one-step ahead of hackers. This suite is available for different operating platforms.

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System Requirements

Avast’s Premier:

This is another next-level suite that includes every single feature of the previous antivirus package – Internet Security.

But with this suite, you get hardware protection and more online protection!

The webcam shield blocks any hackers from trying to access your hardware to spy on you. A lot of people have encountered this issue, as it is a problem in home security camera features. Keep any hardware you install on your multiple devices safe!

With a data shredder feature, you can securely delete any files and will prevent any hacker from tryin to recover them.

With this suite, you can get automatic updates to keep up with industry standards. These free updates reduce risks because the outdated software is susceptible to viruses.

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Avast’s Ultimate:

In the end, there comes the ultimate suite known as “Avast Ultimate” which is a full-fledged antivirus product and houses all of the features of previously-mentioned bundles above. In addition to this suite, you get the SecureLine VPN which encrypts your internet connection and gives your webcam protection. This gives you the ability to visit websites you may geographically locked from. You have unlimited browsing on this suite.

You also can get a feature called the “Password Premium” which will monitor your account information, gives you password protection and inform you if any website leaked your account information.

There’s also a one-click cleaner that will take care of all of the junk files residing on your device and therefore optimize your device even more. This suite can be used on different operating platforms. Also, you can choose between scheduled scans, a full scan or a quick virus scan.

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If you’re running a successful or even you’ve just started, considering the business antivirus solution is one of the highly recommended advice by our experts.

There’s a long list of the corporate-specific plans: see here or here.

Just like for Windows, Avast also has the Mac user’s back as it offers many suites in that area along with the add-ons. Apart from free security, you can decide on “Premium Security”.

McAfee Vs Avast: Which Antivirus Offers Better Malware Protection?

You should not purchase an antivirus that’s not giving you the optimal protection from malware threats, and other cyber security threats like spyware, ransomware, etc.

Recent reports indicate that a lot of smart phone users are becoming a target to hackers, so having antivirus software to protect your device from malware attacks is becoming more of an essential aspect. And the protection can be installed with just a few clicks.

To push each software to its antivirus protection limit, we will compare McAfee vs Avast results done by an AV test. These tests analyze performance by checking how many files that each antivirus software can monitor for infections. By pushing the virus scan to go over hundreds of samples, and by comparing it to industry standards. These tests were taken back between March-April 2020, so let’s take a look at the result of McAfee vs Avast performance test:

McAfee’s Malware Protection:

McAfee Protection Score

McAfee scored a 5.0/6.0, which is decent store. It does perform better than industry standards which indicates it’s a reliable software that you can utilize on your devices. What matters is that if it performs better than industry average, it should be able to keep you better protected from these malware attacks.

Avast’s Malware Protection:

avast protection

With Avast, it scores 5.5/6.0, which is not perfect but still a decent score. It has underperformed what the industry average should be, so of course there should be some caution in utilizing this antivirus.

Winner: McAfee

McAfee Logo

McAfee or Avast: Which Antivirus puts Less Impact on System Performance?

While defense from all types of malware and other digital security threats, you cannot compromise on the performance of your system when an antivirus is running in the background.

An ideal antivirus must offers top-notch performance so that the system can handle different tasks by properly utilizing different resources at the same time.

Again, we considered AV test to back-up this particular category and the results are presented below:

McAfee’s Performance:

McAfee Performance Score

McAfee offers a perfect score of 6.0/6.0 which is really good for a software program, because that means it outperforms industry benchmarks. It goes above and beyond industry benchmarks due to it’s swift utilities and minimizing impact on any device’s performance.

Avast’s Performance:

Avast performance in charts

Avast scored 6.0/6.0 which also shows how the program runs with numerous applications running on a person’s device. It’s ability to deal with these types of issues is important because productivity can be affected. It does slightly better than industry benchmarks which is always good assurance it’s a decent antivirus program. But the difference between these scores is that, McAfee does slightly better due to the number of samples used and percentages shown. McAfee wins by sliver.

Winner: McAfee

McAfee Logo

Avast Versus McAfee: Which Antivirus is more User-friendly?

Suppose you purchased an antivirus and, after installing it on your machine, you can’t navigate it properly because of their complex user interface (UI), what would you do then?

User-Interface (UI) is describing the functionality of a program. How well you navigate the program’s utilities and how it overall looks can determine how customers react to it. An ideal antivirus software should be intuitive to users and functions should not cause a strain to the eye everytime you open up a program. Also the installation process should be easy!

Let’s take a look at how well Avast and McAfee lay out their program for you to see:

McAfee’s UI:

McAfee Total Protection software

With McAfee, all utilities are organized on side of the program. With everything organized in the same manner which are in this case, tabs, it’s easy for users to navigate through and get to what they need to access. The most important feature is checking the state of your device, and McAfee makes it clear that devices are protected with the green scheme box above. The color of the layout is simple, and the statistics that require antivirus attention are highlighted green so it provides that extra layer of assurance. With an intuitive layout, customers are are able to use McAfee without having to have an extensive knowledge on software.

