McAfee Total Protection is an antivirus dedicated to protecting your Mac against viruses and malware, including the hacks browser and intrusion attempts, as well as to monitor software unauthorized running on your own Mac.
McAfee Total Protection’s real-time scan feature will monitor your Mac in the background while you use your computer. By default, it does not search archives, Apple email, or network volumes as this would require more intensive review which will affect overall performance.
These options can be easily enabled, but you can leave them for the scheduled full scan, which runs with its own set of options and performs this deeper scan by default.
You can schedule full scans of your Mac to run regularly. By default, it scans once a week at 4 a.m., which means your Mac should be on by that time.
If that doesn’t suit you, you can change the day and time. The frequency options available are Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or Never, the latter being the one we don’t recommend choosing, of course.
WebAdvisor is an additional feature that identifies dangerous sites and issues warnings or blocks their loading. It is also available separately as connect free for Firefox, Chrome and Edge, but is browser independent that way.
If you buy a license for multiple devices, your iPhone can enter the protect action; As part of the Total Protection subscription, you can install the McAfee Security iOS app.
This app offers threat analysis, VPN and browser security, passcode protected media store, and tracking options for lost iPhone and wipe if stolen.
Come back to Software For Mac, Total Protection Firewall adds another layer of protection for inbound and outbound traffic. This feature wasn’t Big Sur ready at the time of testing, but it was working as expected on Catalina and should be up to date by the time you read this.
Total Protection’s interface is extremely simple. The main part revolves around scheduled, real-time scans for threats and unwanted software, with browsing security and firewall (when updated) being the first dashes.
When Total Protection detects threats, it automatically repairs them by default. We would have preferred a more detailed report than the number of items covered; knowing exactly what was found and where it could be of great help. However, the most important thing is to catch the unwanted items.
When a suspicious item that cannot be cleaned is detected, it is “quarantined”. Items that have been quarantined can be reviewed and restored or deleted at your convenience.
We found that there were occasional slowdowns in the performance of the Mac, especially when moving and accessing a lot of files. Balancing real-time protection without impacting computer performance is a difficult challenge, so it is not unusual for this type of Software, but this is still not desirable.
If this applies to you, there are options to control what actions trigger the live background scan: read a file, write to one or both.
Above all, Total Protection has lived up to its name; it successfully detected issues like our compromised installers the moment they were unzipped and cleaned them of unwanted code.
Unfortunately, none of the three independent test labs we refer to for a second opinion have tested Total Protection.
Pricing and availability
McAfee Total Protection comes as an annual subscription in three packages: for one, five, or ten devices. There are often introductory offers for the first or two years, but it’s good to know the ongoing annual costs.
For a single device, the annual cost is $ 29.95 per year, after the introductory offer ends (meaning you’ll pay more at the end of the first year).
If you choose the 5 devices option for two years, you will pay $ 54.95 for the first two years, which will save you $ 70 with this offer. If you choose 10 devices, you will pay $ 59.95 for two years. As you can see, there is very little difference between choosing protection for five devices and for ten, so we recommend the second option if you have multiple devices to protect.
At all times, we recommend that you check the official McAfee website to ensure the terms of all offers and the actual prices you agree to upon completion.
Total Protection detects and eliminates a wide range of potential threats and unwanted software activity, and can cover mobile devices, Macs and PCs. We noticed an impact on our Mac’s performance during our testing, but overall it did its job well and is generally quite unobtrusive.
You can also check out other packages we’ve tested in our roundup of the best antivirus software for Mac.
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