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Top 9 Antivirus Applications For Mac | MacUpdate Blog

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Ever since MacBook was introduced in the spring of 2006, it has risen to become one of the world’s top-selling lines of laptops. Its sleek design, user experience, and sophisticated security defenses mean Mac users don't even need to entertain the idea of an antivirus. However, the growing malware epidemic ravaging Macworld has drawn a few eyebrows, as Mac computers are becoming increasingly susceptible to malware (though still less than their Windows-based counterparts). Due to its UNIX based operating system and the fact that fewer Macs are in existence gives a considerable advantage to macOS over Windows-based systems.

Malwarebytes reported in March 2018 that malware threats on macOS grew by 270% from the end of 2017. Matters are made worse knowing that sensitive personal pieces of information are targeted as well. A way to stay ahead of these malicious threats is by having a good antivirus on your Mac.

The Importance of antivirus software for Mac

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The importance of an antivirus can’t be overemphasized as it protects your Mac from possible malware invasion, stolen passwords and sometimes serves as a good backup package. It also protects outdated software from any security vulnerabilities.

Choosing the right antivirus

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Picking the right antivirus is a task that must be done judiciously. The following criteria should help when planning to get an antivirus for your Mac, either paid or free:

  • Ensure it actively counters any malicious threat, be it from unauthenticated web pages, file attachments, USB created malware or others.

  • Check for the real-time protection status.

  • Confirm that routine or regular scans are activated.

  • Check how many computational resources it uses.

  • Ensure it has an easy to navigate, user-friendly interface.

Additional features such as backup services, a password keeper, parental controls, incognito modes, advanced firewall options and protection against potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) could also play decisive roles when choosing the most suitable Mac antivirus software.  Below, in no particular order, are some of the top picks of paid and free antiviruses for your Mac:

Paid antivirus apps

  1. Sophos home premium

Sophos home premium is regarded as one of the best in the business. It protects against malware, ransomware and potentially unwanted apps (PUA). Its features prevent the loading of potentially harmful pages while its cloud-based approach allows for the real-time protection of macOS, and updates its interface without downloading. Its licensing plan is suitable for the whole family. The benefits of this antivirus also include:

  • Real-time antivirus protection.

  • Advanced ransomware protection.

  • Privacy protection.

  • Live email chat and support.

  • Protection of up to 10 devices.

2)  Intego Mac Internet Security X9

One of the best antivirus apps for Mac owners. It has both routine and real-time protection activated by default, while the option of non-Mac related malware identification is deactivated. Other additional benefits include:

  • Real-time antivirus protection with automatic 24/7 scans.

  • A two-way firewall that prevents antispyware and keeps you updated on the applications using your network.

  • Location-aware firewall (the appropriate firewall setting is adjusted based on your location)

  • Firewall component and safe surfing plugin.

One of the negatives is that there are no instructions to guide you when enabling the kernel sequence. The scanning period can also take more time than others.

3) Norton Mac Security

Installing Norton Security on Mac is quick and easy. The advantages of using this antivirus include:

  • Anti Phishing technology.

  • Real-time protection.

  • Smart two-way Firewall.

  • Location awareness.

  • Effective malware protection.

  • Daily protection updates and password manager.

  • One subscription to protect multiple devices.

The disadvantages of this antivirus are the high cost and lack of distinct features.

4) Kaspersky Security

Kaspersky security is one of the top antiviruses for Mac simply because it detects malware with precision. It makes use of traditional, signature-based scanning and behavioral pattern recognition to detect malware. The most notable advantages of using this antivirus are:

  • Easy and quick setup when you pick a version compatible with your MacOS.

  • Perfect malware detection (also quarantines malicious threats).

  • Minimal system impact.

  • Parental controls.

  • Privacy and online payment protection.

The negatives include a slower scan time and a denser menu design.

5)  MacKeeper

MacKeeper has an advanced security feature as it protects your Mac both online and offline. It flawlessly detects malware and possesses some unique system features. It’s easy to use and well designed. Other additional benefits of this app include:

  • Anti-theft technology (track and lock your missing Mac)

  • Protection against phishing scams, malware, spyware, adware, and viruses.

The one negative is the problems that arise due to its systemic approach.

6) Bitdefender Antivirus

An antivirus made for Mac, it is very efficient against malware and ransomware. Its smooth design is an additional advantage. This antivirus makes use of signature-based malware detection, cloud-based data collection and behavioral-pattern recognition to detect malware. The advantages of using this antivirus include:

  • Perfect Malware detection with Autopilot mode (a scanning feature).

  • Ransomware protection.

  • Virtual Private Network.

  • A web-based plugin.

  • Easy installation.

  • Quick full scans.

  • Elegant modern design.

  • Parental controls.

The only disadvantage is that it impacts system activities.

Free antivirus apps

  1. Avast Free Mac Security

Avast Free Mac Security is regarded as one of the best free antivirus software apps for macOS. It’s the top choice when it comes to a suitable free antivirus for Mac. Benefits include:

  • Great antivirus protection

  • Network connection glitches or unopened archive files scanning

  • DNS (Domain Name System) or shellcode maneuvers router scanning

  • Emails scanning

  • Anti-phishing feature

  • Password manager

  • No effect on the system during scans.

The one negative is that it packs bloatware (unnecessary software added from an antivirus).

2)  Avira antivirus for Mac

The installation process is much easier but the full scans take more time. It does a good job of identifying threats including viruses, trojans, adware, and spyware. It also:

  • Detects harmful websites, prevent trackers and comes with online storage.

  • Scans for games or apps.

  • Scans USB devices.

  • Possesses complete online protection and tech support.

Downsides include no location awareness, longer installation and update periods, a high impact on system activities, and a cumbersome layout.

3) Sophos Home

Sophos Home is one of the top free versions available. It offers:

  • Real-time protection (both scheduled and routine scans for specified files/folders or drives)

  • Parental web filtering

  • Web protection from known malicious sites, it deletes and quarantines any threat

  • Sleek user interface

  • Full scans or configuration features, which can be done from navigable menus.

The negatives include occasionally having to manually delete, and slower scans than its competitors.

Conclusion

A good antivirus software is one that should protect your Mac on all fronts, leaving no room to chance. Not all antiviruses are perfect but most of the ones on this list (if not all) complete 99.9% of the job, with added benefits. “Do I need an antivirus for Mac?” is a question that is being asked more than ever as attacks increase.

It is very important to keep up to date with software and fundamental security measures. Update your MacOS routinely, tread carefully on certain websites or when downloading something, and disable web plugins that you are not using.

 

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