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McAfee Launches Anti-Theft App for iOS; Is It Better Than 'Find My iPhone?'

McAfee is expanding its software offerings to include WaveSecure, an anti-theft app for the iPhone. The just-launched app costs $19.99 in the App Store, and it lets users track a misplaced device and back up data to the cloud. If your handset goes AWOL, you can also wirelessly restore backed-up data to a new device.

That all sounds well and good, but McAfee WaveSecure reminds us of another device-tracking iOS app that's available for free: Find My iPhone. Apple's app can also track down your iPhone via a map, though it goes one step beyond WaveSecure by giving users the option of playing a sound or sending a message to help locate the device. Find My iPhone also lets iOS users remotely wipe their data and set a passcode lock on their missing devices; WaveSecure only offers the ability to remotely lock the device, not to wipe the data.

So what makes the WaveSecure app worth the $20—and does it offer better protection that Apple's free counterpart? For corporate users, the data backups to the cloud may be a deal breaker. Still, this is an anti-theft app, which makes the omission of remote-wipe functionality almost unforgivable. To remotely wipe a phone's data, WaveSecure users will have to turn to additional software, such as Lookout Mobile Security.

The bottom line: You'll have to really want the data backup feature to warrant spending the money for this app. Find My iPhone offers a comparable, if not more robust, set of anti-theft features, and it's free, to boot.