Compare ESET vs McAfee: A Detailed Comparison

McAfee Antivirus Software has been a market force for nearly 30 years.

It's one of the best-known antivirus products, and it comes pre-installed in many PCs.

However, is it really the best the industry has to offer?

We'll discuss how McAfee stacks up against another antivirus program. McAfee vs ESET—here's a closer look.

Compare ESET Antivirus
McAfee AntiVirus

Overall Comparison Results
Winner: ESET Runner-Up: McAfee

ESET Antivirus
(no discount)

McAfee AntiVirus
Malware, Spyware, and Virus Protection

Virus Prevention


Real-time Protection
ESET Antivirus offers some of the strongest malware protection of any product on the market.

It has especially strong automatic USB virus scanning and real-time virus protection, plus very good virus removal and anti-spyware capabilities.
McAfee provides decent real-time virus protection, but that's about it.

It performed barely serviceably in virus removal, manual virus scanning and USB virus scanning testing.
Verdict Category Winner: ESET
User Friendliness

User Interface


Technical Support
ESET has one of the best user interfaces of any antivirus program we've rated.

Furthermore, the excellence of its customer service is nearly unparalleled (VIPRE is the only other product whose customer care rates as highly).

If a virus escapes the ESET's protection while you're running it, removal is always free.

The fee $50 if you need removal assistance for viruses that infested your computer before ESET was installed.
McAfee simply isn't in the same league as ESET when it comes to usability.

For starters the interface leaves a lot to be desired with lots of poorly thought out pop-up windows, excessive scrolling and superfluous screens.

The free customer care is fairly good; the FAQ, video tutorials, forums and email options cover most issues.

Regrettably, enhanced technical support is the most expensive of any product we've tested.
Verdict Category Winner: McAfee
Other Protection

ESET provides a very thorough email protection feature but lacks anti-phishing protection. McAfee provides web browser protection that's very satisfactory, though not flawless. Unfortunately, it does not offer email or instant messaging protection at all.
Verdict Category Winner: McAfee
Overall Value
ESET Antivirus
(no discount)

McAfee AntiVirus
Money Back
30 Days 30 Days
Verdict Overall Winner: ESET Runner-Up: McAfee


In the end, even though McAfee won two categories in this comparison, it's the overall effectiveness that makes the difference in the ESET vs McAfee head-to-head by a wide margin.

Despite being a much bigger company and having a lower price, McAfee just isn't able to deliver the same levels of performance, protection, or service that ESET does.

And that's even before we factor in its better interface or U.S.-based support. Verdict: ESET NOD32 wins.