A Full McAfee VPN Review – Tested, Reviewed, and Compared for 2024

There are many virtual private network (VPN) solutions on the market, and it can be challenging to make a good choice. Today, we’ll review one of the best solutions available, the McAfee Safe Connect VPN or Secure VPN. It offers great speeds and is easy to use.

In this McAfee VPN review, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the platform. We’ll cover its core features, compatibility, server locations, and ease of use and compare it to the best VPN products available today. After reading our McAfee VPN review, it should be easy to decide whether it’s an ideal choice.

What is McAfee VPN?

It is a tool that lets you browse the web securely and privately. It routes your online traffic through an encrypted tunnel, preventing any prying eyes from knowing what you do online.

McAfee Secure VPN, or Safe Connect, is available for Windows, Android, and iOS devices. You can install it on any compatible device and surf the web securely.

McAfee VPN Review Pros and Cons

McAfee VPN has its pros and cons, like any other software. Let us examine them below.

Pros

  • It is affordable
  • User-friendly
  • Allows you to unblock geo-restricted content
  • Fast connection speeds

Cons

  • Customer support needs improvement
  • No macOS app
  • Very restrictive free version

How Much Does McAfee VPN Cost?

McAfee offers a free version of its VPN that allows just 250 MB of secure browsing every month. It’s very easy to surpass 250 MB, so you effectively need a premium subscription to make the best of this tool. You can choose from one of these plans:

Plan Price Features
Privacy $47.99/year – VPN only (5 licenses).
Privacy + Security $119.99/year – VPN (5 licenses).
– Antivirus (Firewall and Web protection).
– File Shredder
Privacy + Security + Identity $199.99/year – VPN (5 licenses)
– Antivirus (Firewall and Web protection)
– Password manager and identity monitoring

McAfee VPN Pricing

McAfee offers bundled services. You can pay for just a VPN or bundle it with extra privacy and security features for extra fees. McAfee runs a promotion that lets people pay $39.99 in the first year for any package and pay the normal prices in the ensuing years.

If you’re unsatisfied with your purchase, you can request a refund within 30 days of initial payment or within 60 days of an automatic renewal.

McAfee makes it easy to cancel a subscription. Head to your account, check Active Subscriptions, tap the subscription you want to cancel, and tap Cancel Subscription.

Reviewing the Core McAfee VPN Features

We’ve tested the McAfee VPN, and here’s our rundown on the key features on offer.

Secure VPN

McAfee lets you browse safely with its Secure VPN. It creates an encrypted connection between your device and its VPN server. McAfee has many servers spread across the globe, and you can choose the country you want to connect to. You can even choose city-level server locations in the US and Canada. This feature is helpful when you want to connect to a specific country, city, or state to bypass content geo-restrictions.

Switching on this VPN disguises your IP address and hides your real online identity. For example, we were in Romania but chose a US IP address. Any website we visited detected our device as US-based and showed us content available to US residents.

McAfee Secure VPN

All your browsing activity passes through McAfee’s encrypted servers, so third parties won’t be able to monitor what you do. For example, your internet service provider (ISP) won’t know the websites you visit. Advertisers can’t track your browsing activity to show you targeted ads. Neither can malicious actors track your browsing activity for nefarious purposes.

The McAfee VPN ensures your browsing remains private and secure, especially when you’re connected to a public WiFi network. But, one disadvantage we observed is that connection speed becomes slower with streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc. McAfee itself admits that “some apps or streaming services might not work correctly over the secure VPN connection.” Streaming with the McAfee VPN causes content to load slower, but it’s not slow enough to cause a problem.

The same issues also apply to torrenting. The McAfee VPN supports torrenting, but we experienced slower download speeds during our test than downloading directly over a network. Maybe the slower speed is a reasonable tradeoff for protection and preventing internet service providers (ISPs) from monitoring your torrenting activities.

Unlimited Bandwidth

One of the main drawbacks of the free McAfee Secure VPN tool is its low data usage allowance. You’re limited to 250 MB of secure browsing monthly, which is very easy to surpass, even within a day.

McAfee Unlimited Bandwidth

However, if you subscribe to the premium version, there’s no bandwidth limit. You can browse as much as you want, and the McAfee Secure VPN will always protect your data.

A license is limited to five devices, which is a drawback. You can only connect on a maximum of five devices per subscription. Anything above five simultaneous connections requires paying for another license. It’s a disadvantage compared to competitors like Windscribe, which allows unlimited simultaneous connections.

