McAfee Internet Security

Quick Summary

McAfee Internet Security is a paid-for system that provides much more than just protection while browsing the web. The well-known suite has been updated and now features a clean, easy-to-navigate interface along with options to incorporate firewalls and performance enhancers. However, because of its many options, this suite may not be the best option for beginners.

Setting Up the Program

The installation process is fast and straightforward. There are no options for users to choose from or decisions to make regarding install paths and other details. After installation is completed, users can elect to begin short tutorial that runs through accessing and using McAfee Internet Security’s most crucial functions.

Security Alerts

McAfee Internet Security will notify users if its real-time protection is turned off with a red triangle and a message directing them to turn the feature on. This can be done by clicking the “Turn it on” button located at the bottom of the pop-up notification.

McAfee has a fairly simple threat notification system. If you encounter malicious content of any sort that’s included in the current system database of threats, you’ll be shown a notification in your browser window. Potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) are treated with the same level of threat protection as malware and other threats, and will also cause a notification to be sent to your browser.

Information to Consider

  • Some versions of McAfee are older, and therefore don’t feature the upgraded UI. These are either being automatically upgraded over time, or users who purchased a copy from an offline source are being instructed to purchase the newest version of the software.
  • The program uses the United States date format (MM/DD/YYYY) regardless of the country it’s purchased in.
  • Mac and PC downloads are version exclusive.

Ease of Use

McAfee Internet Security has been around for years, but the most recent revamp of the program has enhanced its accessibility and made it a sleeker product for the average computer user. Many of the features are now streamlined, and it is thorough about keeping its database of threats up to date.

The UI is now organized to grant access to the most-used features up front, with tabs on the home page designating access to sections for malware scanning, app updates, cookie and tracker removal and password protection.

The “PC Security” tab contains the features most commonly used by those looking for a safe browsing experience. Here, users will find options regarding setting up and customizing their firewall, setting up timed scans and running scans to detect threats in various parts of their systems. The screens are fairly straightforward and offer basic options alongside more advanced ones for those looking for a more personalized experience.

Users looking for help online may find themselves disappointed, however. McAfee has little in the way of online help, and even the information it provides on blocked or fixed threats is minimal at best, often providing a URL that leads to a web page with bare bones data. The suite also sometimes fails to notify users that a threat exists or that it’s been taken care of. This lack of information is the program’s largest shortcoming.

The system does not provide on-access file detection, so USB devise containing harmful content may not be stopped in time without an on-demand scan taking place.



  • Causes noticeable slowdown
  • No on-access protection
  • Lack of information provided to user
  • UI scrolls, making navigation less than ideal for some