McAfee Safe Connect VPN Review 2023: 7 Cons and 4 Pros

McAfee Safe Connect VPN Review 2023: 7 Cons and 4 Pros

  1. McAfee Safe Connect VPN: Service Rating Suffers From Poor Privacy Levels

    • Compatible with basic platforms only
    • Lacking kill switch feature
    • Currently protects only 5 devices
    • It hasn’t unblocked most streaming platforms
    • Logs user activity
    • Collected data may be shared
    • Does not support blocking of ads, malware, and trackers
    • Good download (127 Mb/s) and upload (76 Mb/s)
    • Excellent response speed (11 ms)
    • Supports Catapult Hydra’s own protocol
    • Trial version available for 7 days for free

    The McAfee Safe Connect VPN is one of the products of McAfee, LLC, an antivirus company founded in 1987. The VPN itself wasn’t launched until 2019. With a rating of 7.4/10, it ranks as average since none of its features stand out.

    One of the few strengths of McAfee Safe Connect VPN is the transfer rate. In repeated tests, we measured an average download speed of 127 Mb/s and upload speed of 76 Mb/s. Similarly, the response speed of 11 ms ranks the service among the top reviewed VPNs in this parameter.

    The advantage of McAfee Safe Connect VPN is the trial version, which can be used for free for 7 days. Also worth mentioning is the custom Catapult Hydra protocol; the transmitted data is secured with 256-bit AES encryption.

    There are several weaknesses with McAfee Safe Connect VPN. We consider the biggest one to be the lack of a kill switch feature. A maximum of 5 different devices can be connected simultaneously under one user account. Even more limiting is the low level of compatibility, as the service can only be used on the most common operating systems.

    In our tests, McAfee Safe Connect VPN couldn’t handle unblocking videos from most streaming platforms, and it can’t block ads, malware, or trackers. The privacy terms of service also negatively impacted the overall rating. VPNs can log user activity and resell or share the collected data with third parties.

    Thus, McAfee Safe Connect VPN falls short of the qualities of NordVPN or Surfshark, which offer more features and have had their security levels audited by an independent company.

  2. McAfee Safe Connect VPN Subscription: Discount Code, Free Trial, Money Back Guarantee…

    • Your Price: $7.99​79% off  $1.67 /mo (5 devices)
    • Money Back Guarantee: Yes (30 days)
    • Free Trial: Yes (7 days)
    • Cryptocurrency payments:
      Bitcoin :No
      Dash :No
      Ethereum :No
      Ripple :No

    Subscriptions are offered with monthly billing or for one year with prepayment. They can be ordered on the mobile app or more conveniently on the McAfee Safe Connect VPN website.

    In terms of content and features, the two options are the same, but in terms of price, the annual subscription is the better value, working out at $1.67 per month. The least favorable subscription option sells for $7.99 per month. In both cases, the VPN can only be used on a maximum of 5 devices simultaneously.

    Beyond that, VPNs can be obtained as part of the annual Essential and Advanced packages. McAfee Essential also includes antivirus, and the Advanced subscription adds identity theft insurance and a personal data wipe feature.

    All subscription types are covered by a money-back guarantee within 30 days. You must contact customer support before the expiration date to make a claim. Subscriptions always automatically renew at the price in effect at the time the previous plan ended. If a subscription renews automatically, a refund may be requested within 60 days.

    During the subscription order process, you must provide a valid email address to which a randomly generated password will be sent. The next step is the actual payment, which can be made by debit or credit card or via PayPal. Cryptocurrencies and other payment methods are not supported.

    The trial version of McAfee Safe Connect VPN is available for 7 days for free, after which it automatically turns into a no-cost monthly subscription. To avoid being charged, you must cancel your subscription before the end of the trial period.

    The same operator also offers McAfee Safe Connect VPN Free, which can be used for free for an unlimited period of time. The downside is a poorer feature set and other limitations.