Firewall

McAfee VPN lets you create a firewall to filter your incoming and outgoing online traffic. This feature monitors every information flowing between your device and the internet and enforces any restrictions according to your custom rules.

During our test for this McAfee VPN review, we blocked some social media domains from connecting to our device. In effect, we couldn’t interact with any of the blocked domains because of our custom firewall rules. You can do the same and block any domain you don’t want to interact with, e.g., a website you observe serving malicious ads.

This firewall lets you stay safe online and enjoy McAfee security wherever you carry your device.

Server Network

McAfee has servers in 48 countries, smaller than many competitors. For example, ExpressVPN has servers in over 100 countries, CyberGhost has servers in 91 countries, and ProtonVPN has servers in 69 countries.

McAfee Server Network

A smaller server network means McAfee gives fewer chances to unblock geo-restricted content. The platform could do well by adding server locations in more countries, especially in the Asian continent.

However, we liked that we could pick city-level servers in the US and Canada to access geo-specific content.

Mobile and Desktop Apps

You can download McAfee VPN as an application on your desktop or mobile phone. The desktop application is only available on the Windows operating system (there’s unfortunately no macOS version). You can download the software directly from McAfee’s official website.

McAfee’s iOS app is called Safe VPN Connect – VPN Proxy, and you can download it directly from the App Store. The Android app is called Safe Connect VPN: Secure Wi-Fi and is available on the Play Store. We downloaded and installed the apps seamlessly while testing the McAfee mobile VPN.

The mobile and desktop apps have simple interfaces you can easily understand. McAfee ranks very high in ease of use and navigability.

Web Protection

McAfee offers a browser extension (WebAdvisor) that lets you surf the web safely. This extension is available to anyone subscribed to the Privacy + Security or Privacy + Security + Identity package.

WebAdvisor guides you as you surf the web. It has built-in blocklists of malicious websites and alerts you if you ever visit such a website. It helps detect sites known for hosting malware, adware, or any other malicious content. The blocklists are constantly updated because malicious actors are constantly creating new sites.

This browser extension can alert you if you type a web address incorrectly, which usually leaves you vulnerable to phishing attempts. It can scan your downloads to ensure they don’t host malicious files and code.

During our test for this McAfee VPN review, we downloaded some files to see if WebAdvisor worked well. The browser extension scanned the files without any issues. We also purposely made some spelling mistakes to trigger incorrect domain alerts, which worked well.

This extension is available for Google Chrome and Firefox.

Check out our comprehensive McAfee review for coverage of the security tool’s antivirus features.

Automated Protection and Kill Switch

You can configure McAfee VPN to switch on automatically if your device connects to an unprotected network. This feature protects your online privacy even when you get carried away and forget to switch on the VPN manually.

Like most VPNs, McAfee also offers a Kill Switch to automatically block internet access if your VPN connection disconnects. This feature is called Safe Reconnect on the McAfee Secure VPN. It ensures your data doesn’t leak if your VPN connection disconnects temporarily.

Split Tunneling

Split Tunnelling allows you to choose which apps connect via the McAfee VPN and which do not. You can exempt specific sites from connecting via a VPN. It’s important because some apps don’t function over VPN, e.g., banking apps.

Unfortunately, split tunneling is only available on the McAfee VPN Android app. It’s not available on the McAfee VPN iPhone or Windows app.

McAfee Shredder

One of the things we liked when testing McAfee is that it comes with many extra tools if you pay for the Privacy + Security or Privacy + Security + Identity bundle. There’s a Shredder tool that lets you permanently delete files from your PC.

For the record, whenever you delete a file normally, it’s not actually eliminated immediately. The reference for that file on the file table is deleted, but it still exists in raw binary format (1s and 0s) on your storage medium until it gets overwritten with new files.

However, the Shredder tool removes files permanently by overwriting them with gibberish data. This way, no one can recover your files after deletion. It’s part of McAfee’s extensive suite of security tools.

Identity Monitoring

McAfee offers a bundled service to protect you from identity theft. It monitors your credentials for any signs of breaches and alerts you to anyone it detects. For example, McAfee scans the dark web to see if your email address, credit card info, government-issued IDs, etc., is part of any stolen data set offered for sale by malicious actors. If so, it reports to you to take further action.

