While built-in Mac antivirus software can protect from known malware threats, it cannot compete with real-time antivirus protection. That’s why getting a virus removal tool for your Mac, MacBook or other Apple computer is important.
Cybercriminals' attacks are evolving, so advanced threats need quick and efficient responses. A premium Mac antivirus program that specializes in macOS security and has a high malware and virus detection rate can provide security against both known and unknown cybersecurity threats.
If you’re wondering which Mac antivirus program to choose, our top recommendation is TotalAV. However, we tested a dozen of other antivirus products that may suit you better. We based our list on malware detection rates, features for Mac users, pricing, and more.
Top 5 best Mac antiviruses in 2022
- TotalAV – best antivirus software for Mac devices overall
- Norton 360 – reliable antivirus software for Mac
- Intego – customizable Mac device protection from various threats
- Bitdefender – all-rounded antivirus solution for macOS
- Surfshark AV – affordable and high-quality antivirus
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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.
Best antivirus protection for Mac in 2022
To help you understand the reasons behind the providers in our best antivirus software for Mac in 2022 shortlist being the top candidates, we prepared straight-to-the-point descriptions for each of them.
1. TotalAV – best premium macOS antivirus protection
|Max simultaneous connections:||6|
|Customer support:||24/7 live chat, email, phone, guides, FAQs|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get TotalAV, now 84% OFF! 🔥|
TotalAV is a fantastic antivirus solution for Mac 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 well in detecting malicious software on Macs. The real-time engine was efficient at finding threats when downloading or opening files. Plus, there are additional tools to keep both your Mac and your personal information safe. 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's 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 a solid all-around security suite, perfect for most users.
If you’re interested in trying out TotalAV antivirus, there is a free version for one device with limited security features. However, we recommend investing in a premium subscription that allows using TotalAV on six devices simultaneously. 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.
- Excellent overall malware protection
- Free version
- Optimization and tracker management tools
- VPN and password manager
- Great prices
- Can only protect a maximum of 6 devices
2. Norton 360 – reliable antivirus software for Mac
|Max simultaneous connections:||10|
|Customer support:||24/7 live chat and phone|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get up to 66% OFF Norton Antivirus 🔥|
Norton 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 catches the trickiest macOS malware types and other unwanted programs with a meager amount of false positives. That is in no small part thanks to their malware database.
More so, Norton’s machine learning tool analyses every process on your Mac. When it detects possible malware, the potential threat goes into quarantine. That means that you're safe even from the currently unknown threats.
Even during our own tests, as soon as we downloaded 10 malicious files, Norton instantly moved them to the quarantine folder.
Also, Norton goes the extra mile for protection with their dark web monitoring feature. It gives you a heads up when your data ends up being leaked in a data breach.
Additional features include Firefox and Chrome extensions for protection against malicious websites. These include Safe Web and Safe Search. Additionally, you will 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 doesn't offer a free version, but 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.
To find out more, check out our full Norton antivirus review.
- Free trials for all plans
- Excellent protection
- Plenty of extras
- Dark web monitoring
- Low resource usage
- No free version
3. Intego – truly Mac-centered antivirus software
|Max simultaneous connections:||5|
|Customer support:||guides, FAQs, email, live chat|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get Intego, now 65% OFF! 🔥|
Intego has been providing macOS-focused cybersecurity tools for a couple of decades now. So they're not new when it comes to offering a high level of protection from malware.
When it comes to device protection, Intego is a truly reliable antivirus provider. 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. It checks only the recently added or modified files.
Another addition is Mac’s firewall. You can choose your location to modify NetBarrier settings to match the threat level appropriately. This includes blocking incoming Local Connections.
Naturally, Intego adds several more features to the list. 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.
- Truly Mac-centered option
- Protects against PC-based malware, as well
- File caching skips already scanned files to save time
- Customizable NetBarrier
- Free trial
- No support for mobile devices
4. Bitdefender – all-in-one Mac antivirus product
|Max simultaneous connections:||3|
|Customer support:||Phone, email, guides, FAQ, live chat|
|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 doesn’t have a negative impact on your Mac’s speed or performance.
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.
Bitdefender secures your data at all times, as the Safe Files feature prevents unauthorized access to your most important information.
Also, this antivirus tool 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.
