The Best Mac Antivirus Software for 2022

The built-in security features on Macs may be better than their Windows counterpart. Still, your iMac, Macbook Air, or Macbook Pro is not foolproof to malicious programs that target the growing number of macOS users. Unlike security companies that have dedicated systems that identify and tag malware and viruses, Apple can’t completely keep up with the threats that can leave you exposed.

Below are the best security software for quick and real-time virus protection of macOS products and add-on features that might come in handy.
Antivirus Software for Mac Price Free Version VPN Ad-blocking System requirements
1. Avast Security for Mac $4.19 per month Yes Yes, for paid version Yes macOS 10.11 or higher
2. Intego Mac Security and Antivirus Software for Mac $39.99/year Yes No, available only for Intego Privacy Protection No macOS 10.12 and higher
3. Norton 360 Deluxe for Mac Starts at $49.99 No Yes, up to 5 PCs, Macs, smartphones, or tablets No macOS 10.15 and Higher
4. Eset Cyber Security Pro $49.99 per year Yes, 30-day free trial No Yes macOS 10.12 and higher
5. Malwarebytes Premium for Macs $44.9 per year No Yes, for Premium + Privacy VPN, subject to additional cost No macOS 10.12 and higher
6. TotalAV Free Mac Antivirus & Security Free Yes Yes, for Premium feature No macOS 10.12 and higher
7. Clario Anti-Malware Protection for macOS $8.99/month

$50/year

Yes, for first week Yes Yes macOS version 10.13+
8. McAfee Total Protection for Mac Starts at $29.99/year Yes, 30-day full fledged trial Yes No Build 4.11.1 or higher: macOS 10.15 and above

Build 4.9.1: macOS 10.12 – 10.14

9. Panda Dome Essential for Mac $26.24 per year Yes, first month free Yes, 150 MB/day No macOS x 10.10 or later
10. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac Starts at $24.99 per year Yes, 30-day full trial Yes, 200 MB/day Yes macOS X Yosemite (10.10) or later
11. ClamXAV Antivirus and Malware Scanner for macOS Starts at $20.96/year Yes, 30-day full trial No No macOS 10.10 (Yosemite) or newer
12. Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac $29.95 per year Yes, 30-day full trial No No macOS 10. 15 or later
13. Avira Prime Antivirus for Mac Starts at $6.99 No Yes No macOS 10.15 and later
14. F-Secure Total Full Online Protection for Mac Starts at $39.99 per year No Yes Yes macOS 10.15 and later
15. Sophos Home Premium Antivirus for Mac $44.99 per year Yes, 30-day full trial No No macOS 10.14 and later
16. Kaspersky Total Security for Mac Starts at $27.99 per year Yes, 30-day full trial Yes, 300 MB/day No macOS 10.12 – 12
17. MacKeeper Antivirus for Mac Starts at $10.95 Yes, 30-day full trial Yes Yes macOS 10.9 and later

How to Choose the Best Antivirus Software for Mac?

There are several factors you have to consider when picking the best antivirus software for Mac. It depends on what your needs are, the cyber threats you want to be protected against, the budget you consider worthwhile, ease of use, availability of customer support, reliability as assessed by reviews and third-party sites, and frequency of protection updates to fight off newly-identified threats.

17 Best Antivirus Software for Mac in 2022

As cybercriminals continue to create malware and viruses that target vulnerable systems, consider this detailed list of security software that will fit your needs.

1. Avast Security for Mac

ℹ️ Best for: Protection from websites, emails, and WiFi networks

💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: Yes | WiFi Protection: Yes | Parental Control: Yes | Phishing Protection: Available on the Premium version | Customer Support: Phone, Website, and Email

avast security

The free version of Avast Security for Mac is impressive with the features that it offers. It also has three real-time protection layers for Web, Mail, and File that its Core Shield covers. Third-party testing labs, such as AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, score Avast Security for Mac well relative to its paid competitors.

A unique feature of the free software is the WiFi inspector that scans your wireless network and checks if any vulnerable device is connected to it. Navigating features like this is easy as the interface is user-friendly. However, if you consider getting the premium version, it may increase your protection, but for its price, the features are fewer than other similar products.

