top 5 Best Antivirus Packages For Your Mac
Mac doesn’t get viruses.” If you’ve had a Mac long enough, you’ve probably heard this line before. There’s just one big problem with it: it’s not true. Macs do get viruses. Just like PCs, they can get hit with malware, adware, and spyware. And just like PCs, they need to be protected with solid antivirus software. Here are ten of the best antivirus packages you can get to protect your Mac.
Best Mac OS X Antivirus Apps
1. Symantec Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh.
Norton is one of the biggest names in the antivirus world, the performance of their software backs up their reputation—they even offer a money-back guarantee that their software will keep your computer virus-free. As a leading researcher in cybersecurity and malware protection, they bring a lot of expertise to the table.
In April 2015, an independent antivirus software testing group called AV-TEST showed that Norton detected 100% of tested malware samples, ranking it among the most effective antivirus software for Mac. Norton’s Global Intelligence Network reports on threats around the world, helping them keep their virus definitions up to date. And deluxe and premium versions of the software also include parental control software and cloud backup capabilities.
Possibly the most appealing factor of Symantec’s antivirus software is that it didn’t slow down AV-TEST’s computer during the performance test. Norton is the least system-resource-intensive antivirus package out there, and the fact that it’s still 100% effective makes it an easy choice for the top spot on this list.
2. BitDefender Antivirus for Mac.
BitDefender, like Norton, scored a 100% detection rate in the AV-TEST comparison (though it scored 99% on another test run by AV-Comparatives). The fact that BitDefender is constantly updating its malware definitions from the cloud, where much of the heavy lifting is done, means you can be confident that almost nothing will slip through your defenses.
Moving processing to the cloud also prevents BitDefender from hogging your system resources; BitDefender was the second lightest client in AV-TEST’s results, only slowing down their Mac by a little bit. BitDefender says that their Mac antivirus software was designed specifically to work well with OS X, and this could be the reason why it doesn’t place a big drain on Mac systems.
Another high point of BitDefender is that it includes definitions not only for Mac-specific malware but for Windows-based ones, too, which means you’ll be protected from an even wider array of threats. Combining this with adware blocking, online phishing detection, and non-stop protection with AutoPilot makes this one of the best options for any Mac user.
3. Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac.
With the largest price tag in this list, you’d expect Kaspersky to be the best antivirus package for Mac out there. And when it comes to protection, it is. AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives both found that Kaspersky’s Internet Security for Mac detected 100% of threats—which isn’t surprising, considering that Kaspersky is one of the most well-known groups of internet security researchers.
Kaspersky’s antivirus package comes with a few features that set it apart from many of its competitors, like network attack blocking and parental controls. This makes it a very versatile program that you can use to protect both your computer and your kids. It provides free automatic updates, protects against PC and Linux malware, and includes extra protection for your online monetary transactions.
Falling right in the middle of the field, Kaspersky didn’t impress in the AV-TEST system resources performance test (though the system slow-down would likely be all but unnoticeable during regular usage). With the level of protection that it provides and the solid reputation backing the Kaspersky name, it’s still a viable choice for protecting your Mac from all of the threats out there.
4. Comodo Antivirus for Mac.
Although it wasn’t tested in either of the two recent reference tests by AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives, Comodo has been given a very positive review by AV-TEST in the past, which emphasized its negligible effect on system performance.
Automatic updates combined with drag-and-drop file scanning and easy scheduling make this an antivirus package that anyone can use, regardless of their level of tech savviness. The software also includes a Security Level slider that lets you easily adjust how much protection you receive, so you can tailor it to your needs.
As a large company that provides a number of online safeguards for businesses of all sizes as well as individual users, Comodo has a solid reputation for protection, and that reputation extends to its antivirus software for your Mac. Adding minimal system usage makes this a viable option for Mac users, especially if you’d rather not pay for your malware protection.
5. Avast Free Mac Security.
As one of the most popular antivirus packages for Mac, Avast has a large name to live up to. And with 100% detection rates from AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives, it has the chops to go head-to-head with more expensive software like Norton. Avast touts its “automatic stream of microupdates” as a feature that keeps your computer always up to date on virus definitions, and their large user base helps them keep track of which threats are emerging.
When it comes to system resources, Avast, although being generally touted as pretty lightweight, came in sixth place in AV-TEST’s performance comparison. While this slow-down would likely be imperceptible in day-to-day usage, it does show that you can’t get the maximum performance out of free software. However, most users won’t notice the difference, so it likely doesn’t matter very much.
Avast uses a multi-platform sensor network in combination with machine learning and big data analytics to make sure that your virus definitions always include the latest threats. This level of protection is one of the best you can get with free software, and the decently low use of system resources makes Avast a top contender.