Both leaders in their own right, the BlueGadgetTooth team received many requests from our readers regarding a comparison of McAfee vs Kaspersky, to see which one would be a better option.
Diving straight into the matter, we looked into each antivirus program to check their performance in malware detection, the installation process, the impact on system’s performance as well as the price points of the two to cover all comparison categories.
And The Winner Is......Kaspersky!
When the BlueGadgetTooth team checked out the performance in the above mentioned categories, we found that Kaspersky aced most of the categories, and with an attractive package protection for three devices for only $39.99/ year, it is definitely way more affordable than a lot of the security suites we’ve reviewed recently.
Kaspersky is a global computer security provider, which was founded 20 years ago in 1997. Its headquarters are located in Moscow, Russia and Kaspersky, as a brand, has grown leaps and bounds to become a favorite for European users. It has been named as a leader in many cyber security platforms and has done extensive research on cyber-espionage to uncover many cyber threats.
A global cyber security giant, McAfee was founded in 1987 by John McAfee who has since parted ways with the company. Specializing in security software programs, McAfee has a plethora of core products within the McAfee brand. Developing tools for not only digital security for computers, mobiles and servers, McAfee has expanded its product range and expertise into the realm of encryption technology and is currently based in Santa Clara, California.
Although there are many independent antivirus testing labs, the BlueGadgetTooth team follows only two sites for up to date and current information on antivirus programs – AV-TEST.org, a lab based out of Germany, and AV-Comparatives.org, an Austrian lab.
They both carry out a series of tests on multiple Windows versions to have real-time current results on the performance of various antivirus programs. They not only expose the systems to over 20,000 malware, they also register over 250,000 new malware on a daily basis.
This alone gives them the credibility for delivering accurate results, which we use in our reviews.
**We use the latest Av-Test and AV-Comparatives scores for our reviews, but if there is an updated score released, we will use them in our next review.
Kaspersky performed superbly on all counts when it came to the performance results released by the two independent testing labs. When it came to malware detection while online, Kaspersky scored 97.8%, and scored a little lower percentage, getting 94.1% while offline. However, the Online Protection rate was 99.86% which is as near to perfect as possible.
On the other hand, McAfee scored 97.7% in malware detection while online, nearly matching Kaspersky’s score – but it scored a miserable 47.9% in offline malware detection which was the lowest ranking score on the malware detection scoreboard. The Malware Protection rate for McAfee was 99.86% which is the same as Kaspersky.
Results also revealed that 28 malware compromised systems with McAfee, while only 8 got through Kaspersky’s defences out of 20011 malware exposed to both programs.
Winner of Round One: This battle seemed like a tight one, but McAfee vs Kaspersky in Malware detection has one winner – Kaspersky. This is because even though both programs performed equally as well when online, the offline poor score for McAfee gave it negative points, and also letting through 28 malware was enough to make Kaspersky the winner. When it comes to your system’s protection, you want a program that lets in the least amount of malware – and in this case, it was Kaspersky.
What is just as important after Malware detection, is just how easily navigable the program is for a new user. If things are too complicated, or the user interface is not user friendly, then the program becomes more of a hassle rather than an asset.
The BlueGadgetTooth team did not face any problems with the Kaspersky installation process, with the whole process being fairly easy and straightforward. Each step of the process was easy to understand and navigate through – from choosing your preferred language of communication, to choosing settings, to the actual home window – everything was to the point, which we really appreciate.
The installation window kept us well informed about the time duration left for the process to be completed, as well as informing us of how much of the program files had already been downloaded. During the installation process, two new icons are created on your desktop, one for running the main program, and one which deals with banking and financial online security.
You may be required to restart your computer if there are other programs/ applications running which may interfere with Kaspersky – like another antivirus program which will be deleted prior to restart.
The actual scan did take a bit of time, but it was quite thorough, finding threats where we didn’t know we had any. Once a threat is detected, it was sent to Quarantine so that the threat could be contained, as well as for you to review if the threat actually is a threat, or a program which you are familiar with. You can decide to delete the quarantined file or you can restore it.
