Which Antivirus is Good for Mac in 2020
Despite the prevailing idea that Mac computers and other Apple products are secure without any additional protection, we are here to bust this myth. We believe that such misconception appeared due to widespread of Windows OS and other systems that are not applied to Apple computer products. Unfortunately, MacBook and other devices like iMac, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro need additional antivirus assistance. On the other hand, they have proven to be prone to many threats and malware; in some cases, they are still as vulnerable as any other device.
Many Apple products indeed have built-in security systems that show high-quality protection. On the other hand, Mac-targeted attacks are increasing problems in recent years. Some of the relevant issues regarding Mac protection are zero-day threats, the ones that can attack the system while Apple software updates. Mac Security has pre-installed Gatekeeper, XProtect, and Malware removal tool.
Many other specialists and we have top picks for Mac, both free and paid packages. We are instead suggesting you make an informed decision since many antiviruses have fair prices. Among leading titles are Norton Advantages, Avast, Bitdefender, TotalIAV, and Intego antiviruses. The review will concern the most relevant aspects of all presented Antiviruses.
Intego Advantages for Mac
Intego Antivirus was designed for Mac. It is a licensed and certified application that has a well-designed interface. After installation, Intego offers a guide that introduces all essential features and helps to manage settings. Mac Internet Security X9 consists of VirusBarrier X9 that serves as Antivirus and NetBarrier X9, network protection with firewall and anti-phishing features.
VirusBarrier offers standard tools for protection: scanning, quarantine, and malware removal. VirusBarrier scans archived files, emails, and popular email clients and automatically manages what to do with malware. Interestingly, VirusBarrier can send notifications by email, when malware is found (next step in the notification process, although sometimes no one is checking emails for such notifications). NetBarrier has a built-in firewall, identifies rogue applications, and changes profiles when switching networks.
Overall, many tests show that Intego can manage most common macOS malware and threats. On the other hand, tests show that Intego is unable to detect Windows threats, which leaves the device exposed.
- User-friendly interface and guidance
- Qualitative features
- High level of protection (for macOS threats)
Intego Disadvantages for Mac
AV-Tests show that Intego has a high impact on copying files process, both local and in a network (26% out of industry average 5%). Scanning themselves are quick and show good score. On the other hand, a full scan takes a lot of time. Also, the free trial does not provide enough coverage and functionality.
The latest package for Antivirus is presented at official website as Mac Internet Security X9 and VirusBarrier X9 for advanced protection. It includes only basic Antivirus and firewall features. It will cost you $19,99 for one device, $54,99 for three devices, and $69,99 for five devices. If you want to get the best set of features, you have to buy a Mac Premium Bundle X9, which will cost you $69,99 for one device per year, $94,99 for three devices, and $199,99 for five devices.
While other Antiviruses try to merge different essential features in one package, Intego separated them. We consider it a smart move from one hand. Of course, a separate package is working on one specific area sounds reasonable. On the other hand, it is not working in the interest of customers.
- Costly as for Antivirus; package options are somewhat confusing
- Limited functionality of free trial
- High impact on system performance
TotalAV Advantages for Mac
TotalAV interface is pleasing in terms of design and user-friendliness. Scanning and fixing of problems are achieved within one button click. Everything you need and all incorporated features are easy to find on the home page. The sidebar gives access to detailed statistics in four key areas: Antivirus, Performance diagnostics, Cleaning, and Web Security.
At the same time, the free version and essential pack come with a variety of features needed for adequate PC and Mac security. TotalAV gives you real-time protection, malware, adware, phishing, spyware, and ransomware protection. It enables browser plug-ins and built-in firewall. It lacks parental control and identity security.
TotalAV Antivirus provides a decent level of protection. Surprisingly, TotalAV testings are absent on the large platforms of independent testing. The additional search and our tests show that it manages to defend the system from most common threats. If Antivirus manages to do its primary job, then it may be fine. Scanning did not affect system performance, which is also a plus.
- User-friendly interface
- Decent malware protection
- High variety of essential features
TotalAV Disadvantages for Mac
TotalAV has free and paid versions for Mac. The free version has features of cleaning (Boost Memory), Antivirus, Performance Manager, Internet Privacy and Protection, built-in Firewall, and other functions integrated into the package. However, the free plan is a trial version, that will eventually ask for a paid subscription. Of course, we recommend the licensed version since they secure you with other benefits of having official packages.
At the moment, the website provides significant discounts. Essential Antivirus, for one device, will cost about $19.95 per year, but the regular price is approximately $99.95. Such price planing is visibly higher than those offered by other Antivirus software. The basic paid package still lacks some essential features.
We have to note that the lack of any third-party testing is not great. Admittedly, sometimes tests can serve as a devil’s advocate. It is impossible to form an informed decision based on user experience or even professional opinion. We hope that next time, TotalAV will have respectable feedback.
- Unappealing pricing policy
- Lack of third-party testing
Norton Advantages for Mac
User Interface is light, modern, and has all the necessary information and updates at the home page. It does not have standard side toolbar, but rather the one set in the lower part of the interface. You can investigate advanced settings when clicking more. Also, you can learn how the program impacts system performance.
