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Best Mac antivirus software in 2023


You may think that your Mac is safe from malware, but that’s most likely not true. The built-in Mac xProtect antivirus is not enough against modern threats. Native Mac apps such as Safari are full of security vulnerabilities, and without real-time protection, your Mac is at risk. Thus, getting an antivirus program for your Mac, MacBook or other Apple computer is crucial.

Cyberattacks are constantly evolving, so advanced viruses and ransomware need quick and efficient responses. A premium Mac antivirus software that specializes in macOS security and has a high malware and virus detection rate can provide security against any type of cybersecurity threat.

If you’re wondering which Mac antivirus program to choose, our top recommendation is TotalAV. However, we tested and reviewed a dozen of other antivirus products that may suit you better. To curate our list, we looked into malware detection rates, features for Mac users, pricing, impact on device performance, and more.

Best antivirus for Mac in 2023

  1. TotalAV – best antivirus software for Mac devices in 2023
  2. Norton 360 – advanced and family-friendly Mac antivirus software
  3. Intego – customizable Mac protection for all types of malware
  4. Bitdefender – antivirus for macOS with minimal impact on performance
  5. Surfshark AV – Mac antivirus with great browser compatibility

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What to look for in the best Mac antivirus

While it may seem that the only difference that antivirus programs have are their interfaces, there’s much more you have to pay attention to when picking one. Here are a few things you should always take into consideration to find the best antivirus for Mac:

  • Virus protection rates. Top antivirus solutions for macOS should protect against no less than 99.8% of zero-day malware, as well as web and email threats. If you want to get the best Mac antivirus, you should look for outstanding testing results in the reports of independent testing labs.
  • Security features. Robust security does not end with real-time protection. Premium antivirus packages include all-round protection – a secure VPN, the dark web monitoring, a password manager, and an ad-blocker.
  • Multiple devices support. Rarely does a person have only one device to protect. So if you want to protect not only your macOS but your phone or your families' devices as well, opt for an antivirus that offers protection for multiple devices.
  • Customer support. The highest quality malware protection tools include 24/7 customer support options. It can help you find relevant information about what to do in case of a ransomware attack or simply answer antivirus-related questions whenever you need it.
  • Impact on device performance. If all your Mac’s resources go towards running an antivirus and make the device virtually unusable for anything else, the antivirus is not worth it. You need something that impacts the device's performance minimally and still ensures the best possible protection.
  • Adequate pricing. You want the best possible antivirus protection for your Macbook, but also one that won’t break the bank. Some top-tier antivirus software providers offer free versions with basic features, and others may be overpriced. To get the best value for your money, choose the antivirus with features you actually need, for a price that you’re willing to pay.

The best antivirus software for Mac in 2023

We tested numerous antivirus programs with Mac so you don’t have to. When testing, we looked into their threat protection rates, ran some in-house tests, and evaluated overall performance and features. To help you choose the best antivirus software for Mac in 2023, we prepared straight-to-the-point descriptions for each provider.

1. TotalAV – best premium macOS antivirus protection

totalav antivirus banner
Secure up to:6 devices
Browser extension:Yes
VPN included:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get TotalAV, now 84% OFF! 🔥

TotalAV is a fantastic antivirus solution for Apple devices. With this security tool, macOS gets a nice blend of antivirus features that “patch up” the bases, not guarded by the built-in protection tools. Blocking 100% of the encountered risks, TotalAV constantly gets the highest scores from all the reputable independent testing labs, including AV-Test, AV-Comparatives, and SE Labs. Our testing proves just about the same.

This antivirus provider did excellently in detecting malicious software on Macs. The real-time engine was super efficient at finding threats when downloading or opening files. Plus, there are additional tools to keep both your Mac and your personal information safe. The smart Scan function does a regular security routine, looking up malware, junk, cached files, and trackers.

There are several different scan types for deeper system scans – Quick, System, Smart, and Custom. In our tests, they were very reliable when catching malware: obviously, the full System scan was the best option. When testing TotalAV detection, it caught all zero-day and 4-week-old malware threats thrown at it.

Several additional TotalAV features improve Mac security even further. There's a built-in password manager tool and a VPN: so you can protect your passwords, personal information, and browsing data. With all this, TotalAV is an outstanding all-around security suite, perfect for most users.

