Both McAfee vs Avast are antivirus programs are well known with users all around the world, but determining which one is best for your computer could be a tough decision. However, the team at BlueGadgetTooth has simplified your decision making when it comes to choosing the best antivirus program with this guide, especially when it comes to choosing between McAfee vs Avast suites.
There are different criteria upon which we judge the performance of these antivirus suites - how capable and effective they are at detecting malware, whether offline and online. This is quite important as our computers are not always online, but it is comforting to know if the antivirus program you use is capable of keeping your computer safe even when not connected online.
We also closely scrutinize how these programs affect our system’s performance, how user friendly they are to navigate between settings and controls as well as just how pocket friendly they are on our users’ budgets.
McAfee vs Avast: Test Results
Avast (Editor's Choice)
- Bonus features can be unlocked with additional payments and are not included in the paid package
- The annual subscription plan covers multiple devices protection
- Advanced bonus security features are offered
- More user friendly as compared to previous versions
- Free online tech support
- Average performance in malware detection
- Adversely affects system performance
Winner of the comparison War: Avast
Avast performed extremely well in all tests, both in tests conducted by the BlueGadgetTooth team as well as scores in independent testing labs. Avast, priced at $79.99/ year is our winner. Check out our test results and findings below.
Avast: Knowing More
Avast is a huge computer security giant that controls the lion’s share of the online security market. Its products are compatible with Mac, Windows and Android users and offer both free and upgraded paid antivirus programs for its users. It recently acquired AVG, a very popular antivirus company.
McAfee: Knowing More
Founded in 1987, McAfee has become a global giant specializing in security software programs, with Intel owning 49% of the company. Although the founder of this company, John McAfee has distanced himself from the company since 1994, the security software giant has grown through successful mergers and acquisitions over the years.
Independent Testing Labs – Which Ones We Prefer
The BlueGadgetTooth team have been using the test results of av-comparatives.org, an Austrian lab, and av-test.org, a lab based in Germany. These two independent testing labs have a very reliable reputation for delivering accurate results on various antivirus programs each month.
The AV-TEST Institute registers over 250,000 new malware daily and this enormous database and resource makes this a reliable source of information in regards to analysis of the antivirus programs we review. From business use to home use, these two independent testing labs are who we turn to for specific details when it comes to malware detection performance and more.
Round One: Malware Detection
Tests revealed that Avast performed very well when it came to detecting malware. While offline, Avast could detect 97.5% of all malware, with the percentage increasing to 99.3% when online. The Online Protection rate was an impressive 99.9%, which is as near to perfect scores as it can get.
On the other hand, McAfee scored a dismal 47.9% in malware detection when offline, with the score increasing to 97.7% when online. The Online Protection Rate stood at 99.86%, which is still marginally lower than Avast’s score.
These results are shared via Av-comparatives, where 20011 malware are exposed to computers running on Windows 10 and below, both 64 and 32 bit, so to get real time results. This test showed 28 malware getting through McAfee’s defences, with only 2 getting through Avast’s defences. These results were as recent as October 2017.
This image above also shows us why you should not solely depend upon an inbuilt default antivirus program like Windows defender by Microsoft. With the poorest results in the Total Online Protection Rates, it is vital for the protection of your confidential data to get the best antivirus program for your computer.
Winner of Round One: Avast remains the undisputed winner of Round One in this battle of McAfee vs Avast with its impressive scores and test results. When it comes to malware detection and protection, you don’t want anything less than the best protecting your system, so why would you settle for an antivirus program that allows 28 malware through its defences?
Round Two: Installation & User Interface
Avast’s installation process was pretty straightforward – from start to finish. All I had to do was go to the website and download their set up file, after which it took me probably fifteen minutes. What I really appreciate is the minimalistic approach in terms of design, placement on the desktop as well as user interface.
The download and installation window doesn’t take up the entire desktop screen, and minimalizes itself to a small window that sits unobtrusively in the corner while you go ahead with your work. You’re really not needed while the antivirus program is getting set up, so you can continue working while it is getting set up on its own. This is smart technology made easy for the average user – and this is something we really appreciate.
No closing one window, just to open it again on a browser to get things activated. After the set up process is complete, a small Avast icon is automatically created on your desktop, which you can click on if you want to run a computer scan with Avast.
If you don’t wish to see the scan take its time finding all the threats located on your computer, you can ignore the scan window and go about your work. A small Avast notification will tell you if there are any threats and how many. By clicking on details, you will get to know exactly which threats have infected your computer, and what action you want Avast to take to deal with the situation.
On the other hand, McAfee was a bit of a pain during the download and installation process. This is because it felt the process was not streamlined to be efficient. It did detect another antivirus program while installing, and the program had to be removed, which took a bit of time. On top of that, the computer had to be restarted. This process had to be repeated when it found yet another antivirus program which would interfere with its process at a later stage and the computer had to be restarted yet again.
The scan admittedly took ages, and after three hours I stopped waiting. It is good to be thorough, and I appreciate a deep search of my computer for any threats, but I feel that the whole scanning process should be way shorter. This is especially true for people who live in a world where time is money, and we all want things and want them done now.
