McAfee Safe Connect Review

ByTop10.com StaffApr. 02, 2019

In a Nutshell

McAfee Safe Connect has the backing of the McAfee reputation. It’s extremely easy to use, keeps your personal and financial information hidden no matter where you are, and allows you to unblock geo-restricted content without any bandwidth limitations. The free VPN package is very convenient if you’re concerned with keeping your details private while traveling, although it understandably doesn’t have the same features as the premium version.

pros

  • Very easy to set up and easy to use
  • Dedicated apps for PC, Android, and iOS
  • Unlimited bandwidth for premium users

cons

  • No information on encryption or extra security features
  • Shares users’ activity logs with legal authorities upon order
  • Only 18 virtual servers

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Ideal For

  • Smartphone users who want to be protected when using WiFi
  • Ease of use and setup for users who don’t want a complicated process

Setup and Ease of Use

McAfee Safe Connect is very easy to set up and even easier to use. There isn't any hardware involved, and you won't need to configure any settings to get started. You simply pay for a monthly or annual subscription and enter your email addresses and password in order to set up an account. You can do this without making a payment or sharing any credit card information by using the free trial.

McAfee has apps for PCs, iOS, and Android devices, so you just need to download the relevant app and sign in to your account to get started. You’ll be able to tell whether Safe Connect is working by looking for the closed padlock sign on the main McAfee site. Simply click the padlock to toggle the VPN on and off. It couldn’t be simpler.

The settings for McAfee Safe Connect are easy to access through the app or McAfee website. You can set the VPN to start automatically when you connect to different types of networks – for example, it’s highly recommended to always use McAfee when you connect through potentially dangerous public WiFi. It’s also easy to set your preferred virtual location; you just choose which country or server you want to appear as your IP address and then leave Safe Connect to do its thing.

Pricing and Packages

McAfee Safe Connect comes in 2 simple price levels. The free basic package has no charges at all, but you’ll face limits on your bandwidth, which can cause delays in your browsing speed. The Premium plan costs $7.99 per month, or $47.88 for a year’s subscription, and brings you perks that include customer service via live chat and phone, as well as email; 18 virtual servers to unblock geo-restricted content, the ability to use Safe Connect on up to 5 devices at once, and unlimited bandwidth.


Basic
Advanced
Price
Free
$7.99/month or $47.88/year
Devices
1
5
Bandwidth
250MB / month
Unlimited
Number of servers
1
18
Customer support
Email only
Telephone and live chat

Package Features

McAfee Safe Connect VPN offers the same powerful features across all 3 of its VPN apps.

WiFi privacy. Keep your personal details hidden when you connect to WiFi anywhere around the world. The Safe Connect VPN encrypts all of your data in a ‘tunnel’ so that cyber thieves and malicious hackers can’t get a hold of your sensitive, financial, or simply private information, even when you’re on an open network.

Privacy protection. By disguising your IP address, McAfee Safe Connect makes it virtually impossible for anyone to discover your physical location, keeping your banking details, credit card information, and other vital data safe from prying eyes.

No geo-restrictions. McAfee Safe Connect can swap your IP address for that of another server elsewhere in the world. This way, you can access your favorite movies, TV shows, and shopping offers even on vacation on the other side of the world, without any geo-restrictions.

Security and Privacy

Although McAfee Safe Connect uses bank-grade encryption and has 18 different virtual IP servers available, there’s no further information available about the type of encryption used or safety features like DNS leak protection or a kill switch to ensure that your personal data isn’t leaked if your connection fails suddenly. It’s also not clear whether or not McAfee keeps logs of your personal information and/or internet activity – since it’s registered in the US, it seems likely that it does keep some logs, and McAfee has stated in the past that it will cooperate with governmental instructions to hand over data.

McAfee does state in its privacy policy that it collects some personal information from you and will share that with legal and judicial authorities, although it’s very firm about not sharing it with any other third parties.

Customer Support

McAfee has a limited set of FAQs, which are well organized for Android, iOS, and PC users in order to serve as the first port of call for troubleshooting. You can access the general and very extensive McAfee customer support forums for issues with Safe Connect, too.

Safe Connect offers 2 levels of customer support – email only support for free users, and telephone support for premium paid users. As an international company, McAfee does a good job of offering customer service in multiple languages, and there are local toll-free phone numbers for 8 countries including the US, Canada, the UK, and India. McAfee also offers live chat, and you can check out response times before you choose your method of connecting. Independent reviews of the customer service give an overall satisfaction rating of 4.5 stars.

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Review in Short

Overall, the McAfee Safe Connect VPN is a reasonable product. The free version is useful for travelers who don't want to pay to keep their personal information private and who don't intend to use a lot of bandwidth during their trip. Unlimited bandwidth and live chat customer support are attractive features for premium users, although the 18 international virtual servers comes a long way short of competitors who offer many hundreds of options for the same price. Although McAfee is a reliable brand, the absence of hard information about the type of encryption, extra safety features, and the fact that the company retains logs of your activity, takes away from its appeal.

About McAfee

McAfee is a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions for both businesses and private consumers. It offers a range of security products to protect your smartphone, PCs, router, and other devices from hackers and cyberthieves as well as assisting companies to improve their network and perimeter security standing.

McAfee strives to continue improving its protection against malware, phishing scams, viruses, spyware, identity theft, and other threats to enterprise and consumer safety. McAfee has a global presence with local customer support in India, the UK, US, Canada, and the Philippines, to name just a few.

McAfee Safe Connect