If you’re interested in trying out TotalAV, there is a free version for one device with very limited security features. Therefore, we strongly recommend investing in a premium subscription that offers premium TotalAV protection on six devices at once. The prices start at $19.00 for the first year, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

To find out more, check out our full TotalAV antivirus review.

2. Norton 360 – reliable antivirus software for Mac

Norton antivirus banner
Secure up to:10 devices
Browser extension:Yes
VPN included:Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get up to 66% OFF Norton Antivirus 🔥

Norton 360 is counting almost three decades in the cybersecurity industry and has one of the best antivirus software for Mac. According to independent lab tests, it blocks 100% of risks that are thrown to it.

It consistently caught the trickiest macOS malware types and other unwanted programs. There was a meager amount of false positives, in no small part thanks to their malware database.

Norton 360’s machine learning tool is also excellent in analysing every process on your Mac. When it detects possible malware, the potential threat goes into quarantine. That means that you're safe even from currently unknown threats.

Even during our own tests, as soon as we downloaded 10 malicious files, Norton instantly moved them to the quarantine folder. No additional scan needed – it was very nice to see.

Also, Norton 360 goes the extra mile for protection with its dark web monitoring feature. It gives you a heads-up if your data is leaked in a data breach.

Additional features include Firefox and Chrome extensions for protection against malicious websites. These include Safe Web and Safe Search. There are plenty of other great features as well: you’ll get a VPN, a password manager, Norton Clean to remove files cluttering up your hard drive, and more.

You can protect a single device with the standard plan or get Norton 360 Deluxe and enjoy 10 simultaneous connections.

Sadly, Norton 360 doesn't offer a free version, so If you’re more interested in a completely free antivirus for Mac, TotalAV is the better choice. On the other hand, you do get a free 7-day trial. The subscription price starts at $19.99 for the first year. Even with the cheapest option, you get all malware and online protection features you need. And if you’re dissatisfied, there is a 60-day money-back guarantee – or you can always upgrade to the Standard or Deluxe plans.

To find out more, check out our full Norton antivirus review.

3. Intego – truly Mac-centered antivirus software

Intego antivirus screenshot
Secure up to:
5 devices
Browser extension:
No
VPN included:
No
Current deal:🔥 Get Intego, now 65% OFF! 🔥

Intego has been providing macOS-focused cybersecurity tools for a couple of decades now. Known for its exceptional malware protection, Intego did not disappoint – it’s a great option for your Mac.

Based on the independent lab testing, this software blocks 100% of risks. We’ve tested out this fact, and it caught 9 out of 10 threats.

Intego's VirusBarrier offers real-time protection, scanning files and programs as they're accessed. Plus, it has measures against PC-based malware so you wouldn't spread viruses to your contacts by accident.

The next great feature is Intego Mac Internet Security. You can choose from several types of scans for your device. The first virus scan will be slower, but for other scans, the program will use smart file-caching technology to significantly speed up the process. It checks only the recently added or modified files.

Another addition is Mac’s firewall, protecting your device from unauthorised access. It’s location-aware, letting you change the level of protection: this is very useful if you’re traveling and are at a bigger risk on intrusion.

The interesting security features don’t end there. There's the Washing Machine, which removes accumulated junk and duplicate files, saving you space. You can even find their unique take on Mac's Time Machine (called Personal Backup) for the most important personal files to be stored on external drives.

Their product prices start at $29.99 a year when it comes to pricing. Although the service is paid-only, it offers a free 7-day trial with all its plans. Additionally, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.

To find out more, read our full Intego review.

4. Bitdefender Antivirus – all-in-one Mac antivirus product

Bitdefender interface
Secure up to:
3 devices
Browser extension:
Yes
VPN included:
Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get Bitdefender for up to 62% OFF! 🔥

Bitdefender is one of the top antivirus products for Mac available on the market. This security tool combines innovative technologies to create a robust shield against the latest cyber threats, like ransomware, spyware, viruses, and other threats.

According to the independent tests, Bitdefender catches 100% of threats. As for our own test, the service detected 9 out of 10 malicious files. It’s also worth noting that this antivirus is very gentle with your Mac’s resources, keeping the speed and performance mostly unaffected.

