Malwarebytes VS McAfee

by Tomas Statkus - -

Malwarebytes VS Mcafee

Every day new malware samples and various types of viruses are developed in order to infect users’ devices. If you browse the Internet, no matter what device you are using, a Windows PC, Mac, Android or even iOS device, you can get infected.

In addition, if have already noticed your device acting weird, causing slowdowns or interruptions, there is a high chance that you might be dealing with malware already.

This is why you need a reliable and trustworthy antivirus. To make it easier to choose, Reviewed by Pro constantly tests new products in order to provide you with up-to-date information and reviews of the latest Internet security and antivirus applications, privacy solutions, recovery tools, and other utilities.

If you struggle in choosing between Malwarebytes[1] and McAfee[2], continue reading this article, as it will reveal some of the main features of these two products.

Which is better – Malwarebytes or McAfee?

If you do not have time to read the entire article, the table below provides you with the main features we tested and one winner. The features include offerings, antivirus rates, additional features, performance rates, and popularity among users.


Antivirus protection 9.9 10
System-performance impact 9 9.8
User interface 10 10
Popularity 9 9
Overall score 9.5


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Malwarebytes Overview

Malwarebytes is one of the most popular anti-malware applications. It was first released in 2006, but various updates are still coming regularly to this day.

This software is known for its reliability and ability to find various threats surprisingly quickly, including all kinds of malware

The company provides home users with anti-malware protection across all the major operating systems including Malwarebytes for Windows, Malwarebytes for Mac, and Malwarebytes for Android. In addition, Malwarebytes offers Malwarebytes Premium that is capable of protecting small offices, teams, and startups.



Anti-malware protection


Security and privacy features

Limited feature set

System-performance impact


Scanning performance

Fast and accurate scans with a negative impact on a system

User interface

Intuitive and simple to use

McAfee overview

McAfee is developed by one of the well known American-based cybersecurity giant McAfee, Inc. The company is headquartered in Santa Clara, California. McAfee is one of the most experienced players in the market and was founded in 1987 by John McAfee. In 2011, McAfee was purchased by Intel Corporation.

The antivirus provider develops advanced security solutions to individual users, small and large businesses, enterprises and governments.

McAfee offers a range of products for Windows (McAfee Total Protection, McAfee LiveSafe), Macs (McAfee Total Protection for Mac), Android (McAfee Mobile Security & Lock for Android), and iOS users, it also provides security solutions for endpoints, networks, and cloud from viruses, malware, and other security threats.



Antivirus protection


Additional features

A decent set of extra security & privacy features

System-performance impact



Scans are quick and very informative

User interface

Light & simple interface


Malwarebytes Offerings

Malwarebytes home users offer proven Malwarebytes antivirus technology for various devices:

  • Malwarebytes for Windows
  • Malwarebytes for Android
  • Malwarebytes for iOS
  • Malwarebytes for Chromebook




Protects your identity and privacy from hackers yes yes
Protects your documents, financial files from ransomware yes yes
Protects you from malicious and fraudulent websites yes yes
Stops malware that degrades computer performance yes yes
Crushes malware attacks that corrupt your programs yes yes
Suspends Malwarebytes notifications when using selected programs yes yes
Cleans up an already-infected computer yes yes
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Malwarebytes offers Malwarebytes Free and paid Malwarebytes Premium for a single device and Malwarebytes Premium for Home for up to 10 devices that can be mixed and matched. Once the software is downloaded and installed Malwarebytes provide users with a 14-day trial of the full version.[3]


Malwarebytes Anti-Malware


McAfee offerings

Meanwhile, McAfee[4] lets users choose from various tools and flexible packages. The main antivirus and security packages include the following:

  • McAfee AntivirusPlus
  • McAfee Internet Security
  • McAfee LiveSafe
  • McAfee Total Protection


AntiVirus Plus

Internet Security

Total Protection

Award-winning PC anti-virusHome network protection yes yes yes yes
McAfee WebAdvisor yes yes yes yes
PC optimisation tools yes yes yes yes
Apple iMac protectioni yes yes yes yes
OS phone and tablet yes yes yes yes
Android phone tablet yes yes yes yes
Social media guard yes yes yes yes
Anti SPAM security close yes yes yes
Safe Family close close yes yes
True Key identity manager close 1 user 5 user 5 user
McAfee File Lock close close yes yes
Secure Cloud Storage close close close yes
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These both packages cover Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices.

