Mac users tend to believe that their computers running Mac OS are resistant to malware. But experts say that 100% protected devices do not exist. The international community of Windows users is much wider. Therefore, there is no surprise the majority of scammers and hackers focus on this operating system. But again, it doesn’t mean that if you have a computer with Mac OS, you will never be attacked by scammers or infected with Trojans.
Macs are not protected from ransomware, which is one of the most complex and hard-to-get-rid-of malware types. They can suffer from password theft, and finally, they can face a problem of a stolen iPhone or iPad backup. Meanwhile, a strong antivirus for Mac will help to resolve the issue at the root, preventing the vast majority of potential threats. Keep on reading to learn how to pick out the best antivirus for Mac.
Things to Consider When Choosing an Antivirus for Mac
With so many options on offer, selecting the Mac antivirus that will meet all your demands can become a challenge. There are several criteria for you to rely on when making a choice. Let’s review the most important ones.
- Effectiveness in combating malware. Essentially, the task of any AV software is always the same regardless of the operating system used. It must detect and neutralize or destroy malware before it does any harm. Several independent labs such as AV-TEST and AV-comparatives tested the speed and quality of identifying and deleting viruses. The results of the latest tests are regularly published on the lab sites and in numerous antivirus reviews.
- Performance and load on the system. Nobody wants to suffer from the speed drops caused by an antivirus running in the background mode. The overall speed of scanning and an impact on the system can be measured with the help of benchmarks.
- Features. Scanning for viruses and malware destroying are the critical feature of any antivirus software. However, different products offer different sets of additional features. For many Mac users, an opportunity of a non-stop background scanning can be useful. Features of automatic scanning of emails and external devices are also important. Finally, some users may opt for the products, offering such extras as an ad-blocker, a built-in VPN, a password manager, and more.
- Price. There are different options available – from a free version to premium options with advanced security features. It all depends on how much you are ready to spend on your Mac protection, and what features of AV software matter for you.
- Usability. A modern app must be convenient and easy to use. Nowadays, most providers offer one-click solutions with minimum buttons.
What is the Best Antivirus for Mac?
Our ratings are compiled with a glance to all the criteria mentioned above, as we always try to make every review independent and completely unbiased. But you can have some personal preferences and requirements, so we recommend reading comprehensive reviews before deciding on a particular antivirus product.
Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac is a powerful all-in-one product with a range of useful features on board. It is effective against all types of malware, including annoying adware and dangerous ransomware. Bitdefender boasts its advanced multi-layered ransomware protection; its Safe Files feature will protect your vulnerable files even if you are infected.
The Mac client of Bitdefender has a laconic user-friendly interface, which makes managing your protection easy and straightforward. It is scanning your Mac for potential threats continuously in the background mode. But there’s no reason to be concerned about the performance issues, as Bitdefender doesn’t have any noticeable impact on the system.
When it comes to features, apart from the top-notch malware protection, Bitdefender offers a built-in VPN client, anti-phishing protection, and a smart Autopilot feature (something like a built-in security advisor). Thanks to the improved adware protection, no browser plugin or add-on will ever be installed automatically. With Bitdefender, you get total control over your security and privacy.
Among other things, Bitdefender offers to test its product for 30 days for free, which is quite generous. If you make up your mind to buying the full version, there’s good news for you: the first-year pack comes with an impressive discount of 42%.
- Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac – $59.99 ($34.99 for the first year)
Kaspersky Total Security is your choice if you are looking for guaranteed protection. It offers safe online banking, parental control, and password protection. Its Internet Security suite is enough for the basic Mac OS malware protection.
The benefits of Kaspersky products include state-of-the-art protection from all types of known and zero-day cyber threats and its virtually unnoticeable impact on the system. The scanning itself is a sort of slow, but it doesn’t cause any serious performance issues. Kaspersky is an award-winning product that consistently scores high (close to 100%) in independent lab tests.
Though the interface of Kaspersky apps is sometimes described as old-fashioned. However, it is simple and easy to navigate. There is still a field for improving, but you shouldn’t experience any difficulties with using the software.
Kaspersky offers enough flexibility regarding its pricing plans. Therefore, its Internet Security suite is available for 3 or 5 devices for the period of 1, 2 or 3 years. One license of Total Security pack can cover 5 or 10 devices.
- Kaspersky Internet Security (3 devices, 1 year) – $79.99 ($47.99 for the first year)
- Kaspersky Total Security (5 devices, 1 year) – $99.99 ($59.99 for the first year)
Avast is the best free Mac antivirus; also it offers a premium option. It is an effective and reliable product with a powerful antivirus engine. In most lab tests, Avast shows consistent results. Its effectiveness is at 99+ percent. Both free and paid editions are lightweight, and none of them overloads the system.