Pros:
  • Received certification from two independent testing labs
  • Full scan runs quickly
  • Easy download and navigation
  • Free version available
Cons:
  • Ransomware protection available only for premium purchase
  • Avast reportedly sold user data to their analytics business
Pricing plans:
  • Monthly rate starts at $4.19/month
  • Annual rate starts at $50.28
Free Download

2. Intego Mac Security and Antivirus Software for Mac

ℹ️ Best for: Mac protection, cleaning, and organizing

💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: Yes | WiFi Protection: Network monitoring through NetBarrier | Parental Control: Yes | Phishing Protection: Yes | Customer Support: Live Chat, Call, Email

intego mac

The Mac Premium Bundle X9 is the flagship security and antivirus software of Intego for Mac. It’s an all-in-one digital solution for manual and automatic protection and system optimization of your macOS computer. You can be worry-free of malware threats while being assured of your machine’s efficiency.

Pros:
  • Has parental control to keep kids safe
  • Available bootable backup for important files
  • Cleans up to help speed up your Mac
  • Has dual protection option
  • Scans iOS devices when plugged into your Mac
Cons:
  • Paid plans are expensive
  • No available browser extensions for added browsing security
Pricing plans:
  • 1-year plan starts at $39.99
Free Download

3. Norton 360 Deluxe for Mac

ℹ️ Best for: Security for devices, online privacy, and identity theft protection

💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: Yes | WiFi Protection: Yes | Parental Control: Yes | Phishing Protection: Yes | Customer Support: Community, Live Chat, Socials, Phone

norton 360 deluxe

Norton 360 Deluxe is hailed as a powerful tool against malware with more added features compared to its competitors. Their large malware directory, heuristic analysis, and machine learning for malware detection allow them to provide complete virus protection. They are confident in their 100% virus protection claims that you will get a full refund if they can’t remove a virus. Moreover, you will enjoy a liberal 60-day money-back guarantee.

Pros:
  • Has no-limits VPN
  • Recipient of top score from AV-Comparatives lab
  • Password manager and parental control features
  • Offers cloud backup
  • Clear interface makes it easy to use
  • Dark web monitoring
Cons:
  • Limited Windows malware detection
  • Identity theft protection not available outside of the US
  • Kill-switch of VPN only on Windows; missing on Android, iOS, and MacOS
  • Some features are available as separate apps
Pricing plans:
  • $49.99 for the first year, renews at $109.99/year
Free Download

4. Eset Cyber Security Pro

ℹ️ Best for: Basic security requirements

💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: Yes | WiFi Protection: No | Parental Control: Yes | Phishing Protection: Yes | Customer Support: Forum, Email

eset cyber security

Eset Cyber Security Pro effectively safeguards against harmful security threats through real-time file system protection. However, minor performance delays with copying files and launching applications have been observed.

Pros:
  • Effective protection against unwanted software and malware
  • Good control to fine-tune and customize behavior options
  • Clear interface
Cons:
  • Limited features like VPN and ID protection
  • Minor impact on MacOS performance
  • iOS version unavailable
  • Parental control is limited to web filtering only
Pricing plans:
  • 1 year: $49.99
  • 2 years: $74.99
  • 3 years: $99.98
Free Download

5. Malwarebytes Premium for Macs

ℹ️ Best for: Already infested systems; standard antivirus suite

💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: No | WiFi Protection: No | Parental Control: No | Phishing Protection: Yes | Customer Support: Chat, Website

malwarebyte

Malwarebytes Premium for Macs is the premium version for malware scans that utilize real-time detection to curb contamination. It has simple and standard features, perfect for someone who isn’t tech-savvy. When its active scan runs, you will barely notice the effect on the system.

Pros:
  • Software is easy-to-use
  • Quick scans
  • Low impact on system
  • Behavioral malware detection
Cons:
  • No special features unlike competitors
  • Untested by independent labs
  • Unavailability of family plans
  • Charges more for less than competitors
Pricing plans:
  • Premium 1 device – $44.99/year
  • Premium 5 device – $79.99/year
  • Premium + Privacy VPN for 5 devices – $99.99/year
Free Download

6. TotalAV Free Mac Antivirus & Security

ℹ️ Best for: Sufficient protection and added features

💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: Yes | WiFi Protection: No | Parental Control: No | Phishing Protection: Yes | Customer Support: Live chat, Email

totalav security

TotalAV Free Mac Antivirus & Security performs malware detection below the industry average, but higher than other free virus protection for Mac. It comes with real-time protection that isn’t available on the free edition, and added useful features like a VPN, ad-blocker, and system tune-up. While it has good malware and malicious URL protection, its phishing scanner runs poorly.

