(Last updated on January 17th, 2021)
McAfee or Trend Micro, which antivirus software is better?
Read this comprehensive, fact-based comparison to make a wise choice.
In this detailed guide, you’ll see what is included in the antivirus suites offered by McAfee and Trend Micro, as well as how both software compare against one another in terms of malware protection, impact on system performance, user interface, and more.
In the modern world, antivirus software is a useful tool that protects your data and privacy from a range of malware threats, such as viruses, ransomware, spyware, exploits, Trojans, worms.
Do you know the AV-Test Institute — which is an independent computer security firm — claims to catch over 350,000 new malware samples every single day?
Malware attacks are happening at an alarming frequency these days. If you don’t take proactive measures to protect your data and privacy, it is just a matter before you’ll become yet another victim of some widespread malware attack.
And if you’re wondering what malware can do, it can corrupt your system, breach your privacy, compromise your sensitive details, drain your bank account, spy on your activities, and more.
Best Antivirus Suite for 2021
Overall Score: 9.9/10
60-day money-back guarantee
Right now, we think that Norton is the best antivirus software your money can buy. It regularly earns perfect or near-perfect scores from independent labs and has the least impact on system performance compared to rival products. Its products combine top-notch security with an array of excellent security features and, best of all, offer exceptional value for money.
Overall, Norton 360 Deluxe (currently at 70% off) is our pick for the best antivirus suite in 2021. It is competitively priced and comes with almost everything you could possibly ask for, such as a firewall, a fully integrated VPN, dark web monitoring, cloud backup storage (50GB), a password manager, and parental controls. You can cover up to 5 PCs, Macs, smartphones or tablets with this suite.
If you want full-on identity protection and don’t mind paying more, Norton 360 with LifeLock Select (currently at 35% off) gives those in the US a full range of identity protection features, more backup space (100GB), as well as all the above.
Now, let’s look at the security suites both McAfee and Trend Micro offer.
|McAfee Antivirus Suites|
|McAfee Total Protection (Windows & Mac)|
|McAfee LiveSafe (Windows and Mac)|
|Trend Micro Antivirus Suites|
|Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security (Windows only)|
|Trend Micro Internet Security (Windows only)|
|Trend Micro Maximum Security (Windows and Mac)|
|Trend Micro Premium Security (Windows and Mac)|
If you don’t have time to go through this whole comparison and want the answer straight away, check out the graphic below and also read our short verdict to make your mind.
McAfee is a clear winner as it offers more security-enhancing features and extra utilities in its security suites than Trend Micro. Also, independent tests prove that McAfee is better than Trend Micro in terms of both malware detection and system performance.
Best Antivirus for 2021
- Robust feature-set
- Excellent anti-malware security
- Minimal system impact
- Easy-to-use interface
- Automatic updates
- Trusted by 50 million users
- 100% virus protection promise
- 60-day money-back guarantee
#2 (Very Good)
- Exceptional malware protection
- Little impact on performance
- Trusted by millions of users
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- User-friendly interface
#3 (Very Good)
- Good malware protection
- Trusted by big corporations
- Minimal impact on performance
- Good value for money
- 30-day risk-free guarantee
Now, let’s kick off the detailed comparison …
What’s Included in McAfee Antivirus Suites?
Previously, McAfee – like most other antivirus companies – offered a range of antivirus suites, including McAfee Antivirus Plus and McAfee Internet Security. Now, you’ll only find two security suites (McAfee Total Protection and McAfee LiveSafe) advertised on the official website.
McAfee Total Protection (compatible with both Windows and Mac) is the company’s full-blown and most popular antivirus offering. It offers excellent malware protection (as you’ll see later in this guide), along with almost all the advanced protection-related features and utilities that should be there in a high-end security package.
A two-way firewall (monitors network traffic and blocks hacking attempts made via network), a file shredding utility (lets you delete your sensitive files without leaving back any traces), a Vulnerability Scanner (checks for security flaws and outdated software), and a Network Manager (protects your WiFi network from malicious hijacking attempts and intruders) are all part the “Total Protection” suite.
A parental control filter (helps protect your children from seeing inappropriate content and control how much time they can spend online), an encryption utility (lets you lock confidential files in a secure digital vault on your computer), and an anti-spam module (blocks malicious/phishing emails) are also incorporated into the suite.
You’ll also get up to 5 licenses of True Key Identity Manager (stores all your passwords and login details at one secure place to eliminate the hassle) under the plan.
