McAfee VS Avast

by Gabriel E. Hall - -

You are probably aware that new types of cyber threats and malware are on the rise. Trojans, adware, ransomware, spyware, PUPs, and other malware attack users every day and can potentially cause a lot of damage to the device or/and sensitive and personal information.

This is why security and antivirus software is a must! It is always better to prevent attacks rather than try and fix the consequences.  However, which Internet security and antivirus provider should you use?

Researchers at Reviewed by Pro constantly test and review Security solutions, so users can choose the right application that fits their needs. If you are trying to choose between two reputable security providers McAfee and Avast, you came at the right place!

 McAfee or Avast

McAfee or Avast?

This article will provide you with the most recent evaluation of McAfee and Avast security packages. If you are not sure, which security package to choose, check out this article.

If you do not have time to read the entire article, there is a table below that reveals the main features we tested including offerings, antivirus protection, security, and privacy features, system-performance impact, design and popularity, and one winner.




Avast offers more flexible plans and offerings.

Antivirus protection

Both antivirus systems demonstrate superior malware detection rates.

Security features

Both providers offer full-featured packages, that include VPNs and performance features.

System-performance impact

McAfee has a lower impact on a system-performance.

User Interface

Both applications and intuitive and easy to use.


Avast has the largest market share in the industry.

McAfee overview

McAfee[1] 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, 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

Very good

Additional features

A decent set of extra security and privacy features

System-performance impact



Scans are very informative

User interface

Light and simple

Avast overview

Avast Software Inc. is a multinational cybersecurity software company that protects more than 435 million users in the world.[2]

avast banner

Avast is headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic and has 25 offices worldwide. Just like McAfee, Avast is one of the oldest players out there. The company was initially founded in 1988 and still constantly develops their products by using next-gen technologies such as artificial intelligence based processes.

Avast develops a variety of products for business users and consumers, including free and paid antivirus and Internet security solutions (Avast Antivirus for Windows, Avast Security for Mac, Avast Mobile Security and Antivirus for Android), performance tools (Avast CleanUp) and privacy (Avast SecureLine VPN) applications across all the major operating systems and IoT devices.



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 develops a variety of products. When it comes to Windows antivirus, McAfee lets users choose from the following two packages.

  • McAfee LiveSafe
  • McAfee Total Protection

McAfee offers a 30-day free trial, so users can try the software before purchasing it.[3]

McAfee Performance

Avast offers Windows users free version and three paid versions of security software including Avast Internet Security, Avast Premium, and Avast Ultimate.

Product  Price / Devices / 1-year  Get it
Avast Pro Antivirus $39.99 / 1-year / 1-device
Avast Internet Security $47.99 / 1-year / 1-device
Avast Premier $63.99 / 1-year / 1-device
Avast Ultimate $39.99 / 1-year / 1-device
Avast Business Pro Plus $39.99 / 1-year / 1-device
Avast Secure VPN $39.99 / 1-year / 1-device
Avast Clean Up $39.99 / 1-year / 1-device
Avast Security for Mac $39.99 / 1-year / 1-device
Avast CleanUP for Mac $39.99 / 1-year / 1-device
Avast antivirus for Linux $39.99 / 1-year / 1-device
Avast android security $39.99 / 1-year / 1-device
All Avast products $39.99 / 1-year / 1-device

Avast offers a 30-day money back guarantee or you can download a free trial to try the software before purchasing. [4]

Avast protected

As you can see Avast has more flexible plans and offerings, especially if you are looking for basic protection for one or couple devices. 


Avast offers not just security software, it also develops a variety of free feature-limited and premium tools, including VPN, Password Manager, AntiTrack, Secure Browser, CleanUp, Driver Updater and more.

The main Internet Security and Antivirus products include the following.

  • Avast Free Antivirus offers a decent set of security and privacy features, including a secure web browser, a password manager, home network scanner, or a hardened browser. Many of these features usually come only in paid antivirus programs, while Avast offers them for free.
  • Avast Internet Security also includes premium features such as protection while banking and shopping online, Sandbox suspicious apps, a strong firewall against hackers, protection against spam and phishing emails and an extra layer of ransomware security.
  • If you need more, Avast Premier protects against webcam spying, allows users to permanently delete sensitive files and information, and automatically updates applications on the PC.
  • Avast Ultimate offers all above and also includes Avast SecureLine VPNAvast CleanUp Premium and Avast Passwords Premium.

avast banner

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, McAfee offers two types of packages,

  • 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, Avast offers a wider set of additional privacy features, such as VPN service, and performance tools. 

