We looked at the interface of each application and what features were available. I also looked at the main Web interface of each package to see what it offered and how well it operated.
The suites each provide protection for some combination of PCs, Macs and mobile devices, with the exact devices and combination varying somewhat for each. In each review, I'll tell you which devices the suite supports, and the limit (if any) on how many devices you can protect.
$99.99 OSes protected: Windows, OS X, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian No. of devices protected: No limitations for a single user
McAfee All Access offers the widest range of security tools of the suites in this roundup. With one subscription, you get protection software for an unlimited number of Windows PCs, Macs, Android smartphones and tablets, and BlackBerry and Symbian smartphones. Because it covers more mobile operating systems than its competitors, it's the one to choose if you have multiple types of smartphones -- unless it's an iPhone.
McAfee All Access: Web interfaceClick to view larger image.
As with most of the suites reviewed here, McAfee's Web dashboard doesn't really live up to its name. Unlike Webroot's dashboard, it doesn't show you any potential security issues on any device, or make recommendations about how to fix those issues. Instead, it's a central location from which you can see what modules you have installed, and install them on any device.
So if you log in from your Mac, you can download Mac software; log in on your Windows PC to download Windows software.
Android is a little trickier. If you want to install the software on, say, a tablet, you're sent a link via email from which you can download the software. If you want to install it on a smartphone, you're sent a text message with a link to download the software.
For some reason, the text message never got sent to my phone, even though I tried several times. But I was able to install the software by writing down the link sent to my tablet and typing it into my smartphone's browser.
As with the Norton suite, I rarely used the Web interface, simply because it didn't offer much of value.