It's particularly adept at catching viruses in email attachments, and while it doesn't come with some of the internet safety tools of other suites, it's still an excellent choice for protecting your Mac, and unlike its competitors, it offers a one-off fee, rather than a yearly subscription. ESET Cyber Security for Mac scores highly from independent testing labs, so you can rest assured that your Mac is being well looked after if you have this installed. It's not the quickest software to scan your Mac for viruses, but it digs deep into your system to make sure your machine is completely free from viruses, and it has a pretty competitive price tag as well.
F-Secure SAFE is pitched as an antivirus service for the entire family, protecting all manner of devices, including PCs, smartphones, tablets as well as Macs, and strong parental controls.
AV-Test found F-Secure protected against per cent of zero-day threats during March and April , as well as per cent of all widespread and prevalent malware discovered during the previous four weeks. However as of June , detection rates of MacOS malware are Concerns about the suite slowing down the installation of frequently used applications also persist, as does a relative lack of features.
The debate is the same regardless of whether you have a Mac or a PC. Free antivirus products are effective at protecting against threats but they lack certain premium features. Having multiple systems on a network means cyberattacks have more users and more endpoints to target. Additional management tools that let you set policies can help mitigate this risk.
Macs might be considered safer than PCs, but it still might not be risking it for the sake of saving some money. Avast Free Mac Security goes the extra mile to protect your Mac with an unusually lengthy feature list. The core antivirus engine offers real-time protection to catch threats when they appear, for instance. You can run on-demand full system scans if you suspect a problem, or launch a more targeted check on specific files, folders or drives.
It's even possible to schedule scans to run automatically when you're not around. A Web Shield warns you about malicious websites, blocks dangerous downloads and email attachments, and protects your privacy by eliminating intrusive ad tracking. There's an unusual extra in Avast's wireless network scanner, which quickly checks your network, router and connected devices, alerting you to any vulnerabilities. Mac antivirus software isn't often checked by the independent testing labs, but Avast's most recent results were good, with AV Comparative's test finding the package detected Only Bitdefender and Kaspersky did better, and they were both paid editions.
If you'd like even more, upgrading to Avast Security Pro gets you ransomware protection and instant alerts of Wi-Fi intruders or changes in your network security. While many antivirus companies try to win you over by piling on the features, Avira Antivirus for Mac takes a simpler, more lightweight approach. There's no web filtering, no network scanning or other security extras: That doesn't mean the package is short on power.
Its real-time scanner checks any file the system accesses, picking up threats before they can do any harm. The scheduler enables setting up the app to scan your system automatically, or you're able to check your entire system whenever you like. As a bonus, the app doesn't just protect against Mac threats.
It also uses Avira's Windows experience to pick up any PC-related malware, ensuring you won't share any files that might endanger your friends. The main testing labs haven't evaluated Avira Free Antivirus for a while, but AV Comparatives last report found the Avira engine blocked Although this list is all about free Mac antivirus, Avira deserves a mention for its commercial Avira Antivirus Pro Bitdefender Virus Scanner is a lightweight free malware hunter which can track down and remove both Mac and Windows-related threats.
A simple and straightforward interface makes the app extremely easy to use.
A status display keeps you up-to-date on how your system is doing, and four buttons enable running a quick scan of critical locations, an in-depth check of your entire system, or speedy scans of running applications or a folder of your choice. Although this looks all very basic, use Bitdefender Virus Scanner for Mac for a while and you begin to notice some very neat touches.
The app doesn't force you to wait a day for your next virus signature updates, for instance. Bitdefender issues updates every hour and Virus Scanner always fetches the latest version before it starts a scan. An option to exclude files and folders from the scan - network shares, system backups - is another plus, reducing the work the engine has to do and significantly speeding up your scan times.
What you don't get here is any form of real-time protection or web filtering, essential tools for a complete security solution. This simplicity also reduces the chance of conflicts with other apps, though, suggesting Bitdefender Virus Scanner could be a useful second opinion tool which you run alongside another security app. Mac antivirus software isn't just about detecting the latest most deadly ransomware, or other high-risk threats. Most tools can also strip out adware and other potentially unwanted programs which may not be highly dangerous, but are wasting system resources and slowing your Mac down.
