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Best antivirus software for Mac

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Everyone knows that macOS is one of the safest operating systems since Apple heavily invests in in-built security solutions. However, cybercriminals are continuously developing new and advanced threats that can infect Mac devices as well. So, Macbook users should get an extra layer of protection – a robust antivirus.

While there are many security solutions available for Apple devices, it might be hard to choose which one’s the best for you. Keep in mind that it should specialize in MacOS security and have high malware detection rates.

For this reason we’ve tested at least a dozen of different products and selected the best antivirus for Mac.

Top 5 best antivirus for Mac – quick list:

  1. Norton 360 – Best premium antivirus protection for Mac
  2. Bitdefender – Top all-round antivirus for macOS
  3. Intego – Best customizable Mac protection
  4. Avira Antivirus – Great Mac antivirus for beginners
  5. Trend Micro – Premium and lightweight antivirus for Mac

📢 LIMITED OFFER: Get Norton Antivirus today - 83% OFF!

What to look for in the best antivirus for Mac

While all antivirus programs might seem equally good, we can assure you that some of them are better than the others. These are a few things you should always take into consideration if you want 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.
  • Simultaneous connections. Protecting only one device at a time is not enough. You should opt for premium antivirus solutions that would support at least multiple simultaneous connections to help you protect all of your macOS 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 software for Mac – our detailed list:

It’s not a secret that not every antivirus software can be categorized as the best option for Mac users. Various security solutions differ in terms of the features they offer, their malware detection capabilities, and pricing.

We have done comprehensive research and now can provide you with our findings – the best antivirus software for Mac in 2022.

1. Norton 360 – best premium macOS antivirus protection

Price:From $9.99/year
Free version:No
Customer support:24/7 live chat and phone
Current deal:🔥 Get up to 83% OFF Norton Antivirus! 🔥

Norton is counting almost three decades in the cybersecurity products industry and has one of the best antivirus software for Mac.

It consistently catches the trickiest macOS malware types and other unwanted programs with a meager amount of false-positives. This is in no small part thanks to their malware database. However, advanced as it may be, it wouldn't help against zero-day malware that isn't already cataloged in the databases.

To catch those, Norton uses artificial intelligence. Their machine learning tool analyses every process on your Mac. When it detects a pattern that resembles malware, the potential threat goes into quarantine. This means that you're safe even from the threats that are currently unfamiliar.

All of this is pretty impressive in itself, but Norton goes the extra mile to be more than a solution against malware. There's also Dark Web Monitoring to give you a heads up when your data ends up leaked in a data breach. This is a lighter version of their Lifelock feature, which is only available to US customers.

There are also such bonus features like Firefox and Chrome extensions. These include Safe Web and Safe Search. The latter removes dangerous links from your online searches, and the former blocks dangerous websites. So, you get pretty good protection when surfing online.

Speaking of online threats, one of Norton's most significant contributions to your Mac's safety is the firewall. It watches over your network when you connect to public wifi. So, your security tools extend to your network and deal with potential threats in real time.

Finally, 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 the price starts at $9.99 for the first year. Even with the cheapest option, you get all malware and online protection features you need. If you ever come in contact with a virus that Norton can't remove, you get your money back.

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

2. Bitdefender – all-in-one Mac antivirus product

Bitdefender interface
Price:from $23.99/year
Free version:Yes
Customer support:Phone, email, guides, FAQ, live chat
Current deal:🔥 Get all Bitdefender plans at 60% OFF! 🔥

Bitdefender antivirus is a well-known and appreciated solution for Mac. There’s a strong reason for that – high quality and all-round malware protection services. It’s performance is quite outstanding making it one of the top antivirus products available on the market.

This security tool combines innovative technologies to create a robust shield against the latest cyber threats, like ransomware, spyware, and other viruses. What’s even better is that protection activities do not have a negative impact on your Mac’s speed or performance.

Additionally, Bitdefender antivirus has cross-platform detection solutions to automatically scan for all types of malware and not only for viruses specifically targeting macOS. So, you can securely share files with your friends and family who might be using a different operating system.

Your data is secure at all times, as the Safe Files feature prevents unauthorized access to your most important information.

Apart from that, this antivirus provides great web protection. It has an adware blocker that detects and removes browser hijackers and other potentially unwanted programs. Its anti-phishing technology also blocks malicious websites that target your credentials and financial data.

It’s worth mentioning that you can get a dedicated browser extension to increase security while banking or online shopping, as well as to filter out inappropriate content.

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 even try the service free of charge for 30 days.

To find out more, read our full Bitdefender review.

3. Intego – truly Mac-centered antivirus software

Intego antivirus screenshot
Price:From $29.99/year
Free version:Yes
Customer support:guides, FAQs, email, live chat
Current deal:🔥 Get Intego, now 65% OFF! 🔥

If you're a Mac user, Intego should be a household name by now. They have been providing macOS-focused cybersecurity tools and utility software for a couple of decades now. So, they're not new when it comes to malware protection.

