McAfee All Access Multi-Device Internet Security 2015 Review
McAfee All Access Multi-Device Internet Security 2015 offers protection for up to 5 devices, including PCs, Macs and Android smartphones and tablets, for the low cost of $49.99/year (with discount). The PC version lacks many bells and whistles, but provides standard security.
The simple installation process continues to be one of the highlights of McAfee's software. Following purchase and registration, you can download and install the PC program directly from the website without waiting for an email confirmation like with several other security suites we've reviewed. The file installation is quick and painless so you're able to use McAfee within minutes of purchasing.
Likewise, installing McAfee for your smartphone or tablet is as simple as clicking a link from your email or manually searching for the app on the Google Play store. Once downloaded and installed, the app must verify your phone number before it can be used.
After struggling with an outdated interface for years, McAfee gave its interface a facelift in 2014. This design has been maintained for 2015, which is not a bad thing. The interface is visually appealing with large buttons and simple instructions to enhance usability. Compared to the flashier offerings of Norton or Avast!, it could be easier on the eyes, but the easy navigation makes up for a lack of pizzazz.
The home screen displays a color-coded bar at the top which tells you the current status of your computer. The rest of the screen is laid out with four large buttons (Virus and Spyware Protection, Web and Email Protection, McAfee Updates and Your Subscription) beside a row of 3 smaller buttons (Data Protection and Backup, PC and Home Network Tools and Parental Controls). The right sidebar includes links to Home, Navigation and Help as well as a box at the bottom that cycles through pertinent information from your latest scan.
Though the new interface certainly offers better organization and usability, it can still be somewhat confusing to navigate to certain features. The Navigation page — which consists of links to every feature hidden within the button categories on the home page as well as a couple of random extras — seems unnecessary and just serves to highlight the confusion.
McAfee's 2015 Internet security software is pretty much the same when it comes to features as previous years. Some features are fairly robust, such as the Parental Controls — which allow you to create a custom profile or use a standard setting based on age as well as set an Internet usage schedule — or the 2-way Firewall which provides powerful protection against viruses and malware.
SiteAdvisor is also a nice feature for boosting browsing security. This browser application provides a color-coded rating of websites in the toolbar as well as beside links in search results pages that lets you know how safe it is before visiting. The extension is available for Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
SafeKey is a password and information manager that comes with your All Access license. It requires you to create a new account and works on both your PC and mobile devices. In addition to storing login information for various online accounts, it also lets you add your own notes, check the strength of your passwords and fills in forms for you while you are shopping online.
Online Backup provides you with 2 GB of space to back up your files.
Other features are less convenient. File Shredder is a good feature to have, but the explanations for the 5 shred types (such as, "Safe — It's secure" followed by "Comprehensive — It's very secure") seem silly and don't offer much explanation as to what the real difference is between the different types. Similarly, the Defragmenter link in the Navigation Center merely opens up your computer's defrag program. Good to have if someone is unfamiliar with this tool, but otherwise a waste of program space.
|11/10 Dynamic Test||N/A|
|06/11 Dynamic Test|
|12/11 Dynamic Test|
|07/12 Dynamic Test|
|12/12 Dynamic Test|
|07/13 Dynamic Test|
|12/13 Dynamic Test|
|07/14 Dynamic Test|
|12/14 Dynamic Test|
McAfee has a spotted past when it comes to independent testing from AV-Comparatives, an antivirus testing organization. In the most recent Whole-Product Dynamic Test, which looks at how the different components work together against viruses, McAfee scored 1 out of 3 stars and was noted in the test report as being downgraded specifically due to the high number of wrongfully blocked sites or files. McAfee's historical average for this test is only 1 out of 3 stars, and it has earned 0 stars twice. Part of why it ranks so low is because the software is designed to warn you about malicious web addresses that you might be visiting, not block them, which is one of the key components to the test. The software also historically tends to be sensitive and blocks several safe sites or files.
In our own testing of the software, it performed exactly as it should and blocked every test virus we threw at it. The 2-way firewall performs at a rate similar to what you get from the feature-rich competition, which is a definite advantage for McAfee.
|11/10 Performance Test|
|07/11 Performance Test|
|11/11 Performance Test|
|07/12 Performance Test|
|10/12 Performance Test|
|04/13 Performance Test|
|11/13 Performance Test|
|05/14 Performance Test|
|11/14 Performance Test|
Due to its simplicity, McAfee is relatively light on its feet and great at not slowing down your computer and keeping things running smoothly. Despite a score of 1 out of 3 stars in the most recent AV-Comparatives Performance test, our use of the software saw no significant performance or lag issues.
Unfortunately, McAfee has a bit of a problem when it comes to pop-up notifications, which we found to be rather annoying. It seemed like every few minutes the program had a new notification popping up on our screen. You can check a box to tell McAfee not to send that specific warning again, but it grows tiresome to keep doing so.
McAfee's mobile app is available for Android smartphones and tablets. Its design is a little on the busy side, but functional and easy to use once you play around with it a bit. The app offers fairly standard mobile security features, including a privacy scanner to check for apps that expose your information, the ability to PIN protect specific apps for your use only and protection against unsafe Wi-Fi networks. Data backup is available for use on your mobile device, and you can also download a mobile-specific version of SafeKey to use with the app.
The app's device theft protection feature is robust, including the ability to locate, remote lock or wipe your device from your McAfee account as well as add phone numbers which are alerted if your phone is lost or stolen. The CaptureCam feature takes a picture if someone makes too many failed attempts to unlock your device, and you can also send a message to a lost or stolen device and your phone will take a photo if someone tries to open the screen to view the message.
The online backup and password manager are nice additions, but we wish McAfee had more to offer in comparison to its top competitors. If you're looking for perks like a secluded browsing window for banking and online shopping or special protection for social networking, which are becoming standard for software security suites, McAfee will only disappoint. The software continues to do what McAfee is best known for, which is protect against viruses and malware and help your computers and devices run more efficiently. If this is all you're looking for, then McAfee is the security software for you.
System Requirements: Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8-8.1; Android 2.3 and up
AV-Comparatives ratings on a variety of tasks related to the antivirus and antimalware product. "Known Malware" refers to a product's ability to catch pre-identified viruses, while "Unknown Malware" refers to its ability to detect brand new viruses. Older scores may reflect previous software versions.
|Price:||$49.99/yr for up to 5 devices (with $50 discount)|
|Ease of Use:||PC interface is easy to use with large buttons and simple instructions; app has a busy but functional interface|
|Special Features:||Parental controls; antispam; 2 GB backup; file shredder, 2-way firewall; SiteAdvisor plugin; SafeKey password manager|
|Personal Information Manager:||Encrypted password manager|
|System Performance Score**:|
*Averaged 2010/2011 scores for each company's antivirus/anti-malware product by independent testing agency AV-Comparatives. Score indicates overall effectiveness in a variety of tests over time. † indicates that company did not take part in all tests. See reviews for details.
**Score indicates impact of antivirus product on system performance. Average of performance tests by AV-Comparatives.
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