Jan 11, We spent hours testing Mac internet security solutions using live Mac malware samples. We looked at how well each program.
Table of contents
- Avast Security for Mac
- Best Mac antivirus software Norton, McAfee, and more
- Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac
- The best free antivirus platforms for Mac in 12222
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Avast Security for Mac
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Best Mac antivirus software Norton, McAfee, and more
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This suite doesn't offer a lot in the way of extras, and we'd like to see its network monitor develop into the more robust feature available on Windows. Still, for the price you get a good amount of protection against key threats on macOS. Version 6. Its ransomware detection also has room to grow.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac
Though McAfee Total Protection offers good protection, its subscription price and lack of ransomware monitoring allow competitors to surpass it. Intego's software has no fatal flaws, but because of its lower ratings by security labs, minimal ransomware protection, and lack of native browser plug-ins, we don't currently recommend it.
At a Glance. Avast Security Pro for Mac. Pros Folder-based ransomware app blocking and whitelisting Crisp and easy interface Rapid real-time malware discovery Well-designed alerts. Sophos Home Premium for Mac. Pros Detection of ransomware in progress Low price per computer Cloud-based remote configuration. Cons Bug in current version that requires repetitive log in to view activity history.
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Norton Security Deluxe Mac. Pros Excellent Mac malware protection Great all-in-one security solution. Cons No active ransomware monitoring Pushes installation of Identity Safe Privacy disclosure could be much clearer. Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac. Pros High malware detection rate Monitors for ransomware-style attacks from unknown software in specific folders. Cons Could not install and configure Safari extension, though it activated Anti-ransomware protection documentation describes protection incorrectly Fewer extra features compared to less-expensive or similarly priced higher-rank competitors.
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Pros Solid protection against common Mac threats Comprehensive at-a-glance security status. Avast Free Mac Security goes the extra mile to protect your Mac with an unusually lengthy feature list. The core antivirus engine offers real-time protection to catch threats when they appear, for instance. You can run on-demand full system scans if you suspect a problem, or launch a more targeted check on specific files, folders or drives.
It's even possible to schedule scans to run automatically when you're not around. A Web Shield warns you about malicious websites, blocks dangerous downloads and email attachments, and protects your privacy by eliminating intrusive ad tracking. There's an unusual extra in Avast's wireless network scanner, which quickly checks your network, router and connected devices, alerting you to any vulnerabilities.
Mac antivirus software isn't often checked by the independent testing labs, but Avast's most recent results were good, with AV Comparative's test finding the package detected Only Bitdefender and Kaspersky did better, and they were both paid editions. If you'd like even more, upgrading to Avast Security Pro gets you ransomware protection and instant alerts of Wi-Fi intruders or changes in your network security.
While many antivirus companies try to win you over by piling on the features, Avira Antivirus for Mac takes a simpler, more lightweight approach. There's no web filtering, no network scanning or other security extras: That doesn't mean the package is short on power.
The best free antivirus platforms for Mac in 12222
Its real-time scanner checks any file the system accesses, picking up threats before they can do any harm. The scheduler enables setting up the app to scan your system automatically, or you're able to check your entire system whenever you like. As a bonus, the app doesn't just protect against Mac threats. It also uses Avira's Windows experience to pick up any PC-related malware, ensuring you won't share any files that might endanger your friends. The main testing labs haven't evaluated Avira Free Antivirus for a while, but AV Comparatives last report found the Avira engine blocked Although this list is all about free Mac antivirus, Avira deserves a mention for its commercial Avira Antivirus Pro Bitdefender Virus Scanner is a lightweight free malware hunter which can track down and remove both Mac and Windows-related threats.
A simple and straightforward interface makes the app extremely easy to use. A status display keeps you up-to-date on how your system is doing, and four buttons enable running a quick scan of critical locations, an in-depth check of your entire system, or speedy scans of running applications or a folder of your choice. Although this looks all very basic, use Bitdefender Virus Scanner for Mac for a while and you begin to notice some very neat touches.
The app doesn't force you to wait a day for your next virus signature updates, for instance. Bitdefender issues updates every hour and Virus Scanner always fetches the latest version before it starts a scan. An option to exclude files and folders from the scan - network shares, system backups - is another plus, reducing the work the engine has to do and significantly speeding up your scan times.
What you don't get here is any form of real-time protection or web filtering, essential tools for a complete security solution. This simplicity also reduces the chance of conflicts with other apps, though, suggesting Bitdefender Virus Scanner could be a useful second opinion tool which you run alongside another security app.
Mac antivirus software isn't just about detecting the latest most deadly ransomware, or other high-risk threats.