McAfee Safe Connect VPN Review
McAfee Safe Connect VPN comes from the famous McAfee antivirus security company. Naturally, it intrigues us to take a better look at it and find out whether McAfee VPN is as good as its antivirus software.
With this VPN, your online traffic gets encrypted with military-grade encryption, and you receive DNS leak protection that promises better protection for your IP address. At first sight, we can already tell that a basic security layer is available. Nevertheless, are there more things to point out and be excited about?
This McAfee Safe Connect VPN review will help you to know this service in depth. Is it capable of providing fast speeds? How easy the app is to use for beginners? Features, performance, pricing, and other details will be investigated. Read below, get a full image of this VPN, and let us know what you think in the comments section!
- Excellent security and privacy features
- Matchless for streaming
- 30-day money-back guarantee
|🥇 Overall rank:||#18 out of #35|
|📖 No logs policy:||Keeps logs|
|💵 Price:||From $2.92/month|
|🖥️ Servers:||2000+ servers in 48 countries|
|🍿 Streaming services:||Netflix, HBO Max, Disney +, BBC iPlayer|
|🔥 Coupons:||Cybernews VPN Coupons|
McAfee VPN pros & cons
- Unblocks most major streaming platforms
- Unhelpful customer support
- Issues with Windows OS application
- No VPN app for macOS
- Poor suite of security features
- Located in the US
Visit McAfee Safe Connect VPN to learn more about the features
Is McAfee VPN good for streaming?
Even though this VPN hasn’t been mentioned as the best VPN for streaming yet, it surprisingly performs well at unblocking a large number of major streaming platforms.
|Amazon Prime Video||✅ Yes|
|HBO Max||✅ Yes|
|BBC iPlayer||✅ Yes|
Moreover, it has 2000 servers in 48 countries, which leads to having enough servers and locations to enjoy streaming your favorite streaming services in full HD.
To be exact, you might come across overcrowded servers and receive poor-quality videos.
And if you wish to avoid this kind of streaming frustration, you should look at our top VPN picks for streaming, such as NordVPN or Surfshark. These VPNs unblock all major streaming sites and you get to enjoy the best quality videos from any corner of the world.
Unblocking Netflix with McAfee VPN
McAfee VPN is most likely a good option for unblocking Netflix if you don’t have a high demand for a large number of libraries. Or if you’re lucky enough to get an IP address from not an overcrowded server.
The thing is that McAfee is not very open about its number of servers, so it’s impossible to determine whether it will be always as successful as the last time regarding speed.
But, overall, we had no speed or quality issues during our period of testing this VPN. All we have left is to guess whether this was our luck or the actual competence of McAfee.
If you wish to be guaranteed about having your Friday night with some good Netflix series to watch, then checking our best VPNs for Netflix would be a task to do in advance.
Unblocking other streaming services with McAfee VPN
We were hardly surprised that McAfee VPN was able to unblock almost all popular streaming websites with no critical issues.
Putting Netflix aside, there are more streaming services that McAfee VPN offers access to:
Overall, you get to enjoy both British and American content in addition to other unblocked global libraries.
Is McAfee VPN good for torrenting?
No, we can’t name McAfee VPN as a good option for torrenting. And there are a few reasons why.
Just like the number of overall servers is unknown, so is the number of servers that support P2P. Yet, eventually, you do succeed in finding the correct server for torrenting. But the following experience doesn’t get better.
During our download speed test, the speeds never exceeded 3MB/s (24mbps) which indicates speed throttling (yikes!). And, what’s more, is that downloading a 2.9 GB file took us up to 22 minutes.
That being said, McAfee VPN is quite far away from being among the best VPNs for torrenting as of today.
Plans and pricing
At first, McAfee seems to be one of the cheapest VPNs, asking for only $2.92 a month. Unfortunately, there’s only one subscription for the VPN application available. No 1-month plan that is excellent for testing the service nor the 2-year plan for a longer commitment.
|Safe Connect VPN||$2.92/month|
|McAfee Plus (VPN + Antivirus)||$4.15/month for a 1-year plan|
|McAfee Advanced (VPN + Antivirus + Identity Protection)||$7.50/month|
|McAfee Premium (VPN + Antivirus + Personal Data Cleanup)||$4.58/month|
However, let’s not forget that, first and foremost, McAfee is an antivirus service; therefore, you can get a bundle subscription that includes a VPN, antivirus, password manager, and other great security tools.
And no matter which subscription you choose, you are allowed to use a VPN connection on 5 devices simultaneously.
Can you get McAfee VPN for free?
