Review: McAfee LiveSafe 2014

McAfee LiveSafe 2014 provides protection for your PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones.

Pros

Feature-packed: LiveSafe is a hefty 170MB, but that's no surprise, given its many features. These include antivirus, spyware, and home-network protection, as well as a built-in firewall. Cross-device protection is available for both Android and iOS.

Beyond malware: McAfee has also packed in storage and management tools, including a password manager, a device-management console, and protective measures against phishing attacks.

Multiplatform: Once installed properly, SafeKey works across browsers, provided you have the extension installed.

Cons

Fragmentation: McAfee offers separate services and experiences without many breadcrumbs to inform users of other services' existence. Device management could have been integrated into LiveSafe Internet Security's native app; there's no obvious outbound link from the program.

Uninspired design: From a functional perspective, McAfee is touch-compatible. But whether it's touch-form-friendly is debatable; the UI's overall use of text and pseudo buttons makes for a confusing experience. Despite taking an original direction compared to Windows 8's more colorful, flatter approach, McAfee's attempt comes off as semi-dated with its heavy text and awkward blocks. It's stuck in design limbo.

Bottom Line

McAfee holds a high standard in security and protection, especially against viruses and malware, but LiveSafe's other services are not as user-friendly. The UI is sometimes cluttered and disorganized -- it's hard to keep track of which service/feature is where. Some features like Personal Locker are only for a select group of users. The pseudo-James Bond way of accessing your files via Webcam and mic is cool but a novelty. Never mind the "biometric" layer of security: This adds an extra step to users accessing their files, whereas we'd prefer a back-end security update. And uploading passport photos and sensitive financial documents to the cloud is not a good idea, even with government-class protection. LiveSafe's efficacy as a PC guardian is firm, but the attention demanded by McAfee's other services may leave you feeling more confused than safe.

CNET Top 5
Companies Apple could buy with their billions
Apple's sitting on a massive pile of cash. Here are five interesting ways they could spend it.
Play Video
 

Member Comments