The 7 Best Antivirus for Mac (Free & Paid)
It is assumed that Mac contains all the features that someone could dream about. That’s true, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be affected by many different threats that are present.
Such threats and viruses are capable of jeopardizing even the Apple devices, which is why they should be protected with an antivirus for Mac, which is designed explicitly for defending your computer from potential malware and provide more security online.
Most Mac antivirus programs require an annual subscription, but if you use your computer for non-commercial purposes, you can opt for free Mac antivirus, which provides sufficient protection for home users.
Do I Need Antivirus for Mac?
The truth is that Mac is less prone to cyberattacks than Windows – it’s much more difficult to write malware for the Mac, and since Windows malware can’t affect Mac, many users assume that their device is “immortal.”
Even if you possess the macOS Mojave, the latest OS upgrade, which advances the platform’s security and privacy, particular vulnerabilities will remain.
Some of the features that you get when upgrading to Mojave are automatic ad and social media trackers block, but it still won’t bring enough protection from ransomware, phishing, spyware, and other critical attacks that can affect your device.
Therefore, it is essential to protect your Mac with an antivirus tool.
What is the Best Antivirus for Mac?
When looking for ideal antivirus protection for your Mac, it’s vital to choose the program that can successfully detect and prevent any malicious activity, including phishing, ransomware, Trojans, and other viruses.
That said, we’ve made a list of the best Mac antivirus tools that will provide you with a significant level of protection.
1. Sophos Home Premium for Mac ($60.00/year)
Sophos Home Premium for Mac comes with advanced security features that provide a significant level of protection to your data.
There is both free and paid version of this software, and they both come with great options – artificial intelligence (AI), real-time scan, parental web filtering, and remote management.
The paid version offers more features, it protects up to 10 devices, and it’s more suitable for business users.
- Advanced phishing protection: Phishing is one of the most common cyber-attack aimed at stealing data by cloning the websites you visit, making you enter your credentials, and give them to an unauthorized source. Sophos showed excellent results in preventing such attacks, which is a significant pro.
- Parental web filtering: This feature is essential for controlling the content your children can watch online. You can easily select filtering categories and block any inappropriate content, social networking, blogs, or any other sites you don’t want your kids to visit.
- Identity protection: With Sophos antivirus for Mac, you’ll get advanced password security – it will prevent malware from stealing your usernames and passwords that are stored in your device’s memory.
- Webcam protection: Sophos will inform you when someone tries to access your webcam or mic.
- Lacks some features: Most of the advanced features, including keylogger protection, download reputation check, and others, are found in the Windows edition only.
- No firewall: Sophos doesn’t include its own firewall, but it relies on the built-in version.
Bottom line: Overall, this Sophos antivirus for Mac provides essential options for both home and business users, but it brings more advantages to Windows OS. The good thing is that you can use a free trial or a free version of the software and see whether the offered features meet your needs.
2. Avast Security Pro for Mac ($59.99/year)
Avast Security Pro for Mac brings a full package of the most sophisticated features that will protect you from many different types of malware.
Avast antivirus for Mac will identify malicious websites and vulnerable Wi-Fi networks that could jeopardize your safety, as well as the Wi-Fi intruders and ransomware that are among the most inconvenient threats.
- Password manager: Avast Security Pro includes a password manager with an unlimited number of devices. That said, you can sync your passwords between them all, and they will be stored in your Avast account instead of in the cloud.
- Wi-Fi intruder detection: Thanks to the Wi-Fi Inspector, you can have a full insight into your network, which means that you will be notified when new devices join the network, and you’ll get all the essential info about them (network, device name, device IP, and device MAC). If you don’t recognize the device, it could be a neighbor trying to connect to your network or even a hacker attack.
- Proper ransomware detection: Avast Pro provides advanced ransomware protection that will ban untrusted apps from modifying your files.
- Fast full scan: A full scan usually doesn’t last longer than 15 minutes, which is quite a good score. Your entire device will be inspected during a full scan, and this Mac antivirus will detect all potential security problems.
- Limited phishing protection: Phishing protection offered by Avast Pro is fully functional on Chrome or Firefox, but it’s quite limited when it comes to Safari, which is mostly used on Apple devices. Therefore, if you want full phishing protection, you should avoid Safari.
- Expensive: The price of this Mac antivirus software is higher than the one offered by most of its competitors, and the features provided in the paid version are similar to those included in the free package.
Bottom line: Ransomware protection and Wi-Fi inspector are the best security layers offered by Avast Pro, but if you are not ready to pay $60 a year, you can choose a free version that contains more or less the same features as the Pro plan.
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3. Avast Security for Mac (Free)
Speaking of the free antivirus for Mac, Avast Security generously offers its features at no cost, making sure you’re provided with a significant level of protection.
Avast free antivirus for Mac comes with all the security-related options vital for defending from the advanced malware that’s written specifically for Apple’s OS. Although it’s free, it offers a password manager, website ranking, phishing protection, and many other features included in most paid versions.
- Do Not Track: This option allows you to block any tracker that monitors your online activity, including analytics, social media, ad trackers, or any other tool that could inspect your browsing.
- Website rating: This feature will mark up the results in search engines and describe their safety level with the colors – green for safe, red for dangerous, and gray for unknown.
- Email scanning: By scanning your emails, Avast can find and block messages, attachments, and links that lead to malicious or phishing websites.
- Network security scan: Similarly to the Pro version, the Free one also includes a network scan, which inspects all devices that are connected to your network, notifying you about the device name and type.
- Poor malware protection: During some analysis, Avast failed to detect malware, which can be quite disadvantageous.
- SiteCorrect failure: This feature should automatically correct the URL name that you mistyped (for example, pyapal.com), and prevent you from entering the sites that lead to phishing. However, some tests showed that this feature didn’t show any action.
Bottom line: This could be the best free antivirus Mac could be provided with – it has a lot of significant features even though you don’t have to pay for it, and it’s quite convenient for home users who want to arm their MacOS with the latest security layers.
4. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac ($34.99/year)
Mac users can also enjoy Bitdefender Antivirus, which is specifically created for protecting files and providing backups from ransomware.
Even though it’s mostly known as the Windows ally, it also brings significant benefits to MacOS, and some of the features it offers go beyond those offered by most of its competitors. It’s exceptionally efficient when it comes to detecting and blocking malware, which is the most vital advantage of this antivirus tool.
- Autopilot mode: Autopilot mode allows Bitdefender to apply antivirus protection, firewall protection, antiphishing, and antimalware filtering, as well as the automatic updates. That said, Autopilot mode does all the security processes without bothering you.
- Bitdefender VPN: Virtual private network (VPN) allows you to browse the web without revealing your real location or IP address, and it’s quite convenient for protecting your data and your identity. You can enable VPN by clicking on a gray rectangle with a blue button on a Bitdefender dashboard.
- Advanced anti-ransomware protection: Ransomware, which usually attacks documents, downloads, images, or other sensitive personal data, will be immediately detected and blocked by Bitdefender.
- Bitdefender Central: You can install Bitdefender Central on your Android or iPhone and track all the activities on your devices remotely. It allows you to scan and optimize your devices, check your network, activate parental control, and many other things that will enhance your safety.
- Separate subscriptions: If you want to add a VPN to your package, you’ll need to pay an extra $39.99 in order to use it. The entire antivirus plan can be quite expensive, eventually.
- No automatic browser extension installation: Bitdefender won’t install the browser extension automatically, and it can be challenging for someone to install it by themselves.
Bottom line: In a nutshell, Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac has a lot to offer, and it’s quite efficient when it comes to protecting the entire system from malicious activities, including ransomware and phishing. Still, it can be pricey after adding some extra features.
5. Symantec Norton 360 Deluxe for Mac ($39.99/year)
Norton is another prominent name in the antivirus industry, and it also offers packages that are aimed explicitly at MacOS devices.
Symantec Norton antivirus for Mac includes features aimed at protecting your devices, your identity, your data, and more vital things that are often the hackers’ target. In addition to these security-related options, this program offers VPN, password manager, and a lot more.
- Unlimited VPN: Norton offers you a full-featured VPN package, which is quite convenient compared to its competitors, who usually give you limited use. Norton’s VPN provides a decent number of servers in a variety of locations, as well as blocking of ad trackers.
- Robust firewall: Firewall that’s included in this Mac antivirus will warn you whenever you’re connected to an insecure network, and it will automatically configure protection when you return to a trusted network. Also, it protects you against exploit attacks on vulnerabilities in the OS and popular apps.
- Norton Clean: This is an exclusive option that will clean your hard drive and delete all the files that you don’t use, including duplicate files, duplicates in your photo collection, iTunes account, as well as junk files and temporary files left by applications.
- Low impact on system performance: Although it’s quite robust and complex, this software won’t affect your system performance.
- Limited features: Some features, such as parental control and cloud storage won’t work on Mac.
- VPN lacks some options: Norton VPN lacks some advanced features offered by most of the stand-alone VPNs, and it blocks BitTorrent, which is not suitable for some users.
Bottom line: Norton 360 Deluxe is an excellent choice for Mac owners since it brings a variety of useful things that help enhance your security. Still, the price becomes a bit steep if you want to protect more devices, and if you want to enjoy unlimited and advanced features, get ready to pay about $250 a year!
6. Avira Free Antivirus for Mac (Free)
Here comes another best free antivirus for Mac, and most users expressed their satisfaction when it comes to the security features it offers.
Avira Free Antivirus for Mac comes with a plethora of antimalware options that provide a safe and secure environment for all Apple users.
According to some lab tests, Avira is an excellent choice that helps improving safety at no cost.
- Scheduled scanning: Avira includes a preset scheduled scanning that’s done once a week, making sure nothing malicious is going on inside your system.
- Detects and cleans Windows malware: Even though Windows malware can’t infect Mac, Mac could act as a carrier – Avira successfully detects and cleans Windows-focused malware and prevents it from causing any damage.
- Light on resources: Since Avira works only when you tell it to, you won’t need to worry about your battery or system performance – namely, this free antivirus software for Mac won’t drain your battery nor slow your system.
- Download protection: You can start Avira Security and check if your downloaded files contain any threats.
- Some features require separate download: If you want to implement protection against malicious and fraudulent URLs, you’ll need to install a browser extension.
- Faulty phishing detection: During some tests, Avira failed to detect some malicious URLs, especially those that haven’t been analyzed and blacklisted yet.
Bottom line: Overall, Avira Free antivirus for Mac could be an excellent choice for home users who still don’t need a lot of features. It didn’t show the best results in detecting and blocking malware and phishing, but maybe it improves with future upgrades.
7. Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac ($23.99/year)
We shouldn’t forget to mention Kaspersky when we talk about the best Mac antivirus. Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac provides you with quite sophisticated security tools, including Safe Money, privacy protection components, VPN protection, as well as the enhanced parental control system.
Overall, we can say that Kaspersky antivirus for Mac offers a full package of features that won’t let anything jeopardize your system.
- Kaspersky Safe Kids: This is an extra feature that’s added to a parental control filter, and it allows you to choose the content that your kids should or shouldn’t see – adult content, job search, alcohol, tobacco, narcotics, violence, computer games, etc.
- Safe Money: Whenever you visit a financial or another sensitive site, Safe Money will double-check whether the website you entered is legitimate, which is an excellent way to prevent phishing.
- Webcam protection: If you are afraid that someone might spy you through the webcam, you can set Kaspersky to block camera access and prevent any unknown source from jeopardizing your privacy using a webcam or mic.
- Onscreen keyboard: You can install an onscreen keyboard in Firefox, Chrome, or Safari, and make sure no keylogger can capture your usernames and passwords.
- Limited functionality of some features: If you want to enjoy the full power of the Safe Kids and VPN, you’ll need an additional subscription, which can be a pricey move.
- Works better on Windows: It can be said that Kaspersky works better on Windows, especially when it comes to Safe Money and other security features.
Bottom line: Kaspersky definitely is one of the best antimalware programs, but it’s still limited when it comes to some features offered for Mac. Overall, it’s worth trying since it protects your privacy in the best way.
Conclusion: Antivirus Software for Mac
As you could see, it’s much more challenging to find the best antivirus for Mac than for Windows OS. The reason may be the fact that Windows is usually the hackers’ primary target, while Mac malware requires extra time and knowledge to be written.
All in all, make sure you protect your Mac with some of the mentioned antivirus software – otherwise, you can’t be completely safe from the online threats that keep growing day by day.