McAfee Internet Security for Mac
• Firewall protection is included
• Excellent customer support options
• Effective anti-phishing measures
• Much more expensive than its competitors
• Less-than-impressive malware protection
The combination of anti-virus protection, firewall and anti-phishing scanner in the McAfee Internet Security for Mac product is a good one. McAfee, unfortunately, does not do so well as its competitors at detecting Mac malware. We think this is a nice package but the effectiveness of the scanning could be improved.
The US-based tech giant McAfee is now part of an even bigger tech giant, Intel Security. Intel Security has been around since 1987 and boasts $2 billion of global annual revenue and a lot of experience in internet security. With this power behind it, does McAfee Internet Security for Mac deliver?
As well as protecting against viruses, worms, bots, rootkits and Trojans, McAfee Internet Security for Mac also includes something called the SiteAdvisor which adds safety ratings to links in your searches, color-coding them green, yellow or red according to the danger they pose through phishing scams. The SiteAdvisor also looks for problem links in your social media feeds, and provides guidance on which are the trustworthy ecommerce sites (which McAfee independently rates), although the feature doesn’t work with the Chrome browser. The internet security protection also covers the files you receive via email and instant messaging services.
In past tests by the independent labs, McAfee was not as good as other internet security software packages at protecting you from Mac malware. In certain tests from AV-Test it actually detected just 26.5 percent of the samples sent through – some of its competitors identified 100 percent. Plus, in terms of slowing down your system, we heard from owners of the McAfee Mac product that the software created issues with speed on start-up and when running files. Not ideal.
Scans & updates
The usual combination of full scans and selected scanning makes this a good program to check the whole system or simply the areas that can cause the most problems. The protection works in real time to detect new threats and quarantine malware if it breaks through to your system. Infections are successfully cleaned from files without affecting the contents.
McAfee scans any external drive and eliminates potential threats to your system. You can also take advantage of the firewall protection to keep attackers well away from your Mac - the McAfee Netguard tool stops your machine communicating with alien servers and botnets and you can also put a restriction on which apps are allowed to communicate with the Internet. McAfee doesn’t have any parental control features that allow you to filter risky content away from children’s eyes, which would have been a useful addition. If you want this feature you have to buy a separate package.
Ease of use
Set-up is quick and simple. The program overall is easy to use and there’s nothing complicated about any of the features, even the firewall is easy to operate with just a couple of clicks. The firewall can be configured to your personal preferences and there are different settings you can select for scanning and network protection, but if you just want to run a real-time scan or check that the machine is protected it’s easy to do.
Help & support
McAfee user support is comprehensive and extensive – and free. The support pages on the website guide you through a process that involves consulting a virtual technician which helps diagnose common issues through the answers you give to questions, and collects information to help the real-life technician diagnose the problem if you proceed to live chat. If you want to call, lines are open 24/7 although the website says it takes around 10 minutes to get a response. FAQs, video tutorials and a searchable database of articles help you pin down solutions when you don’t want to get in touch with McAfee.
There’s nothing particularly wrong with McAfee Internet Security for Mac. But other products protect you better. And because the price is high and there are no parental control features, we don’t think you get great value for money from this product.
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