Additionally, Bitdefender Total Security antivirus has cross-platform detection solutions to automatically scan for all types of malware. So you can safely share files with people that use a different operating system.

With the Safe Files feature, this antivirus also prevents unauthorized access to your most important information.

Also, Bitdefender provides great web protection. It has an adware blocker that detects and removes browser hijackers that change your browser's settings without permission. Its anti-phishing protection also blocks malicious websites that target your credentials and financial data.

The Bitdefender Total Security package also includes a VPN service that encrypts internet traffic to protect your online presence. You get up to 200 MB daily for a single Mac.

The pricing plans of this antivirus software start from $23.99 per year. Each package includes automatic updates and premium customer support. It allows you to protect up to 3 macOS devices and has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

To find out more, read our full Bitdefender review.

5. Surfshark AV – low-priced antivirus for all-round protection

Surfshark AV banner
Secure up to:
5 devices
Browser extension:
Yes
VPN included:
Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get Surfshark Antivirus - 76% OFF! 🔥

Surfshark used to be a reliable and secure VPN. Now, it’s a all-included option, including top security features for Macs. For a rather low price, it provides robust real-time protection from all types of online threats

Viruses, trojans, backdoors, worms, intrusive apps – you name it, Surfshark will take care of it. During independent laboratory tests, it managed to block 100% of threats that it was challenged with. Meanwhile, when we tested the program, it only found 7 out of 10 threats.

Aside from that, there are a few important features to mention. For instance, Surfshark Alert will warn you about any data breaches so you can take action before any damage is done. And if you’re not a fan of Google, Surfshark Search will let you browse ad-free and anonymously (without collecting your data).

But there’s something that just can’t be excluded when speaking about this provider – the Surfshark VPN. Not only does it offer over 3200 servers in 100 countries, it’s great for everything – security, streaming, and torrenting. Plus, you get a kill switch that protects you in case the VPN connection drops.

For only $41.88/year, you’re getting yourself excellent antivirus security for 5 devices! As if that’s not enough, you can also try the service out with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

To find out more, check out our full Surfshark antivirus review.

6. NordVPN Threat Protection – top VPN and an antivirus package for Mac

NordVPN threat protection banner
Secure up to:
6 devices
Browser extension:
Yes
VPN included:
Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get NordVPN Threat Protection – 68% OFF + 3 months FREE 🔥

The NordVPN Threat Protection serves as an additional layer of protection for your Mac. It is a new feature designed to protect your device from malicious programs and potentially dangerous websites.

Once it detects that a site you’re about to access might distribute malware, it immediately blocks it. Our tests show a 90% success rate when trying to open a malware-hosting website. On top of that, it scans your downloads to make sure you’re not installing malware on your Mac. The basic scan caught 8/10 malicious files while the deep scan – 9/10.

Keep in mind that it runs all the time in the background – even if you don’t connect to a VPN but have a NordVPN app installed and the Threat Protection feature enabled on your device. It also blocks various ads, like pop-ups, banners, and others to help you improve your browsing experience.

And let’s not forget that NordVPN is one of the best VPN service providers on the market, so you’re also getting high quality VPN services. With an impressive server fleet, you can unblock all popular streaming services and enjoy robust security services.

Threat Protection for Mac is not a full-fledged antivirus program yet and may lack some features when compared to top antiviruses like TotalAV. However, it is an adequate, lightweight, and reliable security solution for your Macbook. Threat Protection comes together with every NordVPN plan – starting from only $3.49/month.

Learn more about this product in our NordVPN review.

7. Avira – free antivirus solution for Mac

Avira Antivirus review
Secure up to:
Unlimited devices
Browser extension:
Yes
VPN included:
Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get 1 year of Avira at 40% OFF! 🔥

Avira antivirus offers lightweight solutions for Mac that don't skimp on features. This antivirus adds a firm security layer to your macOS.

In lab tests, Avira consistently shines, blocking 99-100% of all provided threats for Mac devices. Besides, they seem proficient at excluding false positives. We’ve also put Avira to the test and can confirm – Avira detected all 10 malicious files. So, Avira protection is very solid.

This antivirus also provides you with their real-time virus scan to analyze all files you use or click. Detected suspicious items will be placed into quarantine, where you will be able to delete them safely.

