(Last updated on April 2nd, 2019)

McAfee or ESET, which antivirus software is a better option in 2019?

Read this in-depth, data-driven comparison to make a smart decision.

In this detailed guide, you’ll see what’s included in different antivirus suites both McAfee and ESET offer, as well as how both software compare against one another in terms of malware protection, system performance, user interface, cost, and more.

Important Note

Bitdefender Total Security 2019 EDITION

Best Antivirus Suite for 2019

(Out of the 54 security suites examined)

Editors' Choice Award Winner 

Overall Score: 9.9/10

SAVE 50%

00
Months
00
Days
00
Hours
00
Minutes
00
Seconds

Sale ends in...

During the past few months, we evaluated and reviewed over 50 antivirus suites from the biggest names in cybersecurity, so you can confidently choose the best antivirus software to protect your data and privacy.

Overall, Bitdefender is our top antivirus recommendation for 2019, because of how well it performed in the recent independent lab tests conducted by AV-Test and AV-Comparatives.

Right now, we think that Bitdefender Total Security 2019 (currently at 50% off) is the best antivirus package available in the market. Besides providing excellent malware protection, it offers all the advanced premium features and utilities that must be there in a high-end package - and best of all, it offers excellent value for money. You can protect up to five devices (PCs, Macs, and smartphones) with a single license of this suite.

If you have more than five devices in your household, we recommend Bitdefender Family Pack 2019. With a single license of this suite, you can install Bitdefender Total Security suite on an unlimited number of devices.

Do you know you’re exposed to over 350,000 new malware threats every day? Malware attacks are happening at an alarming frequency these days, and it has become almost impossible to imagine a secure digital life without a reliable antivirus program.

The bad guys (a.k.a. hackers) are constantly in search of new (and sneaky) ways to steal your data, breach your privacy, drain your bank account, corrupt your system, and so on.

So if you don’t take proactive measures to protect your data and privacy, it’s likely that you’ll find yourself in a lot of trouble down the road.

First, let’s see the security suites McAfee and ESET offer.

McAfee Antivirus Suites
McAfee Total Protection (Windows & Mac)
McAfee LiveSafe (Windows and Mac)
ESET Security Suites
ESET Nod32 Antivirus (Windows only)
ESET Internet Security (Windows only)
ESET Smart Security Premium (Windows only)
ESET Multi-device Security (Windows & Mac)
ESET Cyber Security (Mac only)
ESET Cyber Security Pro (Mac only)

If you are in a rush and want the answer right away, look at the graphic below and also read our short verdict.

McAfee Vs. ESET Comparison Summary

Short Verdict

McAfee offers more security-enhancing features and extra utilities in its security suites than ESET. Independent tests prove that both software provide comprehensive protection against all sorts of malware threats, but McAfee is better than ESET in terms of system performance impact. 

Our recommendations: Overall, after examining over 50 antivirus suites from different companies, we think that Bitdefender Total Security 2019 (currently at 50% off) is the best antivirus package you can buy in 2019. You can protect up to five devices (PCs, Macs, or smartphones) with a single license of this suite.

If you have more than five devices, Bitdefender Family Pack 2019 might be the best option for you.

If you're looking for a security solution for Mac, we recommend Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac 2019 for maximum peace of mind and great value for money.

Now, let’s dive into the details…

What’s Included in McAfee’s Antivirus Suites?

Most antivirus companies offer a range of security suites at different price points to attract a diverse customer base. Back in the day, McAfee used to follow the same scheme but these days, it only offers two specialized antivirus suites, namely McAfee Total Protection and McAfee LiveSafe.

McAfee Total Protection is the company’s top-drawer and most popular antivirus package. Along with providing excellent protection against all kinds of malware threats (as you’ll see later in this guide), it offers advanced ransomware protection, a useful two-way firewall (blocks malicious traffic and thwarts malware attacks), a Vulnerability Scanner (checks for exploitable vulnerabilities in your system), and a file shredding utility (helps securely remove your important files).

A parental control module (helps protect your kids online and blocks inappropriate content), the Network Manager (safeguards your Wi-Fi network against intruders and hackers) and an encryption utility (lets you lock your sensitive files from ransomware-like threats).

