McAfee VS Kaspersky: Antivirus Head-to-Head Battle

Last updated on June 10, 2021

Head to Head: Kaspersky vs Mcafee

Those who are tech-savvy will be aware of the threats that lurk around on the internet. Browsing unknown sites can leave both your computer and your network wide open to a number of malicious threats and cybercrime. It’s a very real issue that luckily has a solution in the form of antivirus software. Internet security is a competitive market and there are tons of products around that boast excellent features. Two of the biggest names out there are McAfee Antivirus and Kaspersky Antivirus who both provide impressive features and competitive pricing.

In this guide we put the two companies head to head: McAfee vs Kaspersky. We will look at the two products and investigate the differences between the two, looking at the pros and cons. Who will come up number #1 in our Kaspersky vs McAfee guide? Keep reading to find out who offers the best antivirus software…

User InterfaceLoser
Customer SupportWinner
Extra Features & Add-OnsLoser
Privacy & SecurityWinner
Performance & Protection ProtocolsWinner


People tend to cut corners when it comes to internet safety and with many free products on the market, it’s easy to see why no one wants to pay for antivirus software. But free isn’t always best. If you are using free software it’s likely that you will be missing out on a number of additional features and we can guarantee that you won’t be getting the best service out there. Unfortunately, the best things in life are not free and that includes internet security packages! Packages tend to vary quite radically when it comes to cost and both McAfee and Kaspersky can be found in the mid-range section of the market. Both antivirus products provide a number of different packages which are suitable for a range of different customers.  And in addition to home use products, they both also offer competitive packages for small business too.

McAfee offers a range of packages that start from as little as $55 per year up to around $112 per year. The cheaper packages protect just one PC or laptop whereas the other more expensive subscriptions will protect up to 10 PCs or laptops – making it ideal for small businesses.

Kaspersky offers cheaper packages for home users, from as little as $28 to $34. They also regularly run offers too – as of the time of writing they were offering 30% off all subscription packages. Kaspersky came up tops when coming head to head with McAfee in the battle for the best price.

Winner: Kaspersky

User Interface

Alongside features and cost, one of the most important things that attracts customers is the interface. A complicated user interface is not only annoying but it’s off-putting too. We all respond well to a nice, clean and easy-to-use interface that is simple to navigate. So how does McAfee compare to Kaspersky when it comes to its user interface?

At the first instance, it’s important to be able to navigate the websites in order for potential customers to be able to clearly read the features available and know what they are potentially buying.

The McAfee website has a simple website that is easy to navigate. The products are laid out in a simple grid with click-through links which give the customer additional information on the features and services offered. Kaspersky was even more impressive with its website layout and has a clean white page with its products clearly listed alongside their features and prices. We found that once the products had been purchased, the usability was simple for both Kaspersky and McAfee with clean simple designs and easy features that even technophobes can navigate. It was a close call when deciding which had the best user interface, but Kaspersky beat McAfee ever so slightly with its super clean website.

Winner: Kaspersky

Customer Support

Customer support is everything. Especially when it comes to the competitive market of internet security. So how did Kaspersky compare to McAfee with customer support?

McAfee has a dedicated support page with a number of different options for customers to gain help and assistance. When you click on the page you are presented with a search bar where you can search the support page for a particular query. If your question is still unanswered there are a number of sections below where you can click through to specific pages so you can search the knowledge base or ask the community. There is a Virtual Assistant for guided solutions offering a step-by-step assistance with all McAfee products. If you’re still having issues you can contact the support team via the online chat and dedicated telephone line which are both 24/7 services. What we really liked about this was that they gave an estimated wait time for urgent inquiries. Support is also available through social media.

With Kaspersky, there is also plenty of support available but the user interface is a little confusing so it can be tricky to find the answer to your queries yourself. You can get help from the support page which is split into three sections: Support for Home, Support for Business and Virus Fighting Tools & Services. Here you can access the knowledge base for articles and how-to videos. There is also the option to ask the community, get online help via a live chat, submit a request or call support Mon-Fri, 8-5.30pm. We found that the support page wasn’t clear and not very easy to navigate at all. For this reason, McAfee won this section.

Winner: McAfee

Extra Features & Add-Ons

If you’ve ever used free antivirus software you will be well aware that their features are pretty limited. With the bigger names such as Kaspersky and McAfee, you’re always going to get more features as you’re paying for a full service. Paying for antivirus software will always give you better protection online. Both Kaspersky and McAfee draw customers in by offering a wide range of standard features, but who comes up better when it comes to additional features and add-ons?

Kaspersky offers a free tools section on their download page with lots of additional features from password management software and a virus remover tool to a feature which is designed to keep your kids safe online. The additional features that are offered from McAfee are mostly part of paid subscriptions. There are a few free tools that are useful, however, such as the free virus scan feature but the virus removal service does incur an additional cost. Overall, we were impressed with Kaspersky’s free features and so we crowned them the winner of this section.

Winner: Kaspersky

Privacy & Security

When it comes to security and privacy, it can be expected that companies who provide internet protection also protect their customers’ privacy. In Kaspersky’s privacy policy they clearly state what data they process and how they use that particular data. They also have a separate anti-corruption policy which focuses on the ethical behavior of the company and employees. This additional policy is likely in response to the recent controversy where the Department of Homeland Security investigated Kaspersky as it was thought that Russians were using the company’s products to access government information. The McAfee privacy policy is a little more standard, giving information on what data is stored and how it is used.

Winner: McAfee


Kaspersky’s basic Anti-Virus Package is fairly limiting as it only protects PCs and isn’t suitable for Mac and mobile devices. If you are looking for a product that will work across multiple devices then you will have to upgrade to the more comprehensive Internet Security Package or Total Security Package for a few extra dollars. These products work across multiple devices and provide a large number of additional features. The products are simple to download and once installed go to work protecting your data immediately.

In comparison, McAfee’s antivirus subscription packages cover all devices in one product and incorporate features that protect you against viruses and malicious malware as well as encrypt files that are stored on Windows PCs and help you keep your passwords in place with a dedicated password manager.

Winner: McAfee

Performance & Protection Protocols

Protection protocols are what separates the outstanding products from the mediocre. They are an essential element in keeping you safe and secure whilst surfing cyberspace. Kaspersky makes the top grade when it comes to antivirus scans, with a full scan taking significantly less time to complete than many others on the market. Whilst McAfee provides comprehensive scans, they are not well known to have the speediest scans. Both Kaspersky and McAfee are ahead when it comes to security and are constantly watching for the latest threats online. McAfee is so confident that they can detect and remove viruses that they offer a money-back guarantee. Kaspersky, on the other hand, can often fail with pre-existing malware threats, as they often cannot be detected.

Winner: McAfee

Overall Winner: McAfee

Both Kaspersky and McAfee offer super reliable antivirus protection for your devices. When it comes to advanced features they both level up here too, with comprehensive plans that offer extras such as family protection, cross-platform, multi-device protection, encrypted storage and more. Kaspersky’s user interface is a little bit unclear and its plans aren’t so flexible, with the basic package not providing protection for Macs or mobile devices, whereas McAfee provides a nice clean user interface and lots of different packages.

The overall winner in our Kaspersky vs McAfee review is McAfee. We recommend this product for individuals and households with families with multiple devices as it provides the best subscription packages with the safest, most comprehensive features.

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