McAfee vs Windows Defender: Difference and Comparison

Everything is connected to the internet now, which has made our life very easy. But due to this, our computer devices are open to many threats like viruses, malware, spyware, etc.

And to safeguard ourselves from these threats, we need to use Antiviruses. McAfee and Windows Defender are different antiviruses we can use on our computer devices.

Key Takeaways

  1. McAfee is a commercial antivirus software that protects against various types of malware, while Windows Defender is a built-in antivirus software that comes with the Windows operating system.
  2. McAfee offers a wider range of features and customization options than Windows Defender, while Windows Defender provides basic antivirus protection and is easy to use.
  3. McAfee requires a subscription fee and may slow down system performance, while Windows Defender is free and minimizes system performance.

McAfee vs Windows Defender

McAfee is a downloadable paid antivirus software that protects devices from threats and malware. It is availed under a paid subscription and offers users a 24-hour customer support service. Windows Defender is unpaid software that is pre-installed in the system to protect the Windows operating system. It has firewall protection but does not offer customer support services.

McAfee vs Windows Defender

IT Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to technology

1 / 10

Mac Operating System is developed by which company

2 / 10

Saving a file from the Internet onto your desktop is called

3 / 10

Who founded Microsoft?

4 / 10

Which of the following is not a search engine

5 / 10

WWW Stands for

6 / 10

The intention of Machine Learning is

7 / 10

'.BAK' extension usually refers to what kind of file?

8 / 10

The app or software, or website asks about access of your location, camera, storage, contacts etc., are known as

9 / 10

Artificial Intelligence is a way of _____.

10 / 10

Which American Computer Company is also known by the nick name "Big Blue"

Your score is


McAfee, a computer antivirus software, is named after its founder John McAfee. It is available for Windows, Mac Os, Linux, etc., as paid software monthly or yearly.

It was founded in the late ’90s, and now it is part of the Intel security division after Intel bought it in 2011.

Windows Defender now changed to Microsoft Defender after the May 2020 update. It was launched in October 2006.

It was launched as spyware for Windows Vista and Windows 7 but later converted into antivirus software for windows 8 and above. It is also available for free download for other versions of windows.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonMcAfeeWindows Defender
Supporting OSIt supports almost all computers, like windows, Mac OS, and Linux.It is only for Microsoft windows.
Availability It is available under a paid subscription.It is completely free.
Extra ServicesIt provides phone support, e-mail support, live help, etc.It does not have such support.
FunctionProtection against viruses, malware, and many other malicious programs.It provides firewall protection.
Effect on SystemMcAfee uses less memory in the system.Windows Defender is inbuilt software and has more impact on system software.

What is McAfee?

McAfee is an antivirus program created by John McAfee in 1987. At present, it has been owned by Intel since 2011.

This security software is supported in most Windows, Mac OS, or Linux computers. It protects the system from various threats like viruses, malware, spyware, and other malicious programs.

McAfee has powerful tools that protect our computer devices from many hazards. It has two types of services for the user:

McAfee Total Protection, and the other one is ‘McAfee LiveSafe. The user has to choose one of the paid options for their device.

McAfee Total Protection is an antivirus. It has all the features that any user can think of.

It has a network protection system that can protect your wifi, a file shredding utility to delete sensitive files, a quick clean utility to clean junk files, a password manager to save your passwords for different websites safely, and many other features.

McAfee LiveSafe is another sibling of McAfee Total Protection. It has all features of the first one and includes 1 GB of secure cloud storage.

McAfee is the best premium antivirus for Windows and Mac OS with these features and options.

What is Windows Defender?

Windows Defender is a computer protection software developed by Microsoft Windows. It was released in 2006.

It is an inbuilt software in windows computers that protect against malware and acts as an antivirus. It is available for free for windows computers.

It is pre-installed in a windows computer and gets activated automatically if there isn’t any other antivirus software.

The user does not have to do anything or not even have to pay for it, and it does work, which makes it a good alternative to premium-paid antiviruses.

It has many handy features as a free antivirus. It has timely scans for malware. Its live firewall protects you from hackers trying to access your network.

It has many other features like blocking malicious websites and keeping an eye on downloads for malware, and a parental control feature. However, these browser-based features are only available for its Edge browser, making them useless.

It is now known as Microsoft Defender. It has very good features as the free software, but it doesn’t have any upgrade options if a user is ready to pay, leaving the user with only one option: to go for other options.

windows defender

Main Differences Between McAfee and Windows Defender

  1. Intel owns McAfee, as Intel bought it in 2011. On the other hand, Windows Defender is developed and owned by Microsoft Windows.
  2. McAfee is a subscription-based premium antivirus software for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, whereas Windows Defender is free antivirus software for Windows computers.
  3. McAfee is a paid software with many user features, but Windows Defender has some important basic features, such as antivirus software.
  4. McAfee has less impact on the computer system as it uses less memory, less resource usage, etc. In contrast, Windows Defender uses more memory and resources that impact the system.
  5. McAfee is good for malware protection, network protection, password protection, etc., whereas Windows Defender is best known for its firewall protection.

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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