With McAfee Total Protection, you’ll also get five licenses of the True Key Identity Manager. It stores all your passwords and other sensitive details in a secure, digital vault.

Protection against webcam spying, spam/phishing emails, and data theft is also there in the package.

A single subscription of the package means you can protect up to 10 devices (PCs, Macs, and smartphones) in any combination with a single license of the suite.

McAfee also offers the “Virus Protection Guarantee” if you sign up for its auto-renewal service. The pledge states that, in the event of malware infection, a McAfee expert will either remotely access your computer to remove it or give you a full refund.

Get McAfee Total Protection – SAVE 50%

Another security suite that McAfee offers is McAfee LiveSafe. It comes at a higher price point and adds on 1GB of cloud space to the “Total Protection” suite.

Features Included in McAfee Security Suites

What’s Included in ESET’s Antivirus Suites?

Unlike other companies, ESET offers separate products for different platforms.

First, let’s see what ESET offers for the Windows platform.

ESET NOD32 Antivirus is the company’s entry-level offering for the Windows users. Other than the useful Silent Mode feature (suspends notifications for uninterrupted experience), you won’t find a lot of advanced features or utilities jammed into this suite. But the product covers all the bases when it comes to protecting against different types of malware threats, including ransomware, viruses, worms, Trojans, and rootkits.

Get ESET NOD32 Antivirus 

Another level up is ESET Internet Security, which is another Windows-only product. It includes everything found in the entry-level offering, plus a hardened browser (protects your financial data while you shop/bank online), the Network Monitor utility (protects your network against hackers and intruders), a two-way firewall, and an anti-theft module (helps locate stolen or missing devices).

Protection against webcam spying and junk/phishing emails is also integrated into the package.

Get ESET Internet Security

Next up is ESET Smart Security Premium — the company’s full-blown security suite for the Windows platform. In that, you’ll get everything that comes as part of the “Internet Security” plan, along with an advanced password management tool and the Secure Data utility (creates password-protected virtual drives to make your sensitive data inaccessible for hackers).

Get ESET Smart Security Premium

 ESET Multi-device Security is the company’s multi-platform compatible security package. A single license of this suite means you can use every ESET product in the self, including those specifically built for Mac and Linux. But, unlike Bitdefender, ESET imposes a limit on the number of devices you can protect with this suite. So, if you have many devices in your household, it would cost you much less if you go with Bitdefender Family Pack 2019.

Get ESET Multi-device Security

ESET Windows Antivirus Suites

Now, let’s see what ESET offers for Mac platform.

ESET offers two specialized security suites for macOS, namely ESET Cyber Security and ESET Cyber Security Pro. The former provides comprehensive protection against a range of malware threats, such as viruses, ransomware, worms, Trojans, along with web browsing protection and free customer support. The latter includes everything found in its younger sibling, plus a two-way firewall and parental controls.

Get ESET Cyber Security for Mac

McAfee vs. ESET: Which Software Offers Better Malware Protection?

It’s imperative for a security product to provide comprehensive protection against all kinds of malware threats.

All malware can be classified into two types: known malware and unknown malware (also called zero-day malware).

Usually, most security programs offer three levels of protection: a traditional file scanner that matches suspect files to known malware database, a heuristics scanner that takes behavioral attributes into account to detect zero-day malware, and a cloud server (that’s where suspicious files are sent for in-depth examination).

To find out which of the two software is better in terms of malware protection, I will look at the most recent lab examinations conducted by AV-Test and AV-Comparatives – two popular and widely respected independent security laboratories.

The experts at AV-Test regularly conduct different tests to evaluate how well a security product performs against different types of malware.

The most recent tests were conducted in September and October 2018. All participating products were tested against 311 samples of zero-day malware and 21,257 samples of widespread malware.

McAfee’s detection rate against widespread malware was flawless during both months, but it didn’t perform as well against zero-day malware, which means it received a slightly lower 5.5/6 rating from the AV-Test experts in the “Protection” category.

