What Are The Best Antivirus Programs For Mac
1. Bitdefender has the best antivirus for Macs (opens in new tab)Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac combines great malware protection with a barely noticeable system-performance impact.
What Are The Best Antivirus Programs For Mac
2. Norton has the best feature set (opens in new tab)Norton 360 Standard includes a password manager, unlimited VPN data, a firewall and Dark Web monitoring, features you don't often see with Mac antivirus software.
3. Avast offers the best free Mac antivirus (opens in new tab)Avast Security for Mac may cost nothing, but it doesn't cut corners. Its malware protection is top-notch, its system impact is minimal and it has dialed back the annoying ads upselling you to a paid version.
Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac has an easy-to-use interface, affordable pricing, nearly flawless malware detection and a very light system-performance impact. For those reasons, it's once again our Editor's Choice for best Mac antivirus software.
However, we feel that Intego's relatively high price doesn't quite match its sparse feature set. While other paid Mac antivirus programs, such as Bitdefender and Avast might toss in browser extensions, a password manager or even a VPN to justify the purchase, Intego's extra features aren't too different from what you'd get with free Mac antivirus software. However, the company does offer the ability to scan iPhones and iPads connected via USB for malware - something that no other Mac antivirus maker provides.
Furthermore, we don't know really how well McAfee Antivirus Plus protects against Mac malware. There haven't been any recent Mac malware-detection testing scores for McAfee, so its protection powers are impossible to compare with those of the best Mac antivirus software.
In order to determine which of the programs above is the best Mac antivirus software, we evaluated each of them based on ease of use, interface and performance impact. We installed each program on the same 13-inch 2016 MacBook Pro running macOS 11 Big Sur powered by a 2.9-GHz Intel Core i5 processor and had 8GB of RAM and 42GB of data stored on a 256GB SSD.
To gauge how effective each program was at stopping malware, we used the results of comprehensive testing conducted by AV-Test (a well-regarded independent product-testing lab in Germany) and AV-Comparatives (a similarly well-respected testing company in Austria). We use test results from both labs for the best Android antivirus apps too.
Kaspersky Standard for Mac is a full macOS security suite, going for a price that just gets you plain antivirus protection from many competitors. Among its many features are a hardened browser for financial transactions and active Do Not Track for online ads. Despite these virtues, we've had to remove it from our list of best Mac antivirus tools.
When you go to select a new washer, refrigerator, or other appliance, chances are good you research it first. User reviews can be helpful, if you discard the very best and very worst of them. But actual test results published by an independent lab give you more reliable information. Two large labs include macOS antivirus products in their testing, but the slate of products for testing is variable. When we first rounded up Mac antivirus products, we only selected those with at least one certification, but at present, many of them don't appear in either lab's test results.
The researchers at AV-Test Institute(Opens in a new window) evaluate Mac antivirus products on three criteria: protection, performance, and usability. A product can earn up to six points for each. Protection against malware protection is essential, of course, as is a low impact on performance. A high usability score reflects a small number of false positives, legitimate programs and websites identified as dangerous. In the latest report, six products achieved a perfect 18 points, all six points for all three criteria.
There's another angle to the variation in Mac antivirus pricing. How about paying nothing at all? Avast One Essential for Mac, AVG AntiVirus for Mac, and Avira Free Antivirus for Mac are totally free for personal use. The best commercial products offer more protection, but if you can't afford the best, at least install a free antivirus.
However, these aren't the only choices. Look over our reviews, pick the product that suits you best, and get your Mac protected. Once you've done that, you should also consider installing a Mac VPN. While an antivirus protects you, your devices, and your data locally, a VPN extends that protection to your online activities, protecting both your security and your privacy.
You will need Mac-specific antivirus software designed to work with the unique demands of macOS to protect that new Mac. After all, Apple products aren't cheap, and you don't want to have something pricey be crippled by a cyberattack. Heck, even a one of the best free options is better than nothing.
Bitdefender is today's #1 best Mac antivirus (opens in new tab)It goes without saying that this premium provider has the goods when it comes to pure malware spotting, blocking and clearing. But the quality of its extra features that help make Bitdefender the best, including ransomware protection, anti-phishing, and super secure web browser protection.
