McAfee Total Protection anti-spyware program welcomes 2020 as the latest product from McAfee, claiming it as its best yet. Also an antivirus and anti-malware software, Total Protection comes with other features like a cross-platform password manager, unlimited VPN (virtual private network) protection (though at an additional price), file encryption and shredding, and so much more living up to its name.


In this product review, we will look at what McAfee Total Protection has to offer, its features, pros and cons, and the system requirements you should have before choosing and buying the product.


Why Choose McAfee Total Protection?

McAfee Total Protection arrives as an award-winning premium combination of anti-spyware, antivirus, and privacy and identity tools. It allows for safe web browsing, password management, and a secure VPN without limits on bandwidths and servers all in one suite.


With this software, you get full protection against emerging online threats like spyware, viruses, and Trojan horses while also keeping your identity private. The newest flagship consumer product offered by McAfee not only includes desktop protection but also protection on your mobile devices, along with spyware removal tools and other anti-malware features.


Some of Total Protection’s most used features include its high-grade encryption for sensitive files, spam filtering capability, and an on-the-go secure Wi-Fi. The latter protects you from attacks even when you’re connected to a public Wi-Fi like in a cafe or an airport. The anti-spyware also blocks malware and prevents websites from auto-playing videos or automatic downloads, minimizing bandwidth usage and the possible entry of malicious programs.

McAfee Total Protection

When you subscribe to McAfee Total Protection’s auto-renewal service, you automatically gain access to its secure VPN. If not, the protection expires within a year, and you either have to find an alternative solution, download a free one, or re-subscribe to the service. This proves to be a smart option for some users, as they have the freedom to change services just within a year if they’re not satisfied with the current one. Though you find that once you get to experience the security that the anti-spyware suite offers, you know that you’re getting a bang for your buck. The auto-renewal service is also a requirement if you want to use the anti-spam filtering feature.


If you are someone who has multiple devices, runs different operating systems, or shares a network with your family, McAfee Total Protection can be your best option. It works compatible with popular operating systems like Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. The system can be installed on laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Though when installing the software suite, it has to be activated online through a link provided in its installation guide. Regular updates need to be manually set up. Some users also encounter some installation issues, which sometimes would require uninstalling or reinstalling the software. Otherwise, contact customer support which has a team of experts able to solve the problem.


The user interface can be a bit cluttered and has a lot of insignificant information. A user merely needs a quick scan feature or a simple interface to work with. When compared with its competitors that offer the same service, Total Protection comes with a less affordable price tag. But when you consider the number of devices you can use it to, it is fractionally much more inexpensive. McAfee offers Total Protection as an Individual plan, Multi-Device plan, or Family-plan with varying limits on devices.


If you are thinking of purchasing the software, it is advisable to use the 30-day free trial first. Its free trial version lets you run scans and remove spyware and other forms of malware.



Configurable firewall

Full-integration with existing McAfee products

Minimal or non-significant drop in performance

Rarely have issues when configured properly

Snappy interface

Prompt and reliable customer support

Frequent updates of network security patches to ensure that your device is protected from emerging and potential threat


A bit pricey compared to other suites offering the same security

High renewal cost

Manual setup needed for triggering updates

Installation issues on some operating systems

Key Features

Home Network Security

McAfee Total Protection’s Home Network Security secures the firewall and blocks hackers from doing any malicious activities like accessing your network. With a secure firewall, users appear anonymous in the public network. This makes it hard for hackers to obtain personal data or even track user location.


Password Manager

You can forget about the guesswork in creating secure passwords and remembering them with Total Protection’s Password Manager. With this feature, you can access passwords from your PC and mobile devices with a single account.


Safe Web Browsing

McAfee Total Protection instantly blocks malicious websites and prevents malware from getting installed on your Internet browser. This protects you from cybercriminals monitoring your website activity including which websites you visit, and which ads you click on.


McAfee QuickClean

Packets of data called web cookies go to users as they access a website from the Internet. These cookies help websites in tracking your activity. Think of cookies as your personal identity on that specific website. Online stores, for example, get to save your shopping cart even if you leave it multiple times. With the Quickclean feature, it can remove temporary files and cookies.


File Lock

If you have sensitive files like tax returns and other important financial documents, you need a highly encrypted drive to store them. The File Lock feature creates password-protected encrypted drives.


McAfee Shredder

Most of the time, when we delete files in the hard drive, they don’t get deleted completely but they instead get encrypted in the hard drive. While this allows us to retrieve our files in the hard drive when we accidentally delete them, it becomes problematic when cybercriminals can access the drive. With McAfee Shredder, it securely deletes files so that advanced thieves aren’t able to access them.


Encrypted Storage

McAfee Total Protection keeps sensitive files private by storing them on the PC with 256-bit AES encryption. This is high-grade data encryption you can only find in some high-quality software like McAfee.