Pros:
  • Scores well in testing by two independent labs
  • User interface is easy to navigate
  • Added features are useful
Cons:
  • Home website is blocked by Mac browser
  • Scores poorly in phishing protection
  • Expensive
Pricing plans:
  • Free
Free Download

7. Clario Anti-Malware Protection for macOS

ℹ️ Best for: Those who want 24/7 chat support

💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: Yes | WiFi Protection: No | Parental Control: No | Phishing Protection: No | Customer Support: Email or in-app live chat

clario protection

Clario is a new player in cybersecurity but it’s already making a significant impression. It has all the essential security and privacy features packed into one with vital round-the-clock built-in support.

Pros:
  • Reasonable price
  • Comprehensive setup guide available
  • Complete security with human-centric interface
  • Speedy malware scans
  • Has basic VPN
  • Chat support always available
  • Full-package of web protection
Cons:
  • App runs slow when opened
  • Most features lacking on mobile editions
  • Not suitable for advanced users
Pricing plans:
  • $8.99/month
  • $50/year
Free Download

8. McAfee Total Protection for Mac

ℹ️ Best for: Protection for PC, Web, and Identity

💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: Yes | WiFi Protection: Yes | Parental Control: Yes | Phishing Protection: Yes | Customer Support: Chatbot, Email

mcafee protection

McAfee has been known for delivering great antivirus solutions for years. Its suite offers a comprehensive, real-time solution for your macOS against malware and other online threats. Simply use your device as you do, and it will run in the background without disrupting your system’s performance. It also packs many productivity features and works on different devices.

Pros:
  • Always up-to-date
  • Available for multiple devices
  • Excellent identity monitoring and phishing protection
  • VPN has no limits
  • User-friendly
  • Top-notch customer support
  • Storage encryption
  • Cross-platform password management
Cons:
  • Limited and ineffective parental controls
  • Pricing plans are confusing
Pricing plans:
  • 1 device – $29.99/year for the first purchase, renews at $89.99/year
  • 5 devices – $39.99/year for the first purchase, renews at $119.99/year
  • Unlimited devices – $49.99/year for the first purchase, renews at $139.99/year
Free Download

9. Panda Dome Essential for Mac

ℹ️ Best for: Real-time virus detection

💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: No | WiFi Protection: Yes | Parental Control: Yes | Phishing Protection: Yes | Customer Support: Phone, Email, Socials

panda essential

Panda Dome Essential is the most affordable antivirus Panda Dome plan with a limited VPN, Gaming Mode, and Process Monitor. Tests on the technology found that it is a powerful antivirus scanner that can identify real-time ransomware and phishing cyber threats.

Pros:
  • User-friendly and attractive interface
  • Has firewall, VPN, and USB vaccination
  • Multiple device support
  • Real-time protection
Cons:
  • Protection against dangerous/fraudulent websites is mediocre
  • Malware protection test scores poorly
  • Slow and unresponsive support
  • Not all features are useful, making its paid plans not worth it
Pricing plans:
  • $26.24 per year
Free Download

10. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac

ℹ️ Best for: Reliable and highly-rated security protection without affecting system performance

💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: Yes | WiFi Protection: Yes | Parental Control: Yes | Phishing Protection: Yes | Customer Support: Community Support, Email, Phone

bitdefender

Bitdefender Antivirus is a top-rated antivirus provider for its impressive performance and effective malware removal. You can choose from different virus scan options and get added features like a password manager, built-in VPN, and banking protection. The scan process is quick and won’t affect system performance.

Pros:
  • Free version has the same level of security as the paid versions
  • Malware detection is highly rated
  • Built-in VPN for all editions
  • With protection for webcam and microphone
  • Ransomware protection is multi-layered
  • Virus engine is cloud-based
  • 30-day moneyback guarantee for all plans
Cons:
  • VPN capabilities are restrictive at 200 MB/day
  • Customer support response is slow
  • Portal is hard to navigate for non-tech savvy users
Pricing plans:
  • 1-year plan starts at $24.99
  • 2-year plan starts at $48.99
  • 3-year plan starts at $72
Free Download

11. ClamXAV Antivirus and Malware Scanner for macOS

ℹ️ Best for: Basic malware protection

💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: No | WiFi Protection: No | Parental Control: No | Phishing Protection: No | Customer Support: Email

clamxav

ClamXAV offers basic security protection that detects and quarantines malware for a lesser price than competitors. It also carries an easy-to-navigate interface which you can use to scan files on demand. The software scored top in tests carried out in the past, but it hasn’t been reflected yet in latest lab reports.

