Some Mac users believe that Apple computers are “immune” to viruses and other malicious software. Sadly, that’s not the case. Although viruses and malware are not as prevalent on macOS as they are on Windows, they do exist — and the number of Mac infections has surged in recent years as Apple devices have become more popular. But protecting your machine is easier than you think.
There is a wealth of excellent antivirus solutions for Mac that can ensure you and your data are always safe and secure. They not only rid your computer of existing infections, but also detect new ones as they arise — and disable them before they have a chance to do any damage.
Choosing the right antivirus software for your Mac doesn’t have to be difficult. With so many to choose from, it can be overwhelming at first, but you can easily separate the solutions that will work for you from those that won’t by deciding what it is you really need. Look out for:
If you’re looking for a free antivirus solution, Avast is one of the best available on Mac. It has the highest threat detection rating, and includes all of the features you might expect from a basic antivirus solution — including real-time system scanning as standard. Other tools include a ransomware shield and Wi-Fi intruder alerts that help keep your home network safe.
A paid Avast option is also available, adding things like a VPN that stops online tracking, greater protection against online threats, and a fake website detector. Premium plans start at just $4.19 a month for one device, or $5.79 a month for up to five devices.
Norton has been building antivirus software since way back in 1991, and it is one of the biggest names in the industry. It has earned that status by providing trusted, reliable products that its millions of users around the world can rely on. Norton for Mac is available in several different versions, depending on how much you’re willing to pay, and all offer real-time threat detection.
This ensures that as soon as a virus makes its way onto your Mac, Norton will identify it and stop it in its tracks. Other features include a firewall that helps keep your machine safe while it’s online, and a password manager that allows you to set more secure logins without having to remember them. Every version of Norton comes with the “100% Virus Protection Promise” as soon as it’s installed
MacKeeper is one of the best all-in-one system maintenance and security tools for Mac. In addition to keeping your machine free from viruses and malware, with a 97.5% threat detection rating, it ships with a large catalog of tools that are designed to ensure your Mac is always running at its best. MacKeeper can remove system junk, uninstall unwanted apps, clean your system memory (RAM) and lots more.
MacKeeper includes real-time system scanning like its rivals, with the ability to block malicious applications as soon as they appear, and an app update tracker that helps you keep your software up to date so that the latest security improvements are installed. It’s also one of the few antivirus products that includes a VPN as standard for just $10.95 per month
With a 99.2% threat detection rating, TotalAV competes with the best antivirus software for Mac in terms of keeping your system safe. It includes real-time system tracking, malware removal, the ability to schedule system scans, and data breach monitoring. Users also get some handy web protection features, including blockers for cookie tracking, ads, and videos.
TotalAV’s entry-level Antivirus Pro, priced at $99 a year, features some system tuning tools as well, but you’ll need to upgrade to its pricier Internet Security or Total Security options to unlock its password vault and VPN.
If it’s just basic protection you’re looking for, Avira for Mac may be all you need. It’s a lightweight, efficient, and easy to use antivirus solution that provides all the basics — and boasts a 100% threat detection rating. What’s more, many of Avira’s features, including real-time system scanning, are completely free to use. Avira also offers a VPN, although it is very limited, with a 500MB monthly cap
F-Secure is another award-winning antivirus product that comes with a wealth of tools designed to protect your Mac and all your sensitive data. In addition to real-time system scanning and a 100% threat detection rate, it offers some useful web protection tools that will help you stay safe online — particularly when doing things like online banking.
F-Secure also includes a built-in password manager and VPN, and it’s one of the few antivirus solutions that boasts parental controls. They allow you to set boundaries for your children so they can’t stumble across content they shouldn’t see, and moderate their screen time.
Clario packs everything you need to bolster system security into one package. It matches competitors with a 100% threat detection rate, ensuring your Mac stays free from viruses, malware, ransomware, and other malicious software. In addition to the basics, Clario offers email threat scanning if you want it, and a built-in ad blocker for smoother, more secure browsing.
A built-in VPN takes online privacy protection even further, while 24/7 customer service ensures that if you ever encounter issues, a member of the Clario team is always on hand to help you out. What’s more, Clario is incredibly efficient, with minimal impact on CPU usage.
Trend Micro Antivirus is another relatively lightweight antivirus application that covers all the basics at an affordable price. It boasts a 100% threat detection rate, plus the ability to block web threats, prohibit use of your Mac’s camera and microphone, and stop dangerous websites in their tracks. It also protects you against phishing scams.
Trend Micro’s standard package, currently priced at $39.95 per year, supports one machine and covers all the basics. But if you upgrade to the Maximum Security option at $89.95 per year, you also get Trend Micro’s Pay Guard feature to protect online payments, some system optimization tools, and support for up to five devices.
Unfortunately, our Apple devices aren’t as immune to viruses as some people believe they are, but protecting them doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. There are a wide variety of excellent antivirus tools to choose from, many of which promise to protect your system from 100% of known threats. Some of them are even available for free.
Those free options, like Avira, may be enough to protect your Mac if you’re a casual computer user. However, we recommend using a paid solution with more features that can give you greater protection if you use your Mac a lot. And if you’re looking for an all-in-one system security and optimization suite, you’ll want to look at more comprehensive options like MacKeeper.
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