McAfee Total Protection 2016 review

There are only so many ways you can present the information from an internet security suite. Total Protection has the virtue of simplicity, though not much visual flair. The initial display shows the status of virus, spyware, email and web protection and offers big buttons to add McAfee to other machines. It can offer this because Total Protection covers unlimited devices.

This means that, for personal use, you can add to your McAfee account whatever mix of PC, Mac, iOS and Android devices you want, though the PC protection is the most comprehensive. Setting up protection on extra devices is made easier by the My Network function, which examines and reports on all available machines connected to your local network.

See also: Best antivirus and best free antivirus software of 2016

McAfee Total Protection 2016 review: Price

It may be one of the more expensive options at £80 but Total Protection 2016, as we've said, isn't limited to only a few devices. Plus, amazingly, you can buy Total Protection 2016 from Amazon for only £19.99.

McAfee Total Protection 2016 review: Features and interface

The main Total Protection screen shows four large click panels for virus & spyware, web & email, updates and subscription, and three subsidiary ones for data protection, PC & home network tools and parental controls. Each of these leads through to corresponding controls and status displays.

Controls are easy to access and most take the form of check boxes or slide switches, but you can safely leave virtually all of them at their default settings. An AV scan schedule is automatically established, but you can run custom scans too.

McAfee Total Protection 2016 review

What Total Protection lacks, compared with McAfee’s top-of-the-range LiveSafe, is the personal 1GB Cloud Locker, which provides online storage shared between all your devices, and support for biometric security, such as facial recognition. Online storage and backup are certainly a useful supplement to Internet Security and many rival products make it a core element of their packages, but it’s always possible to add it here, through upgrade.

McAfee Total Protection 2016 review: Performance

Our test scan of 50GB of assorted files completed in 1 hour 18 minutes and scanned 17,718 files, giving a poor scan rate of just 3.79 files per second. Repeating the scan took 10 minutes 36s and, unusually, examined 18,030, slightly more than the first scan.

There’s a noticeable hit on system performance, too, with a 1GB file copy taking 40s without a scan running in the background and 1min 09s, with one. That’s an increase of 72 percent.

Our results are at variance with the more extensive testing carried out by AV-Test, though. It scored the suite at 17.5/18.0 overall, a very good figure, with the software only dropping 0.5 over the two months of testing.

Under the Performance heading, the McAfee engine scored 6.0/6.0 and registered no slow down over the range of site visits, downloads, installations and copies, against a group average of 2s. This is without AV or vulnerability scans running, though, which is part of the reason for the difference from our own results.

The Usability section also scored a perfect 6.0, with no false detections or warnings at any stage – an excellent result.

Finally, the Protection section dropped the 0.5. While McAfee provided 99.9 percent protection against a group average of 99.7 percent on established malware, it dropped from 98.8 percent to 96.7 percent month to month, against an average of 97.1 percent, when dealing with zero-day attacks. It’s still a very good result.

McAfee Total Protection 2016: Specs

  • System Requirements: Windows 7/8/8.1/10 all 32/64 bit, 2GHz Core 2 Duo, 1.5GB memory, 2GB HD
  • System Requirements: Windows 7/8/8.1/10 all 32/64 bit, 2GHz Core 2 Duo, 1.5GB memory, 2GB HD

OUR VERDICT

The key fact to take away about McAfee Total Protection is that you can protect as many personally owned PC, Mac, iOS and Android devices as you have, on the one subscription. The Total Protection suite does this very well, though if you want to include backup and online storage in you security provision, you need to look at the top of the range LiveSafe offering, instead.