McAfee or Windows Defender?

  • McAfee

    Votes: 10 35.7%
  • Windows Defender

    Votes: 18 64.3%
  • Total voters
    28
Products to compare
McAfee Multi Access (ISP) vs WindowsDefender
Compare
Performance and System Impact
Computer protection (Antivirus engine, Heuristic engine)
Internet protection (Web Guard, Anti-Phishing, Antispam, Browser extension)
Proactive protection (Behavior blocker, HIPS, Sandbox)
Network protection (Firewall, Botnet protection)
Ransomware protection
Banking & Payments protection

geminis3

Level 3
I upgraded to 100/100 fiber and my ISP gives me 3 McAfee Multi Access licenses (I'm currently running Windows Defender with PUA detection plus Quad9).
The last time I tried McAfee it rendered my previous laptop barely usable but it looks that things changed now.

Which one would you choose?
 

oldschool

Level 32
Verified
My most recent experience with McAfee was an ISP-provided full suite in mid 2017, when we changed to a new ISP. It was a total hog on our laptop (now 9 yrs. old). It slowed our machine down considerably + ultra slow scans. I hear things may have changed, but no experience with current versions. If you like all the bells and whistles, what do you have to lose trying McAfee? BTW: On my Samsung phone I just ditched Sophos Free to experiment with the built-in McAfee, and I have to say it uses less battery than Sophos. @Gandalf_The_Grey was correct on this!


Hey @RoboMan - I did not know you had such dislike for WD. Harsh! :LOL:
 

Raiden

Level 13
Verified
Content Creator
I cannot comment on McAfee as it's been a very long time since I tried it last, but I can comment on WD.

IMHO WD has improved significantly on the protection front. With every major release of W10 it's getting better and better. It really starts to shine when you configure it, which can be easily done with Configure Defender or Hard Configurator. Alternatively, (depending on your version of Windows 10) you can also perform these changes manually via registry, Powershell and or GPE.

With WD you are pretty much looking at the OS as a whole to provide the protection (Windows firewall, WD, Smartscreen, etc...). Yes other programs take advantage of some of these technologies too (or work along side them), but in reality you are relying more on that particular program, rather than the OS. Well that's the mentality when using a 3rd party product.

Also, it's always up to date, never expires, it's not in your face with ad's and such and most importantly, it's guaranteed to work with every major release of Windows 10.

On the performance side of things you are definitely going to get a variety of responses, as it varies from person to person and system to system. I would say that for a vast majority of people out there you probably won't notice it very much and in my experience, that is the case on both of my systems. However, if you have and HDD, install/uninstall a lot of programs and transfer large files very frequently, you will probably notice WD more during those tasks due to the way it scans, but other than that it's not noticeable IMO.

From your list I would say that if you look at WD and the system as a whole, you pretty much have everything covered. In terms of "web protection" you can enable network protection for WD to gain this ability, but in all honesty most major browsers (Edge, Chrome and Firefox) are very secure and can protect you from a lot of whats on the web. You can add an adblocker to help further increase your protection as well and an extension such as Malwarebyes, Windows Browser Protection, Emsisoft browser protection, etc... if you want a little more. IMHO things like "banking protection" is just snake oil, as it really only provides things like keystroke encryption, but if the website itself is compromised no amount protection will save you.

If I were you, I would try out both and find out which one you like the most. After all this is your system, so you are the one that need to be happy, no us :)


Looooong time no use McAfee so I cannot give a decent opinion, plus I dislike WD a lot; so just burn your computer and bury it 500mt below the sea level :D
So much hate, tell us how you really feel :p
 
Last edited:

plat1098

Level 8
Verified
Well, like the vast majority here, this was a few years ago, but I remember the uninstall routine and what followed with the incomplete remnant removal. Using the McAfee special removal tool didn't fix it so I had to reset my machine. :mad:

Hopefully, that's been improved lately so if you're demoing, hopefully you won't have this issue (as much) or will have an image of your system to fall back on. Since protection can be controlled and enhanced with various tools and settings, things like startup/shutdown and general speed and error rates would be at the forefront of my eval.
 

jtshadow92

Level 1
Verified
To be very honest, McAfee has made a lot improvements to their software. They migrated most of their signatures and other technologies to the cloud. Their detection rate has improved as well. You may be surprised when you install it that its not the same software from 2 or so years ago. I'd say give it a try, if you don't like it you could always uninstall it.
 

oldschool

Level 32
Verified
I agree with @Raiden's overall take. I especially agree with him that banking protection, cleaners and all the other built-in bloat is really just that - snake oil. The one thing I will say is that some third-party suites let you customize your installation, eg. Avast comes to mind. But the current state of WD is pretty darn good for what it is. If you harden the Windows OS you're golden.
 

Vasudev

Level 29
Verified
I upgraded to 100/100 fiber and my ISP gives me 3 McAfee Multi Access licenses (I'm currently running Windows Defender with PUA detection plus Quad9).
The last time I tried McAfee it rendered my previous laptop barely usable but it looks that things changed now.

Which one would you choose?
If your neighbors are enemies, I'd give them McAfee Multi pack license for free.
I'd stick with WD w/ PUA along with Configure defender from Andy Ful. If you've configured windows to update regularly to new OS upgrades then WD should work fine w/o updating 3rd party AVs. If you're careful and want some better protection, I'll suggest Kaspersky Free which is lighter and has better detection.
 

Andy Ful

Level 45
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
It is hard to say which AV can better protect the home users. Some AVs can have faster signatures than WD, but WD (tweaked) is more aggressive in blocking unsafe applications.
WD (tweaked) has better anti-script protection than most AVs (better than Kaspersky free). That is important, because about 80% of malware in the wild is delivered by scripts (including scripts delivered by macros).
Simply, choose the AV you like best.(y)
 

Andy Ful

Level 45
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
Wouldn't syshardener protect against scripts?
Yes, often. Most users on MT will say that Kaspersky free + SysHardener, will be better than McAfee + SysHardener, or WD (not tweaked) + SysHardener. It is hard to prove such statement, anyway.

In my opinion, Kaspersky free + SysHardener will be probably better for people who use cracks or pirated software. If the user intentionally downloads and runs the shady EXE files, then the results from Malware Hub should be considered as more reliable, as compared to real-world tests. As we know, Kaspersky looks very strong in MH tests.

In other cases, there will be no real difference for the home user.
 
Last edited:

Vasudev

Level 29
Verified
It is hard to say which AV can better protect the home users. Some AVs can have faster signatures than WD, but WD (tweaked) is more aggressive in blocking unsafe applications.
WD (tweaked) has better anti-script protection than most AVs (better than Kaspersky free). That is important, because about 80% of malware in the wild is delivered by scripts (including scripts delivered by macros).
Simply, choose the AV you like best.(y)
So does WD block my own scripts for netfx updating,nirsoft monitor off, etc.. files with script scanning? I disabled it since my scripts ran fine on my PC whereas it didn't work on my sister's PC?
 
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Vasudev

Level 29
Verified
It is quite normal. Most AVs have problems with script detection, that is why SysHardener or another application, that can block/restrict scripts, is recommeded. WD has very aggressive anti-script protection, that is why your scripts are blocked.
I disabled the entire script scanning because there are lot of scripts so adding to exclude is a pain and I think my sister has some Arduino development IDE and that might be blocked.