We’ve Tested The Best Antivirus App for Mac OS

by Elliot V. King

If you have a Mac, it is advisable to protect your files against malware by installing an antivirus. However, if you don’t know much about antivirus, this might seem daunting and you could end up making the wrong choice. This article will help you understand the role of Mac antiviruses and how to choose one.

TL;DR: I need an Antivirus for my Mac. Which one do I get?

Norton 360 Deluxe [formerly called Norton Security Deluxe] is an excellent choice! The Norton 360 Deluxe suite is the most comprehensive Mac antivirus out there right now. Besides the basic protection against malware and ransomware you get a VPN, a password manager, parental control for your kids, cloud based storage for backups, protection against spyware and unauthorized access to your webcam and a firewall via which you can monitor what of your personal data gets sent where. No other antivirus software for Mac covers more devices at this price-point with such a holistic security approach. Norton 360 Deluxe protects 5 devices including your Mac, Windows PC, Tablet and smartphone (Android and iOS).

Do Macs need an Antivirus?

Although some people think that Apple computers do not need an antivirus, it is advisable to protect your Mac. Nowadays, there have been instances of Mac malware with severe cases being reported by some users who have fallen victim. Originally, Macs were thought more secure than Windows computers because of two reasons:

  • Technically, Macs rely on the Unix-based operating system which makes them sandboxed. Therefore, Apple Macs have a series of fire doors which prevent the malware from accessing the Mac
  • There are fewer Mac devices/units compared to their Windows PCs counterparts. Therefore, there are fewer hackers and malware developers who are targeting Mac PCs

However, even though Macs are hard to hack, they are growing in popularity and cybercriminals are getting smarter. This means, if you have a Mac, you should seriously consider investing in a reliable antivirus. A reliable Mac antivirus will not only save you from compromising your data but keep malicious third parties away from accessing your device.

How to choose a Mac Antivirus

To choose a reliable Mac antivirus, you should consider the following:

  1. Type of malware protection – Do you want the on-demand protection and always-on protection feature? The on-demand protection examines one file after the other when you undertake a scan or during scheduled scans. A good antivirus should conduct these scans fast to prevent possible damage or spreading of the malware to important files on your computer. On the other hand, the always-on protection feature protects the user when he/she is not scanning the Mac PC. This feature removes malware from downloaded files, emails or on the disk through quarantine or deletion. Although not all antivirus programs show a notification when they scan, most of the antivirus apps will notify you.
  2. Additional tools – besides detecting and removing malware, some antiviruses have additional tools that boost the removal or detection of various malware e.g. ransom-ware protection. Ransomware is a unique malware that corrupts the data on your laptop. Once your computer is infected, all the files are encrypted and you are asked for a fee (ransom) to decrypt the files. To guarantee protection against malware, you need to have additional modules like ransomware protection as part of your malware program.
  3. Virtual private network (VPV) add-ons – if you use your computer to access the internet especially in public places that provide free WI-FI, you should consider an antivirus that has a VPN. A VPN will encrypt your internet connection providing protection against cybercriminals or unauthorized third parties accessing your computer or files.
  4. Web protection – if others use your computer or laptop, you need to have web protection from your antivirus via extensions or browser plugging. Web protection stops any user from accessing dodgy websites or sites which can corrupt your data. Additionally, since you are protecting against data corruption, web protection prevents the user from handing over personal or sensitive information.
  5. Price – nowadays, most antivirus programs are sold as yearly subscriptions although they might have different prices. Some antivirus programs have the option of buying several years’ subscriptions at a better discount. While looking for an antivirus, price is a factor because most people try to save money. However, remember, the priciest antivirus program does not mean it’s effective and vice versa. But as a general rule, what you pay is what you get.
  6. Type of subscriptions – with many antivirus programs, you can use the subscription you have bought on more than one device like on a Microsoft Windows Computer. Therefore, if you have more than one computer, check the types of subscriptions to determine the best value for your money. This may also come in handy if you want to protect your iPhone, iPad or Android device. Because often a subscription covers mobile devices as well.

The process of getting the right Mac antivirus for your computer is not easy because it requires you to take a lot of time researching and gathering vital information. Luckily you can access all the information you need on the internet. So take your time to research and understand the different types available, types of subscriptions, prices and whether they are effective. You can visit the developers sites who offer these antiviruses to read reviews from other Mac users to determine if the antivirus is reliable and worth purchasing.

There are numerous Mac antivirus programs that can help you protect your computer. So naturally, choosing the best of all is not easy. As a result, we have gathered vital information to help you choose the best Mac antivirus in the market.

Here is the Best Antivirus for Mac OS

Looking for an all around package? Norton 360 Deluxe [formerly called Norton Security Deluxe] is an excellent choice!
The Norton 360 Deluxe suite is the most comprehensive Mac antivirus out there right now. Besides the basic protection against malware and ransomware you get a VPN, a password manager, parental control for your kids, cloud based storage for backups, protection against spyware and unauthorized access to your webcam and a firewall via which you can monitor what of your personal data gets sent where. No other antivirus software for Mac covers more devices at this price-point with such a holistic security approach. Norton 360 Deluxe protects 5 devices including your Mac, Windows PC, Tablet and smartphone (Android and iOS).

