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Hey Mac user! You ought to have one among the simplest Mac antivirus programs on your machine, whether or not that program is free or purchased.
This is because Macs do get infected, despite Apple’s previous claims. Mac malware has increased tons within the past few years, and today’s Macs also are suffering from adware, scareware, and other potentially unwanted programs.
Apple’s built-in antivirus protections are too easy to fool. The simplest Mac antivirus programs will quickly detect malware that nobody has ever seen before and can also double-check files that have cleared Apple’s built-in Gatekeeper program.
Many Mac antivirus programs check for Windows malware, which may hide on Macs to infect other systems on an equivalent local network. Some Mac antivirus programs also accompany useful extras like password managers, system optimizers, or VPN services.
What is the best Mac antivirus program?
We think Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac is that the best Mac antivirus program you’ll buy. It had an almost invisible impact on system performance in our tests, caught all Mac and Windows malware in lab tests, rolls back files encrypted by ransomware, and hardens your browser against online attacks. It also offers 200MB of VPN data daily, although that’s just a tease for the unlimited VPN service.
Close behind is Norton 360 Standard, which has even better malware detection plus a vast VPN and password manager. Norton catches all Mac and Windows malware in lab tests, features a very small system-performance impact, and includes LifeLock dark-web monitoring.
Our favorite free option is Avast Security for Mac, with nearly perfect malware protection and an easy-to-use interface. Its system-performance impact is far, but it once was, and it not nags you to upgrade to paid Avast products.
Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac has perfect malware-detection scores, webcam protection, and a hardened browser. It offers 300MB of daily VPN usage, but its password manager and parental controls also are limited unless you pay more.
There’s not much wrong with Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac, apart from a rather heavy system-performance impact during full scans. It shields files from ransomware, protects your webcam, and is really good malware protection. Yet, it doesn’t do much to face out from the gang.
Intego Mac Internet Security X9 comes from the granddaddy of all Mac antivirus companies, and its detection and protection skills are excellent. But it’s got a comparatively sparse set of tools and features that resemble those of free antivirus apps.
Sophos Home Premium may be a hidden gem. It’s few extra features, but it protects your Mac’s webcam and has web filters for youngsters and dedicated protection against ransomware. You’ll protect up to 10 Mac or PCs for a bargain price.
McAfee Antivirus Plus is additionally a cheap 10-device bundle protecting Macs, PCs, and Android devices. But it’s got few extra features for Mac, and its scans can create large system slowdowns. Its Mac malware protection performs a notch below those of Bitdefender and Sophos.
Malwarebytes for Mac Premium has never had malware-detection lab tests, but Malwarebytes’ Windows consumer antivirus software doesn’t have the best. However, we will recommend the free Malwarebytes for Mac, a superb cleanup tool that perfectly complements good Mac antivirus software.
The best Mac antivirus software you can get
1. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac
Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac has an easy-to-use interface, affordable pricing, nearly flawless malware detection, and a light system-performance impact. For those reasons, it’s once more our Editor’s Choice for best Mac antivirus software.
Unusually for a Mac antivirus program, Bitdefender can roll back ransomware encryption, including on-machine backups. It also offers extensions to harden your browser and blocks online trackers to guard your privacy. The Autopilot and Bitdefender Shield feature keep the software running without much human intervention.
The only downsides are the absence of the password manager that comes with the Windows version of Bitdefender Antivirus. The Bitdefender VPN service is restricted to 200MB per day unless you pay more. Aside from that, it is a nearly perfect Mac antivirus program.
2. Norton 360 Standard
Norton 360 Standard features many useful extras, including unlimited VPN service and a vast password manager, two features that its rivals cause you to pay extra. It is also got a two-way firewall, a system optimizer, and dark-web monitoring of your data.
More importantly, Norton 360 Standard features a very small impact on system performance, always-available tech support, and, last but not least, flawless detection of Mac malware.