Pros:
  • User interface is straightforward
  • Protection is real-time
  • Scans external devices when plugged in
Cons:
  • Doesn’t filter malicious websites
  • Doesn’t have recent test results from independent labs
  • No additional features
Pricing plans:
  • For Home Users: Starts at $29.95/year
  • For Business: $29.95/year
  • For Students: $20.96/year
Free Download

12. Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac

ℹ️ Best for: Easy to understand status reports and settings

💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: Yes | WiFi Protection: Yes | Parental Control: Yes | Phishing Protection: Yes | Customer Support: Phone, Live Chat, Email Community Support, Facebook

trend micro

Trend Micro Antivirus provides great complete system protection for your macOS as reported by two independent test labs. When potential threats begin to surface, such as viruses, spyware, and phishing, they can stop and remove them immediately. It also has added features that cover ransomware protection and web monitoring. Meanwhile, its effect on system speed is little to none.

Pros:
  • Real-time protection
  • Free version and free 30-day trial available
  • Top scores from 2 independent test labs
  • Protects against ransomware
Cons:
  • Choices for licensing are limited
  • No firewall
  • Some features need additional payment
  • Added features are weak
Pricing plans:
  • $29.95/year
Free Download

13. Avira Prime Antivirus for Mac

ℹ️ Best for: MacOS security and system optimization features

💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: Yes | WiFi Protection: No | Parental Control: No | Phishing Protection: No | Customer Support: Email, Chat, Phone

avira prime

Avira Prime Antivirus for Mac is available in a free version for effective malware detection and real-time protection of your macOS. It also features email and ransomware protection with bonus features of VPN, password manager, safe shopping, file shredder, and Avira Crypto.

Pros:
  • Free plan available
  • Paid plan has 60-day moneyback guarantee
  • Real-time protection
  • Useful features for performance optimization
  • Reliable malware protection
Cons:
  • Full scans affect system performance
  • No web protection feature for free version
  • Delayed responses from customer support
Pricing plans:
  • Monthly fee starts at $6.99
  • Yearly fee starts at $41.99
Free Download

14. F-Secure Total Full Online Protection for Mac

ℹ️ Best for: All-in-on package for security, baking protection, VPN, online identity monitoring, system optimization, tracking protection

💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: Yes | WiFi Protection: Yes | Parental Control: Yes | Phishing Protection: Yes | Customer Support: Chat, Phone, Forum, Email

fsecure total

F-Secure Total is a bundle that includes the F-Secure Safe (security suite), F-Secure Identity Protection (password manager), and F-Secure’s Freedome VPN. Protecting against viruses, trojans, and ransomware is at the core of its security suite. You won’t have to worry about your banking information with its automatic security measures when you enter a banking site. It also comes with a Gaming mode for gaming or streaming media content.

Pros:
  • Manage accounts remotely
  • Cross-platform parental control
  • Find your lost mobile device
  • Blocks malicious and fraudulent sites
  • Bank transaction protection
  • Decent lab scores
Cons:
  • Limited parental control
  • Missed ransomware during behavioral detection
Pricing plans:
  • Yearly plan starts at $35.99
Free Download

15. Sophos Home Premium Antivirus for Mac

ℹ️ Best for: Securing multiple Macs in any location

💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: Yes | WiFi Protection: No | Parental Control: Yes | Phishing Protection: Yes | Customer Support: Chatbot, Live Chat, Email

sophos

For a low price, Sophos Home Premium Antivirus for Mac provides the right protection for your security needs, but it has yet to be verified by independent testing labs and setting it up is confusing.

Pros:
  • Quick full scan
  • Protects against ransomware
  • Detection of windows malware is decent
Cons:
  • Setup process is confusing
  • No scoring from testing labs
  • Parental content has a workaround
  • Compared to the Windows edition, the Mac version lacks advanced features
Pricing plans:
  • Starts at $44.99/year
Free Download

16. Kaspersky Total Security for Mac

ℹ️ Best for: Overall security

💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: Yes | WiFi Protection: Yes | Parental Control: Yes | Phishing Protection: Yes | Customer Support: 24/7 Remote Assistance, Phone, and Chat Support, Email, Forum

kaspersky security

Kaspersky Total Security provides decent protection for your macOS against viruses, malware, and ransomware with tests finding lesser false positives than Norton, a close competitor. It has real-time protection covering online shopping, website data collection, ad blocking, and webcam access. However, with the rising fears of digital sabotage due to its connections to the Russian government, Kaspersky is banned in some countries like the Netherlands, the United States, and Germany.