A single subscription of McAfee Total Protection provides a year of protection for up to 10 devices. (The devices can be PCs, Macs, Android, or iOS in any combination).
McAfee also offers the Virus Protection Pledge if you subscribe to its auto-renewal service. In the event of malware infection, a McAfee expert will remotely access your device to remove the virus. If it fails to do so, McAfee will offer you a full refund.
Another plan that the company offer is McAfee LiveSafe. It includes everything jammed into the “Total Protection” package, plus 1 GB of secure cloud storage where you can store all your important files.
Note: Both McAfee Total Protection and McAfee LiveSafe are compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS platforms.
What’s Included in Trend Micro Antivirus Suite?
Like most antivirus companies, Trend Micro offers a range of security suites.
Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security (which is only compatible with the Windows platform) is the company’s entry-level antivirus suite. Along with protecting against viruses, worms, ransomware, spyware, and other malware threats, the package includes the Pay Guard (protects you when you’re shopping or banking online) and an email filter (blocks phishing/scam emails).
Protection against online threats is also incorporated into the product.
You can protect a single PC for a year under this suite.
Next up is another Windows-only product, called Trend Micro Internet Security. It includes everything found in the entry-level suite, plus a parental control module (helps keep children safe online) and several computer performance optimization features.
A single subscription of this suite provides a year of protection for up to 3 PCs.
Another level up is the more advanced Trend Micro Maximum Security, which is compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. It includes everything found in the “Internet Security” package, plus a password management utility and protection for mobile devices (both Android and iOS).
You can protect up to 6 devices with a single license of this suite.
Trend Micro Premium Security is the company’s top-of-the-line security package. It adds premium 24/7 customer support to the “Maximum Security” suite, along with one Free Virus Removal Service (experts will remotely access one computer to remove malware) and one Free Computer Health Check Service (experts will review your system’s exposure to apply necessary settings).
McAfee vs Trend Micro: Which Software Provides Better Malware Protection?
The protection component (also called detection engine) lies at the heart of a security product.
To see which software is better in terms of malware protection, I will look at both products fared in the most recent independent tests conducted by AV-Test and AV-Companies – two well-known and respected security firms in the antivirus realm.
AV-Test’s most recent evaluations were conducted on Windows 10 platform during July and August 2018. Participating products – including McAfee and Trend Micro – were tested against 275 samples of zero-day malware and 19,747 samples of widespread malware.
Both software scored 100% protection rate against both types of malware samples during both months, earning full marks from the AV-Test experts in the ‘Protection’ category. (Detailed results are available here and here.)
To thoroughly examine how well a security product protects against malware attacks, the experts at AV-Comparatives do Real-World Protection Test and Malware Protection Test.
The most recent Real-World Protection Test report released by AV-Comparatives includes average results of all the tests conducted between February and June 2018. McAfee was one of the few products that received the highest ADVANCED+ award in the tests, due to its impressive 99.4% protection rate and low false positives’ count over the entire five-month period.
Trend Micro, on the other hand, could only manage the second-best ADVANCED award; its protection rate was excellent, at 100%, but a high number of false positives degraded its rank.
***False positive is when a security product falsely classifies a clean file or URL as malware-infected.
In the most recent Malware Protection Test, which was held in March 2018, McAfee received the second-best ADVANCED award, because of its slightly lower but still impressive protection rate of 99.95% with 10 false detections.
Trend Micro falsely detected 166 samples and could only get the fourth-best TESTED award in the test.
As evident from the independent tests, McAfee provides far better malware protection than Trend Micro.
McAfee vs Trend Micro: Which Software Provides Better Malware Protection?
Another important point of consideration is the impact a security product puts on computer performance (or computer speed).
Antivirus software, like other computer programs, occupies some percentage of system resources to do their job. If a security product is resource-heavy, it may have a negative impact on your computer performance (or computer speed).
I will once again look at the independent tests to see how much impact both McAfee and Trend Micro put on computer performance.
AV-Test’s examination looks at the average influence a security product puts on computer speed while executing few everyday computer tasks, such as launching popular websites, installing/downloading applications, launching applications, copying files, and more. The impact of each security product is measured in terms of the slowdown it caused on a standard and a high-end PC.
McAfee got the highest 6/6 rating from the AV-Test experts in the ‘Performance’ category.
Trend Micro, on the other hand, could only manage 5.5/6 rating as it proved to be a little more resource-intensive than McAfee.