The security vendor also provides various tools and applications such as McAfee Virus Removal Service, McAfee TechMaster PC Tune-Up, McAfee Safe Connect, McAfee Identity Theft Protection, McAfee Secure Home Platform, and others.

McAfee also offers a 30-day free trial, so users can try the software before purchasing it.


McAfee Total Protection

As you can see, McAfee provides more offerings and flexible plans for various devices across all operating systems.



Malwarebytes provides users with a free version of the application that scans the system for malware, viruses and other similar cyber threats and PUPs, and cleans infected devices. Malwarebytes Free complements antivirus, while Malwarebytes Premium is able to replace antivirus.

Malwarebytes Premium can replace antivirus software and can be mixed and matched between Windows, Mac, Android and Chrome OS. It also ads adds anti-malware and anti-ransomware features, protects from malicious and fraudulent websites, stops malware that decreases computer performance, cleans up infected computers, and protects Identity and Privacy from hackers.

When it comes to McAfee, it also develops various tools for consumers, including Identity Theft Protection, TechCheck, Tune-Up, Virus Removal Service or more.

When it comes to security and antivirus protection, these are the main features:

  • McAfee Total Protection offers protection up to ten devices and also comes with separated licenses for Android devices, Macs, and iOS handsets. It delivers a premium feature set including antivirus, anti-malware, anti-ransomware, performance features, Firewall, Network Monitoring, ID Theft Protection, Parental Controls, and others.
  • McAfee LiveSafe adds the same Premium features and can cover an unlimited number of devices.

All in one Malwarebytes' features are more focused on antivirus and protection, while McAfee is a full-featured program.


Antivirus protection

Malwarebytes, just like the majority of its competitors, uses advanced technologies to detect both, widespread and zero-day malware samples. They both apply a traditional signature matching engine and heuristic monitoring. All of the detected suspicious icons are sent to the companies’ servers for further examination.

Malwarebytes is a powerful anti-malware tool, so we expected better detection rates. It’s antivirus engine managed to detect more than 98% of malware on our test computer.

We have also compared our results with the results from AV-TEST[5]. However, Malwarebytes’ antivirus protection was rated only 5.0 out of 6.0, as the program detected 99.2% of zero-day malware attacks, including web and e-mail threats, and 99.7% of widespread and prevalent malware.

McAfee utilizes multi-layered protection, including a traditional malware-signature engine that looks for suspect code against a database of widespread malicious icons and behavioral monitoring and reputation which detects previously unknown malware. All suspicious icons are uploaded to the company’s Threat Center for further investigation. This new technology has replaced the earliest less efficient engine in 2017.

McAfee demonstrates decent antivirus protection rates. It detected all of the malware samples installed on our test computer.

In addition, the company was tested by German-based independent testing lab AV-TEST. According to its latest test conducted in December 2018, McAfee detected 100% of zero-day malware attacks and 100% of widespread and prevalent malware.

All in one, McAfee wins over Malwarebytes when it comes to antivirus performance too.


Protection agains 0-day malware attacks (web and email threats) 99.4% 100%
Detection of most common spread malware in last 4 years 99,5% 100%
Overall protection score 9.9 10
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System-performance impact and scans

As we tested Malwarebytes on our test PC, the tool had a relatively heavy impact on system-performances and can cause lags and interruptions. The application uses more system resources than most of the antivirus products and had an impact of 30% on our test computer which is more than the industry average.

We have also checked how Malwarebytes was tested by AV-TEST. The independent testing lab rated the antivirus system’s performance 5.0 out of 6.0.

