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Bitdefender vs McAfee: Guide to the Best Choice in 2022

Nothing is more important than your data’s safety. But who’s the best hero to protect it: Bitdefender or McAfee?! 

Constant and relentless online attacks pose a serious threat to both individuals and businesses. It is very important to have the right protection on your side to reduce the chances of being affected by malware or malicious activities. However, when it comes to choosing the best antivirus software for you, the options can get overwhelming, and reading a comprehensive comparison will be a must.

You Can Find Bitdefender and McAfee Listed Among the Best Antivirus Programs for Delivering High-Quality Protection
Image Source: Shutterstock

Bitdefender vs McAfee is a loaded, interesting comparison between two well-known brands. Both Bitdefender and McAfee are two great internet security providers with a solid base of satisfied customers. Looking at the plethora of robust features and security tools, these products are formidable competitors in the crowded market of internet security software.

Of course, you have to ask yourself a simple question: “Which one should I choose?” Making the right decision can be difficult, especially for the average user. That’s why we’ve pitted Bitdefender vs McAfee to help you pick which one is right for you. 

In this buying guide, we will go through different categories like protection abilities, features, system impact, pricing, and customer support. At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide which one is the best fit for your expectations.

1. Pricing and Plans

For anyone looking to invest in reliable computer security software, Bitdefender and McAfee offer total flexibility in their subscription plans. While both of these antivirus suites are pretty expensive, with their added security features (like the VPN and protection against online threats), they make up for the cost.

The differences in pricing between McAfee and Bitdefender for their subscription packages are not significant. However, I found the pricing of Bitdefender’s subscription plans to be more attractive than that of McAfee’s.

To help you decide which security solution is best suited to your needs, we’ll begin by looking at the differences between McAfee and Bitdefender pricing and subscription plans.

McAfee Plans

McAfee boasts a variety of subscription packages, which differ depending on the level of coverage you wish to have. Its products and services fall under the following packages: 

  • McAfee Basic – $29.99/year for 1 device
  • McAfee Plus– $39.99/year for 5 devices
  • McAfee Premium – $59.99 for 10 devices
  • McAfee Family Coverage – $99.99/year for unlimited devices

Bitdefender plans

Bitdefender offers four subscription plans, giving its customers a choice to get exactly what they need at a price that fits their budget. To find the right option, see the list below:

2. What’s Included in Each Software?

Bitdefender and McAfee are two antivirus powerhouses. Each offers a host of useful features and cutting-edge technology to stop threats from infiltrating your system.

Bitdefender comes loaded with excellent features and is perfect for novice users taking their first steps into the world of computer security. McAfee, while having a slightly smaller feature set, will provide an excellent suite of tools that will last you a lifetime.

They’re both battle-tested against millions of cyber-attacks and keep you safe every day using a system of real-time protection, ransomware detection, VPN connection, anti-phishing, and many more nifty tools.

McAfee Features

With a McAfee Subscription, You Get Protection Not Only From Malware or Ransomware, but Also From Online Threats
Image Source: Techadvisor.com

McAfee’s multi-device security suite provides real-time protection against viruses, spyware, identity theft, spam, and other internet threats. The software uses patented technologies such as WebAdvisor and Vulnerability Protection to block malicious websites and keep you safe from common cyber threats.

Additionally, McAfee comes with extras such as a file shredder, password manager, and a VPN with a 500MB per month data allowance. McAfee also offers parental controls with the Safe Family app, which allows you to monitor and filter content, limit device usage, track locations, and block apps.

Besides, McAfee has a unique Protection Score feature. This score will increase as you enable more security features and decrease if you turn them off. This feature helps in assessing and summing up the security of your device. 

Bitdefender Features

Bitdefender’s main goal is to provide essential protection against all types of malware, PUPs, and the latest day-to-day threats while preserving a high level of usability. It consists of many features such as anti-phishing, anti-fraud, and a SafePay browser so that you can surf, email, share, and bank online with confidence.

Bitdefender Provides Wide Range of Useful Features Includes Behavioral Malware Detection and Ransomware
Image Source: Techadvisor.com

With Bitdefender’s premium subscription, you can protect your data by getting a password manager, a file shredder, a VPN, and protection for social networks which is a new way for cybercriminals to spread infected links. Most importantly, its integrated webcam and microphone protection will keep hackers away from accessing and monitoring your device remotely.

What makes Bitdefender so good is Rescue Environment, which automatically reboots your PC to remove rootkits. Basically, this feature blocks the infection before it reaches your device or before any damage is done, and allows you to scan and remove stubborn threats that cannot be eliminated while the operating system is running.

