McAfee LiveSafe review

A safer approach to your digital life

McAfee LiveSafe review

TechRadar Verdict

McAfee LiveSafe does have a few limitations, but its device-agnostic approach to security is incredible and worthwhile.


  • +

    Protection for household

  • +

    Anti-theft protection

  • +

    Minimal resource drain


  • -

    No Chromebook/Windows Phones protection

  • -

    Less robust Mac coverage

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If you're going to surf the web, you need to make sure your system is protected. After experiencing figurative spontaneous combustion of your hard drive thanks to malware, I'm sure most of us understand the pain of a vulnerable computer. We decided to put McAfee LiveSafe ($79.99, £50, AU$90) to the test of defending our devices from digital attack.

Let's start with arguably the best feature - LiveSafe lets you install the security suite on every PC, Mac and mobile device you have. This is a breath of fresh air from previous solutions that have provided a collection of separate security products. Instead, LiveSafe offers consistent protection across all of your devices.

Installation was a cinch - you simply use your product key to download and install the program on as many computer, tablets, and phones as you like. And there's no limit! LiveSafe is compatible with a variety of platforms, including Mac, PCs, and Android, Blackberry and iOS devices. Unfortunately, it's still not available for Windows Phones (weirdly enough) or Chromebooks, but this will likely change in the not-so distant future as the market shifts.

Interface and protection

In terms of interface and usability, the experience is pretty seamless and no-frills. We tested the solution on Mac OS and the design is uninspired (unusual for Mac applications) and somewhat dated. The most important information is displayed in the main window with color-coded information that quickly lets you know if your computer is vulnerable or secure. Access to protection to viruses, web content, spyware and email is easily accessible, as well as basic account information like subscription status and expiration date, with the option to renew.

We loved the ability to download McAfee SafeKey, which creates and stores unique, secure passwords and syncs them across all your devices. It installs as an add-on to your web browser or as an app on your mobile devices.

Protection with LiveSafe includes anti-malware, antivirus, and hardware-enhanced antitheft protection (similar to Apple's Find My iPhone). The anti-theft protection lets you locate and remotely lock lost or stolen devices, protect against uninstalls and remotely secure data - this is great for smartphones and tablets we may leave behind accidentally. This is an interesting feature additions to LiveSafe as opposed to its predecessors, previously only available for mobile devices, and now available for some PCs.