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

Intego Mac Internet Security protects your device just as well. There are several types of scans to choose from. Only your first scan will be slower. Then, for each subsequent scan the program will use smart file-caching technology to check only the recently added or modified files. That way, it skips previously checked safe files.

Another area where Intego adds major value is the Mac’s firewall. You can choose your location to modify NetBarrier settings to match the threat level appropriately. For example, this includes blocking incoming Local Connections, making you safe from threats that lurk in public cafes.

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 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 trial with all its plans.

To find out more, read our full Intego review.

4. Avira – free antivirus solution for Mac

Avira Antivirus review
Price:From $30.96/year
Free version:Yes
Customer support:24/7 live chat and community support
Current deal:🔥 Get 1 year of Avira at 40% OFF! 🔥

The whole premise of Avira antivirus is that it's a lightweight solution for Mac that doesn't skimp on features. You might have heard such statements many times, but Avira is a very transparent provider. They don't waste time to come up with long lists of features to create artificial value. What you get is truly one of the best suites, capable of adding a firm security layer to your macOS.

For example, 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. Recently, Avira was acquired by Norton, so you may expect their malware databases to merge and improve even further. You can even contribute by sending suspicious files to be analyzed to a protection cloud.

Don't think that you'll only be using this service to scan your hard drive. What you will rely on daily is their real-time scan to analyze all files you use or click. Detected suspicious items will be placed into quarantine, where they won't be able to harm your Mac. There, you will be able to delete them safely.

Avira contributes to your safety not only with antivirus countermeasures. There's a password generator – a feature usually found on password manager software, but nonetheless, it's a welcome addition. And you also get a VPN with a pretty severe data cap – only 500 MB a month. Lastly, there's the junk remover – a tool that helps you to 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. The first paid tier, called Avira Antivirus Pro, costs $30.96 a year. It's a bit on the expensive side, but considering that there is a free option, you can always test the service out. That way, you'll know exactly what you're getting out of your subscription.

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

5. Trend Micro – detects malware and web threats

Trend Micro antivirus banner
Price:from $19.95/year
Free version:Yes
Customer support:Live chat, email, phone, forum, FAQ
Current deal:🔥 Get Trend Micro, now 54% OFF! 🔥

Trend Micro is another great antivirus that supports macOS. It offers the essential protection for your piece of mind. If you install it on your device, you can no longer worry about a potential ransomware attack or spyware monitoring your activity.

This antivirus software employs sophisticated AI learning technologies to successfully block all suspicious and unusual activity. Since malware can be hidden inside files that may appear completely regular, this feature allows Trend Micro to be truly excellent at detecting all types of viruses.

The malware scanning time is impressive, as it takes less time than the industry average. You can do a quick, full, or custom system scan within a few clicks. However, you won’t be able to select which particular files or folders to investigate.

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

You also have an option to use a VPN or a password manager if you decide to get its premium subscription plans.

For Mac users, TrendMicro starts at $49.95/year. While priced rather high, this plan also gives you a wide variety of features. It can protect up to 5 devices and includes protection for mobile devices, as well as a password manager. The highest-grade Premium Security suite costs $59.95/year, increases the available devices up to 10, and adds Dark Web monitoring, VPN for secure browsing, and remote diagnosis tools.

It’s important to note that each security solution offers a free 30-day trial. You can always check out all of the offered features before purchasing.

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

6. TotalAV – optimizes and protects macOS at the same time

TotalAV antivirus
Price:From $19.00/year
Free version:Yes
Customer support:guides, FAQs, phone, online forms, live chat
Current deal:🔥 Get TotalAV, now 84% OFF! 🔥

Although TotalAV is truly the new kid on the block, it's one that you shouldn't dismiss just because of its age. In fact, it’s a great antivirus solution for Mac devices.

With this antivirus, macOS users get a nice blend of features that "patch up" the bases poorly guarded by the built-in tools.

In terms of security, TotalAV has traditional malware scanners to detect malicious software on your Mac. All of this is made possible with the malware scanner developed by Avira. However, with the news that Norton has acquired Avira, it's hard to say how its support will continue in the future.

There are also several means to ward off threats without resorting to a full system scan. Their real-time engine is more than capable of detecting various kinds of threats when downloading or opening files. However, it's less precise than other options that we have on our lists. It tends to flag false-positives, so double-check what you're deleting.

TotalAV isn't the flashiest option when it comes to the number of extra features, but there are some notable mentions. For example, you'll get robust optimization tools to clean junk files and a VPN with an unlimited data plan.

For the first year, it costs $19.00 for the first year. Considering that the service is on the lighter side with features, it's only natural that it's not charging as much. That doesn't mean that you should avoid this service. It's one of the best when you need a lightweight solution with all the essential features.

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

7. McAfee – provides the best online threat protection for Mac

McAfee antivirus
Price:From $34.99/year
Free version:Yes
Customer support:24/7 live chat and community support
Current deal:🔥 Get McAfee, save up to 67%! 🔥

Despite being one of the best, McAfee is often glossed over. It’s unfortunate since this antivirus program provides good protection against malware for Mac.