McAfee's protection test result when conducted on Windows 10 by AV-Test on Sep-Oct 2018

ESET, on the other hand, didn’t participate in the recent AV-Test evaluations.

The experts at Austrian lab AV-Comparatives regularly perform a range of exhaustive tests to evaluate the performance of various antivirus brands. The two comprehensive tests that deserve a look are the Real-World Protection Test and Malware Protection Test. The latter test evaluates the effectiveness of a security product against malware injected via network drives and USB, while the former test comprehensively looks at how well a product defends against malware found on the web.

The recent Real-World Protection Test report released by AV-Comparatives includes summarized results of five monthly tests which were held between July and November 2018.

McAfee received the highest “ADVANCED+” award in this test, as it registered an impressive protection rate of 99.4% with 16 false positives.

***False positive is when a security product falsely flags a clean file/URL as malware.

ESET could only get the second-best “ADVANCED” title in the “real-world” study, mainly because of its slightly lower protection rate of 98.9%. It also returned 4 false positives during the tests.

AV-Comparatives real-world protection test awards - July to November 2018

In the latest version of the Malware Protection Test, which was held in September 2018, ESET managed to get the highest “ADVANCED+” award, due to its near-perfect 99.94% protection rate with just one false detection.

McAfee’s protection rate was even better, at 100%, but a high number of false detections (35) overshadowed its results. It had to settle for the second-best “ADVANCED” title in this test.

AV-Comparatives malware protection test awards - September 2018

Overall, both McAfee and ESET are neck and neck when it comes to malware protection.

Winner: It’s a tie

McAfee vs. ESET: Which Software Puts Less Impact on System?

Antivirus software – like other computer programs – need (or consume) some percentage of your system resources to do their job. Luckily, most modern computer security programs don’t put a significant burden on system performance.

Let’s look at the recent performance tests to see how McAfee and ESET compare in this regard.

In the “Performance” section of the AV-Test evaluations, the experts measure the impact a security product puts on system performance (or system speed) while executing common computer operations. The impact (or influence) of a security product is measured in terms of system slowdown experienced on test computers.

McAfee got a full 6/6 rating from the experts in the “Performance” category.

McAfee's performance test result when conducted on Windows 10 by AV-Test on Sep-Oct 2018

ESET, as mentioned earlier, didn’t participate in the recent AV-Test evaluations.

The experts at AV-Comparatives lab conduct a similar examination, called Performance Test. The most recent edition of the test involved 17 antivirus products and was held in September 2018.

Both McAfee and ESET were awarded the highest “ADVANCED+” award in the test, courtesy impressive impact scores of 6.4 and 1.7, respectively.

AV-Comparatives performance test awards - October 2018

Overall, McAfee comes out as the winner in this category as it got exceptional scores in all the tests we considered.

Winner: McAfee

McAfee vs. ESET: Which Product Offers Better User Experience?

Now, let’s see which of the two software wins in terms of user-friendliness.

Back in the day, McAfee’s user interface used to be complicated and overwhelming but it’s no longer the case – thanks to a major product update that took place in 2018. It’s now bright and straightforward, in shades of white, blue, and dark gray.

At the top is a horizontal menu which contains five modules, namely Home, PC Security, Identity, Privacy, and Account, along with icons for Settings, Help, Alerts, and Tips.

Home is where you land on when you open the interface. If everything is safe and sound, you’ll see a green checkmark in the left rail. In the main view, you’ll find buttons for running different types of scans and square-shaped titles for setting up different advanced modules, like the True Key identity manager.

PC Security, Identity, and Privacy tabs contain relevant features/tools. Account window has information regarding your subscription plan.

McAfee interface as seen on Windows 10

Now, let’s delve into the ESET interface.

ESET’s interface is simple, bright and functional, in colors of black, dark green, and light gray.

Along the left side is a horizontal menu with the following categories: Home, Computer Scan, Update, Tools, Setup, and Help & Support.

When you start up the software, you’ll land on the default Home window which shows your protection status next to a creepy robot (okay, it’s not so scary). When everything is okay, you’ll be greeted with a reassuring “You’re Protected” message with a green checkmark. Links to access different advanced modules are also available on the main window.

