Anti Virus Software


Shropshire, U.K.
Feb 13, 2006
Shropshire, U.K.
McAfee have increased their annual fee by 30% so I’m looking around for alternatives.

Any recommendations?

Edit: I have been particularly impressed with McAfee support in the past. I remember contacting them on Christmas Day a few years back. There was an instant response from their support desk and a fix within an hour. That's one reason I've been happy to pay for anti-virus support in the past.
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Malwarebytes. It will install as a 'premuim' free trial (which is useful to clean house anyway) then default to the normal free version after, I think, 14 days.
Useful and informative newsletters as well.
If you don't have an AV installed your system will default to windows defender. It seems to work and get regular updates but it is microsoft so I'd advise you to check all the privacy setting.
What are the pros and cons of just buying a new subscription from somewhere like Argos? I see that they are selling McAfee Total Protection for £9.99 at the minute.
I use windows defender (and as advised above, I always go through all privacy settings when I geta new PC). The last time I had a virus was when I had an Atari ST (green goblin virus). I got it from a disk that came with an Atari magazine. Ironic that you’d think buying a legit publication would be safe.
I've used Microsoft Defender for the last several years. I had McAfee installed before that, but I began to endure horrible lockups during Microsoft patch updates. Updates were taking days to complete with me periodically forcing restarts every several hours.
Thanks, everyone.

McAfee are proposing to increase my annual fee from £85 to £109.99. It's on auto-renew on 24/12/2022. Whilst I'm looking around for a replacement I thought I'd turn off auto-renew now so that I didn't forget. The email tells me how to do it, and when I log in there's Q&A on how to do it. Does it work? No.

The product tab says it's on auto-renew the auto-renew tab says it isn't so I can't turn it off! What a surprise! So I contacted support. Of course, they wanted to know why I wanted to turn it off and then offered me my old price when I told them why. I told them I wasn't interested in dishonest practice and 'just turn it off'. They did.

Now the Consumers Association highly recommends Bitdefender for paid-for antivirus software. According to their website, I can get 3 years, 3 device cover for £109.99. Seems like a bargain. I'll look around a bit more in the next month but getting 3-year cover for the price of McAfee's 1 year seems to be the way to go.

BTW the CA also recommends a few non-paid for as well but point out that the continuous 'upgrade messages' are a bit of a bind.
I notice that for the first few years, there are promos, after which the price goes up. It's also very expensive if several devices have to be protected. There are cheap products, but their protection ranking isn't always high.

To check for system impact, prevention, and usability, try sites like AV-Comparatives (check the test charts and sort by results) and note the top products. Also, some Youtube channels test different security programs regularly and show results.

Given that, you can probably take the top software (usually, Avast, Bitdefender, and Kaspersky) and, one at a time (and completely uninstalling any previous programs first), install a trial version and test it. Use the free version of Novabench and run it a few times (no need to test the GPU) and note the average results.

Finally, for free versions, also note any lack of features (e.g., no anti-ransomware or can't remove present viruses) or annoyances (e.g., upgrade popups even after all notifications are disabled) besides testing each using Novabench.

In my machine, for free versions, Avast has the highest benchmark scores, followed by Kaspersky Security Cloud.
So, I went for Bitdefender with a currently discounted price of £89.99 for 3 devices for 3 years. That saves me approx £190 at McAfee’s old price or £250 at their new price.

Bitdefender’s first scan found and removed 4 trojans that McAfee knew nothing about.

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