Yes, McAfee VPN is one of the rare cases where you can use a VPN for free. However, in the VPN world, free things don’t come without cut-offs. That being said, with McAfee's free Safe Connect plan you can protect only one device and you also get only 250MB of protected connection per month.
Also, there’s an option of a 30-day money-back guarantee that allows you to enjoy fully covered McAfee VPN services basically for free for a whole month. The only thing to remember is that you should cancel the subscription before the month ends if you decide to quit the service.
McAfee VPN servers and locations
Currently, McAfee VPN has 2000 servers in 48 countries. And it is a truly decent selection, considering that this isn't the main McAfee product in the cybersecurity market.
Currently, McAfee VPN includes these countries:
- And more
Speed performance: Is McAfee Safe Connect VPN fast?
McAfee Safe Connect VPN uses the Catapult Hydra tunneling protocol on all of the supported operating systems. Consequently, it’s quite naive to expect light-fast speeds and stability. Moreover, the Catapult Hydra tunnel is known for interfering with users’ privacy as with it, third parties may access users’ private information.
Unfortunately, McAfee VPN doesn’t disclose the other tunneling protocol it uses.
Here you can see our McAfee Safe Connect VPN speed test results:
Baseline speed: 1ms, 294.79mbps for download and 286.28 Mbps for upload:
|Location||Ping (ms)||Download Speed (Mbps)||Upload Speed (Mbps)|
During the test, we saw a rapid upload speed drop; in other words, the speed was rather disappointing. And in terms of download speed, only Japan came up with a bitter result of 187,42 Mbps, while other countries have shown quite good connection speeds.
Overall, McAfee VPN is decent at offering you tolerable speeds, but keep in mind that it might take a day or two to download your desired video game. To have the most comfortable browsing experience, the fastest VPN is crucial.
Interface and ease of use
McAfee comes with two separate applications – a full security application and a VPN-only application. The VPN app is only available for Windows, iOS, and Android devices which is pretty limited compared to other major VPNs.
The interface among the full security applications stays more or less the same. It’s rather a candy to the eye and very easy to navigate. We can only assume that McAfee knows how to bribe its customers, as the VPN application also hasn’t been left aside.
Other than that, both versions can be easily installed on your devices without any extra technical knowledge.
Starting with the Windows McAfee Safe Connect VPN application, there are more good things to enjoy than bad things to hate.
The design of the application is modern-ish and colorful. But what’s more important is that it’s very easy to navigate and find what the program has to offer. And one of the offered exceptions on this Safe Connect VPN app is the possibility of choosing a country that you wish to use for a safe connection.
Yet, if you’re a privacy fan just as we are, then finding out that your protected data is being tracked won’t get you excited.
Speaking of the McAfee Security application, we didn’t get too surprised to find out that the app for Windows has been developed in the best way to treat customers’ eyes and needs.
Having that in mind, it’s very well-designed (of course, if you like colors and graphics). Due to its user-friendliness, everyone will find it easy to use and there won’t be a gap for confusion.
Finally, it’s possible to choose a country to connect to and we had no issues while connecting to a VPN or attempting any other task.
Just like the Windows Safe Connect VPN application, the Android app is just as well developed. In other words, everything worked from the first try.
Even though you can’t select a preferred server, you still may choose a country and there are no features excluded as well. Basically, you receive the same application on both Windows and Android, therefore you won’t need any time for adjustment.
Most of this also applies to the McAfee Android Security app, except for the fact that you receive more essential cybersecurity tools along with a VPN.
However, to get McAfee antivirus and other features, you would have to sacrifice the possibility of choosing the country for a VPN connection.
Unfortunately, iOS applications are way behind at this point. Taking both, the Security app and the VPN app, we could say that they needed more than one try of getting things to work.
To connect to a VPN on the Safe Connect iOS application, we had to relaunch the app 4 times in a row as the connection button wasn’t working. Additionally, we couldn’t see the map of the available countries. Eventually, the relaunch worked wonders and we could finally see a proper application version.
The situation with the full McAfee Security application was slightly better as we could successfully connect to a VPN from the second time. But again, we came across some graphical issues, such as text cut-offs.
Sadly, neither of the apps allow changing the country of a VPN server, therefore you might end up using a further location and having a worse network connection.
McAfee Safe Connect VPN features
McAfee Safe Connect VPN comes as a lighter software regarding the suite of security features. There are some essential shortages, such as split tunneling (available only on Android), the kill switch feature, and optional tunneling protocols.
Nonetheless, McAfee didn’t leave its users without any extra security features.
It’s always quite frustrating to see a notification jump out, indicating that you’re connected to a public wifi network. It’s no secret that these types of connections greatly threaten our security and privacy. To sort this out, McAfee has implemented an auto-connect feature that protects you with a VPN after an unexpected wifi connection.