With McAfee real-time virus protection, every file that you access will instantly be cross-checked with all malware entries in their database. It means that you won't have to rely on full system scans to weed out the nasty programs hiding deep within your hard drive.

Undoubtedly, scanning is also there. You can perform Quick or Full system scans at will or schedule them automatically. Once the scan is complete, you will get a pretty detailed report on how it went and what potential threats were found. McAfee removes suspicious files by default, so keep that in mind.

McAfee takes care of the files that you might have and makes it much harder for online threats to end up on your system. There's a robust firewall that isn't difficult to set up even for novice users. Plus, it complements the included macOS tools. So, you should feel very safe when you're logged into public networks.

The web protection extends to areas like web phishing protection. McAfee uses smart web filters to detect and block potential phishing websites to ensure that your payment information or credentials don't end up in someone's hands.

If anonymity is just as important to you as safety from malware, there is also a VPN. Using it, you can connect to a fleet of private servers to bypass geo-blocking restrictions and the tracking of your Internet Service Provider.

If you are a dedicated Apple’s fan and want to try the service, it's free on iOS devices. Desktop users will either have to opt for their free trial option or cough up the cash. The price starts at $34.99 for the first subscription year (1 device). So, it's one of the most budget-friendly options if you want to protect your Mac against a growing number of online threats.

To find out more, read our full McAfee antivirus review.

How we selected and tested these Mac antivirus tools

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 listed antivirus tools were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Malware detection rates. Independent testing labs, like AV-Test and AV-Comparatives 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.

Do I need virus protection on a Mac?

Generally speaking, yes, you do need an antivirus on a Mac to prevent the infiltration of ransomware, malware, spyware, and other unwanted programs.

Keep in mind that the number of Mac users has increased quite sharply, making the development of cyber threats for macOS a worthy investment.

Likewise, an extended answer to your question would be:

  • Yes, to protect against malware attacks. Based on the metrics, the growth of malicious software for Mac surpassed Windows several years ago. Thus, you should get an antivirus with real-time protection to detect the latest cyber threats and avoid virus infiltration.
  • Yes, to avoid phishing and scams. A robust Mac antivirus program usually has in-built web protection tools or a dedicated browser extension to block malicious sites.
  • Yes, to protect your privacy. Advanced security suites offer multiple layers of protection, like VPN services, and dark web monitoring. You should install one on your macOS to avoid potential data leaks and reduce the risk of identity theft.

Best Mac antivirus compared

NortonBitdefenderIntegoAviraTrend MicroTotalAVMcAfee
Price:From $9.99/yearFrom $23.99/yearFrom $29.99/yearFrom $30.96/yearFrom $19.95/yearFrom $19.00/yearFrom $34.99/year
Malware detection rate:100%99.7%100%99.2%100%98.7%99.8%
Extra features:VPN, password manager, dark web monitoringVPN, webcam and microphone protection, anti-phishing technologyJunk cleanerVPN, junk cleaner, password manager, tracker removerWebcam and microphone protection, anti-phishing technology, blocks malicious sitesSystem tune-up tools, disk cleaner, VPN, password managerFile shredder, VPN, password manager, web protection
Devices covered:1311131
Free version:NoYesYesYesYesYesYes

Can I use a free antivirus for Mac?

Yes, you can use a free antivirus for Mac if a premium subscription is a bit above your budget. For example, Avira offers real-time protection from malware, ransomware, and spyware for free. The package also includes a free VPN, as well as the password management and clean-up services.

However, keep your expectations in check – the free version of a premium product will have some limitations. The Avira Free Security package restricts VPN usage to 500 MB per month and gives access only to the basic features of the password manager and the junk cleaner.

Pro tip

Free VPN option are going to be limited. Out of the options we tested, however, Avira stands as the best free antivirus for Mac in the market. While there are some limitations and fewer features, this free security tool is safe and easy to use.

Get Avira

It’s important to note that there are many dubious free antivirus programs which distribute malware. Likewise, you should always make sure that your chosen free version comes from a reputable source.

Since there are not many malware protection products that would be both trustworthy and free, we suggest checking out the best free antivirus services offered by our experts.

Video review: Best antivirus software for Mac

Antivirus for Mac reviews

How Apple protects your Mac from malware

Apple has pretty good measures 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.

Bottom line

With the continuously increasing number of macOS viruses, it is 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 the greatest tools.

Our selected options are truly the best antivirus solutions for Mac that are currently available on the market. Products at the top of the list, like Norton 360 and Bitdefender are packed with very useful protection features.

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 Anti-Virus guides from CyberNews:

Best antivirus for Chromebook: protect your Chromebook laptop or table against viruses
Best free antivirus software: basic security features to protect against malware and other viruses
Best free antivirus apps for Android: protect you Android device from viruses


FAQ

Comments

Trididad
Trididad
prefix 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months ago
Hello, does Avast Antivirus work on Mac? I consider purchasing it as I’ve heard good reviews 🙂
Justinas Mazūra
Justinas Mazūra
prefix 9 months ago
Yes, Avast Antivirus has a macOS app. You can read our full review here.
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