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MacKeeper Antivirus Review (2024 Update): The Pros & Cons

By Tibor Moes / Updated: November 2023 / Rating: 3 of 5

MacKeeper Antivirus Review 2024

MacKeeper Antivirus 2024: Review Summary

MacKeeper is ranked #16 of the 28 best antivirus of 2024.

MacKeeper presents a good blend of security, privacy, and optimization features for Mac, and an intuitive interface. The antivirus engine detected 97% of malware samples in our tests, falling behind the top-tier antivirus software for Mac: Intego and Norton.

MacKeeper’s offerings include adware protection, ID theft protection, unlimited-data VPN, ad and tracker blocking, cleanup tools, and performance optimization. However, it lacks anti-phishing protection, firewall, and parental controls.

Sadly, MacKeeper does not participate in the independent tests by AV-Test, which is not a good sign. Without these tests, we have no verifiable benchmark to compare it against. We would stick to one of the proven winners, such as Norton or Bitdefender.

If you want the best protection, we recommend Norton.

Ranking  #16 of 28
Anti-malware
Anti-phishing
Firewall
Password Manager
Unlimited VPN
Operating systems macOS

Click the links to read the reviews of the best antivirus of 2024:

🥇 Norton 360 Deluxe – The #1 in 2024
🥈 Bitdefender Total Security
🥉 TotalAV Antivirus

Or read our complete comparison of the best antivirus for Windows 11.

MacKeeper Antivirus 2024: Full Review

After running MacKeeper on multiple Mac systems, we were impressed by its comprehensive security and performance tools. It excels in real-time malware defense and throws in extra features like identity theft protection and adware monitoring.

We found the user interface sleek and easy to navigate, which is a big plus. While it’s pricier than some alternatives, the flexible pricing options and money-back guarantees (either 14 or 30 days) make it worth considering.

Anti-malware

We tested MacKeeper’s antivirus capabilities extensively and found the scanner to be top-notch. Located under the “Security” tab on the dashboard, it doesn’t offer a quick scan but does allow custom scans. Our initial full-system scan took 53 minutes, on par with Intego but faster than McAfee. It detected 97% of the malware samples we introduced, asking us to either delete or quarantine them.

One downside is that MacKeeper doesn’t show the number of files scanned or use file caching to speed up future scans, unlike Intego. But, scan times are already quick and didn’t slow down our Macs.

Real-time protection is off by default but easy to enable. Once activated, it caught malware instantly during our tests. Overall, despite some minor drawbacks, we found MacKeeper highly reliable for detecting malware, which is our primary concern.

VPN

We put MacKeeper’s built-in VPN, Private Connect, through its paces and came away generally impressed. Not every antivirus package includes a VPN, and those that do often have limitations. Private Connect offers unlimited data, strong 256-bit AES encryption, and even supports P2P torrenting on select servers. It boasts over 300 server locations across 50 countries, and it worked well with popular streaming sites.

In our speed tests, the VPN showed minor reductions in download speeds, comparable to standalone VPNs like ExpressVPN. However, we noticed an 82% drop in speed when connecting to a far-off Australian server, though streaming was still feasible.

One concern is the lack of clarity on their no-logs policy. We queried customer support multiple times but didn’t get a straightforward answer. Also, the VPN is a third-party solution, which raises additional questions about data security.

The VPN interface is user-friendly, allowing manual or automatic connections. Overall, despite some reservations about data logging, we found Private Connect to be a reliable and robust VPN option for basic online activities.

ID Theft Guard

We activated MacKeeper’s ID Theft Guard and were pleased with its 24/7 monitoring of email addresses for data breaches. While not as comprehensive as Norton’s dark web monitoring, it’s a step ahead of many competitors like Intego, which offers no such feature.

Setting it up was straightforward. It auto-detected email addresses linked to our device, letting us review and select the ones to monitor. An interesting note: initial scans showed no breaches, but a pop-up alerted us to five breaches just minutes later. Verification is required to access breach details, which adds a layer of security.

Each identified breach included specifics about the compromised company and a direct link for password change. One breach was tagged “Sensitive,” indicating an ongoing investigation but still letting us change the associated password.

