Looks like the antivirus software developers are finally realizing that people use their computers not only for running a resource hungry antivirus product that claims half of the RAM, keeps the hard disk busy and slows down the PC so much as if you are using a computer from 90’s. This was the main reason I had to quit using Symantec products. Now many of the antivirus vendors are redesigning their software to use the least amount of system resources and in addition they are also releasing cloud antivirus products. McAfee is the latest to release an cloud antivirus for all the Windows users.
McAfee Cloud AV is free, is cloud based, does not make you download tons of data, uses minimal system resources and does not intrude in the everyday use of computers. It comes in form of a small 2 MB setup installer which further downloads some more files from the internet during the installation. After the installation is done, you will see only a small McAfee icon in the system tray that can be used to turn off the real-time protection.
The main window of McAfee Cloud AV also features a minimalist user interface. It has options to scan your system, to view the threat log and to change some of the settings. Apart from these, it also has some advertisements for purchasing the premium protection, and to get the mobile protection for Android or iPhone.
In the settings, you can choose to toggle on or off the real-time protection (this can also be done from the system tray icon), and to protect the access to the McAfee Cloud AV files (in the event a malicious software tries to corrupt the McAfee installation files). You can also see if you are using the latest available updates.
Verdict: McAfee Cloud AV is fast, cloud based malware protection for your Windows PC. If you do not like bloated and resource hungry antivirus products then you will love McAfee Cloud AV. It stays out of the way in the background and still provides powerful protection that McAfee is known for.
Update (March 2018) : McAfee Cloud AV has been discontinued in 2018. It is no longer available.
You can download McAfee Cloud AV from https://home.mcafee.com/Secure/CloudAV/CloudAVHome.aspx.