Password Manager

McAfee offers a bundled password management solution called True Key. This tool helps you store your passwords safely and retrieve them when needed. It’s useful if you have many online accounts with different passwords you can hardly remember.

This tool encrypts your password with the AES-256 algorithm, which uses 256-bit keys to convert plain text into cipher. It’s virtually impenetrable, so your passwords are safe. It doesn’t stop at storage; it can help you generate strong passwords for new accounts. It can also auto-fill login forms with the passwords you have previously stored.

All your passwords are controlled by a master password that you must remember to gain access to the records.

Personal Data Cleanup

McAfee bundles its Personal Data Cleanup solution for people who subscribe to the Privacy + Security + Identity package. This feature scans data broker sites to check which ones are selling your personal information and guides you on possibly removing your data from those sites.

This tool encrypts your password with the AES-256 algorithm, which uses 256-bit keys to convert plain text into cipher. It’s virtually impenetrable, so your passwords are safe. It doesn’t stop at storage; it can help you generate strong passwords for new accounts. It can also auto-fill login forms with the passwords you have previously stored.

All your passwords are controlled by a master password that you must remember to gain access to the records.

Is McAfee VPN Safe?

Let’s examine the safety features of the McAfee Safe Connect VPN below.

Encryption

McAfee encrypts data with the Advanced Encryption Standard 256 (AES-256) algorithm. This algorithm uses 256-bit keys to encrypt and decrypt data and is virtually impenetrable because of the long key length.

To illustrate, breaking the AES-256 algorithm with brute force will require fifty supercomputers checking a billion (10^18) AES keys per second and will take 3×10^51 years to exhaust all the possible 256-bit keys. Such powerful computers don’t yet exist anyway.

AES-256 encryption assures you that your data is safe and secure on this VPN.

Protocol Support

McAfee VPN uses the WireGuard protocol by default, the fastest protocol because of its minimal architecture and code optimization. If WireGuard is unavailable, this VPN switches to IKEv2, IPSec, or OpenVPN.

OpenVPN has very strong encryption but slower speeds than WireGuard. IKEv2 and IPSec follow the same pattern.
You can manually control the VPN protocol you want to browse with. Look for the VPN protocol tab on the app and select the one you want.

Logging Policy

Like most VPNs, McAfee adheres to a strict no-logging policy. It doesn’t keep any logs of your browsing data, so no prying eyes can figure out what you do online.

MultiHop

Unfortunately, McAfee VPN doesn’t offer multi-hop technology to route your online activities through multiple servers for maximum protection.

Independent Audits

McAfee claims its VPN has been audited by an independent third party. However, the audit link takes you to TunnelBear’s security audits. TunnelBear is another VPN service acquired by McAfee in 2018, and its technology is what powers the McAfee Secure VPN.

Truly, TunnelBear has passed multiple independent security audits. It’s one of the few VPNs that gets audited annually and publishes the results for public viewing (here is the 2022 audit). It’s safe to say that McAfee VPN has been independently audited and verified to be safe.

McAfee VPN Compatibility

McAfee is compatible with PCs and mobile phones. You can download McAfee Security VPN on an iOS or Android mobile device or Windows PC. Unfortunately, McAfee’s desktop app is only compatible with Windows. There’s no macOS or Linux support, unlike with several competitors.

Windows

McAfee VPN is available as a Windows app. You can download the executable file from the official website and run it on your PC. Installation was quick and easy during our testing. It took around a minute to install, and we started using the app.

iPhone

McAfee VPN is available on the Apple App Store under the name Safe VPN Connect – VPN Proxy. It’s compatible with iOS 13 or later and available in multiple languages, including English, Arabic, Finnish, French, Chinese, etc.

Android

McAfee VPN is available on the Google Play Store as Safe Connect VPN: Secure Wi-Fi. It’s compatible with Android 8.1.0 (Oreo) or later. Installation is quick and easy, and the app is easy to use.

McAfee VPN vs. Top VPN Competitors

The VPN market is huge and growing. It’s expected to grow from $45 billion as of 2022 to $76 billion by 2026. There’s ample space for competition in this huge market and many options to choose from. Let’s examine how McAfee stacks against its major competitors.