Other Mac antivirus that might interest you

  1. Bitdefender antivirus for Mac costs $39.99 and it offers numerous benefits which include blocking ad trackers in browsers, a VPN, protecting files and backups from ransomware and an autopilot mode. It got very good ratings and a great score in the antiphishing test. However, to access all the VPN features, you need to have a separate subscription. Bitdefender is one of the Mac antivirus programs that you can rely on at all times. With the autopilot mode, you just need to enable the antivirus and your computer will be protected against malware at all times.
  2. With $39.99, you can get Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac. This antivirus program has the Kaspersky Safe Kids feature for parental control, offers privacy and network protection, great testing scores and it offers useful bonus tools. However, the webcam protection and Safe Money features are limited when compared to the Kaspersky antivirus version for windows. Furthermore, you need an additional subscription to access Safe Kids and VPN features. Kaspersky for Mac is a reliable antivirus program for your Mac because it offers great privacy features, protection against malware and attacks and if you are willing to have an additional subscription, you can determine what your kids search or access on the internet.
  3. Webroot Secure Anywhere has the lowest passing score in the independent lab test, the Mac antivirus program has numerous pros that include good phishing protection, great detection of Windows malware, a fast full scan, and the ability to mark dangerous links in search results. For $39.99, Webroot Secure Anywhere is the fastest Mac antivirus program and it provides an efficient phishing protection. Ergo, the antivirus program is reliable and effective.
  4. F-Secure Safe has great scores from two labs, provides a quick full scan and has a simple platform for parental control. However, with the price being $69.99, F-Secure Safe is one of the most expensive Mac antiviruses in the market. Nevertheless, since the antivirus program offers multi-device parental control and has high testing marks, you can get the value for your money in the long run.
  5. McAfee Antivirus Plus’ subscription covers unlimited Android, macOS, Windows and iOS devices. The antivirus has a simple personal firewall, a virus protection pledge, and great antiphishing test scores. However, there are no test results from an independent lab that’s why it’s hard to determine the effectiveness of this antivirus. Still, $19.99 is an affordable cost to protect all your devices against malware and ransomware.
  6. For $39.99, Sophos Home Premium will provide webcam protection, ransomware protection, remote management, parental control, and decent phishing protection. But, unlike the Windows edition, Sophos Home Premium lacks keylogger and exploit protection, download reputation check and other advanced features. It is important to understand that this antivirus program offers malware and ransomware protection at a low price although it lacks advanced features when compared to the Windows edition.
  7. Certified by two antivirus testing labs, Trend Micro Antivirus offers great features for only $39.95. With this antivirus, you will get a fast full scan, perfect phishing score, webcam privacy, parental control, ransomware protection, and social network privacy scan. Nevertheless, webcam privacy lacks details and parental control works only for content filtering. Since the antivirus program comes with numerous bonus features, Trend Micro antivirus is a good choice.
  8. For $59.99 only, you can get ransomware protection, phishing protection for Firefox and Chrome and Wi-Fi intruder detection from Avast Security Pro antivirus. The only cons include the fact that Avast does not have numerous premium edition features, the password manager has basic features only and if you are using Safari, the antivirus program offers poor phishing protection. Avast Security Pro is expensive compared to other antivirus programs but if you are looking to protect your Mac against malware, ransomware and detect Wi-Fi intruders, it is decent enough.
  9. ClanXav has a straightforward interface that can help you scan malware on-demand, access or schedule depending on your preference. However, even though ClanXav is lab certified for Mac malware protection, it does not filter malicious or fraudulent websites. For $29.95, ClanXav is a good antivirus although it does not go past the basics.
  10. For $39.99, ESET Cyber Security detects and protects your Mac against malware, offers elaborate scanning options and provides online cybersecurity training. But, the antivirus scans malware slowly, has poor anti-phishing results and is not certified by independent labs. The antivirus offers comprehensive malware protection although it does not have a current certification from independent labs. You can still invest in the antivirus program to protect your MacOS against malware and ransomware.
  11. To get an extremely fast malware scan for $39.99, you should consider getting Malware Bytes for Mac. The antivirus has a very good reputation among tech experts although it does not protect against fraudulent or malicious websites. Also, the antivirus does not detect Windows malware thus making it a gamble if you come across such malware. With tech experts recommending Malware Bytes, you won’t go wrong choosing it to protect your Mac.

It is very important to protect your Mac against malware and ransomware especially if you frequently browse the internet. Your needs, budget, and preference should determine the Mac antivirus you choose. Remember, if you have kids or you wish to know who intrudes your Wi-Fi, you should look for a Mac antivirus that will suit those needs. Finally, it is important to consider the reviews and ratings from other users before making the final decision.

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