Despite a slight delay in breach notifications, we found ID Theft Guard to be a valuable and user-friendly feature for safeguarding personal information.

Adware Cleaner

This tool focuses specifically on detecting and removing adware, a feature often bundled into the primary anti-malware engine by competitors like Avira. The scan was quick, completing in under 6 minutes, and identified multiple adware threats on our system. While we would prefer real-time monitoring to be enabled by default, activating it was straightforward.

StopAd

MacKeeper’s ad-blocker works as a simple browser extension for Chrome or Safari. Installation was easy—just a single click. Our tests, including watching a YouTube video, showed it effectively blocked ads and trackers. We were surprised by the sheer number of blocked trackers as we surfed the web, providing a more private browsing experience.

Safe Cleanup

This feature scans for junk files, including seldom-covered mail attachments. It’s fast; within a minute it located nearly 8 GB of unnecessary files on our Mac. However, we found it too easy to delete files without review. While other categories get wiped without a warning, only the “Trash” category prompts you before deletion. If you use this feature, be cautious and review files before hitting the “Clean” button, especially if you use Apple Mail, as all attachments could be deleted without a warning.

Duplicates Finder

The scan took just two minutes, finding 504 duplicate files that consumed 445 MB. What we like is that it prompts you to review files before deletion. It does require some manual sorting, especially for photos and screenshots, but MacKeeper suggests a “best photo” to keep. While effective, it doesn’t match Intego’s finder that also scans music and archive files.

Smart Uninstaller

This tool identifies unused apps and widgets, filling a gap since not all antivirus suites offer this. Our scan found 24 GB of unused items in under 2 minutes. However, it could do better in providing warnings or guidelines within the app about what not to delete. MacKeeper’s guide advises against deleting macOS default plugins, but this should be clearly stated in the app interface.

Memory Cleaner

Our test showed nearly 8 GB of our RAM was in use. Clearing it freed up 3 GB, but this benefit was short-lived as the memory filled up again quickly. The feature does prevent you from accidentally closing important processes, but again, there’s a lack of in-app explanations about what not to close. Also, MacKeeper itself was a major memory user, which contradicts its aim to optimize memory.

Update Tracker

This scans for outdated apps. It’s useful but missed detecting an outdated Spotify and a needed macOS security update in our tests. For a tool meant to keep you secure, it needs to be more thorough.

Login Items

Aims to speed up Mac startup by managing the apps that launch on boot. It found 18 items, ironically 7 were from MacKeeper itself. We removed 3 items but saw no improvement in startup time. This feature could be more helpful for slower systems.

Find & Fix

This is a quick-scan tool that checks security, cleaning, privacy, and performance issues. It’s good for a rapid overview but its ‘Fix Items Safely’ button makes mass changes without review, which we found risky.

While these features offer some utility, we think MacKeeper should include more critical features like a firewall and anti-phishing, which are standard in products like Norton and McAfee.

Customer support

We tested MacKeeper’s customer support thoroughly. Here’s the lowdown:

  • 24/7 Live Chat: Integrated in the MacKeeper dashboard and website, their live chat is top-notch. We got responses within a minute every time. They couldn’t always dive deep into technical issues, directing us to email for that, but were generally helpful. Live chat is only in English, which can be a downside for non-English speakers.
  • Email Support: Our experience here was mixed. We got no response to our first email, and the second one took 5 hours to get a reply. The answers were friendly but lacked depth, particularly on their data use and no-logs policy.
  • Refunds: We initially used a form on the website for a refund request. There was no instant email confirmation, making it hard to prove we’d submitted it within the 14-day window. However, live chat came to the rescue, processed our refund, and we got our money back within two days.
  • FAQs and Blog: They have an informative FAQ and blog, but finding specific information can be a chore due to the lack of a search function. Oddly, their useful “How To” articles are hidden and hard to locate unless pointed out by chat support.

In summary, MacKeeper’s customer support shines with its live chat but falls short on email responses. If you’re comfortable with English, you’ll find them responsive and helpful. The FAQs and blog are there, but could be more accessible. Overall, it’s decent support but could use some tweaks for a seamless experience.

