4 security suites that protect all your devices

McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, and Webroot offer protection for all your mobile devices plus Web-based management

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I found this feature to be only partially useful. Although the software claims to show the "protection status" of each device, in my tests it only reported whether the devices were using McAfee security software. It showed several of my PCs as being unprotected, even though they had non-McAfee security software installed.

It also couldn't properly identify my main desktop as a Windows-based computer. And for the vast majority of devices, it merely called them unidentified, which on my home network meant the device could be a Mac, an Android tablet, a Nook tablet, an Android smartphone, an iPad or wireless Sonos speakers. For today's complex home networks, this simply isn't good enough.

The Windows software also includes a Traffic Monitor, which I found much more useful. It graphs incoming and outgoing traffic use over time, and reports on average incoming and outgoing transfer rates, the current transfer rate and the maximum transfer rate. It does the same thing for traffic volume. So, for example, it has a pie chart that shows which applications have used the Internet the most over the last 24 hours, as well as details about which applications are currently using the Internet.

This can help you determine whether you've having connectivity issues. It also shows which apps use the network the most over time, and which are currently using it. Keep in mind, though, that this is only for the device on which you've installed McAfee; it doesn't include traffic from devices that may not have McAfee on them -- such as iPhones -- so it's somewhat limited in scope

I found one drawback to the Windows protection: When it was performing a scan, the rest of my system slowed down significantly. In fact, at times it was so slow that I paused or cancelled scans and scheduled them to be performed when I wasn't using the computer.

McAfee All Access, OS X
OS X protection You don't get nearly the same suite of tools on a Mac that you do on a PC -- nothing beyond basic protection. That means no Traffic Monitor, no Home Network Defense, no digital vault and no disk defragmenter.

You don't get nearly the same suite of tools on a Mac that you do on a PC -- nothing beyond basic protection. That means no Traffic Monitor, no Home Network Defense, no digital vault and no disk defragmenter.

McAfee All Access, OS X: Click to view image

However, you do get a straightforward malware scanner that scans your Mac for threats. You can schedule and customize scans so that only certain folders are scanned. And you also get a quarantine area where you can isolate suspect files. There's also a scan history and log. The software includes real-time scanning, spyware scanning, and a firewall.

McAfee All Access, Android
Android protection McAfee's Android app offers a malware scanner and a way to locate a lost or stolen device and lock it or wipe its data. These features are considerably better than those provided by Norton One, because they can be done from any Web browser. Simply go into your McAfee Web dashboard, click the Android device that you've lost, and then click what you want to do -- locate the device, lock it remotely, or wipe its data remotely. It also supports backing up contacts and SMS messages to the cloud and restoring them.

McAfee's Android app offers a malware scanner and a way to locate a lost or stolen device and lock it or wipe its data. These features are considerably better than those provided by Norton One, because they can be done from any Web browser. Simply go into your McAfee Web dashboard, click the Android device that you've lost, and then click what you want to do -- locate the device, lock it remotely, or wipe its data remotely. It also supports backing up contacts and SMS messages to the cloud and restoring them.

McAfee All Access, Android: Click to view image

However, McAfee is missing other useful features, such as Webroot's app inspector and its ability to check your device for potential security holes. Still, for a basic Android malware protector, McAfee Android does the job.

Bottom line

If you're looking for a suite that protects a wide variety of devices, McAfee All Access is the one for you. In addition, it has some very useful PC protection modules, particularly for home networks, although they're somewhat of a mixed bag.

Like the other suites reviewed here, McAfee won't clog up your system by using too much RAM or system resources. However, if you're looking for a useful Web-based dashboard, or a more complete Android solution, you'd best look elsewhere, notably to Webroot SecureAnywhere Complete.

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