Malwarebytes has been eliminating the full range of Windows threats since , and the Mac edition is just as simple, straightforward and effective. As a consequence, I report results as the difference between the product under testing and the other browsers, rather than as a hard number.
In my Windows testing, I find that hardly any products do better than Norton, and the same proved true on the Mac. Bitdefender was the only product that outscored Norton, with a detection rate 5 percent higher. It also handily beat the three browsers. Here's something interesting, though. I tested protection by Bitdefender's Windows antivirus simultaneously, and it fared even better, beating Norton's detection rate by a full 12 percent. That's the best score ever in this test. You'll also notice in the chart that Symantec Norton Security Deluxe for Mac scored distinctly lower than its Windows counterpart.
If you try to navigate to a fake or dangerous site, Bitdefender's TrafficLight browser extension steers you back to safety. TrafficLight also marks up search results, using green and red icons to identify safe and dangerous links. If you stay away from red-light links, you should be safe. Clicking the red icon opens a page with detailed information about why the link is dangerous.
You get a laundry list of reasons, with relevant icons highlighted. In most cases it's phishing or malware. But other reasons include Facebook scams, sending unsolicited email, and piracy. One warning; at the moment, TrafficLight doesn't work correctly with the specific combination of Google on Safari. It works with Google in other browsers, however, and with other search engines in Safari, however. Ransomware is a growing threat, and ransomware protection is showing up in more and more security products.click
Some add a monitoring layer that looks for behavior that suggests encrypting ransomware. Others, Bitdefender included, balk ransomware activity by limiting access to the folders typically affected by ransomware. A ransomware attack doesn't aim to disable your computer. The perpetrators know you'll need a working computer in order to pay up. Ransomware usually attacks documents, images, and other personal files, working in the background until its dirty deeds are done.
Bitdefender's Safe Files feature defaults to protecting your Desktop, Documents, Downloads, and Pictures folder; you can add any other folders in which you routinely keep important documents. Known and trusted applications can access your files just as they always would, but when an unknown program attempts to create or modify files in a protected folder, Safe Files prevents the change and pops up a warning.
If you recognize the program, if it's something you're actively using, you can add it to the trusted list.
If not, let Bitdefender keep blocking the attack. Under Windows I had no trouble seeing this feature in action. I used a couple of programs guaranteed to be unknown, a simple fake encryptor and a tiny editor that I wrote myself. I don't have anything similar for the Mac in my bag of tricks, but I have no doubt the feature works in just the same way. Savvy Mac users know that Time Machine keeps regular backups, theoretically insulating them against ransomware.
Got your files encrypted? Just restore from backup! But since the Time Machine backup drive is often left connected to the Mac, there's a possibility that backups could be compromised by a ransomware attack. Just as it prevents unauthorized access to your documents, Bitdefender also protects your Time Machine files. Bitdefender has long been a name to conjure with in the world of Windows security software, and Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac carries on that tradition. Two labs certified its protection with their very best scores. In my own hands-on test of antiphishing prowess, it beat all other Mac-based contenders.
And it even protects your files and backups against ransomware. It doesn't have the posse of security bonus features found in its Windows equivalent, but that's not anything to worry about. Bitdefender is an Editors' Choice for Mac antivirus.
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Bottom Line: ProtectWorks AntiVirus for Mac. He was present at the formation of the Association of Shareware Professionals, and served on its board of directors. See Full Bio. This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links.
Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac review: A performance jump makes it far more reliable | Macworld
Intego Mac Internet Security X9. Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac. Sophos Home Free for Mac. Symantec Norton Security Deluxe for Mac. Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac. Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus for Mac. Other Bitdefender Antivirus Software. Bitdefender Home Scanner. Bitdefender Total Security.
Bitdefender Internet Security. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus. Neil J. More From Neil J. Sophos Home Free.