Is It Worth Putting McAfee on a Mac?

  • Discover the pros and cons of installing McAfee antivirus protection on your Mac.
  • Explore the benefits of enhanced security layers.
  • Get to know which McAfee option is best for your needs.
Is it worth putting McAfee on a Mac

As a fellow Mac owner, you’ve probably come across the common belief that Macs don’t need antivirus software. Many Mac owners share this sentiment, and then suddenly, it happens: their laptop gets ambushed by malware! It’s not as rare as you might think. My old Mac was once hit by a virus that eventually knocked it out. So, the big question is, should you consider using antivirus software protection on your Mac? Keep reading to discover the benefits of having McAfee on your Mac. 

Does Apple Recommend Antivirus Software for Mac?

No, Apple doesn’t recommend antivirus protection for Macs, but you should know that MacBooks are not immune to malware. In fact, on this Apple support page, it’s noted that some files and unwanted programs may not be safe for MacBooks. This shows that MacBooks are not invulnerable. Even though they are less likely to be infected than Windows computers, you should know that they can be vulnerable to attacks.

There are several reasons why MacBooks can be susceptible to malware. One reason is their increasing popularity, which makes them a more attractive target for cybercriminals. It’s not surprising that, according to Malwarebytes’ 2020 State of Malware Report, “malicious behavior from Mac files is increasing year-over-year.” Another reason is that macOS is not impervious to security flaws, and malware authors can exploit these vulnerabilities.

Should I Install McAfee on Mac?

Yes, you should install McAfee for Mac, and for good reason. Let us consider some of them:

Pros of Installing McAfee on a Mac

“…I have used McAfee Total Protection for several years now, I have never had any issues either with the antivirus or other protection services they offer…” – GBjim

Here are some benefits of using McAfee for Mac:

  • Malware Protection: McAfee’s antivirus software offers on-demand, scheduled, and real-time protection through scanning to safeguard your Mac from malware. It also includes a firewall to block unauthorized access.
  • Web Protection: McAfee for Mac protects you from malicious websites, ads, phishing attacks, and various types of malware samples while you browse the web.
  • Identity Protection: With McAfee, you can safeguard your personal information through features like credit monitoring, dark web monitoring, and identity theft insurance.
  • Minimal Performance Impact: McAfee’s software is designed to have a minimal impact on your Mac’s performance.
  • User-Friendly Interface: McAfee provides a user-friendly interface, making it easy for you to navigate and use the software.
  • Real-time scanning: McAfee continuously scans your files and programs as you use your Mac, instantly detecting and blocking any lurking malware.
  • On-demand scanning: If you ever want to take matters into your own hands, you can initiate a quick scan at any time to manually check your Mac for malware.
  • Scheduled scanning: McAfee even lets you set up scheduled virus scans, ensuring your Mac gets a regular check-up for malware at intervals you choose.
  • Password Manager: McAfee password manager helps you secure your account by generating complex passwords, storing them, and auto-filling your info for faster logins across devices.

Features Unique to McAfee

McAfee for Mac offers unique features when compared to other antivirus programs. Here are some of them:

  • McAfee Ransomware Recovery: With this, you can regain access to your files if they’re ever held hostage by ransomware.
  • McAfee WebAdvisor: This free browser extension not only keeps malicious websites and annoying ads at bay but also gives you valuable insights about the websites you visit, like their reputation and security rating.
  • McAfee Safe Connect: For added privacy, this VPN service encrypts your internet traffic, ensuring your online activities stay confidential.
  • McAfee Identity Theft Protection: Worried about your personal info on the dark web? This service keeps tabs on it and alerts you if it’s discovered. Plus, it offers identity theft insurance for peace of mind.
  • Firewall: McAfee’s built-in firewall offers firewall protection, blocking any unauthorized access attempts to your Mac.
  • Spam Filtering: Say goodbye to spam emails cluttering your inbox – McAfee’s spam filtering keeps them at bay.

These unique features cater to different aspects of your digital security and privacy, making McAfee a comprehensive choice for safeguarding your Mac.

Benefits of Enhanced Security Layers

Some benefits of an enhanced security layer include:

  • Reduced Malware Risk: With multiple security layers, you can lower the risk of malware infecting your Mac.
  • Improved Performance: Lightweight software ensures smooth Mac performance.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing your Mac is protected provides peace of mind.

Cons of Installing McAfee on a Mac

When considering McAfee for  Mac, keep these cons in mind:

  • System Slowdown: McAfee’s security software can be resource-heavy, potentially using up CPU and memory, which could impact your Mac’s speed, especially if you have an older Mac or limited system resources.
  • Redundancy with Mac’s Security: MacOS already has effective security tools like XProtect and Gatekeeper to protect your Mac from malware, and adding McAfee might create conflicts and waste resources.
  • Costs: While McAfee offers a free version, premium features come at an extra expense. Assess whether these features justify the cost, given that macOS provides some security features for free.

Which McAfee Is Best for Mac?

Choosing the best McAfee option for your Mac depends on your needs and budget. Here are popular choices:

  1. McAfee LiveSafe: Offers antivirus, web protection, identity protection, quick scan, and a VPN, plus parental controls and dark web monitoring. It’s the priciest option of McAfee’s offerings but valuable if you need these features.
    Is It Worth Putting McAfee on a Mac Mcafee livesaver
  2. McAfee Total Protection: A well-rounded option with the essential features of McAfee’s LiveSafe offering. It is affordable and only lacks parental controls and dark web monitoring.
    Is It Worth Putting McAfee on a Mac mcafee total protection
  3. McAfee AntiVirus Plus for Mac: The basic option with antivirus and web protection but no identity protection or VPN. It’s the most budget-friendly choice.
    Is It Worth Putting McAfee on a Mac mcafee total protection

If you’re uncertain which McAfee suits you, try free trials of each to find your preference. You may also want to check out another awesome antivirus solution here.


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The decision to put McAfee on your Mac boils down to your individual needs and preferences. While Macs are generally less susceptible to malware, it’s essential to remember that no system is entirely immune. I’ve shared some insights, pros, and cons throughout this journey, but ultimately, the choice is yours.

If you’re someone who values that extra layer of security, especially if you’re dealing with sensitive information or have an older Mac, McAfee might bring peace of mind. However, if you’re confident in your online habits and trust in Apple’s built-in safeguards, you might feel comfortable without it. The key is to strike a balance between security and performance, ensuring that your Mac remains a reliable companion in your digital adventures.

2 thoughts on “Is It Worth Putting McAfee on a Mac?

  • How much did McAfee pay for this ad?

    McAfee is absolute trash that will basically destroy all of your Apple online services that integrate into your Mac.

    If people want good antivirus on a Mac they should just use a malware bytes, it doesn’t mess up your networking like McAfee and Norton and isn’t a massive resource hog.

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