  • Impact on a system when launching popular websites – 14% (19%).
  • Impact on a system while downloading frequently-used applications – 0% (1%).
  • Impact on a system while launching standard software programs – 28% (8%)
  • Impact on a system while installing frequently-used programs – 54% (25%)
  • Impact on a system while copying files 1% (3%)




Malwarebytes offers users quick and stable scans. The application offers users three types of scans, including the full system scan or the Threat Scan, Custom Scan and Hyper Scan.

McAfee has a minimal impact on computers’ performance. We did not notice any interruptions or slowdowns while using the software in the background. In addition, even during scans, the application did not cause any inconvenience. According to AV-TEST latest tests, the McAfee demonstrated better performance rates than the industry average.

  • Impact on a system when launching popular websites – 7% (19%).
  • Impact on a system while downloading frequently-used applications – 0% (1%).
  • Impact on a system while launching standard software programs – 6% (8%)
  • Impact on a system while installing frequently-used programs – 29% (25%)
  • Impact on a system while copying files 1% (3%)


McAfee Total Protection


McAfee Total Protection took a relatively small toll on performance during a full active scan. The performance declined only by 14%. However, the first full scan tool for more than an hour, and the second just more than 45 minutes.

As you can see, McAfee demonstrates better performance scores and results. It also offers quick scans without a negative impact on a system.


Slowing-down when launching popular websites 11% 15%
Slower download of frequently-used applications 0% 1%
Slower launch of standard software applications 23% 6%
Slower installation of frequently-used applications 70% 25%
Slower copying of files (locally and in a network) 0% 2%
Overall rating 9 9.8
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User interface

Malwarebytes interface can seem a bit complex and difficult to understand at first. As it hosts of status details, multiple icons, assorted buttons, and five tabbed areas. However, once we used it a bit more, the program became very intuitive and simple.

In its very first versions, McAfee used to have a pretty dark user interface. However, over some time the interface was updated and now looks bright and light. When it comes to options, all the main features appear in the main window, so it is easy to navigate and understand.

Even though both antivirus applications have bright and modern-looking interfaces, we would say that McAfee's design is more user-friendly and intuitive.



In order to test the popularity of antivirus providers, we have looked at the OPSWAT’s streamlined Windows Anti-malware Market Share Report[6]. The report includes the most recent data collected for 6 months from June to December, Malwarebytes appears in the third place and takes 12.23% of market share, while McAfee is in the second place with 12.58%.


Manufacturer/Brand Market share
avast 18.44%

bitdefender 10.54%
eset 9.09%
webroot 7.03%
spybot 6.29%


Other popular products in the latest OPSWAT report include tech giants such as Avast, McAfee Inc., Bitdefender, ESET, Webroot, Kaspersky Lab, Safer Networking Ltd with SpyBot Search & Destroy, Avira, and Symantec with Norton.

As you can see both providers are very popular among consumers and takes a similar percentage of the market share.

The final verdict

As we tested both antivirus applications, we would say that Malwarebytes is a great choice for those who want to fulfill their security with an additional layer of an antivirus. In addition, it is great for those, who do not need that many additional features, instead focus on anti-malware protection.

When it comes to McAfee, the application is a better choice for those who look for a full-featured program that can add various tools and programs. McAfee is user-friendly software with a nice interface and many features.

When it comes to Malwarebytes, the Anti-malware tool is limited to protection features and can work great alongside other security software.

McAfee, in contrast, is a great software for families and households. It offers a full-featured antivirus and security packages and demonstrates one of the best rates in the industry, according to the latest tests.

We recommend McAfee for families and households with many devices that want an optimal choice for their safety.

The table below summarizes our test results.


Antivirus protection 9.9 10
System-performance impact 9 9.8
User interface 10 10
Popularity 9 9
Overall score 9.5


Discount for our readers -25% Off

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Pricing From $39.99 / device for 1 year

From 22.95 / device for 1 year

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About the author

Tomas Statkus
Tomas Statkus - Team leader

Tomas Statkus is an IT specialist, the team leader, and the founder of He has worked in the IT area for over 10 years.

Contact Tomas Statkus
About the company Esolutions


Malwarebytes VS McAfee snapshot
Anti-malware market share report

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