Plans and pricing

We evaluated MacKeeper’s pricing structure and here’s what we found:

  • Plans: MacKeeper keeps it simple with just two plans: a free, limited one and a paid one. The paid plan is offered monthly for 1 Mac at $10.95 or annually for either 1 Mac at $40.20 or 3 Macs at $50.40. Upgrading to their Premium Services is also an option.
  • Features: Whether you choose a monthly or annual subscription, all features remain the same. This includes clean-up tools, an unlimited-data VPN, StopAd, and ID Theft Guard. This differs from competitors like Intego and TotalAV, where certain features are often behind higher paywalls.
  • Cost: MacKeeper isn’t cheap. While it offers a lot, there are alternatives like Intego that are more budget-friendly and provide additional security features like a firewall.
  • Money-Back and Premium Support: A 14-day money-back guarantee is available for the monthly plan, and 30 days for the annual ones. There’s also an option for premium technical support. However, the initial quote for this was $500 a year, making us question its value for most users.

Bottom Line

Starting at $10.95 a month, MacKeeper offers a fair range of features but comes at a steeper price compared to competitors like Intego, Norton, and TotalAV, which offer similar or better services at a lower cost. If you prioritize a Mac-focused experience and don’t mind the price tag, MacKeeper is a reasonable choice. Otherwise, budget-friendly alternatives with additional security features do exist.

Click the links to read the reviews of the best antivirus of 2024:

🥇 Norton 360 Standard – The #1 in 2024
🥈 Bitdefender Internet Security
🥉 TotalAV Antivirus

Or read our complete comparison of the best antivirus for Mac.

Test score comparison

Next to our own anti-malware tests, we analyze those by AV-Test. We’ve compared the results of the 10 most recent tests for Windows 10. The tests were performed by AV-Test, the German anti-malware test lab. They use three factors:

  • Protection (1-6): Antivirus protection against malware attacks.
  • Performance (1-6): System slowdown caused by the antivirus.
  • Usability (1-6): Frequency of false alarms and disruptions.

We used their results, and this formula, to calculate the final score:

Final Score = 60% Protection + 20% Performance + 20% Usability.

Brands not listed in the table haven’t participated in the analysis by AV-Test. This is usually not a good sign. Because most reputable brands, except Panda, ESET, and Sophos, partake in the test.

Source: AV-Test.

Final Score
Protection
Performance
Usability
6.00
6.00
6.00
6.00
6.00
6.00
6.00
6.00
5.98
6.00
5.90
6.00
5.98
6.00
5.90
6.00
5.97
6.00
5.85
6.00
5.96
5.95
5.95
6.00
5.94
5.95
6.00
5.85
5.93
5.95
5.95
5.85
5.91
5.95
5.75
5.95
5.87
5.83
5.83
6.00
5.81
5.85
5.55
5.95
5.77
5.70
5.95
5.80
5.60
6.00
6.00
4.00
5.47
5.15
5.90
6.00

Click the links to read the reviews of the best antivirus of 2024:

🥇 Norton Antivirus Plus – The #1 in 2024
🥈 Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
🥉 TotalAV Antivirus

Or read our complete comparison of the best antivirus for Android.

Price comparison

We’ve compared the prices of the top antivirus products for Windows. To make it a fair comparison, we looked at what it would cost us, to protect a  single Windows PC with the most essential features:

  • Anti-malware
  • Anti-phishing (web protection)
  • Firewall
  • Password manager
  • Unlimited VPN (no data limit)

A few notes:

  • Some brands are missing features, lowering their value for money.
  • Prices are second-year prices in the USA, without first-year discounts.
  • Prices are rounded up for readability (e.g., $99.99 becomes $100).

Brands have different prices outside the USA. See those on their website.

Total price
Missing features
$ 50
No firewall, password manager, and VPN
$ 80
No firewall and password manager
$ 90
No firewall
$ 130
No password manager
$ 180
No firewall

Click the links to read the reviews of the best antivirus of 2024:

🥇 Norton 360 Advanced – The #1 in 2024
🥈 Bitdefender Premium Security
🥉 TotalAV Antivirus

Or read our complete comparison of the best antivirus for iOS.

User reviews

We’ve compared the user reviews of all antivirus brands. We’ve used the scores and review count of TrustPilot, a leading user review platform. However, take these results with a grain of salt, as some brands actively attempt to increase their ratings.