Top VPNs Best Suited For Starting Price Log Policy Free Version? No. of Connections Kill Switch?
McAfee VPN Basic browsing $47.99/year ($4/month) No logging Yes 5 Yes
ExpressVPN Streaming $12.95 per month No logging No 8 Yes
CyberGhost Gaming $12.99 per month No logging No 7 Yes
PureVPN Anonymity $12.45 per month No logging No 10 Yes
ProtonVPN General anonymity $10 per month No logging Yes 10 Yes

What is McAfee VPN Good For?

McAfee is reliable for several things, including:

Streaming

You can use McAfee to stream content online and bypass geo-restrictions. The speeds are usually slower but reliable enough to watch your content. It works with popular streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV, and more.

Torrenting

McAfee VPN is also suitable for torrenting. Again, expect slower download speeds, but it’s reliable enough and shields your download activities from ISPs and any other prying eye.

McAfee VPN Server Locations

McAfee has VPN servers in 48 countries, listed below.

  • Africa: Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria.
  • Asia: Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines.
  • Europe: Portugal, Ireland, Romania, Austria, Italy, Serbia, Belgium, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain, Sweden, Moldova, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Ukraine, France, Norway, Germany, Greece, Hungary, and Poland.
  • Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Canada, and the United States.
  • Middle East: Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  • Oceania: Australia and New Zealand.

Is McAfee VPN Good? A Look at McAfee VPN Reviews

It’ll be a disservice to base this McAfee VPN review primarily on our experience. We also examined what other customers had to say to give you an unbiased review.

Many customers have described issues with McAfee, especially around its customer service. People often complain about the lack of support. Customers are quick to anger when they face poor customer service and don’t hesitate to leave bad reviews.

However, customers usually speak well about the McAfee VPN’s reliability and security.

McAfee VPN Reddit review

How to Use McAfee VPN- A Quick Guide

Follow the below steps to set up McAfee VPN.

Step 1: Create a McAfee Account

Head to https://www.mcafee.com/ to create an account. Click Sign In in the upper-right corner, and you’ll be redirected to another page. On the new web page, look for the text, “Don’t have an account? Create one now” and click on the link.

Step 2: McAfee Download

On the dashboard of your newly created account, click Go to McAfee Protection Center in the upper right corner, and you’ll be redirected to another page.

On the new page, scroll down till you find Secure VPN and click the Download Now button. You’ll be redirected to yet another page. On this last page, look for McAfee Safe Connect and click download.

Step 3: Install McAfee

Launch the downloaded executable file on your PC (.exe) and follow the on-screen instructions to install the software.

Step 4: Launch McAfee VPN

The software takes about a minute to finish installing, and you can launch it immediately. Click Start Protection to switch on the VPN.

Step 5: Choose McAfee Server Location

You can control your server location in the dropdown menu in the upper-right corner.

McAfee VPN setup

We think McAfee will serve customers right by simplifying the setup process. There were more obstacles to overcome when installing this VPN compared to other ones we’ve previously reviewed.

Fortunately, the setup process is simpler for the mobile apps because you’re downloading directly from the App Store or Play Store. There’s no need to visit multiple web addresses to find the final download link.

How We Tested McAfee VPN

Our VPN reviews incorporate comprehensive testing, following a standard process, to ensure we can provide accurate and up-to-date information.

This McAfee VPN review is based on having downloaded the software and tested all its features, checking them to see if they worked reliably.

Our team has deep experience in reviewing VPNs and other cybersecurity products to point out what’s good and what’s missing. As presented in the table, we benchmarked the McAfee Safe Connect VPN against other competitors.

Our process doesn’t end with our own personal experience, and we also consulted third-party reviews. We checked the likes of Trustpilot, G2, and Reddit to evaluate customer feedback. We combined all this information to deliver a comprehensive McAfee VPN review.

Our Other VPN Guides

You can check out our previous VPN guides and comparison tables below:

Concluding Our McAfee VPN Review – Is McAfee VPN Worth it in 2024?

Is McAfee a good VPN to choose in 2024? The consensus says yes. The product has its flaws, such as limited customer support and a restrictive free plan (250 MB monthly). However, it is a reliable VPN service to protect yourself while surfing the web. It hides your browsing activity from ISPs and any other prying eyes.

McAfee is a safe, reliable, and relatively affordable option for anyone looking for a VPN in 2024.

McAfee VPN FAQs

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Chisom Maduonuorah
Technology Expert

Chisom is a writer passionate about all things technology. He has spent the past few years diving deep into the technology sector, including the rapidly-growing cybersecurity segment. He's ever willing to learn and write detailed reviews of software products.