Not only was this frustrating, but I also had to go and get the activation/ license key after it was downloaded. This is an extra step which could confuse people who are not aware of what to do next after the installation/ download window automatically closes.
Winner of Round Two: In this battle of McAfee vs Avast, Avast wins hands down, without a doubt. The sheer frustration you can get from simply downloading and installing the McAfee software will leave you wishing you had chosen another antivirus program to use. Avast has a simple process that is extremely user friendly, with no computer reboots/ restarts required.
Round Three: System Performance Impact
How software affects your computer’s performance is vital when choosing one, as you would not want to be out of action while a scan is underway. Many scans can take as little as fifteen minutes to over three hours. If an antivirus program impacts your system’s performance negatively, you could be out of precious time.
This is why the BlueGadgetTooth team decided to look into this criteria, as many of us, when working on our computers, cannot afford to leave our computers for that amount of time.
Also, if you can use your computers while a scan is happening, you need to know if browsing the internet or using other software can slow down your computer.
This is what was revealed.
Avast has a quick set up, as mentioned in installation and user interface. The impact of using Avast as an antivirus program is minimal to your system’s performance, at least in comparison to other antivirus programs. I was writing down my findings on a Word doc, and I could notice no lags whilst working on Word.
However, I also was working on Photoshop, which is a tad wee power hungry, and I could notice slight sluggishness in my system’s response.
McAfee was a different matter. From the process of downloading, installing and finally running a scan, I could notice slight in my response to my commands on my computer. However, it fared better in this round than Avast. The test results from Av-test backed up my observations, which are shared below.
This is Avast’s performance, which is given a score of 5.0/6.0 in av-test.org.
McAfee’s performance is given 5.5/6.0 on av-test.org.
Winner of Round Three: McAfee wins this round with better responsiveness and minimal impact in your system’s performance in the battle between McAfee vs Avast.
Round Four: Security Features
- Advanced Firewall
- Spam Filter
- Password Manager: To ensure all your online accounts are safe
- Cyber Capture: where suspicious files are locked and sent to Avast labs to be analysed. This saves you from possibly infecting your system with an unknown virus or malware
- Data Shredder: Permanently deletes all deleted data so that it cannot be recovered at a later stage, keeping your sensitive info inaccessible from suspicious users.
- Automatic updates for your software
- Browser Cleanup: Which identifies annoying add-ons which accompany certain sites, allowing you to easily disable or remove them
- Ransomware Shield
- Webcam Shield
- Firewall Protection
- Malware Protection
- Smart Access Mode
- Shredder Tool: prevents recovery of deleted files
- Quick Clean
- Password Manager
- Safe Web Browsing
- File Lock
Winner of Round Four: Both security suites have an impressive range of features which are designed to keep your system safe and secure. This round will have to be a tie between McAfee vs Avast.
Round Five: Price
It is also important to know just how much an antivirus program is going to set you back by. Many people want the best protection against cyber threats, but often budgets and high prices can be a deciding factor against purchasing a certain security brand.
Avast Premier is priced at $79.99/ year for protecting one computer. There are also a few add-ons that will be shown during Check out time, giving you the option to include that in the final price, if you want those features. These extra features are Avast Cleanup Premium which will add $29.99 to the overall bill, Avast Password, priced at $9.99 and Avast SecureLine VPN Multi-Device which is priced at $39.99.
McAfee is priced at $99.99/ year for ten devices. This means that for nearly a hundred dollars, ten of your devices at home will be protected against malware and cyber threats. This is a pretty good deal, especially if there are discounts offered.
Winner of Round Five: McAfee is the winner of this round in McAfee vs Avast due to its bank friendly pricing. It also offers protection to more devices in your home which translates to more savings overall.
Why You Need Antivirus Software
New viruses and malware are created every single day. With Av-test reportedly registering over 250,000 new malware daily, it is essential, now more than ever before to have a good security suite to keep your computers protected.
Only one malware is needed to completely wreck your system, causing untold damage.
We make sure that our houses are safe, taking precautions for every transaction we do in the real world, why should we let down our guard in an online world? The online world is still a new thing, constantly evolving, sometimes not for the better.
Malicious users are waiting for an unsuspecting victim to fall for their viruses, resulting in financial loss like bank accounts being hacked or even in identity theft.
If you want to avoid having to pay for sensitive data that has been stolen from your computer, or you want to avoid being left penniless due to your bank accounts being hacked, you should invest in a good antivirus security suite.
Final Verdict: McAfee vs Avast Antivirus
Even though McAfee does have some points that redeem it in the BlueGadgetTooth team’s eyes, it is not enough to propel it to the top of this battle between McAfee vs Avast.
Avast is a powerhouse of features, with a stellar reputation that has garnered many fans over the years. Avast Premier is well known for being a reliable antivirus program, and even though it may turn out to be a little pricier than McAfee, just remember, sometimes the cheapest things are not always the best.