You’ll pay tons for these luxuries, however, although you will be saving money on the value of a stand-alone VPN or password manager. We hope that Mac users will soon get the parental controls, webcam protection, and backup software that Windows users of Norton 360 Standard have already got.
3. Avast Security for Mac
Avast Security for Mac has improved tons since it had been called Avast Free Mac Security. The malware-detection rate is now nearly perfect. The system-performance impact is far less. Therefore, the annoying ads that attempted to upsell you to Avast paid programs are drastically dialed back.
Avast also screens websites for phishing scams and other common threats and scans your Wi-Fi network for outdated devices and unwelcome guests. Its interface is attractive and straightforward to navigate, but remember that many of the features, including ransomware rollbacks, are available only to paying customers.
The password manager and, therefore, the email-attachment screener have disappeared, however, and therefore the tech support is restricted to online documents. Still, if you would like a solid, dependable Mac antivirus program for nothing, this is often the one to urge.
4. Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac
Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac has perfect malware-detection rates, a lightweight system impact during scans, and an intuitive interface. It can even close up the webcam on a MacBook, a feature that Apple itself doesn’t offer.
Kaspersky also offers a hardened browser to be used while banking or shopping online, plus browser extensions that block malicious URLs and tracking cookies and advise you to steer beyond risky websites.
However, the simplest extra features are teases. The password manager holds only 15 items. The parental controls are limited to one child device without location tracking. The VPN service gives you simply 300MB of knowledge per day.
Unlimited versions cost $15, $15, and $30 per annum, respectively, which isn’t expensive. Still, Norton 360 Standard gives you two of these at no extra costs. a minimum of Kaspersky doesn’t persistently attempt to upsell you on them.
5. Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac
Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac offers excellent malware protection for an inexpensive price, but it’s a really heavy system impact during full scans.
If you overlook that drawback, you will find ransomware protection for designated folders, webcam protection, social media privacy scanners, and even parental web filters. Trend Micro’s interface may be a bit old-fashioned, but it works.
However, the program doesn’t stand out when rivals like Bitdefender and Norton offer more. You’ll certainly do worse than Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac, but you’ll also do better.
6. Intego Mac Internet Security X9
Intego has been making Mac antivirus software since 1997, and its Mac Security X9 offers in no time scans, thorough malware detection, and a full-fledged firewall. The program also supports legacy macOS versions going back to 2013’s Mavericks.
Intego Mac Security X9 may be a solid piece of software that does its job well, albeit its interface may be a bit bare-bones. You’ll even add effective Windows antivirus protection for a little extra fee.
But Intego’s relatively high price doesn’t quite match its sparse feature set. While other paid Mac antivirus programs might add browser extensions, a password manager, or maybe a VPN to justify the acquisition, Intego’s extra features aren’t too different from what you’d get with free Mac antivirus software.
7. Sophos Home Premium
Sophos Home Premium can protect up to 10 computers, Mac or Windows, for a coffee price, and its parental web filters can stop kids from seeing objectionable material online. It also has dedicated protections against ransomware and for your webcam and microphone.
Its background system impact is more noticeable than its competitors, although nowhere near the system impact of some Windows antivirus products. It’s got a comparatively small impact during active scans.
The interface is minimal and mostly lives within the menu bar; there is a powerful online management tool for more controls. Tech support is 12 hours each day, Monday through Friday, and limited to email and chat interactions.
We wish we had some third-party lab-test data about the efficacy of Sophos’ Mac malware scanner, which could place it higher among the simplest Mac antivirus software programs.
8. McAfee Antivirus Plus
McAfee Antivirus Plus’s generous 10-device license means you’ll provide antivirus protection for an entire family of Macs (and Windows PCs and Android phones) for an inexpensive yearly fee.
But the program doesn’t have tons of additional features for Macs, which makes it hard to recommend for Apple customers. All Mac users get maybe a firewall, while Windows users get ransomware protection, cryptojacking protection, and a system optimizer. McAfee Antivirus Plus also features a heavy system impact during scans and a confusing interface.