  3. McAfee Safe Connect VPN and Supported Devices: Android, iOS, macOS…

    • Device limit: 5

    Platforms supported

    • Android:
      Android is supported by 99 % of reviewed VPNs
    • Android TV:
      Android TV is supported by 38 % of reviewed VPNs
    • Apple TV:
      Apple TV is supported by 18 % of reviewed VPNs
    • Fire TV:
      Fire TV is supported by 44 % of reviewed VPNs
    • Chromebook:
      Chromebook is supported by 21 % of reviewed VPNs
    • Chromecast:
      Chromecast is supported by 16 % of reviewed VPNs
    • iOS:
      iOS is supported by 100 % of reviewed VPNs
    • Kodi:
      Kodi is supported by 22 % of reviewed VPNs
    • Linux:
      Linux is supported by 62 % of reviewed VPNs
    • Mac:
      Mac is supported by 98 % of reviewed VPNs
    • NAS:
      NAS is supported by 26 % of reviewed VPNs
    • nVidia Shield:
      nVidia Shield is supported by 16 % of reviewed VPNs
    • Playstation:
      Playstation is supported by 20 % of reviewed VPNs
    • Raspberry Pi:
      Raspberry Pi is supported by 18 % of reviewed VPNs
    • Roku:
      Roku is supported by 16 % of reviewed VPNs
    • Router:
      Router is supported by 54 % of reviewed VPNs
    • Windows:
      Windows is supported by 100 % of reviewed VPNs
    • xBox:
      xBox is supported by 20 % of reviewed VPNs

    Browser Extensions

    • Brave :
      The Brave browser add-on is offered by 45 % of reviewed VPNs.
    • Chrome :
      The Chrome browser add-on is offered by 45 % of reviewed VPNs.
    • Edge :
      The Edge browser add-on is offered by 19 % of reviewed VPNs.
    • Firefox :
      The Firefox browser add-on is offered by 35 % of reviewed VPNs.
    • Opera :
      The Opera browser add-on is offered by 45 % of reviewed VPNs.
    • Safari :
      The Safari browser add-on is offered by 0 % of reviewed VPNs.
    • Vivaldi :
      The Vivaldi browser add-on is offered by 45 % of reviewed VPNs.

    With a single subscription, McAfee Safe Connect VPN can only be used on 5 devices simultaneously. For most users, this value will be sufficient; however, for example, Surfshark allows connections from 999 different devices.

    Device support is one of the weakest aspects of McAfee Safe Connect VPN. The desktop app only exists for Windows devices, and the mobile app is available for Android and iOS. Linux and macOS are not supported.

    The McAfee Safe Connect VPN completely lacks support for operation on smart TVs, game consoles, and NAS storage. VPNs can’t even be installed on a router, which could have secured all devices connected to the same network. Of the less common platforms, Chromebooks are supported.

    Extensions for McAfee Safe Connect VPN are available for Chrome, Brave, Opera, and Vivaldi.

  4. McAfee Safe Connect VPN App: User-friendliness, whitelist, server selection…

    • App Languages: 🇺🇸 English
    • Whitelisting:
      Whitelisting is supported by 52 % of reviewed VPNs

    Installing the app was easy, and there are tutorials for different device types available on the McAfee Safe Connect VPN website in case of complications. After the first run, the application introduced us to the most important elements and how to control them.

    The only available language of the environment is English. The app has a fixed light theme, and switching to dark mode is not possible.

    The app’s interface for McAfee Safe Connect VPN is less clear compared to other VPNs, largely due to the wide range of settings. Therefore, we welcomed the fact that a short explanation is shown for each element.

    When you open the app, the home screen is always the first to display, with all the security products McAfee offers. In addition to VPNs, these include antivirus and identity protection. If the user does not have these subscribed, they are deactivated for him. The McAfee Safe Connect VPN itself is hidden under the Secure VPN tab. In the mobile app, the control bar is in the top right corner, and on the desktop, it is located on the left side. The only configuration option is to turn available features off and on.

    One such feature is the whitelist, which selects the websites that will always have McAfee Safe Connect VPN active when visited. This can be used to enable auto-connect, which will always trigger the VPN when connected to an unauthenticated Wi-Fi network.

