Two of the biggest names in security software offer two very different protection packages with their 2013 security software suites. Avast, mostly known for its affordability, has a wide range of features that protect and prevent. McAfee, mostly known for its simplicity and usability, continues its trend of being a no-frills option for those who don’t need the extra bells and whistles. So how do they compare? Let’s look at some of the most common areas of comparison:
Price: It’s a tie! Factoring in the exclusive NextAdvisor discount for both the suites, Avast Internet Security 2013 and McAfee Internet Security 2013 both cost $39.99 for a year of protection for up to 3 PCs. So affordability should not be an issue when choosing between the two.
Features: Avast wins this category hands down. While McAfee offers the standard antivirus and anti-malware protections, along with parental controls and anti-spam, Avast offers a much more robust package. The 2013 version of Avast includes extra features like eight different protection shields, an autosandbox that will automatically run programs in an isolated environment, a SafeZone that will allow you to complete online transactions in a secluded browser, and an antispam and site blocking feature. The only thing that Avast lacks that McAfee provides is parental controls, so if those are important to you, McAfee might be a better choice.
Usability: Avast takes this category as well. Its user interface is not only easy to navigate, but is bright and welcoming with detailed graphics and photos to help guide you. McAfee, on the other hand, looks like a basic website from the late 90s. Its collapsable section headers can be confusing and its interface is not organized very well. Avast is much easier to navigate.
Protection: This is kind of a toss-up. While both security software suites are known for their protection, both have also had issues when it comes to independent testing. The highest rating McAfee has received over the last few years is 2 out of 3 stars, but consistently ranks lower than that. Avast has rated 3 out of 3 stars, but has only rated 1 out of 3 on the last two protection tests. What does this mean? Both offer solid protection but aren’t as nimble as some of the other top-rated security suites when it comes to protection.
Overall, if you are looking for the most bang for your buck, Avast is the better deal. It offers all the bells and whistles for half the price of other top-rated security suites. If you are looking for a simple, no frills security software suite, McAfee is your best bet. To read our full reviews of both suites or to compare them to other security software suites, check out our Internet Security Software compare page here.