McAfee was not that hard to get through, but it did lead us through some extra loopholes. Firstly, the process itself is a lot longer, but also, after each time it detected another program which interfered with its program, that file would have to be deleted and the computer would be restarted. This happened on two different occasions, and we feel this could have happened once after all possible unwanted programs were detected, located and determined to be deleted.
The installation process was long and frankly, a little tiring. We all like things to move fast and for programs to get set up quickly. McAfee’s download and installation process was a lot longer than Kaspersky’s, and we had to get the license key to activate the program, a step that was automatically done in the other program.
Winner of Round Two: Between McAfee vs Kaspersky, the BlueGadgetTooth team felt that Kaspersky won this round, for the sheer ease of installation and easily navigable home window.
A series of tests was conducted on our systems with both antivirus programs to check how the system was affected with the antivirus programs running in the background.
From the get go, we had an inkling of who the winner of this round would be. Kaspersky has a reputation for having low impact on system’s performance in the past years. Recent reports from antivirus tests as well as our own research and testings revealed that Kaspersky did not negatively affect our computers while it was actively running.
We worked on basic programs, opened multiple browsers – online activities that most users do, and to top it off, we also ran a program that was quite power hungry, with no such visible affect on our system’s performance.
McAfee did not perform too badly as well, scoring pretty good results from independent testing labs, with the scores revealing that McAfee only marginally had any adverse impact on the system’s performance. In fact, when you look at the performance charts, you can see that McAfee did score really well in some segments, while received slightly poorer scores for the rest.
Winner of Round Three: Even though this was a close race, test results reveal that Kaspersky is the winner of this round. The scores given by AV-TEST.org showed that Kaspersky won this round, by a small margin though, gaining 6.0/6.0 with McAfee gaining 5.5/6.0.
Winner of Round Four: Even though both security programs are well known for their security suites, we feel that Kaspersky does win this round – by a very small margin, simply because they have discovered many important cyber threats, and have built quite the reputation for finding and eliminating threats.
Whenever you are looking for a product to purchase, you always check for the best price so that you can walk away with something you need and love with a price tag you are comfortable with.
Kaspersky is available for $39.99/ year, offering protection for three devices, whereas McAfee offers protection at $99.99/ year for 10 devices.
Winner of Round Five: If you have three or fewer devices needing protection in your home, like your laptop, and computer – if you are a single person, then Kaspersky may be a good deal for you – pricewise. It also offers very good malware protection, so this may be a good deal for you.
However, if you have many devices you want to protect, then you may wish to go for McAfee. There are discounts offered at times with McAfee, so you may just get protection for 10 devices at a lower price range than advertised.
For this round, we will call it a tie.
New malware are created on a daily basis and if even one of those gets past your computer’s defences, it could cause a lot of problems. Hackers could steal your identity, without you being aware of it until you get hit with huge bills or even worse.
Malicious users can use spyware to also gain access to sensitive data like passwords to your email accounts, banking details or hack into your social media. There have been many cases where money has been transferred out of accounts due to successful hacking attempts or even examples where people have had their social media accounts taken over by unknown users who then create havoc.
Protecting yourself and your family from cyber threats is even more important, now than ever before. It is not enough to depend on the inbuilt protection of your computer, you do need an extra layer of protection which is more than just the basic coverage your computer offers, because the malware that attack your systems on a daily basis are not always easily detected and dealt with.
Even though McAfee did perform well on several tests, just by looking at the test results, it’s clear that Kaspersky is the winner of this comparison guide.
When it comes to price, performance and easily navigable UI, Kaspersky is a better option for those who are looking to find the best option between McAfee vs Kaspersky.
Hey, it's Tomas here! I'm the founder and chief editor here at BlueGadgetTooth. After spending hours explaining my parents how to hook up their Internet, why it's being so slow etc. I decided to start this blog to help people with their gadgets and questions about technology.