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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.

iOS

The iOS module isn't really a security tool -- it doesn't scan for malware or warn you about apps that potentially might be privacy-invaders. Instead, it's a privacy vault that protects files your photos and videos. The app also backs up your contacts and locates your phone if it gets lost; it has remote lock and wipe.

I found the vault to be quite confusing and more trouble than it was worth. You can't simply select files to be protected -- instead, you have to add photos and videos manually, and then delete them from their original locations. Worse still, photos and videos aren't added to the vault automatically after you take them or download them. Instead, if you're going to take a photo or video that you know you'll want to be protected, you have to launch the McAfee app, then use the camera module that comes with the app to take the photo or video.

Web dashboard

McAfee's Web dashboard is moderately useful. It shows you the security state of any devices on which you've installed McAfee LiveSafe, including when the last scan was done and its results, and whether the security software is up to date. For mobile devices, you can locate a lost device, lock it remotely, sound an alarm on it and wipe it.

However, in my case, the dashboard was inaccurate. It showed that my Mac's McAfee protection had lapsed, even though I had installed a new version of it that very day. And -- perhaps because it thought protection had lapsed -- it didn't show the results of malware scans on the machine.

Bottom line

Despite some problems with inaccuracies, LiveSafe is a good security suite at a good price. Its Mac and Windows protection is solid, although the latter falls down when it comes to tune-up tools, and the Android protection is exemplary, while the iOS is quite poor.

And the price is right -- $59.99 per year to protect as many devices as you want. LiveSafe is worth considering, particularly if you've got a lot of devices that need protection.

 

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