So, whenever your device hops on wifi and LAN or simply unknown wifi, the auto-connect feature enables a VPN connection so your network traffic would get instantly encrypted and your data remained protected. The feature must be enabled manually, so don’t forget that before thinking something went wrong.
Considering that McAfee doesn’t offer a regular kill switch feature for its users (except for Android users), there must be at least some kind of protection if a VPN connection drops, right? Well, there is.
The safe reconnect feature is here to keep your data and location hidden whenever your VPN disconnects and the feature remains active until a VPN connection returns.
Although it’s not a fully covering protection over your personal data, it’s still a hint of more security during unexpected situations. Just, once again, you must enable this feature manually as soon as you get the application installed.
Is McAfee Safe Connect VPN safe?
McAfee Safe Connect VPN is a relatively safe VPN provider. First and foremost, it includes the most critical security features that ensure the basic level of your protection. Industry-leading AES-256 encryption makes your online traffic unreadable, while the kill switch feature protects your IP at times when a VPN connection drops.
However, doubts begin to arise regarding the Catapult Hydra tunneling protocol it uses. It's known that some VPNs use this tunneling protocol for tracking personal data, such as location. So, even though this protocol ensures decent performance, the security aspect is questionable.
Moreover, McAfee Safe Connect VPN is located in the US which is a part of the 5-Eyes alliance, and it also opens up about collecting your personal information, like the device type.
The encryption type that McAfee has chosen to use is probably the main selling point of this VPN. AES-256 encryption that is used by the US government is going to be used for encrypting your online traffic as well if you choose McAfee Safe Connect VPN.
Nearly every reputable VPN has implemented this military-grade encryption that is virtually impossible to crash down. Moreover, AES encryption is great not only for security reasons but it also doesn’t interfere with your network speed.
It’s quite a pity to see that McAfee doesn’t openly talk about the tunneling protocol that’s used in the application – Catapult Hydra.
If McAfee’s secretive manners aren’t enough, then mentioning how suspicious this protocol is will do the work. Firstly, other VPNs, such as Hotspot Shield, inform users about using this tunneling protocol, while McAfee stays quiet about it.
The reason why a VPN provider wouldn’t want to reveal the use of Catapult Hydra is the possibility of personal data, such as location, getting exposed to third parties.
Other than that, Catapult Hydra is a robust and pretty fast VPN protocol for casual use.
While McAfee claims not to collect your activity logs or any sensitive data and loudly speaks of being independently audited, we remain concerned about its country of jurisdiction. The US, where McAfee LLC. is located, is a member of the Five-Eyes Alliance.
For a user, this means that the government can ask for access to the user's activity logs whenever needed.
Overall, it’s a risky game that McAfee plays with VPN users. And if you are as concerned about your online privacy as we are, then only the most anonymous VPN is going to work here.
No matter how advanced you are in the cybersecurity sector, not all software issues can be solved by a user. Consequently, informative customer support is very important.
McAfee offers three types of customer support that are available 24/7. You may choose from a knowledge database, chatbot, and live chat with an agent.
Yet, as good as it sounds, the experience on our side was completely different. To get an answer from a chatbot, we had to answer a dozen questions ourselves and even that didn’t lead us to help.
A bad experience with a chatbot is forgivable. On the other hand, the customer support agent was expected to do better, but the expectations have been left hanging. In other words, we didn’t receive a straight answer even to a single question.
Since neither chatbot nor customer support agent could help, trying out the knowledge base was mandatory. It wasn’t as bad as the previous experience, but we didn’t find the information that would fully cover our interests.
Perhaps we got spoiled thanks to such providers as NordVPN or Surfshark, but we hope McAfee improves its customer service sooner than later!
Is McAfee Safe Connect VPN any good?
If you’re looking for a short-term solution for up to a year, then McAfee can be a decent option to go for. Paying only $2.92 for a month gives you an easy-to-use VPN application that is fairly safe, unblocks most major streaming sites, and is fast enough to have a quality time.
But after that year passes by, this VPN provider is truly not worth paying almost fifty bucks. A rather sad customer support is definitely not a way towards the most efficient cybersecurity.
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Is McAfee VPN worth it?
Yes, McAfee VPN is worth it. This VPN is considerably cheap and the offered suite of security is quite good. But the capabilities of this VPN are very limited and you get only a basic level of protection. For the nearly same price, you can have the top VPN service, like NordVPN.
What does McAfee VPN cost per year?
The service costs $47.99 per year. There is also a possibility to buy other services and still get a VPN service included. However, full security subscriptions cost more.
Is McAfee VPN anonymous?
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