Avast’s UI:

Avast user interface showing icons

With Avast, utilities are also separated in boxes and tabs. These utilities can be difficult to navigate because utilities aren’t consistently designed.  You can easily tell whether your device is protected by the green box on the left which is easy for customers to understand the state of their device. Although it looks clean, it can be a strain to the eye as the background of lines can distract users from properly looking at the program. With so many utilities shown in a complicated spatial arrangement, it can be overwhelming to new users.

Winner: McAfee

McAfee Logo

McAfee Vs Avast: Which Software is Less Expensive?

How much you invest in a software is important because you want to receive the best benefits that you actually pay for.

Let’s take a look at the latest pricing point for each software and compare it with each other. Well, having taken a short look at the pricing table, we realized that the pricing of different suites brought to the table by McAfee is slightly less in comparison with that of Avast antivirus.

Though Avast is good, unlike McAfee, it could not get better in the pricing category.

Let’s see the difference below:

McAfee Pricing Model:

McAfee Security SuitesPrices
McAfee Total ProtectionLatest Price
McAfee LiveSafeLatest Price
McAfee Small Business SecurityLatest Price
McAfee Business ProductsLatest Price

Avast’s pricing:

Avast Antivirus SuitesPrices
Avast Pro AntivirusLatest Price
Avast Internet SecurityLatest Price
Avast PremierLatest Price
Avast UltimateLatest Price
Avast Security for MacLatest Price
Avast Business ProductsLatest Range

After comparing McAfee vs Avast antivirus prices, it’s clear that McAfee offers better pricing in their suite due to the amount of security features that come with it. The flexibility in suites that McAfee is worth more than Avast.

Winner: McAfee

McAfee Logo

Which Antivirus Software made People very much Satisfied?

Customer satisfaction is an important factor in determining the success of any antivirus software. Antivirus should be able to have well-rounded security features to customer support that people can genuinely rely on. To compare how satisfied customers are with both antivirus, we used BBB (Better Business Bureau), which is an official business review page that rates business in many factors that we already went over through. Below are the scores of each antivirus:

  • McAfee: A+
  • Avast: A+

Both McAfee and Avast did really well in this category, scoring an A+ on the site. Both antivirus software have received positive praise from users alike.

Customer Support

Avast offers high-quality tech support, but it comes as a separate service with a separate fee. Granted, the support is not limited to Avast products, so you can use it for all tech-related problems. But if you don’t feel like paying extra for customer support, you’re stuck with basic emails that usually get a response in a couple of days.

Getting a hold of an actual human being with McAfee feels like an impossible task. Even if you manage to get through, your problems will most likely go unsolved. For all important issues, they might refer you to their phone number. For example, you can only request a refund via phone call. This is unforgivable for such a large company.

Which Software Has More Value For Money?

Although Avast offers a free limited version of its software, its premium version is priced significantly higher than McAfee’s. Based on this consideration alone, McAfee wins the category. And if you factor in all the previous category winners, it’s clear that you get more value for your money with McAfee.

Winner: Tie

McAfee Logo
Avast Internet Security logo

McAfee Vs Avast: Final Word!

Thought Avast tried its best to surpass McAfee, McAfee offers more security features and delivers improved malware detection and protection. McAfee takes the round for this battle. It’s unmatched defense from other cyber threats provides next-level performance of your device.


1. Which is better Avast or McAfee?

When it comes to PCsecurity, there are a number of different programs available for users to choose from. Two of the most popular programs are Avast and McAfee. Both programs performed admirably in terms of security, performance, and usability. However, there were a few small differences between the two programs.

Avast is a bit more user-friendly than McAfee. It was slightly easier to navigate and use. However, McAfee scored higher in terms of performance. In particular, it was faster at scanning files for viruses. Overall, both programs are excellent options for PC security and users should choose the program that best suits their individual needs.

2. Do I need McAfee and Avast?

You don't need to have both McAfee and Avast, but they both offer different benefits that you may want to consider. McAfee software is a more comprehensive security suite that offers antivirus protection, malware protection, and other security features like a firewall and parental controls. Avast is more focused on antivirus protection and has a smaller feature set.

3. Is McAfee the worst antivirus?

McAfee is one of the best antivirus programs available. McAfee Internet Security 2013 received a 98 percent effectiveness rating in the most recent tests conducted by the Austrian lab AV-Comparatives. I've used McAfee in the past and haven't had any problems with it. I would say it's one of the better antivirus programs out there.

4. Should I pay for Avast?

Avast is a great antivirus software that can protect your computer from viruses and other online threats. It is available as a free download, or you can pay for the premium version. The free antivirus version is adequate for most people, but the premium version has some extra features that may be worth paying for.

5. Can Avast Antivirus be trusted?

Yes, Avast is an excellent antivirus program that offers a reasonable level of security protection. The free antivirus version includes a slew of features, but does not include ransomware protection. If you want premium protection, you'll have to pay for it.

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.

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