Identity Theft Protection

Provides secure protection against identity theft where it monitors the Dark Web and credit monitoring. It also provides cyber monitoring, keeping track of your personal details including social security number (SSN), email addresses, and credit card numbers. It even has a social media monitoring feature which also keeps track of the content that you share.


Safe Family

McAfee Total Protection’s multi-device variant provides parental controls, giving you extra hands to juggle your kid’s digital life. It also monitors users connected to the Wi-Fi limiting bandwidth allocation.


McAfee Web Advisor

Sidestep attacks by providing clear warnings of risky websites, suspicious links, and files ahead before users even get to visit or download them.


Intrusion Detection System

Just like a safe browsing feature, the Intrusion Detection System monitors the network for malicious activity. When the software detects such activity, it sends a report to the user or the administrator.


Multi-device Protection

This single subscription of Total Protection can protect up to ten devices, protecting not only your device but also your family. It offers an annual subscription with three options depending on the number of devices you need. The Individual Plan which allows one device costs $79.99. The Multi-device plan offers protection for up to five devices at $99.99. While the Family plan protects up to ten devices offered at $119.99.


Anti-Spam Toolbar

McAfee also supports email programs Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird. If you use either of these email programs, you will find the anti-spam toolbar useful in filtering spam emails. Though this tool requires an Outlook 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019 version and Thunderbird 38.0+ version to function properly.


Online Customer Support

McAfee Total Protection also comes with online customer support where you get a team of experts who can access your computer when needed. This requires a subscription in their auto-renewal service.


Other Features

Multi-platform software

Secure VPN

Comprehensive Internet Security

Multi-faceted privacy protection

On-the-go secure Wi-Fi

Performance Optimization

Security Experts


Online Customer Support

Anti-Root kit

Email Protection

Chat/IM protection


Parental controls


Personal Firewall

Minimum System Requirements

Processor 1GHz or faster processor
Memory 32-bit / 64-bit, 2GB RAM for Windows 7 and above
Storage 500MB of available free drive space
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 SP1, 8.1, 8, 10, Apple macOS 10.12 to 10.15, Google Android 4.1 or higher, Apple iOS 10 or later

How To Use

  • When installing McAfee Total Protection for the first time, it will greet you with a guided tour to help you run scans and explore the software’s capability. A lot of users have found it easy to install, use, and configure.
  • Check for security products already installed on your computer. If you have any, remove them first following the instructions as provided by the manufacturer. In installing any new product, this is an initial step to prevent any conflicts or degraded performance with the new system. Though Total Protection won’t send any prompts if it detects an existing security software.
  • If you have an existing McAfee product, either a different version or a similar one, leave the product installed. If you’re installing a similar product, it will just skip installation and proceed with installing a newer version.
  • Web installation works as the recommended method of McAfee product installation especially if you don’t have a CD drive, and you have a faster Internet connection. You may also need to create a McAfee account to proceed with installation when using the product for the first time. It will also prompt users to reboot after installing.
  • Do note that you will need a product installation key (note that this is distinct from the activation code) when installing McAfee Total Protection. You can find it in the Quick Start Guide. Follow the web link provided in the guide, and do as instructed.


Installing McAfee Total Protection On A Different Device

Since you can use McAfee Total Protection on multiple devices, you will need to install it on all these devices. And you can do this simply by sending an installation link from your main device.

On your main device, go to, sign in to your account, and copy the installation link, and send it to your email, or any other way to share the link. On your other device, follow the link and simply follow installation instructions.

Some users may encounter installation problems when installing on a Windows device. This happens when the device does not meet the minimum system requirements. Installation problems can be resolved using the Pre-install Tool.

Download the Pre-Install Tool then run the .exe file and follow the installation prompt. Once done with the installation, restart your computer.

About McAfee

McAfee, the world’s largest dedicated computer security software technology company, has its headquarters in Sta. Clara California. In 2011, Intel Security Group acquired the company to become its subsidiary. TPG Capital and Thomas Bravo also own a market share.

One of the oldest and most trusted brands of security software, McAfee builds a complete suite of antivirus and anti-malware products for home, office, and business. Some of these products include McAfee Endpoint Security, Database Security, Data Protection, and Network Security.


Final Thoughts

McAfee Total Protection packs a competitive feature list, though some don’t perform to its full advantage. Considering its price, it may not compare to other top products offering the same protection. If you’re running on Windows 10, planning to use it in multiple devices, and that an excellent VPN protection falls under your topmost priorities, then this product fits the bill.


However, if you have other requirements that go beyond VPN, password manager, and quick and full scanning, you might consider looking for other products with even better competitive pricing. Feel free to take a quick look at the list of best anti-spyware reviews found on our website.


Alternatively, if you want to go through more internet security suites with free software firewall integrated, feel free to go through other software firewall reviews on the site.