With Avast free, you get advanced antivirus and anti-malware protection, as well as a bunch of useful bonuses, such as web shield, e-mail protection, Wi-Fi scanning, and scheduled scanning. It covers all the essential needs of a Mac user. If you need more intelligent security features, consider Avast Security Pro for Mac. This pack includes smart ransomware protection and the function of continuous Wi-Fi inspection.
Avast client for Mac is easy to install and use. Its upgraded interface looks smart and simple. Even inexperienced users won’t have any difficulties with security managing via the Avast app.
If you are not sure whether it makes sense to switch to the Pro version of Avast, there is good news for you. Their refunding policy is quite loyal with the guaranteed money-back period of 30 days.
- Avast Security for Mac Pro – $59.99
Norton is a reliable antivirus for Mac, but it has certain limitations that you need to consider before buying this product. On the plus side, Norton gives a 100% guarantee of virus protection. If you are infected for whatever reason, you’ll get your money back at any time.
Even basic packs of Norton software include a built-in firewall. Also, there are automatic updates for the maximum protection level. Another strong point of Norton is its excellent support service that is available in the 24/7 mode. Finally, Norton scores very high in all lab tests. Independent experts have repeatedly confirmed its effectiveness.
On the minus side, Norton products have a noticeable impact on the system performance. It is one of the most resource-demanding antivirus options around. Also, it is restricted concerning features if compared to its counterparts. There’s no parental control, no password manager, no Wi-Fi scanning, and no enhanced online security features.
If you are ready to get on with certain limitations, Norton can become a top choice for you thanks to its state-of-the-art malware protection and lifetime money-back guarantee. But keep in mind that it is quite expensive if bought for more than one device.
- Standard – $69.99 ($39.99 for the first year)
- Deluxe – $89.99 ($49.99 for the first year)
- Premium – $109.99 ($54.99 for the first year)
Intego is the provider that focuses on developing a security solution for Mac OS. If you need full, reliable protection for your Mac computer, then consider Intego Mac Internet Security X9 suite. It is perfectly integrated with Mac OS and runs smoothly in the background mode without any noticeable effect on the system.
It is a full-featured solution that protects your device from almost 100% of viruses, worms, and other sophisticated forms of malware adapted for Mac. Useful extras include a firewall feature, anti-phishing, app scanning, anti-spyware, and automatic protection from new and unknown devices. The function of parental control is a nice bonus.
The app itself is easy to use, thanks to its intuitive design and clean, uncluttered interface. When it comes to usability, Intego is one of the best options for Mac around. Another benefit is a free trial period for you to get acquainted with the product and decide whether it meets your requirements or not.
- Mac Internet Security X9 – $49.99 ($39.99 for the first year)
How We Test Antivirus Software
To single out the products we cover in this review, we’ve tested all the popular and less known anti-malware solutions compatible with Mac OS. The preparatory work has two stages. The first one includes gathering information. We use reliable, trusted sources, such as independent testing labs. The second stage is real-life testing. It means that we install software on computers with the latest version of the operating system and test it in different modes.
During the examination, we estimate the speed and impact on the system. Also, the behavior of the software when it encounters viruses, the reaction to visiting websites containing potential threats, manual and automating computer scanning modes, usability, and design are considered. Based on the results received, we write a review and compile a ranking of AV software providers.
Do I Need Antivirus for Mac or Not?
The truth is that Mac computers are less vulnerable to malware threats than the devices running Windows OS. A few years ago, it was generally considered that Mac OS war resistant to all existing viruses. Moreover, Apple didn’t allow installing any third-party software, including popular antivirus programs. Finally, some years ago, specialists from one of the major companies providing anti-malware solutions found out that over 500 thousand new Mac devices were infected with Trojans.
The next year, the situation repeated. In 2016, the first cases of infecting Macs with ransomware were recorded. All those cases demonstrated that no 100% protected operating system exists.
And still, the risk of catching a virus remains relatively low for the Mac owners. If you follow the general rules of online security, you may never suffer from any malware, as well as thousands of other users worldwide. Chances are a built-in Mac protection tools will do.
When do you need antivirus for Mac? Well, it depends. A general rule is the following: use an extra layer of protection in the form of antivirus software always when you realize that the cost of losses in the case of infecting will be much higher than the price of an AV software pack.
If you’ve made your mind up to buying antivirus for your Mac, decide for yourself what features you need and how much you are going to spend. Read full reviews of the chosen products and make a decision. Keep in mind that most providers offer either a trial period of 24 hours to a week, so you will be able to test the program for free. If there is no trial period, check their refunding policy for a money back guarantee period.
More and more owners of Mac computers come to the understanding of the fact that a good antivirus today is a must-have. It is vital even for the most protected devices in the world if you strive for the highest level of your data protection.