    There are two ways to connect to the server. The first is to manually select from a list in which servers are sorted alphabetically by location. The second option is the Fastest Connection feature, where the application itself selects the fastest server at that moment. After a successful connection, a green lock icon and the location of the server in use will be displayed.

  5. McAfee Safe Connect VPN Connection Speed: Upload, Download & Latency

    • Traffic limit: Unlimited

    Download speed

    Upload speed

    Server latency

    All McAfee Safe Connect VPN subscription options include unlimited data traffic, a standard feature in all non-paid services.

    The connection speed to the server was average for McAfee Safe Connect VPN. Slightly better results were achieved when we used the Fastest Connection feature.

    McAfee Safe Connect VPN achieved reasonably good results in repeated speed measurements. The average download speed of 127 Mb/s was more than sufficient for 4K video playback and is suitable for downloading large amounts of data.

    The average measured upload speed of 76 Mb/s is sufficient for torrenting or backing up data to the cloud.

    The response speed of 11 ms ranks McAfee Safe Connect VPN among the best VPNs tested. A similar level of responsiveness ensures gaming or video calling without annoying stuttering. For response speeds, as opposed to transfer speeds, lower is better.

  6. McAfee Safe Connect VPN Server Locations

    • Number of servers:
      The average number of servers for the reviewed VPNs is 1679.
    • Number of countries:
      The average number of countries available for the reviewed VPNs is 40.
    Europe 🇩🇪 Germany 🇳🇱 Netherlands 🇧🇪 Belgium 🇧🇬 Bulgaria 🇨🇿 Czech Republic 🇩🇰 Denmark 🇫🇮 Finland 🇫🇷 France 🇮🇪 Ireland 🇮🇹 Italy 🇨🇾 Cyprus 🇱🇹 Lithuania 🇱🇻 Latvia 🇭🇺 Hungary 🇲🇩 Moldova 🇳🇴 Norway 🇵🇱 Poland 🇵🇹 Portugal 🇦🇹 Austria 🇷🇴 Romania 🇬🇷 Greece 🇸🇰 Slovakia 🇬🇧 United Kingdom 🇷🇸 Serbia 🇪🇸 Spain 🇸🇪 Sweden 🇨🇭 Switzerland 🇺🇦 Ukraine
    North America 🇨🇦 Canada 🇺🇸 USA 🇲🇽 Mexico
    South America 🇧🇷 Brazil 🇦🇷 Argentina 🇨🇱 Chile 🇨🇴 Colombia 🇵🇪 Peru
    Asia 🇸🇬 Singapore 🇵🇭 Philippines 🇮🇳 India 🇮🇩 Indonesia 🇯🇵 Japan 🇰🇷 South Korea 🇲🇾 Malaysia 🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates 🇹🇼 Taiwan
    Africa 🇿🇦 South Africa 🇰🇪 Kenya 🇳🇬 Nigeria
    Oceania 🇦🇺 Australia 🇳🇿 New Zealand

    McAfee Safe Connect VPN operates 2,000 servers in 50 countries around the world. The very good server speeds and seamless connections suggest that this is a sufficient number.

    Traditionally, most servers are located in Europe, with at least twice as many on other continents. Servers for McAfee Safe Connect VPN are also located in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Among less frequented countries, it is available in Serbia, Peru, Colombia, the Philippines, Kenya, and Nigeria. For countries with government censorship, servers in the United Arab Emirates can be used.

    Dedicated servers for specific purposes, such as streaming video or P2P traffic, are not operated by McAfee Safe Connect VPN. All features are available on all offered servers. In the application, servers are sorted alphabetically by location.

  7. McAfee Safe Connect VPN Security Features: DNS Leak Protection, Kill Switch…

    • DNS leak protection :
      DNS leak protection is offered by 93% of the reviewed VPNs.
    • Kill Switch:
      Kill Switch is supported by 82% of the reviewed VPNs.
    • Multi-Hop:
      Multi-Hop connection is offered by 20 % of the VPNs reviewed.
    • Tor:
      Tor support is offered by 16 % of the reviewed VPNs.

    The basic security feature of McAfee Safe Connect VPN is DNS protection, which proved effective during our tests when no leaked requests were detected.

