McAfee LiveSafe 2015 review

McAfee LiveSafe 2015

MacAfee LiveSafe, the top level in Intel Security's internet security range, has a particular feature which may make it uniquely attractive – it covers as many devices as you can throw it at, as long as they're all yours.

The security software may be primarily Windows PC-based, but there are apps for OS X, Android and iOS offering various levels of protection and you can install them in any combination that suits.

The control screen in LiveSafe Internet Security, which is pretty much McAfee Internet Security 2015, is an uninspiring, mainly text-based affair, with large tiles for four main functions, including Your Subscription, and smaller ones for Data Protection, PC and Home Network Tools, and Parental Controls.

We wonder at these choices – will the average customer really be more interested in his/her subscription status (which only changes once a year) than vulnerability testing or parental control? Also see: Best internet security software 2014.

McAfee LiveSafe 2015: internet security tools

McAfee LiveSafe Internet Security comprises AV and anti-spyware, web and email protection – including a two-way firewall – and comprehensive, encrypted password management via SafeKey and Personal Locker. This keeps a small number – 1GB across all your devices – of sensitive documents safe, online. There's a web browser guard and transaction protection, too

There are a few things missing that some other vendors include in their IS suites, the most obvious being any form of backup, local or online. McAfee Total Protection 2015 includes 5 GB of online storage from Mozy, but this hasn't been carried through to LiveSafe. The only mainstream backup is from the Android app to your PC. There's little in the tune-up area, either, except a vulnerability scanner which looks for out-of-date applications and drivers.

The Mac version is a shadow of the PC one, although the Mac OS is generally screwed down tighter against malware. It includes LiveSafe and SafeKey, which, in itself, is more than iOS devices get. There, there's just SafeKey and Personal Locker, where you can tap into that 1 GB of Cloud storage. Also see: Best antivirus 2014.

McAfee LiveSafe 2015: Android app

McAfee LiveSafe 2015The Android App includes McAfee Mobile Security, which handles backup to PC, warns of dodgy websites and can take photos and wipe data remotely, as part of an anti-theft regime. There's also SafeKey and Personal Locker in this one.

When we ran tests on LiveSafe Internet Security, it took 1 hour 30 minutes to scan our 50 GB test basket and looked at 17,995 files, giving a scan rate of 3.33 files/sec.

This is the slowest we've measured, although the McAfee scan is said to include rootkits, which some others don't. Repeating the scan checked the same number of files, so there's no noticeable fingerprinting. (See also: Should you pay for internet security software?)

The software doesn't seem to put much of a resource hit on a PC, reducing the time for a 1 GB file copy by just 3 percent. This is reflected in the results from the German test site, AV-Test (www.av-test.org). In its most recent group test of Windows 7 packages, McAfee Internet Security, the malware engine inside LiveSafe, too, scored a perfect 18/18.

It didn't slow the AV-Test machines at all during their more wide-reaching usage tests and in the Protection category the software was 100 percent effective against its malware collection, and 99 percent effective on zero-day attacks. Under Usability it gave no false detections, warnings or blockages at any time during testing. It's one of the best set of results the site has posted. Also see: Best internet security software 2014.

McAfee LiveSafe 2015: Specs

  • Windows Vista SP1/7/8/8.1
  • , Mac OS X 10.7
  • Android 2.3
  • iOS 5
  • Windows Vista SP1/7/8/8.1
  • , Mac OS X 10.7
  • Android 2.3
  • iOS 5

OUR VERDICT

If you run a couple of home Windows PCs, a Mac, a tablet and a smartphone, or a similar combination, McAfee LiveSafe 2015 is an economical way of protecting them all and providing anti-theft facilities on the mobile devices. While the feature set of the IS component of the package may lack back-up and PC tune-up, the power of its AV protection can't be denied.

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