Norton Security package comes for PC, Mac, and other platforms. There are no trial versions, but you can try out subscribing for monthly plans, which will cost you less than $10. For $5.99 per month for once device you will get Antivirus, malware, anti-spyware, and ransomware protection in Norton Antivirus Plus suite. At the same time, you will have a smart firewall, cloud backup (2GB storage), online security, and guaranteed money back if Antivirus didn’t manage to remove or identify the virus.
Norton Security latest testing shows that it manages to provide 100% protection of most common malware. In comparison, Norton Security performed less effectively with Windows malware. Windows viruses detection on Mac was way too low, but it doesn’t affect the overall protection score. Norton Security has 0 instances of false alarms. in terms of Internet security, it decently works with Chrome and Safari browsers.
- Adequate paid packages options
- User-friendly interface
- High protection rate
Norton Disadvantages for Mac
Norton Security does not show scanning progress, but the files scanned. Therefore, you can only wonder how much it will take to finish it. This is a small nuance because overall, the performance and scan time wasn’t that bad. Scan time can be measured as mediocre on older devices.
AV-Test shows that Norton has the lowest impact on system performance. Norton impact was measured as 5% in the launch of standard applications, 2% on installation of frequently-used programs, and 1% on copying of files with 20%, 12%, and 10% of industry averages. At the same time, it showed heavier impact on older Mac devices. In general, Norton Security performs better on newer devices.
- Obscure scanning process
- Mixed performance impact results
Avast Advantages for Mac
Avast interface has a classic layout, which is a significant advantage because if you got used to Windows version, you would feel confident using the one for Mac. The installment and setup process is quite easy and comprehensive. You can download the setup file from the official website. Then activate it with confirmation code (sent to the email or within another Avast product) and then follow up steps of activation in Avast.
All recent June tests appraise Avast for 100% malware detection and protection, both on Mac and Windows. Avast doesn’t show any instance of false alarms, which means that software recognizes malware and can identify potentially harmful threats almost perfectly. Avast can scan external drivers and attached devices.
Avast comes in two options, free and paid Premium Security packages. The free version includes scheduled scans, File, Web, and Mail Shield, Home Network Scan features. You can buy Premium package for $59.99 per year for one device, $109.99 per two years, and $159.99 per three years. Premium Security comes with the additional feature of WiFi Inspector and Ransomware Shield.
- Classic Avast interface and easy installment process
- Free Antivirus and tolerable price for Premium Security package
Avast Disadvantages for Mac
We notice the tendency that regardless of Antivirus, it takes a toll on performance. Avast is not an exclusion since AV-Test shows that Avast visibly affects the launch of standard applications and copying of files. At the same time, Avast shows 0% impact on download and installment of frequently-used apps.
Avast Antivirus shows inadequate protection in Safari browser, even though Avast provides excellent phishing protection in Chrome and Firefox. Avast utilizes Cloud protection, which means it is isolated, potentially dangerous programs, files, and other components. There is an issue with Password Manager since Avast does not keep the password in Cloud. It is because in Mac Password Manager is separate on Mac.
- Visible impact on performance
- Poor quality Password Manager
Bitdefender Advantages for Mac
Bitdefender interface is modern, light, and easy to comprehend. The well-designed interface enables you to find all essential settings and features on the Dashboard (main tab). Antivirus allows managing advanced options only for an account with administrator rights, which reinforces the security and does not compromise the protection.
June AV-Comparatives results show that Bitdefender manages to detect, capture, and prevent malware with 100 preciseness. AV-Test also scores 6 out of 6 possible points. The tests regard standard procedures and work with the most common samples. Notably, Bitdefender can stop malware designed for other OS, if one will attempt to attack the system.
Bitdefender pricing is attractive since year subscription costs $29,99 for one device and $34,99 for three devices. The price incorporates $10 and $25 discount for the first purchase, without a discount it will cost $39,99 per year for one device and $59.99 for three devices. Additionally, the price of Premium VPN and Install and Setup packages will consist of $39,99, respectively. Overall, even without discount Bitdefender pricing is affordable.
- Fair pricing and adequate offers
- Great protection and good test results
- Adequate interface
Bitdefender Disadvantages for Mac
Bitdefender impacts system performance. AV-Comparatives tests note that file copying and files download are slightly affected by the software. Bitdefender less impacts PC performance, but in case of Mac, they scored 83, which placed the Antivirus on 11 places among tested programs. Still, it performed slightly better than Avira or Windows Defender for Mac and achieved Advanced award.
Bitdefender scored six false alarms in tests. Bitdefender mistreated some packages as malicious and often regarded them as trojans. On the other hand, this score is not as high as other programs indicated. Overall, it is a small disadvantage.
Some features that you can usually find in Antivirus are missing in Bitdefender. For instance, it enables to set security filter for child’s accounts, but overall, there is no parental control option. It misses personal firewall, spam filters, and password manager. Browser plug has to be set manually, instead of an automatic suggestion.
- Lacks parental control, personal firewall, spam filter and password manager
- Slightly affects performance
- Can mistreat licensed programs with malicious ones
The review shows that the most common disadvantage of antiviruses is their impact on performance, which in some cases is explained by hardware updates. On the other hand, every reviewed product manages to comply with the initial demand for providing high security. We underline Intego Antivirus as a leading title, since it is designed specifically for Mac, and gives a lot of functional features. We also want to note that Intego Antivirus is quite transparent both in their pricing policy and guidance.