3. Security Features of McAfee vs Bitdefender

Bitdefender and McAfee are the most recognizable names in the cybersecurity industry. Both have received many accolades for their timely, high-quality protection services, including ratings from independent testing labs like AV-Test and AV-Comparatives.

AV-Test, a global leader in IT security research and testing wrapped up its annual evaluations for 2021. The results are in: Bitdefender and McAfee placed top of the charts. Each was examined in depth. They each got 6 points in every category (Protection, Performance, and Usability). This guarantees quality, performance, and optimal compatibility with other antiviruses.

These two programs were also ranked as advanced+ by AV-Comparatives, another independent testing organization. This status means the products have the highest level of effectiveness and block the latest threats with only a few false positives.


Bitdefender’s scanning engine is lightweight and efficient. It features machine learning technology to scan for malware and comes equipped with high-performance capabilities to detect threats with minimal impact on PC performance. It prevents, detects, and removes all files that have even a hint of malware.

McAfee scanner is just as effective as Bitdefender at detecting malware. It thoroughly scans files against a huge virus database and uses heuristic analysis to identify potentially dangerous files.

Both Antivirus Suites Have Multiple Scanning Options Which You Can Choose Depending on Your Needs
Image Source: Freepik.com

For both Bitdefender and McAfee, there are several scanning modes to meet your needs. If you are in a rush, you may run a Quick scan, which is the fastest available option but may not be as thorough. Bitdefender vs McAfee each have also a Full scan, which is the best way to check for viruses on all your files and applications.

Real-time protection

Real-time protection is a cornerstone of a robust antivirus suite. It keeps your antivirus software running in the background and monitors newly created files for possible threats.

McAfee protects your files with intelligence that enables real-time protection against destructive attacks. McAfee’s Ransom Guard and File Content Transformation give a reliable threat detection system, protecting your computer against a variety of threats, and keeping it safe and always ready to use.

Bitdefender’s Advanced Threat Defense is a real-time, always-on cloud security service that offers constant protection from the brand’s consistently high detection rates. Bitdefender utilizes the Global Protective Network to offer the best and most advanced real-time protection on the market. With Bitdefender’s Advanced Threat Defense you have peace of mind knowing your device is protected from all cyber threats, including viruses, ransomware, and hackers.

Firewall protection

Having a firewall is essential to protect yourself from online attacks. The firewall is your first line of defense against cyber criminals. It stops hackers from accessing your system and stealing your private data. As top-of-the-line antivirus suites, both programs offer the same high-quality firewall features to keep your data safe.

McAfee firewall’s dashboard is simple and easy to use, and you can enable or disable its features manually. Bitdefender also has a powerful firewall with various settings. You can adjust the firewall settings on your computer to fit your personal needs or preferences.  

4. Impact on PC performance

Looking at the Performance Test Results, I Can Say That Bitdefender Takes More CPU Resources in Order to Deliver a Faster Scanning Process.
Image Source: Shutterstock

To assess the performance impact antivirus had on PCs, we ran each scan and noted how much time was needed to complete a full or quick scan as well as how many items it was able to scan in this period.

The results were as expected: Bitdefender finished a full scan in 25 minutes and detected 14 infection markers. While McAfee took 2 hours to detect just 6 infection markers during the full scan.

In addition, we also considered the number of CPU resources used by each antivirus engine throughout the scanning process. Bitdefender’s engine utilized between 90% to 100% of CPU resources, while McAfee’s engine processes data between 80% to 90%.

In analyzing the results of the performance test, we can see that Bitdefender uses more CPU to deliver faster scanning. This is a more aggressive strategy, but it’s also effective: Bitdefender was almost 5 times faster than McAfee in these tests and clearly outperformed the other security software.

Bitdefender vs McAfee: Final Verdict

Now, for the final verdict. After comparing Bitdefender vs McAfee, we have come to believe that Bitdefender is a better option for most users. To eliminate any doubts that may still exist, I give you the following facts: Bitdefender’s offer is completer and more advanced with additional functions such as webcam/microphone protection and a browser for safe online banking. This antivirus even controls links spreading through social networks.

And naturally, whether you decide to go with McAfee or Bitdefender is up to you. However, it is important to research your options before making your decision. Either way, we hope this article will be of help to you when choosing between Bitdefender and McAfee.

If you have any questions about these solutions or have experience using these cybersecurity solutions, please share them with us in the comments.


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