Despite being known as an antivirus provider only, Avira also offers several other good security features.. Additional features include a password generator – a feature usually found on password manager software. And you also get a VPN for identity theft protection with a pretty severe data cap – only 500 MB a month. Lastly, there's the junk remover – a tool that helps you save space by deleting unwanted temporary files.

When it comes to price, there are a couple of nice surprises. There is a free version that is available for Mac and iOS, as well as other platforms, but it doesn’t include email or internet protection. The first paid tier, called Avira Antivirus Pro, costs $30.99 a year. It's a bit on the expensive side, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.

To find out more, check out our full Avira antivirus review.

8. Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac – detects malware and web threats

Trend Micro antivirus banner
Secure up to:
10 devices
Browser extension:
Yes
VPN included:
Yes
Current deal:🔥 Get Trend Micro, now 54% OFF! 🔥

Trend Micro is another solid antivirus option that supports macOS. It offers essential protection for your peace of mind.

This antivirus software employs sophisticated AI and learning technologies. Based on the independent lab tests, Trend Micro successfully blocked 99% of threats, suspicious and unusual activity, and is solid at detecting all types of malware.

The malware scanning time is pretty good, as it takes less time than the industry average. You can do a quick scan, full one, or custom system scan within a few clicks of a virus scanner. We tested these scans out and, after the full system scan, it caught 8 out of 10 threats. However, the impact on device performance was highly noticeable.

Additionally, it safeguards against various web threats, like malicious websites, adware, and browser hijackers. Each of the antivirus packages includes the Trend Micro Pay Guard, which protects your financial data while online shopping or banking. It activates automatically whenever you open sensitive sites.

With premium subscription plans you additionally get a VPN or password manager.

For Mac users, Trend Micro starts at $19.95/year. While the price is pretty standard, the number of features is a little too few when compared to TotalAV or Bitdefender's similarly priced plans. With TrendMicro, you can protect up to 10 devices. It’s important to note that each security solution also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

To find out more, read our full Trend Micro review.

How we tested antivirus protection for Mac

Not all antivirus programs offer the same package of security tools and protection solutions. For this reason, we have carefully tested a dozen of different products to find you the best antivirus software for Mac. Our testing methodology of these antivirus tools was based on the following criteria:

  • Malware detection rates. Independent testing labs, like AV-Test, AV-Comparatives, and Virus Bulletin regularly check the performance, usability, and virus protection capabilities of antivirus programs. The best ones should score the maximum points in each category to be classified as top security tools.
  • Real-time protection. New cyber threats appear every day and can easily infiltrate the system within a few seconds. Robust antivirus program should continuously monitor your activity and be able to detect malware in real time.
  • Available Features. Antivirus applications that are overall rated as top products don't necessarily provide the same protection tools for macOS, as for Windows. We have only selected the products that do not limit available security features and provide tailored antivirus solutions for Mac.
  • Price. It’s possible to get high quality protection from malware without spending a fortune. Reliable antivirus service providers place a reasonable price on their products and we definitely take that into consideration.
  • Customer support. If you have any issues with the software or general how-to questions, the only way to get answers is through customer support. Likewise, professional, responsive, and accessible help is a priority.

Best Mac antivirus compared

TotalAVNortonIntegoBitdefenderSurfshark AVNordVPN TPAviraTrend Micro
Brandlogologologologologologologologo
PriceFrom $ 19.00/yearFrom $19.99/yearFrom $29.99/yearFrom $23.99/yearFrom $41.88/yearFrom $83.43/yearFrom $30.99/yearFrom $19.95/year
Malware detection rates100%100%100%99.7%100%90%99.2%100%
Extra featuresVPN, password manager, junk cleanerVPN, password manager, dark web monitoringJunk cleanerVPN, microphone and webcam protection, anti-phishing technologyVPN, secure browser, data breach monitoringVPN, ad blocker, download scanner, anti-trackerVPN, junk cleaner, password manager, tracker removerWebcam and microphone protection, anti-phishing technology, blocks malicious sites
Devices covered6105356Unlimited10
Free versionYesNoYesYesNoNoYesYes
Current dealGet TotalAV, now 84% OFF!
Get up to 66% OFF Norton AntivirusGet Intego, now 65% OFF!Get Bitdefender for up to 62% OFF!Get Surfshark Antivirus - 76% OFF!Get NordVPN Threat Protection – 68% OFF + 3 months FREEGet 1 year of Avira at 40% OFF!Get Trend Micro, now 54% OFF!