Personally, we are wary of exceptionally high scores. Especially those by brands such as TotalAV, known for aggressive marketing and sales tactics.

We consider scores between 4.0 and 4.5 good and realistic. Higher scores are dubious, and lower scores indicate that the brand might have a poor product or customer service. McAfee’s scores, for instance, are worrying.

Source: TrustPilot.

Review score
Review count
4.8
5900
4.7
97000
4.4
1600
4.3
14500
4.3
4000
4.2
8300
4.1
13200
4.1
900
3.9
12000
3.9
26600
3.8
19000
3.7
7600
1.2
2000

Click the links to read the reviews of the best antivirus of 2024:

🥇 Norton 360 for Gamers – The #1 in 2024
🥈 Bitdefender Total Security
🥉 TotalAV Antivirus

Or read our complete comparison of the best VPN of 2024.

How we test antivirus software

Below we describe how we run our tests. For even more details, visit our blog posts on how we test antivirus software.

Anti-malware protection test

We analyze antivirus software’s capability to detect and eliminate known and unknown malware, using heuristic analysis for behavior monitoring.

We conduct in-house tests and analyze those from labs like AV-Test, SE Labs, and AV-Comparatives to determine the best malware protection.

Malware includes adware, keyloggers, ransomware, rootkits, spyware, trojans, viruses, worms, and more. Other cyber threats, usually not classified as malware, are (zero-day) exploits, hacks, identity theft, phishing attacks, scams, and social engineering.

False positives test

False positives occur when antivirus software misidentifies legitimate software, files, or websites as malicious. We rely on AV-Test’s large-scale analysis of false positives in its usability test to guide our evaluations.

System performance test

We measure the CPU load during antivirus software system scans and consider AV-Test’s performance results on the slowdown caused by antivirus software when opening websites and handling software.

Firewall test

We evaluate two-way firewalls that filter incoming and outgoing data and allow users to set rules to regulate data streams. We use the ShieldsUP! test to determine if the antivirus software blocks all ports.

Password manager test

We assess password managers’ ability to create, store, and autofill secure passwords, as well as additional features like two-factor authentication and biometric login.

Virtual Private Network (VPN) test

We evaluate built-in VPNs on their security, privacy, speed, compatibility with streaming services, unlimited data access, and support for peer-to-peer networks and torrent clients.

Parental control test

We examine parental control features, such as screen time rules, website/app blocking, and real-world location tracking. We test these features on a device and attempt to circumvent them, checking if the activity is accurately reported in the parental control admin.

Anti-phishing protection test

We evaluate antivirus browser extensions that block phishing sites by installing them and attempting to visit dangerous URLs.

Ransomware protection test

We assess security suites’ ability to prevent data encryption through exploit prevention and behavioral detection during ransomware attacks.

Bonus features test

We test any additional cybersecurity tools such as:

  • Ad Blocker
  • Anti-theft
  • Dark web monitoring (identity protection)
  • Email protection
  • File encryption
  • File shredder
  • Gaming mode
  • Microphone protection
  • PC maintenance features
  • Secure browser (hardened browser to protect your online banking)
  • Secure cloud storage (cloud backup)
  • Spam filter
  • Startup optimizer
  • Tune up tools
  • Virtual keyboard
  • Webcam protection

Ownership and reputation test

We analyze the trustworthiness of antivirus companies, especially concerning customer data. We read press releases, news articles, and privacy policies to determine their reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the most frequently asked questions.

Is MacKeeper a good antivirus program?

MacKeeper is ranked #16 of 28 antivirus programs. The ranking is based on its protection, performance, price, and features. Find the best protection in our comparison of the best antivirus of 2024.

How do we test antivirus software?

We analyze the protection from malware, the performance impact on a PC, and the number of false positives. On top of that, we test various security features such as the firewall, password manager, VPN, and more.

Author: Tibor Moes

Author: Tibor Moes

Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab

Tibor has tested 39 antivirus programs and 30 VPN services, and holds a Cybersecurity Graduate Certificate from Stanford University.

He uses Norton to protect his devices, CyberGhost for his privacy, and Dashlane for his passwords.

You can find him on LinkedIn or contact him here.