    We consider the lack of a kill switch feature, which disconnects the device from the Internet if the connection to the VPN server is lost, to be a major shortcoming. As a result, the user’s real IP address and location remain hidden, and the transmitted data is not compromised. While McAfee Safe Connect VPN offers a similar Safe Reconnect feature, its principle of operation is different. Safe Reconnect only connects the user to a working VPN server if the connection is lost.

    Split tunneling is only available for Android devices. This feature allows mobile apps to connect directly to the Internet even when the VPN is active.

    The only supported protocol is Catapult Hydra, developed by the same company. McAfee Safe Connect VPN could benefit from a wider range of protocols, complemented by options like Wireguard or OpenVPN.

    The transmitted data is protected by 256-bit AES encryption, the best possible method and one used by the top VPNs on the market.

    McAfee Safe Connect VPN does not offer other specific security features.

  8. McAfee Safe Connect VPN & Streaming: Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime…

    • Amazon Prime:
      Amazon Prime streaming is supported by 52 % of reviewed VPNs
    • Disney+:
      Disney+ streaming is supported by 54 % of reviewed VPNs
    • HBO:
      HBO streaming is supported by 57 % of reviewed VPNs
    • Hulu:
      Hulu streaming is supported by 48 % of reviewed VPNs
    • Netflix:
      Netflix streaming is supported by 64 % of reviewed VPNs
    • YouTube:
      YouTube streaming is supported by 92 % of reviewed VPNs

    McAfee Safe Connect VPN is not the best choice for unblocking videos from streaming platforms.

    In our test, we were only able to unblock Netflix, YouTube, and HBO Max. We were unable to play videos from Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, and Hulu despite repeated attempts.

    The McAfee Safe Connect VPN menu does not include any servers specifically optimized for streaming video. Any available server can be used for this type of traffic. Some of them unblocked the stream better than others, perhaps due to efforts by streaming service providers to block VPNs. If you have problems with unblocking, try disconnecting from the VPN and reconnecting. This will change the IP address to a different one that may not be on the block list.

    Although the download speed (127 Mb/s) was sufficient on its own for 4K video playback, we recommend considering a competing service for streaming. We’ve had good results with NordVPN or CyberGhost VPN, both of which support all streaming platforms, have high speeds, and offer excellent security.

  9. Features of McAfee Safe Connect VPN: AdBlock, Static IP…

    • Blocks Ads:
      Ad blocking is offered by 44 % of the VPNs reviewed.
    • Blocks Malware:
      Malware blocking is offered by 35 % of the VPNs reviewed.
    • Blocks Trackers:
      Trackers blocking is offered by 38 % of the VPNs reviewed.

    The menu of extra features for McAfee Safe Connect VPN is very limited. The ability to block ads, malware, and trackers is completely missing.

    Safe Reconnect is available instead of the standard kill switch feature, which disconnects the device from the Internet if it loses connection to the VPN server. This feature will re-establish the connection to the VPN server but does not guarantee protection against disclosure of the user’s IP address or location.

    Wi-Fi scanning can detect insecure networks and, if they pose a threat, protect the connection by activating the VPN. Through the whitelist, you can create a list of sites that will always have VPN protection active when you visit them.

    Static IP addresses are not available with McAfee Safe Connect VPN, even at an additional cost.

  10. McAfee Safe Connect VPN‘s CPU usage and App Performance

    The desktop application for McAfee Safe Connect VPN developed only a minimal load during use, which was comparable to other services. By default, VPN applications do not put enough load on the computer to affect ease of use. You can completely reduce the load on your device by quitting the application via the system tray icon.

    The McAfee Safe Connect VPN application takes up approximately 150 MB on disk, more than other VPNs. This is likely due to the fact that, in addition to the VPN, the same program contains other McAfee protection features.

  11. McAfee Safe Connect VPN Torrenting Servers

    • Torrenting servers:
      Torrenting support is offered by 88 % of the reviewed VPNs.

    McAfee Safe Connect VPN supports torrenting on all servers.

    Our measured average download speed of 127 Mb/s and upload speed of 76 Mb/s are suitable for P2P file sharing. The service is compatible with all popular torrent clients, including Vuze, BitTorrent, and others.