The other categories are pretty much self-explanatory.

The name of the suite you’re subscribed to is shown in the title bar. At the bottom, you’ll see the number of days remaining in your subscription.

ESET User Interface as seen on Windows 10

Overall, both McAfee and ESET offer a simple, easy-to-use user interface.

Winner: It’s a tie

McAfee vs. ESET: Which Software is Less Expensive?

McAfee Security ProductsPrices
McAfee Total ProtectionCheck Price
McAfee LiveSafeCheck Price
McAfee Small Business SecurityCheck Price
McAfee Business ProductsCheck Prices
ESET Security ProductsPrices
ESET NOD32 AntivirusCheck Price
ESET Internet SecurityCheck Price
ESET Smart Security PremiumCheck Price
ESET Multi-device SecurityCheck Price
ESET Cyber Security for MacCheck Price
ESET Business ProductsSee Full Range

Overall, McAfee’s security suites are cheaper than ESET’s. Also, you can protect multiple devices with a single license of McAfee.

Winner: McAfee

McAfee vs. ESET: Which Software is More Popular Among Users?

Now, let’s see which of the two software is more popular among the antivirus community.

OPSWAT, which is a well-known security company, releases monthly reports on the market share of leading anti-malware (or antivirus) products. The most recent report was published in November 2018 and includes data collected in the last 6 months from “tens of millions of data points and over 30,000 live endpoints.”

According to the report, Avast is currently the biggest player in the market with an impressive 18.44% market share, followed by McAfee (12.58%) and Malwarebytes (12.23%). ESET is fifth on the list with 9.09% share. Overall, McAfee’s security suites are cheaper than ESET’s. Also, you can protect multiple devices with a single license of McAfee.

OPSWAT Anti-virus Market Share Report (November 2018)

Overall, it is evident that McAfee currently captures more market share than ESET.

Winner: McAfee

Final Thoughts

Get Bitdefender at 50% off today

bitdefender logo
00
Months
00
Days
00
Hours
00
Minutes
00
Seconds

Overall Score: 9.9/10

Sale ends in...

Editors Choice Award Winner

... we ask for a small favour

This website is reader-supported, meaning we get a small commission if you buy through our links, at absolutely no extra cost to you. We have been offered huge commissions by a number of mediocre antivirus companies to promote their products, but -- unlike other websites -- we have refused to do so. We only promote products that we believe are the best for you

 

... but we also have bills to pay. And we rely on generous people like yourself. So if you'd like to support our cause, please consider purchasing antivirus software through links present on this page. 

Our recommendations: After reviewing over 50 antivirus suites from some of the biggest names in the cybersecurity landscape, we believe that Bitdefender Total Security 2019 (currently at 50% off) is the best antivirus suite for 2019 in terms of value for money. A single subscription of the suites lets you protect up to five devices (PCs, Macs, and smartphones) in any combination.

Plus, it comes with premium customer support and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

If you have more than five devices, Bitdefender Family Pack 2019 is the best option for you.

Related Comparisons

Avast vs AVG
Bitdefender vs Avast
Malwarebytes vs Avast
Bitdefender vs Kaspersky
Windows Defender vs McAfee
Kaspersky vs Avast
Bitdefender vs Malwarebytes
Windows Defender vs Avast
McAfee vs Norton
Kaspersky vs Norton
McAfee Vs AVG
Bitdefender vs ESET
McAfee vs Trend Micro
McAfee vs Webroot
Kaspersky vs ESET
Bitdefender vs AVG
McAfee vs Kaspersky
Bitdefender vs McAfee
Bitdefender vs Norton
Avira vs Avast 
McAfee vs Avast
Norton vs Avast
Trend Micro vs Webroot
Bitdefender Vs Avira
McAfee Vs Malwarebytes
Windows Defender Vs Norton
Bitdefender Vs Windows Defender

Get the best VPN at 35% OFF

ExpressVPN Logo

World's largest premium VPN service provider

2,000+ servers in 94 countries

Unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee

Complement your antivirus software with top-drawer VPN

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *