The best antivirus for Macs is could give you some serious peace of mind, as well as an additional degree of protection to keep your data safe. In the last few years, antivirus software has pivoted slightly in an attempt to keep up with the popular VPN services that in many instances, have supplanted them. While a VPN is a great safeguard for surfing the web and bypassing geoblockers, antivirus gives you more thorough protection in far more instances.
While Apple devices are certainly safer out of the box than the best gaming PCs that run Windows, but don't be mistaken; they're still at risk. A macOS machine runs on Unix, which is sandboxed, meaning it's not easy for a virus to do a lot of damage. That also means any virus which is designed to attack a Mac is very specialist. As such you need an equally specialist solution. Enter the software specifically built as antivirus for Macs rather than the usual one-app-fits-all you'd get with other operating systems.
Antivirus software works to protect your Mac from malware if they manage to get through, which can potentially gain access to your personal information. This isn't just your latest Instagram picture post, we mean banking details and important logins.
We've found the very best Mac antivirus software so that you can rest easy knowing your slab of machine smarts is protected even when you connect to potentially threatening open networks, like Wi-Fi at a coffee shop or airport. There are paid for and free options with different features for each. Here are the best antivirus for Macs we've found on the market.
Best antivirus for Macs 2021: apps and software compared
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Bitdefender Antivirus for Macs is the best overall line of defense for your Apple Mac. At its core, this uses an antivirus engine that's highly regarded as smart and very fast. That covers you for viruses on your Mac but this also does a whole lot more.
Ransomware, a big issue nowadays, is covered by a multi-layer protection meaning you will be kept safe online. There's also a browser extension that stops you from being tracked to keep you more anonymous while browsing. This will even block web trackers which not only helps maintain your online privacy but can speed up your experience. Add in the anti-phishing protection this offers and you're in for a very clean and private browser experience.
Bitdefender fights adware too so you should notice a lot less rubbish popping up when online. There's even a free VPN, with limited data, as well as a protection layer for Time Machine to keep your back-ups safe too.
This, uniquely, defends against Windows viruses too. That means you won't act as a transmitter potentially passing it along to the Window machines of others where it can do damage.
Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac is the best option out there right now.
Intego Mac Internet Security X9 offers something our number one spot holder doesn't - a firewall. It's a smart one too, offering intelligent protection to stop viruses before they even get to your machine. For anything that slips through it'll be met by protection that has all the latest virus defenses in place thanks to an impressive antivirus system that's been working and evolving on Macs for over two decades.
You also get excellent anti-phishing protection for a safer online experience. This will even make sure cheeky third-party apps that want at your data don't stand a chance of getting near it. Despite this being a great system for more advanced users, with lots of options, it's still nice and simple to use making it ideal for newbs too.
All that powerful protection means this can slow your machine down a little, compared to some other options, but if you've got plenty of power to spare then this is a great way to invest that in what's arguably the best antivirus for MacBook Pros.
Norton 360 Deluxe is the culmination of years of experience in the world of antivirus. As such this is not only good on your Mac but also on lots of other devices including smartphones and even PCs, with five devices covered at the same time. Expect powerful antivirus protection as well as anti-ransomware but even they're given another layer of protection thanks to an intelligent firewall.
All that has the addition of cloud backup, a very nice feature for the price. Factor in the addition of a VPN too and this starts to looks like a serious amount of protection and support for what you pay. Though it's worth mentioning this won't just cost you in money, it'll chew through a chunk of your processing power too, so make sure you have a fast machine if you're going to use this powerful beast of a suite.
While this is a more pricey option there are often deals so it's worth keeping your eye out for a saving before you commit.
Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac comes from a well known and long-standing brand that has plenty of experience in this area. As such you get some of the best malware protection, on top of the tailor-made antivirus for Macs. This will keep your Mac safe from attacks but also helps with privacy when online thanks to URL blocking and an encrypted browser for extra safety. There's smart ransomware protection to set your mind at ease too.
We like the specific webcam highjacking protection that means there's no need to cover that camera as you'll know nobody can gain access.
Yes, the interface has a lot going on that can be confusing at first, but essentially it's easy to use once you get going. You'll pay more than most charge for this big name brand but then you'll get more for your money too.
Avast Premium Security is a super easy to use protection system for your Mac which, despite a minimal interface, offers a raft of features. At its core the antivirus for Macs protection is excellent with an intelligent system working to keep your devices clean. But you also get the company's Ransomware Shield which works to protect against this type of malware meaning you're protected even against undiscovered threats.
Web browsing security is excellent with phishing sites detected. We also enjoyed the Wi-Fi intruder alert which lets you know if your home network is compromised.
This is an expensive option if you only use it for one Mac. But with up to 10 devices covered on the more pricey plan, it works out more value for money. That said there is a 60-day free trial so this is well worth a try before you buy.
Best antivirus for macs: FAQ
Do Macs need antivirus?
Although it's fairly common knowledge that macs are safe from most viruses that can give Windows computers trouble, they aren't totally immune to every cyber security issue under the sun. There are plenty of Mac-targeted viruses and malware out there today which one of the best antivirus for macs can help you stay safe from.
What is the best antivirus for Macs?
We'd say a well-rounded and conclusive software like Bitdefender Antivirus for Macs is a strong option to go for. Alternatively, something like Norton 360 will do the trick. In 2022, Norton took over Bullguard, which bolsters their level of expertise even further. For more powerful macs, we'd recommend something like Intego Mac Internet Security X9.
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