Do I need antivirus on my Mac?

Generally speaking, yes, you do need an antivirus on a Mac. It prevents the infiltration of ransomware, malware, spyware, and any unwanted program. Here are the reasons why you should consider getting an antivirus in the first place:

  • It will protect your device from malware attacks, since the growth of malicious software for Mac surpassed Windows several years ago. An antivirus with real-time protection can detect the latest cyber threats and avoid virus infiltration.
  • Antivirus software prevents phishing and scams. A robust Mac antivirus program usually has built-in web protection tools or a dedicated browser extension to block malicious sites.
  • Virus removal tools ensure privacy protection. Advanced security suites offer multiple layers of protection, like VPN services, and dark web monitoring. You should install one on your macOS device to avoid potential data leaks and ensure identity theft protection.

So it’s wise to invest into additional protection for your Mac devices. And an antivirus suite can not only provide you with needed device security, but also great additional features.

Can I use a free antivirus for Mac?

If you feel like a premium subscription is above your budget, then yes – you can use free antivirus software for Mac. However, keep your expectations in check – the free version of a premium product will have some limitations.

But you should always make sure that your chosen free version comes from a reputable source. We suggest checking out the best Mac free antivirus services offered by our experts. That’s because many dubious free antivirus programs distribute malware.

If you’re looking for truly trustworthy antivirus protection, we recommend investing in TotalAV premium antivirus software. This software provides complete and trustworthy security for your Mac.

TotalAV antivirus offers excellent malware and ransomware protection. Additionally, the package includes features such as a VPN, an optimization tool to clean junk files, and a password manager. It comes at a great price (from $19.00/year) for the package. But you can also make use of the 30-day money-back guarantee to test the service out.

Video review: Best antivirus software for Mac

How Apple protects your Mac from malware

Apple has pretty good antivirus tools in place to protect you from malware. For example, this includes Gatekeeper. It's a security feature that forces every app you're installing to be digitally signed by Apple. You can install the apps that are not signed, but it will require special clearance. It makes installing untrustworthy apps a multiple-step process, which means that the total number of malicious apps installed is significantly lower.

Another built-in antivirus tool is a malware removal tool. In the cases of a known malware found in the macOS systems, it removes all malware automatically with every update. While this is a great addition to security, it requires a system update to clean your devices.

So, while macOS has some built-in tools to protect your devices from viruses and hacks, it doesn’t offer the same level of security as an antivirus software could.

Conclusion

With the continuously increasing number of macOS viruses, it’s essential to have a robust antivirus. Even though there aren’t many options which would offer trustworthy and Mac-oriented malware protection services, we managed to pick out the most versatile ones.

With virtually flawless malware detection rates, TotalAV and Norton 360 made the very top of the list. Packed with essential security features, we’ve tested that they’re the best antivirus solutions for Mac on the market.

You should definitely invest in one of them if you don’t want to worry about ransomware, malware, or the risks of identity theft ever again.

4.6 /5
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4.9 /5
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4.7 /5
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FAQ

Comments

Trididad
Trididad
prefix 1 year ago
oh my, antivirus software is pretty expensive, could you please recommend any free or cheap antivirus software like below 10 dollars
Justinas Mazūra
Justinas Mazūra
prefix 1 year ago
We have an entire article on the best free antivirus services. You can get them free of charge and later upgrade your plan if you like the service.
EvEnding
EvEnding
prefix 1 year ago
I know this is antivirus for Mac review but what’s the best antivirus for Mac and pc? Like for both of them? I only want to buy one, so I would like it to be functioning perfectly well on both systems.
Justinas Mazūra
Justinas Mazūra
prefix 1 year ago
According to our overall best antivirus services list, Bitdefender is in the #1 spot. So, if you’re looking to buy only one antivirus service, buy the best.
Amm
Amm
prefix 1 year ago
Hello, does Avast Antivirus work on Mac? I consider purchasing it as I’ve heard good reviews 🙂
Justinas Mazūra
Justinas Mazūra
prefix 1 year ago
Yes, Avast Antivirus has a macOS app. You can read our full review here.
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