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.
|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 |
|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.
💡 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
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.
- Received certification from two independent testing labs
- Full scan runs quickly
- Easy download and navigation
- Free version available
- Ransomware protection available only for premium purchase
- Avast reportedly sold user data to their analytics business
- Monthly rate starts at $4.19/month
- Annual rate starts at $50.28
💡 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
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.
- 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
- Paid plans are expensive
- No available browser extensions for added browsing security
- 1-year plan starts at $39.99
💡 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 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.
- 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
- 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
- $49.99 for the first year, renews at $109.99/year
💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: Yes | WiFi Protection: No | Parental Control: Yes | Phishing Protection: Yes | Customer Support: Forum, Email
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.
- Effective protection against unwanted software and malware
- Good control to fine-tune and customize behavior options
- Clear interface
- Limited features like VPN and ID protection
- Minor impact on MacOS performance
- iOS version unavailable
- Parental control is limited to web filtering only
- 1 year: $49.99
- 2 years: $74.99
- 3 years: $99.98
💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: No | WiFi Protection: No | Parental Control: No | Phishing Protection: Yes | Customer Support: Chat, Website
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.
- Software is easy-to-use
- Quick scans
- Low impact on system
- Behavioral malware detection
- No special features unlike competitors
- Untested by independent labs
- Unavailability of family plans
- Charges more for less than competitors
- Premium 1 device – $44.99/year
- Premium 5 device – $79.99/year
- Premium + Privacy VPN for 5 devices – $99.99/year
💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: Yes | WiFi Protection: No | Parental Control: No | Phishing Protection: Yes | Customer Support: Live chat, Email
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.
- Scores well in testing by two independent labs
- User interface is easy to navigate
- Added features are useful
- Home website is blocked by Mac browser
- Scores poorly in phishing protection
💡 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 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.
- 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
- App runs slow when opened
- Most features lacking on mobile editions
- Not suitable for advanced users
💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: Yes | WiFi Protection: Yes | Parental Control: Yes | Phishing Protection: Yes | Customer Support: Chatbot, Email
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.
- Always up-to-date
- Available for multiple devices
- Excellent identity monitoring and phishing protection
- VPN has no limits
- Top-notch customer support
- Storage encryption
- Cross-platform password management
- Limited and ineffective parental controls
- Pricing plans are confusing
- 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
💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: No | WiFi Protection: Yes | Parental Control: Yes | Phishing Protection: Yes | Customer Support: Phone, Email, Socials
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.
- User-friendly and attractive interface
- Has firewall, VPN, and USB vaccination
- Multiple device support
- Real-time protection
- 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
- $26.24 per year
💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: Yes | WiFi Protection: Yes | Parental Control: Yes | Phishing Protection: Yes | Customer Support: Community Support, Email, Phone
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.
- 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
- VPN capabilities are restrictive at 200 MB/day
- Customer support response is slow
- Portal is hard to navigate for non-tech savvy users
- 1-year plan starts at $24.99
- 2-year plan starts at $48.99
- 3-year plan starts at $72
💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: No | WiFi Protection: No | Parental Control: No | Phishing Protection: No | Customer Support: Email
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.
- User interface is straightforward
- Protection is real-time
- Scans external devices when plugged in
- Doesn’t filter malicious websites
- Doesn’t have recent test results from independent labs
- No additional features
- For Home Users: Starts at $29.95/year
- For Business: $29.95/year
- For Students: $20.96/year
💡 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 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.
- Real-time protection
- Free version and free 30-day trial available
- Top scores from 2 independent test labs
- Protects against ransomware
- Choices for licensing are limited
- No firewall
- Some features need additional payment
- Added features are weak
💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: Yes | WiFi Protection: No | Parental Control: No | Phishing Protection: No | Customer Support: Email, Chat, Phone
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.
- Free plan available
- Paid plan has 60-day moneyback guarantee
- Real-time protection
- Useful features for performance optimization
- Reliable malware protection
- Full scans affect system performance
- No web protection feature for free version
- Delayed responses from customer support
- Monthly fee starts at $6.99
- Yearly fee starts at $41.99
💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: Yes | WiFi Protection: Yes | Parental Control: Yes | Phishing Protection: Yes | Customer Support: Chat, Phone, Forum, Email
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.
- Manage accounts remotely
- Cross-platform parental control
- Find your lost mobile device
- Blocks malicious and fraudulent sites
- Bank transaction protection
- Decent lab scores
- Limited parental control
- Missed ransomware during behavioral detection
- Yearly plan starts at $35.99
💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: Yes | WiFi Protection: No | Parental Control: Yes | Phishing Protection: Yes | Customer Support: Chatbot, Live Chat, Email
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.
- Quick full scan
- Protects against ransomware
- Detection of windows malware is decent
- 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
- Starts at $44.99/year
💡 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 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.
- 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
- Plans are expensive
- Online backup lacks hosted storage
- Installation on Mac is confusing
- Security issues from ties with the Russian secret service
- Standard Plan starts at $27.99/year
- Premium Plan starts at $33.99/year
💡 Web protection: Yes | Browser security alerts: No | WiFi Protection: No | Parental Control: No | Customer Support: Live Chat, Email
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.
- Has built-in VPN
- User-friendly interface
- Selection of optimization features
- Past practices are questionable
- Has free trial
- $10.95/month for 1 Mac
- $66.78/year for 1 Mac
- $71.64/year for up to 3 Macs
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:
- On the upper left portion of your Mac, select the Apple icon then System Preference.
- Click on Security & Privacy, then General. Make sure you unlock the lock icon on the bottom left
- 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.
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.
- 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
- Open the Bitdefender Antivirus app.
- Click on Protection.
- The Antivirus tab has three scan buttons you can choose from. Just click on your preferred option:
- Quick scan
- System Scan
- Custom Scan