Antivirus protection

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.[5]

Avast uses same malware detection technology like McAfee. The antivirus defenses start from a traditional malware signature-matching engine and heuristic monitoring. Anything suspicious is sent to Avast cloud-based servers for further analysis. 

We tested Avast Antivirus on our Windows 10 test computer and the full scan detected all of the malware samples we have installed.

According to the latest test conducted by AV-TEST, Avast caught 100% both, known and unknown malware.

As you can see both providers offer superior malware detection rates.

System-performance impact and scans

When it comes to system performance impact, 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 took a relatively small toll on performance during a full active scan. The performance declined only by 14%. However, the first full scan tool more than an hour, and the second just more than 45 minutes.

McAfee PC Security

As we tested the Avast Antivirus, the application is developed not to drain the system or consume an abnormal amount of the system’s resources. In addition, the antivirus does not have a noticeable impact during scans. The full scan took similar was finished in just up to 50 minutes.

  • Impact on a system when launching popular websites – 25% (19%).
  • Impact on a system while downloading frequently-used applications – 0% (1%).
  • Impact on a system while launching standard software programs – 13% (8%)
  • Impact on a system while installing frequently-used programs – 18% (25%)
  • Impact on a system while copying files 2% (3%)

Avast Virus Scan

As you can see McAfee offers a slightly lower impact on system performances and does not create any interruptions or lags.

Customer support

McAfee offers customer support via live chat and phone available 24×7, it also offers users to connect the support on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube.

The official support site is very informative and allows looking for information easily. It also offers a virtual assistant for guided solutions, look for information in community forums, knowledge base, FAQs, and other product-related information.

Avast does not provide free customer support. The 24/7 customer support is offered with the most expensive Avast Ultimate. Avast, just like McAfee offers a very informative support webpage. Users can find their tips, manuals, FAQ section, useful links, and more product-related information.

User Interface

McAfee used to have a pretty dark user interface, but in the most recent versions, the interface looks bright and light. Just like Avast, McAfee’s main window cannot be resized or run full screen but can be moved around.

All the main features appear in the main window, so it is easy to navigate and understand.

We could also mention that the interface of the app is designed very well and it is extremely user-friendly. The modern design of the McAfee makes you feel comfortable and lets you navigate the functions easily.

When it comes to Avast, the interface looks dark and looks attractive. All the main features appear on the main window, and it has a left-side menu bar.

We can say that both of the programs have simple and user-friendly interfaces.


According to OPSWAT’s streamlined Windows Anti-malware Market Share Report[6], which includes the most recent data collected for 6 months from June to December, Avast Software has the largest market share among the most popular anti-malware products with 18.44% of the total antivirus market share. McAfee appears in the second place with 12.58% of the market share.

Anti-malware market share report

As you can see in the graph above, other popular products include Malwarebytes, Bitdefender, ESET, Webroot, Kaspersky Lab, Safer Networking Ltd with SpyBot Search & Destroy,  Avira, and Symantec with Norton.

The final verdict

McAfee is user-friendly software with a nice interface and many features. Additionally, it has superior malware detection rates and a low impact on system performances.

We recommend this package for households with many devices that want an optimal choice for their safety.

Avast is also a decent security package that is capable of protecting the entire family. It is simple to use and provides advanced protection against malware and viruses.

Final thoughts

McAfee and Avast security packages are both developed by cybersecurity giants. Both companies provide reliable and advanced technology, in order to protect users against various cyber threats and other useful security, privacy, and optimization features.

According to the latest test results, we recommend users McAfee, since it provides very decent antivirus protection rates, a full-featured package with a minimal impact on a system at a very reasonable price.

avast banner

The table below summarizes our test results. As you can see both programs have similar malware detection and removal rates, performance and usability results.


Detection rate









About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Antivirus software specialist

Gabriel E. Hall is an antivirus software specialist at

Contact Gabriel E. Hall
About the company Esolutions


now online
Like us on Facebook