- Premium virus protection features
- Cross-platform malware detection
- Web protection and anti-phishing technologies
- Includes a VPN
- Free 30-day trial
- Restricted VPN usage
5. Surfshark AV – low-priced antivirus for all-round protection
|Max simultaneous connections:||5|
|Customer support:||24/7 live chat, email, guides, FAQ|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get up to 83% OFF Surfshark Antivirus! 🔥|
With a relatively new addition to the antivirus family, Surfshark is a great option for Mac users. For a rather low price, it provides robust real-time protection from various types of malware and other 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 95 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 $29.88/year, you’re getting yourself an all-rounded antivirus suite 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.
- Great protection
- Data breach monitoring
- Private search engine
- Includes a market-leading VPN
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- No firewall
- Scanning takes more time
6. NordVPN Threat Protection – top VPN and an antivirus package for Mac
|Max simultaneous connections:||6|
|Customer support:||24/7 live chat, knowledge base, FAQ, guides|
|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 comes together with every NordVPN plan – starting from only $3.09/month.
Learn more about this product in our NordVPN review.
- Powerful ad blocker
- Automatic download scanner
- Top class VPN included
- Solid protection from trackers
- Simple to use all-in-one package
- No real-time virus protection
- No advanced scanning options
7. Avira – free antivirus solution for Mac
|Max simultaneous connections:||unlimited|
|Customer support:||24/7 live chat and community support|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get 1 year of Avira at 40% OFF! 🔥|
Avira antivirus offers lightweight solutions for Mac that don't skimp on features. With Avira, you add 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 extremely proficient at excluding false positives. We’ve also put Avira to the test and can confirm – Avira detected all 10 malicious files. So you can be certain that you’ll be getting the best protection with this service.
Avira 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.
Avira contributes to your safety not only with antivirus countermeasures. 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.
- Great lab tests results
- Superb free version
- Not resource-intensive
- Password generator
- Free version lacks web protection
- Slow customer support
8. Trend Micro – detects malware and web threats
|Max simultaneous connections:||10|
|Customer support:||Live chat, email, phone, forum, FAQ|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get Trend Micro, now 54% OFF! 🔥|
Trend Micro is another great 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 excellent at detecting all types of malware.
The malware scanning time is impressive, 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 priced rather high, the plans give you a wide variety of benefits. With this provider, 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.
- Real-time protection
- Fast system scans
- Pay Guard feature
- 24/7 customer support
- Safeguards against web and email scams
- Not cheap if you want to protect more devices
- VPN and password manager is only available with premium plans
How we selected and tested these Mac antivirus programs
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
|TotalAV||Norton||Intego||Bitdefender||Surfshark AV||NordVPN TP||Avira||Trend Micro|
|Price||From $ 19.00/year||From $19.99/year||From $29.99/year||From $23.99/year||From $29.88/year||From $83.43/year||From $30.99/year||From $19.95/year|
|Malware detection rates||100%||100%||100%||99.7%||100%||90%||99.2%||100%|
|Extra features||VPN, password manager, junk cleaner||VPN, password manager, dark web monitoring||Junk cleaner||VPN, microphone and webcam protection, anti-phishing technology||VPN, secure browser, data breach monitoring||VPN, ad blocker, download scanner, anti-tracker||VPN, junk cleaner, password manager, tracker remover||Webcam and microphone protection, anti-phishing technology, blocks malicious sites|
|Current deal||Get TotalAV, now 84% OFF!||Get up to 66% OFF Norton Antivirus||Get Intego, now 65% OFF!||Get Bitdefender for up to 62% OFF!||Get up to 83% OFF Surfshark Antivirus!||Get NordVPN Threat Protection – 68% OFF + 3 months FREE||Get 1 year of Avira at 40% OFF!||Get Trend Micro, now 54% OFF!|
Do I need antivirus on a 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.
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.
More antivirus guides from Cybernews:
What is the best antivirus for Mac in 2022?
TotalAV is the best antivirus for Mac. Mac has many built-in features that make a resilient OS against a variety of cyber threats. However, the safety of your devices could be much improved by using any of the antivirus services mentioned on our list.
Do Macs have built-in antivirus?
Yes. All Macs have built-in antivirus functionality in their File Quarantine. It's called Xprotect, and it was included on all systems, starting with macOS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. It didn't go anywhere, and now it's counting almost a decade of being the first barrier of your system's protection.
Is paid antivirus for Mac better than free?
In terms of features, paid antivirus tool will almost universally have more extra features than a free one. That is the way of the world. However, whether these features are worth your time will depend entirely on your use cases, so you should treat each case individually.