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Review: McAfee LiveSafe offers top Windows, Android protection

Preston Gralla | July 21, 2015
McAfee LiveSafe is the best product in McAfee's sizable security portfolio. Its suite offers protection for an unlimited number of Windows PCs, Macs and Android and iOS devices, along with a Web dashboard. There's 1TB of cloud-based storage as well. The whole thing is available for $60 per year.

mcafee pc

McAfee LiveSafe is the best product in McAfee's sizable security portfolio. Its suite offers protection for an unlimited number of Windows PCs, Macs and Android and iOS devices, along with a Web dashboard. There's 1TB of cloud-based storage as well. The whole thing is available for $60 per year.

Windows

McAfee gives you a solid complement of protection tools for your PC that includes virus and spyware protection, Web and email protection, and parental controls. Also included is a suite of not overly impressive tune-up tools.

The interface is straightforward, with big icons representing each of its modules. I found the design to be clear and simple, letting me easily drill down to customize any feature. Modules include Virus and Spyware Protection, Web and Email Protection, Data Protection, PC and Home Network Tools, and Parental Controls. There are also icons that you can click to update the software or see the status of your subscription.

Clicking an icon lets you quickly drill down into the guts of a module. For example, click the Virus and Spyware icon to scan your PC, turn real-time scanning on or off, and schedule scans. Similarly, click Web and Email protection to enable or disable your firewall, anti-spam functionality and SiteAdvisor -- a feature that tells you which sites are safe or unsafe before you visit. SiteAdvisor also lets you know if a site is safe when you do a search.

PC and Home Network Tools is where to go for tune-up and miscellaneous tools. I found the tune-up tools to be fairly rudimentary: A QuickClean feature that deletes unnecessary files, a defragmenter and a file shredder. You may not find yourself using them much -- for instance, automatic defragging is built into Windows. However, if you want to securely get rid of files, you may find the file shredder useful.

A tool called My Home Network sounds great in theory. It's designed for those who want to keep an eye on the devices connected to their network. It lists each device it finds, along with information such as the device's operating system, whether it's protected by McAfee software, its IP and MAC addresses, and whether file and/or printer sharing is turned on.

On my network, though, it was only partially useful. It found my router, two Windows PCs and my network printer, but was unable to identify my Mac or iPhone -- and I was never able to figure out why.

The suite also has a Windows 8 app, McAfee Central, that wasn't very useful. It's supposed to give details about your PC's security state, but it didn't work for me -- for example, it reported that my Windows PC didn't have McAfee LiveSafe installed on it, even though it did.

 

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