The best Mac antivirus isn't just about detecting the latest most deadly ransomware, or other high-risk threats. Most tools can also strip out adware and other potentially unwanted programs which may not be highly dangerous, but are wasting system resources and slowing your Mac down.
Choosing the best Mac antivirus for you is not to be taken lightly. You cannot simply go with the most convenient option because it's cheap or it's what your friend is using. The protection you need might be, after all, different from others.
The excellent AV-TEST regularly puts antivirus programs through their paces, and their most recent tests took place in December 2020 on macOS Catalina. They test three key areas: malware detection, false positives and performance.
Mike is a lead security reviewer at Future, where he stress-tests VPNs, antivirus and more to find out which services are sure to keep you safe, and which are best avoided. Mike began his career as a lead software developer in the engineering world, where his creations were used by big-name companies from Rolls Royce to British Nuclear Fuels and British Aerospace. The early PC viruses caught Mike's attention, and he developed an interest in analyzing malware, and learning the low-level technical details of how Windows and network security work under the hood.","contributorText":"With contributions from","contributors":["name":"Darren Allan","link":"href":"https:\/\/www.techradar.com\/author\/darren-allan"]}; var triggerHydrate = function() window.sliceComponents.authorBio.hydrate(data, componentContainer); var triggerScriptLoadThenHydrate = function() var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = ' -8-2/authorBio.js'; script.async = true; script.id = 'vanilla-slice-authorBio-component-script'; script.onload = () => window.sliceComponents.authorBio = authorBio; triggerHydrate(); ; document.head.append(script); if (window.lazyObserveElement) window.lazyObserveElement(componentContainer, triggerScriptLoadThenHydrate); else triggerHydrate(); } }).catch(err => console.log('Hydration Script has failed for authorBio Slice', err)); }).catch(err => console.log('Externals script failed to load', err));Mike WilliamsSocial Links NavigationLead security reviewerMike is a lead security reviewer at Future, where he stress-tests VPNs, antivirus and more to find out which services are sure to keep you safe, and which are best avoided. Mike began his career as a lead software developer in the engineering world, where his creations were used by big-name companies from Rolls Royce to British Nuclear Fuels and British Aerospace. The early PC viruses caught Mike's attention, and he developed an interest in analyzing malware, and learning the low-level technical details of how Windows and network security work under the hood.
In addition, many antivirus programs include a virtual private network (VPN), which disguises what you do online, along with parental controls to protect children from online threats, and a firewall, which monitors traffic on your home network.
If you have one or more internet-connected devices, like a laptop, tablet, or phone, you need antivirus software regardless of what operating system it uses. However, don't rely on the software to keep you safe by itself. John Hawes, chief operating officer of the international nonprofit AMTSO, says you still need to take commonsense security precautions. These include setting strong passwords, ignoring links in emails from unknown recipients (which could be phishing attempts), and providing important personal information, like your Social Security Number, only to legitimate recipients. We also recommend installing a firewall, setting parental controls, and installing a good password manager. All of these steps will help protect you from harm, such as identity theft.
Performance/Reliability: First and foremost, a good antivirus program can identify, block, and remove all types of malware, including viruses, worms, adware, and others. Antivirus software should also be able to detect phishing attempts. Our Best Antivirus Software for Macs of 2023 and Best Antivirus Software of 2023 ratings can point you to lists of effective antivirus programs.
The term antivirus software is somewhat misleading, according to Stelzhammer of AV-Comparatives. That's because it guards against not only viruses, but also other types of malware like worms, adware, and ransomware. In addition, a good antivirus program will watch for phishing attempts that try to steal your personal data by getting you to enter it on a fake website.
The idea that Macs are generally more secure than a Windows PC isn't totally off-base. Windows does tend to have more security vulnerabilities which is why there are so many great antivirus programs for Windows 10. That's because Apple does everything in-house, while Windows operates on hardware from a handful of manufacturers. Apple's closed-loop system(Opens in a new tab) simply makes holes smaller and harder to infiltrate.