The experts at AV-Comparatives conduct a similar examination, called Performance Test. In the test, each product is assigned an impact score (the lower, the better) depending on the slowdown it caused while carrying out common computer tasks.
McAfee received the highest ADVANCED+ award in this test, because of its impressively low impact score of 6.9, while Trend got the third-best STANDARD award with an average impact score of 23.3.
It is clear from the independent tests that McAfee is far better than Trend Micro in this category.
McAfee vs Trend Micro: Which Software Offers Better User Interface?
First, let’s go over the McAfee interface.
McAfee has recently revamped the look its interface; the new interface is simple, bright and airy – in shades of light blue, white, and grey.
At the top, there’s a horizontal menu which contains five main modules, namely Home, PC Security, Identity, Privacy, and Account, along with links for Settings, Help, Alerts, and Tips.
Home is the first window you see when you open the software. It tells you whether your computer is secure or at risk and has buttons for running different types of scans. At the bottom, you’ll find either 2 or 4 square-shaped tiles, each dedicated to an advanced feature or tool.
The rest of the modules are pretty much self-explanatory.
Now, let’s delve into the Trend Micro interface.
Trend Micro’s products come with a simple, minimalist interface, dominated by a grey-and-white color theme.
Device, Privacy, Data, and Family are the four modules available on the main screen. Each module contains relevant features and their settings. There’s also a central circle that lets you initiate a quick scan directly from the main window. Next to the circle are links for Settings and Security Report.
Green color is a sign that everything is okay, yellow indicates that there’s an issue that needs your attention, and red means your system has been compromised.
The name of the suite you’re subscribed to is shown at the top, along with links for Feedback and Support.
At the bottom is a link to add more devices and information about when your subscription will expire.
Overall, both McAfee and Trend Micro offer a simple, user-friendly interface.
Winner: It’s a tie
McAfee vs Trend Micro: Which Software is Less Expensive?
|McAfee Products||Regular Price||Discounted Price|
|McAfee Total Protection (1 Device)||$79.99/year||Check here|
|McAfee Total Protection (5 Device)||$99.99/year||Check here|
|McAfee Total Protection (10 Device)||$119.99/year||Check here|
|Trend Micro Products||Regular Price||Discounted Price|
|Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security||$39.95/year||Check here|
|Trend Micro Internet Security||$79.95/year||Check here|
|Trend Micro Maximum Security||$89.95/year||Check here|
McAfee’s high-end products are slightly less expensive than Trend Micro’s. Also, you can protect more devices with a single license of McAfee.
McAfee vs Trend Micro: Which Software is More Popular?
Now, let’s see which of the two software wins in terms of popularity (or market share).
OPSWAT, which is an independent security company, regularly releases monthly reports on the market share held by various top antivirus brands. According to their most recent report, which came out in September 2018, McAfee is third on the list of top antivirus products (sorted by market share captured) with 11.55% market share. Trend Micro doesn’t make it to the table.
Statista is another independent company that reports on the market share held by leading antivirus vendors worldwide. Their findings, which were last updated in August 2018, are similar to OPSWAT’s study.
Overall, McAfee is more popular among users than Trend Micro.
Both McAfee and Trend Micro offer a range of antivirus suites to match your protection needs.
McAfee is the better option as it offers more security-related features and advanced utilities in its antivirus suites than Trend Micro. Also, independent lab tests prove that McAfee is way ahead of Trend Micro in terms of both malware protection and the impact on system performance.
Our recommendations: If you want to get the highest level of security and performance, there's no better choice than Norton, which protects over 50 million users worldwide.
After reviewing dozens of antivirus products from some of the biggest names in the cybersecurity realm, we believe that Norton 360 Deluxe is the best antivirus suite available on the market. It provides flawless anti-malware protection without slowing you down. Plus, you get almost all the advanced features you could ever want.
If you're willing to pay more for advanced identity protection features, we recommend Norton 360 with LifeLock select (only available in the US). It's a bit pricey but worth the price.
Anas Baig is a consumer privacy advocate and cybersecurity journalist by profession. Has has more than 7 years of professional experience under his belt. Anas has been featured on numerous media publications including The Guardian, Lifehacker, The Next Web, Infosecurity Magazine, Security Boulevard, Hacker Noon, CMS Wire, IAPP, SC Magazine, and many others. His interest includes Digital Privacy Rights, Information Security, Networking, Privacy, and Data Protection.