Furthermore, we do not know really how well McAfee Antivirus Plus protects against Mac malware. McAfee hasn’t received any recent Mac malware-detection testing scores, so its protection powers are impossible to match with those of the simplest Mac antivirus software.
9. Malwarebytes for Mac Premium
Despite its fast scans, light impact on system performance, and bright, easy-to-use interface, Malwarebytes for Mac Premium feels half-cooked.
The program doesn’t have many of its competitors’ additional features, like malicious website blocking and email scanning. And since its malware-blocking skills haven’t been evaluated in lab tests, we do not have the skills good Malwarebytes is at protecting your Mac.
However, we do recommend the free version, Malwarebytes, for Mac. It’s not truly antivirus software but a superb post-infection cleanup tool that also gets obviate the annoying adware and unwanted programs that antivirus software tends to miss.
You might want to let the two-week Malwarebytes Premium trial expire and instead use the free tier alongside a number of the simplest Mac antivirus software.
How to choose the best Mac antivirus software for you
Before you purchase or install Mac antivirus software, you’ve got to work out what you need. Does one have both Macs and Windows PCs at home? Then consider a multiplatform, multi-device bundle like Norton 360 Deluxe, Sophos Home Premium, or McAfee Antivirus Plus. Bitdefender and Kaspersky also offer multiplatform bundles that accompany an equivalent software we’ve reviewed here.
Or does one have only Macs? If so, no got to go overboard: The one- or three-device versions of Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac or Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac should do one just fine.
Do you calve children or teenagers living at home? Consider Mac antivirus software that comes with parental controls or web-content filters, like Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac or Sophos Home Premium.
Then find out what proportion you’ll afford. If the solution is “nothing,” then try Avast Security for Mac or the free tier of Sophos Home. The trade-off is that those aren’t nearly as good as many of the paid programs.
But if you’ll afford to spend $50 a year, then you’ve tons of options. Most antivirus companies frequently offer discounts of up to 60%, both straight from their websites or online retailers, a minimum of for the primary purchase.
How we test the best Mac antivirus programs
To determine which of the above choices is the best Mac antivirus software, we evaluated simple to use, interface, and performance impact. We installed each AV program on an equivalent 13-inch 2016 MacBook Pro running macOS 11 Big Sur. It had been powered by a 2.9-GHz Intel Core i5 processor and had 8GB of RAM and 42GB of knowledge stored on a 256GB SSD.
Our tests supported the proportion of each of the simplest Mac antivirus programs that affected our laptop’s performance. To try to dodo this, we used the Geekbench 5 benchmarking tool. We ran it before installing every antivirus program, but after installation, another time during a full scan, then again during a fast scan.
We assessed how easy each of the simplest Mac antivirus programs was to use and, therefore, the number of useful extra features it offered (including free add-on software).
To gauge how effective each package was at stopping malware, we used the results of evaluations conducted by AV-Test, a well-regarded independent product-testing lab in Germany, and results from other tests conducted by AV-Comparatives, a similarly well-respected company in Austria.
- Is there a free Mac antivirus?
Our free Mac antivirus protects on 3 fronts. Malware is not the only threat to your Mac. … Avast Security provides essential free protection against all 3 threats, and our new Premium version goes the additional mile to show Wi-Fi intruders and stop ransomware.
- Does Mac have inbuilt antivirus 2020?
Yes, Mac does have built-in antivirus. macOS includes XProtect and antivirus technology that’s automatically updated with known threats, separately from OS updates. It runs a check for known malicious content when an app is first launched or has been changed.
- Is Intego good for Mac?
While it is often a touch challenging to line up, and therefore the customer support needs work, Intego is an overall great product — it scored top marks in macOS virus protection, simple use, and overall value, it’s cheaper than most other Mac-based antiviruses. It ranked because of the #1 antivirus for Mac in 2021.
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