    A major shortcoming is the lack of a kill switch function that would disconnect the device from the Internet when it loses connection to the VPN server. To ensure maximum anonymity when torrenting, we recommend considering Proton VPN Plus or Ivacy VPN. Both offer high transfer rates, a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and other security features.

  12. What is the country of origin of McAfee Safe Connect VPN?

    • VPN Provider: Advent International, L. P.
    • Country of origin: 🇺🇸 USA

    McAfee Safe Connect VPN is one of the many products of an antivirus company that was founded in 1987 as McAfee Associates, Inc. In February 2011, it was acquired by Intel Corporation, which held a majority stake until 2022. Since then, McAfee has been owned by the investment company Advent International Corporation.

    McAfee is headquartered in San Jose, California, with regional offices around the world. The US headquarters may raise concerns among some users, as the country is a member of the 5 Eyes Countries grouping. The intelligence agencies of these countries can monitor users’ Internet activity and share data among themselves in the event of a security threat.

    Additionally, the VPN operator is obliged to comply with requests from higher authorities to release data. Some operators avoid this obligation by not collecting any data from VPN traffic. However, McAfee Safe Connect VPN does log user activity.

  13. McAfee Safe Connect VPN and Privacy: Logging Policy, Security Issues…

    • No-Logs Policy:
      The No-Logs Policy is followed by 79% of reviewed VPNs.

    The privacy policy of McAfee Safe Connect VPN states that the activity of users of the service is logged. From a security and user privacy perspective, this is a major deficiency that is reflected negatively in our evaluation of the VPN.

    Thus, the provider, McAfee Safe Connect VPN, may store contact and payment information, data about interactions with services, identifiers of devices used, or data transmitted. While the information collected is primarily for the promotion and further development of the VPN, it may be shared with third parties depending on the terms. In addition, McAfee is obliged to comply with any requests from the police or other higher authorities and to release user data.

    Cookies are not used on the McAfee Safe Connect VPN website.

    No data leaks have been detected in the past, but at the same time, no audit checks have taken place. Overall, the level of user privacy for McAfee Safe Connect VPN is low. To ensure the highest possible level of anonymity and privacy, we recommend NordVPN or Proton VPN Plus.

  14. McAfee Safe Connect VPN Support: Chat, e-mail…

    You can contact technical support staff directly via live chat, which is available 24/7 and does not require a user account. The user can also contact support via social networks. Non-stop support can also be contacted by phone.

    The support center on the McAfee Safe Connect VPN website publishes tutorials on how to install, purchase, and operate the service. In the same section, there is a database of frequently asked questions and answers. Part of them is presented in the form of a video.

    On the company’s blog, there are regularly published articles, mostly related to Internet safety. If you have a McAfee user account, you can become part of the community and join the discussion. On social media, McAfee is present on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

  15. McAfee Safe Connect VPN FAQ

    Does McAfee Safe Connect VPN share its users’ private data?
    As one of the smaller number of services tested, McAfee Safe Connect VPN does not enforce a zero-logs policy. As a result, logs may be generated and collected during VPN use that can be associated with a specific user and shared with third parties by the service provider. In addition, due to being based in the US, the operator must comply with legitimate requests from police or other government authorities to release data.
    Is McAfee Safe Connect VPN secure?
    In the context of the best-reviewed VPNs, we do not consider McAfee Safe Connect VPN to be a secure service. The app lacks a kill switch feature that immediately disconnects the device from the internet if the connection to the VPN is lost. We also consider the fact that user activity is logged, and the information obtained can be shared with third parties, to be a major shortcoming.
    Is McAfee Safe Connect VPN free?
    McAfee Safe Connect VPN is a paid service, with the price of the most affordable subscription option being $1.67 per month. You can use the free trial version for the duration of 7 days and cancel the contract and get a full refund at any time during the 30 days of period after purchasing the subscription.

    The same operator also offers a free option, McAfee Safe Connect VPN Free, which has the disadvantage of a limit on the amount of data transferred and some other restrictions.

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