McAfee vs. Bitdefender (2021)

McAfee vs Bitdefender
McAfee vs. Bitdefender

Without adequate security, it’s challenging to stay away from viruses and malware. Several antivirus clients are available to protect your computer and the web you browse, and McAfee and Bitdefender are two of those. How do both fight against viruses? The article does six tests and covers McAfee vs. Bitdefender.

Some links on this page are affiliated, but the article is thoroughly and honestly researched.



  • The multiple scanning feature comes with quick, selectable, vulnerability, and full scan options.
  • Online security is an extension to check for bad websites and pages.
  • Web boost can help you boost the web while browsing.
  • The Password manager tool is for storing and generating passwords.
  • App booster is an option to boost apps’ startup.
  • Identity theft protection finds online thefts and notifies you when you visit one of those sites.
  • Encrypted storage is to save personal files away in cloud storage.
  • VPN is offered if auto-renew is turned on.
  • The Parental Control feature lets you take control of other devices.


  • Multiple scanning systems offer quick, full, selectable, and vulnerability scan options.
  • Optimisation of performance comes with a few options to optimise your PC.
  • Microphone protection checks if any of the apps are using your device’s microphone.
  • Webcam protection tool checks if an app is using the webcam.
  • Online security is for protecting yourself while browsing the internet.
  • The monitoring active applications option is to make sure that none of the apps is harmful.
  • The password manager feature is for generating and strong, complex passwords.
  • VPN is offered in multiple plans.
  • Safepay is a browser specially designed for online transactions. It comes installed with Bitdefender.

Protection tests

How do we determine if the antivirus is working? A website titled AMTSO allows the testing of antivirus programs. The site comes with six tests, and we will test both software against those six types of security issues:

  • Malware download test
  • Unwanted applications test
  • Drive-by downloads check
  • Checking phishing webpages
  • Compressed file malware
  • Cloud-based connection test

Let’s see how both perform down below.


McAfee Protection Tests

From the video above, McAfee did a good job. A couple of tests allowed the malware to download, but it quickly removed the virus when I opened the downloads folder.

Related: NordVPN vs. CyberGhost (2021)


Bitdefender Protection Tests

The opponent also performed excellently. It passed all the tests. It even removed the virus after forcing the browser to download it. Watch the video to see it in action.

Winner: Tie

System scan time

The next topic of McAfee vs. Bitdefender is checking the time it takes to scan the system. McAfee has a bit of a bad reputation because it’s slower. In its comparison with Kaspersky, we saw something similar.

After scanning, McAfee scanned 1.4 million files in about 8 hours. Bitdefender, on the contrary, scanned over 8 million files, which is a lot more than McAfee, and it took around 1 hour to complete.

Winner: Bitdefender

Related: VyprVPN vs. Private Internet Access

Performance Impact

In this round, we will test the impact on the performance while scanning the system. Many factors contribute to the performance impact, so I will not conduct the test by myself. Instead, I’m using data from the AV-Test website, where developers have already checked the performance.

McAfee did not slow down the system while scanning. It received a total of 6 out of 6 scores.

In comparison, Bitdefender got the same score, leading this round to be a tie.

Winner: Tie

User interface

Both are fairly easy to navigate. McAfee has navigational tabs on the top, and you get data and updates in the first (home) tab. You can also manage your account and subscription in the app settings.

Bitdefender, on the other hand, comes with navigational tabs on the left. The main tab is the dashboard, where you can customise the tool to your needs. In each tab, you get different features to explore.


As you can see, the prices of two software tools vary according to the devices one wants to protect. However, there is one thing that they have in common. Users are likely to get discounts for the first year.

Also, they both offer free trials for 30 days, so you get an extra month to try them out.

Here is the breakdown of the pricing variation for the two depending on the number of devices.

The red colour suggests the opponent’s same plan is cost-effective.


  • One device $79.99 annually
  • Five devices $99.99 annually
  • Ten devices $119.99 annually
  • Unlimited devices $119 annually


  • Three devices $79.99 annually
  • Five devices $89.99 annually
  • Ten devices $149.99 annually
  • Unlimited devices $199.99

Related: CyberGhost vs. ProtonVPN

Which one should you choose?

The final section of McAfee vs. Bitdefender is about suggesting you the right antivirus. In terms of protection and performance, both did a great job. Bitdefender took less than to scan the whole system, and it is cost-effective. I will suggest choosing Bitdefender over McAfee in 2021.

McAfee vs. Bitdefender: Purchase

The bottom line

The bottom line is that both are valuable when it comes to protection. Both have unique features and pricing packages, so you have to choose the one that answers your needs well. Anyway, the article McAfee vs. Bitdefender comes to an end. Let’s discuss the two in the comments and help others.

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