McAfee vs Windows Defender – Comparison

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Hey there, having a problem in selecting a new antivirus? Can’t decide whether to stick with classic Windows Defender or opt for McAfee? Well, in order to help you out we have carried out a full comparison review between the 2 so you can easily decide which one suits best to your needs.

So, let’s get started.

The internet is booming at a higher rate, so does the risk of getting infected by malicious ware or harmful files. As of today, a individual using the internet non daily basis is prone to get infected by more than 800 million types of malicious ware available on the internet. These are the files and ware are responsible for various cyber theft, crime and internet, and PC related issues. Hence antivirus is the key element software responsible to block such files and ware in order to protect the users while using the internet.

The very well know McAfee antivirus and classic Windows Defender. Well, people often find themselves in the dilemma when it comes to question that whether they should opt the McAfee or simply stick to the good old Windows Defender. It is because they offer so many things to their users. Although they may lack a couple of things or may excel to one another in some which make them differ from each other in many ways. Therefore, the detailed comparison for the same is carried out. Making it easier for you and other readers to decide which one to go for.

Recommened Antivurs for Windows:

Plans offered – McAfee vs Windows Defender:

The list below explains about products offered by the companies for home users.

McAfee Antivirus Suites:

  • McAfee Total Security Suite (Both Windows and Mac).
  • And the McAfee LiveSafe Suite (Both Windows and Mac).

Windows Defender:

  • Windows Defender Security Centre free (Windows Only). Previously7 known as Windows Defender.

Therefore, the above list provides readers with the availability of all antivirus software for different platforms provided by the 2 companies for home users.

Pre-Comparison Result (Short Verdict):

Note: This section of the article is for those who want to skip the effort of reading an in-depth comparison report of the 2 antiviruses and directly know the end result.

As per the research, McAfee is far better than the Windows Defender. Since it offers a lot more security features and provide users with many utility tools in comparison to Windows Defender. Also, as per the Lab test reports McAfee excels from Windows Defender in Protection test as well as in the impact on the system performance test section, Making it the sheer winner of the battle.

It is recommended to kindly read the full comparison report for in-depth knowledge of what both the software has to offer before opting anyone of them.

A detailed description of everything included in McAfee’s Antivirus Suites:

McAfee is a well-renowned antivirus software known for its security and features. It is one of the famous antiviruses present out there in the market. It provides users with different products. Hence, those are stated above, readers can refer to the context stated in the “Plans offered” section of the article. Therefore all the things which the available versions of the software have to offer are as follows:

  • McAfee Total Protection:

This particular product is the companies most profound and best-selling product. It offers its users with complete protection from all types of threats. Besides that, it offers a 2-way firewall, a file shredder, and a file utility tool. Whereas, it also comprises of a Network Manager (Responsible for the protection of wifi network and prevents the intruder’s interference), an anti-spam filter(Blocks of malicious emails and messages), and a Vulnerability Scanner suite(keeps check on outdated software and other security flaws).

On top of that, the software consists of A Parental Control module, a social media guard, and several computer optimization tools present there in the software. The “Total Protection” subscription also provides the customers with five licenses 0f  True Key Identity Manager (Password manager by McAfee). The single subscription of the high-end product by McAfee also allows the protection of up to 10 devices. Regardless of their OS.

In fact, McAfee guarantees in the state of Malware infection, that McAfee expert will either remove the virus completely or will refund your money. Supporting its statement stating “100% virus Protection Guarantee”.

Note: The software also provides an extension of Web Advisor, which user can buy separately.

  • McAfee LiveSafe:

The LiveSafe version by McAfee offers everything present there in the Total Protection Suite. Also, it provides their customers with 1GB of Secure cloud storage in order to store their personal files.


Both “Total Security” and “LiveSafe” by McAfee offers compatibility with Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS devices.

A detailed description of everything included in Windows Defender Antivirus Suite:

Windows Defender is a very well-known name in the field of antivirus. It is mainly because of the freeware included in the Windows OS. It is a freeware service provided by Microsoft itself, and is mainly used by people in case of the backup.

Windows Defender Security Centre free:

The suit provides you with protection from a range of malware threats. But as of advanced protection-related features and extra utilities, you won’t be able to find any of those in it. The most useful and utilized feature is of the advanced 2-way firewall as it keeps check on all the outgoing and incoming traffics for malicious activity.

It also has a parental control feature which allows you to set what sites should be visited by the children and helps you monitor their activity. But the disadvantage is that it only works with Microsoft Edge browser.

Whereas other than those 2 utility tools mentioned above it has nothing in it. It lacks features like file shredder, VPN, password management tool, automatic backup utility, and more.

McAfee vs Windows Defender (in terms of providing better protection):

As of the 2 software. McAfee is considered to be really good antivirus in comparison to Windows Defender. Since in today’s time virus is more likely to hit a system, making it a must for antivirus to be good in terms of protection.

Therefore, the tests were held by AV-Test and AV-Comparatives. In order to check how well an Antivirus is against such increasing threats. Since these are the software responsible for an individuals internet security and safety.

Note: The tests were carried out on a standard PC as well as High-end PC.