Pros:
  • Received high scores from four independent labs
  • File encryption and shredding
  • Parental controls are comprehensive
  • Availablity of backup system
  • Protection across different platforms
  • Comes with bonus features
Cons:
  • Plans are expensive
  • Online backup lacks hosted storage
  • Installation on Mac is confusing
  • Security issues from ties with the Russian secret service
Pricing plans:
  • Standard Plan starts at $27.99/year
  • Premium Plan starts at $33.99/year
Free Download

17. MacKeeper Antivirus for Mac

ℹ️ Best for: Security and system performance enhancement

💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: No | WiFi Protection: No | Parental Control: No | Customer Support: Live Chat, Email

mackeeper mac

MacKeeper Antivirus for Mac is a trustworthy antivirus software that protects against viruses, spyware, and ransomware. It has bonus features like a password manager, ID theft guard, VPN, adware blocker, smart firewall, and memory cleaner.

Pros:
  • Has built-in VPN
  • User-friendly interface
  • Selection of optimization features
Cons:
  • Past practices are questionable
Pricing plans:
  • Has free trial
  • $10.95/month for 1 Mac
  • $66.78/year for 1 Mac
  • $71.64/year for up to 3 Macs
Free Download

How Does Apple Protect Your Mac From Malware?

Apple products are considered to be less at risk from threats compared to Windows PCs mainly because of the three built-in protections in macOS systems:

  • The App Store or Gatekeeper combined with Notarization is the first layer that helps prevent the launch or execution of malware.
  • Gatekeeper, Notarization, and XProtect block malware threats from running on your system.
  • XProtect addresses malware that has already been executed.

How to Use Antivirus on a Mac

Even with the built-in protections in macOS systems, they may not be enough. Because of the platform’s growing popularity, attackers are becoming more cunning at developing threats that could attack vulnerabilities in the system. You can avoid these attacks by using third-party software from reliable sources.

Here’s how you can allow your system to install other software:

  1. On the upper left portion of your Mac, select the Apple icon then System Preference.
    select apple icon then system preferences
  2. Click on Security & Privacy, then General. Make sure you unlock the lock icon on the bottom left
    click on security and privacy then general
  3. You can select from the sources where you’ll allow software to be installed:
    • App Store
    • App Store and identified developers

Once an app has been downloaded and installed, follow the on-screen instructions to start scanning your Mac for potential virus.

Conclusion

There are a lot of options in the market for antivirus software. Still, we would recommend the Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac since it is highly rated and has received top scores from independent testing labs. All editions have built-in VPN, and paid versions have useful added features.

FAQ

Yes, Apple Mac needs antivirus. macOS systems are built with state-of-the-art software to protect against viruses, but it is not immune to attacks. An extra layer of protection assures your system stays protected from ever-evolving cybersecurity threats.
The best antivirus software tools for Mac that has performed well in tests from independent testing labs are:

  • Avast Security for Mac
  • Norton 360 Deluxe for Mac
  • ClamXAV Antivirus and Malware Scanner for macOS
  • Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac
  • TotalAV Free Mac Antivirus & Security
  • F-Secure Total Full Online Protection for Mac
  • Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac
  • Kaspersky Total Security for Mac
XProtect is the built-in antivirus scanner in your Mac. Since it is enabled by default, you won’t have to do anything to scan it manually. However, if you want to allow a manual scan with third-party software like Bitdefender, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Bitdefender Antivirus app.
  2. Click on Protection.
  3. The Antivirus tab has three scan buttons you can choose from. Just click on your preferred option:
    • Quick scan
    • System Scan
    • Custom Scan
Yes, every Mac comes with built-in software called XProtect. It is an antivirus technology enabled by default that scans your Mac for malware.
Yes, you should have a firewall turned on your mac if you regularly install apps from the internet instead of the App Store.
Mako Young is a writer for all things tech. He's been writing about Macs for years and has been using Macs for more than a decade. When he isn't reading about the latest news on Apple, he's busy studying cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, cloud computing, and other IT-related sectors.

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