Is McAfee for Mac as Good as Norton? - Post Thumbnail

Is McAfee for Mac as Good as Norton?

Choosing an antivirus program is complicated enough. Especially when you’ve narrowed down the list to McAfee and Norton. These are the most popular options nowadays. To help define which one is better, let’s compare McAfee vs Norton for Mac.


Both programs have appealing and user-friendly interfaces.

McAfee has the left sidebar and the menu at the top. The rest of the window is dedicated to showing the current condition/status of protection.

Norton has five modules a user may pick from to access certain features. This is more convenient as space is used rationally.


To stay objective, let’s look at the results from the top three independent testing labs: AV-Test, AV-Comparatives, and SE Labs.

According to AV-Test, Norton got 100% detecting zero-day threats and malware. McAfee hit between 98.6 and 99.4% detecting zero-day threats in different periods. However, it got 100% detecting malware.

AV-Comparatives stated that real-world protection is high for both antivirus programs. Norton got between 99 and 100% bringing several false positives. McAfee got between 98.5 and 100%. Yet, it had fewer false positives. The lab also performed the malware detection test. Testing online detection rate, Norton got 99.9%, while McAfee scored 99.8%. Offline detection test brought up bigger differences. Norton got 81.5%, while McAfee 84.8%. They both scored a 100% online protection rate.

SE Labs rated antivirus programs differently. The lab used targeted attacks and defined that Norton gets AAA grade while McAfee gets AA grade. It turned out that McAfee has bigger difficulties dealing with attacks.


Based on a series of tests, Norton is a clear winner. It performed well in all cases. McAfee, on the other hand, has a greater impact on system performance. While average users won’t notice much difference, people who play video games or use complex programs are sure to notice slower performance. 

Pricing policy

McAfee is a more affordable solution. It costs about $45 during the 1st year and $110 starting from the second one. The license can cover up to 10 devices simultaneously.

Norton is a little bit more expensive. The first-year subscription costs $50. However, from the second year on, the price is also $100 for up to 10 devices.

As you can see, the pricing policy differs only a bit during the first year and McAfee offers a better deal.

Additional features

McAfee offers its users a wide selection of extras. For instance, users get the True Key password manager. Nowadays, it’s considered to be the most reliable in the world. Aside from that, people also get identity manager, Life Safe file encryption, file shredder, update manager, etc. Mind that some features have to be downloaded separately.

Norton brings another pile of extra features. First of all, it stands out delivering 25 GB of cloud backup. What’s more, the bundle comes with a password manager and a few optimization tools like file cleanup, disk optimizer, and a startup manager.

As you see, McAfee offers more practical features. However, Norton stands out with the cloud backup storage, while McAfee offers file encryption.

The verdict

It detects threats more efficiently. What’s more, the program has a more user-friendly interface and an almost imperceptible impact on system performance. However, McAfee doesn’t fall far behind. Moreover, it offers some extra features that Norton doesn’t. They come very close.


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