AV-Test (Tests):

The most recent test by AV-Tests was conducted on Windows 10 in the month of March and April 2018. Both McAfee and Windows Defender took participation in the test. It was tested against 196 samples of zero-day malware and 5,468 samples of widespread malware.

As for McAfee’s Performance, It was completely impressive, it showed a perfect protection rate of 100% against both the malware in both the month attain the perfect score of 6/6 by the AV experts in the “Protection” category.

On the other hand, Windows Defender’s performance was not that appealing as that of McAfee. It still managed to attain a good score of 5.5/6 by the AV experts in the “Protection” category.

AV-Comparatives (Tests):

AV-Comparatives also conducted 2 test. Malware Protection Test and Real-World Protection Test.

As for the recent Real-World Protection test as it block out  99.6% of malware and returned a reasonably low false positives score of 7. Hence attaining the highest “ADVANCED+” award by the AV experts, And for the Windows Defender, the antivirus managed to bag the second best “ADVANCED” award due to its impressive protection rate of 99% and returned a slightly high no of false positive score of 11.

And as for the Malware protection test held in September 2018. McAfee attained “ADVANCED ” award as it managed to detect 99.95% off the threats but returned a slightly high no of false positives with a false positive score of 10.

On the other hand, Windows Defender received the third “STANDARD” award in the Malware Protection test. While it displayed the impressive protection rate of 99.99% but was brought down to the third award due to returning the whooping 70 false positives.

Therefore, looking at the result it can be stated that both McAfee is pretty good in terms of protection. Although Windows Defender showed impressive results but was brought down by the false positive scores, making McAfee sheer winner in the test.

McAfee vs Windows Defender: CPU Usage Comparison

Antivirus generally runs in the background. Lately it is been a concern of people because this background activity tends to eat up most of the CPU performance. But is important for the sake of safety and security.

Therefore, for antivirus to be good in terms of performance. It should imply a less strain on PC since doing so exerts a heavy strain that can result in unexpected pauses and hang in a system which can be pretty annoying.

Therefore, tests were conducted by independent labs to carry out the result. How the 2 software fared in a particular category by carrying out a couple of activities like launching popular websites, downloading and installing, commonly used applications, copying of files, and more.

Note: The tests were carried out on a standard PC as well as High-end PC.

McAfee’s impact Test:

McAfee attained the slightly less yet impressive score of 5.5/6 by the AV experts. Since it exerted a nominal amount of strain on the CPU, else it was pretty stable, Attaining an impressive score in the “Performance” Category.

Below are the test reports for McAfee in “Performance” Category (AV-Test).

Whereas in AV-Comparatives test results, McAfee attained “ADVANCED +” rating with a low impact score of 6.9. Making it a pretty stable software to use.

Below are the test reports for McAfee in “Performance” Category (AV-Comparative).

Windows Defender Impact Test:

As of the test conducted in regards to checking the load exerted by Windows Defender on the system. It got an equal rating of 5.5/6 same as that of McAfee, in the AV-Test study.

Below are the AV-Test study reports of Windows Defender’s impact test.

Whereas, it bagged the third best rating “STANDARD” award in the test held by AV-Comparatives. Since the exerted rate on the CPU by it was very high. Therefore implying  more burden than any other software in the test.

Below are the AV-Comparatives test reports of Windows Defender’s impact test.

Therefore, it is again clear that McAfee again won the category. As it showed better results than the Windows Defender making McAfee the winner of the “Performance” category.

McAfee vs Windows Defender (in terms of Price):

Both of the programs might have basic duties of protection user from malware threat. But as for the price tags, it might not be the same case. As in this section, we’ll be stating the allotted price of each software version provided by both companies. Hence making it easier for readers to decide which one falls in their budget range.

McAfee Antivirus Software Pricing:

  • McAfee Total Protection:

The total protection by McAfee is available for you to purchase at cost of rupees 1400 for a year subscription and for protection up to 5 devices.

  • McAfee LiveSafe:

The LiveSafe version is cost at rupees 1299 for a year subscription for 1 device protection.


Each product prices vary depending over the no. of devices protection is needed for.

Therefore, the context stated above tells the readers about the prices available for all different type of McAfee software on a different platform.

Get McAfee

Windows Defender Antivirus Software Pricing:

  • Windows Defender Security Centre free:

It is a freeware which can be downloaded for free. Whereas is pre-installed in the original Windows OS.

The Winner: Final Verdict

The basic need for an individual using the internet on the daily basis id to own a premium antivirus product. Since these are the programs responsible for individuals security and safety from online threats. As of the 2 Antivirus software discussed in this article. The comparison is for people to understand the software better and to opt the one which suits best for their needs.

Hence, the conclusion is that both of the Antivirus software is very well functioning. And, are pretty successful in protecting the individual from online threats and malicious ware. But as of the result of the comparison between the 2. McAfee excels, Because of its streamlined features as well as prices and options available for all the customers. Also, it highly excels in terms of giving out false positives. Meaning that it tend to report very few safe files as a threat in comparison to Windows Defender. In fact, McAfee guarantees in the state of Malware infection, that McAfee expert will either remove the virus completely or will refund your money. Supporting its statement stating “100% virus Protection Guarantee”.

Therefore, it is clear that McAfee is the winning contender of this head to head comparison between McAfee and Windows Defender. 

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