Our research shows that the best antivirus solution you can choose for Macs is Avast’s Security for Mac.
In testing, Avast has shown itself to be pretty close to a flawless antivirus program, with fantastic threat detection against malware and viruses. It’s simple to use, has clear, user-friendly messaging, and does what you need to keep a Mac safe. Plus, Avast offers competitively priced plans, so you can stay safe without taking a hit to your budget.
Avast isn’t the only antivirus option in the game, which is why we’ve collected a few of the best options to protect your devices.
Best Antivirus for Mac
You might have heard that Macs don’t get viruses. Well, we’re here to tell you that while Macs may not get viruses as often as Windows machines, they can still get infected. However secure your operating system is, you can still get viruses. Above all, you shouldn’t simply eschew protection because you have gone for MacOS over Windows.
Of course, there are a host of other threats on the internet beyond viruses. Nowadays, users should be concerned about ransomware, phishing attacks, and fraud protection. Especially during a pandemic when your devices also act as your connection to your business, keeping your laptop, smartphone, and other devices safe is more important than ever. Fortunately, good antivirus programs offer protection from all of these threats.
Here are the providers that we believe to be the best antivirus software for Mac users:
- Avast Premium Security for Mac
- Bitdefender Premium Security
- Norton 360 Security
- McAfee Total Security
- AVG Ultimate
If your business needs an antivirus solution, it’s definitely worth taking a look at our Best Antivirus for Business guide, as well.
1. Avast Premium Security for Mac
Avast’s Premium Security for Mac is the best all-round offering for Mac on the market. Prices start from $39.99 per year for a single Mac, while pricing for ten devices costs $49.99 per year.
Avast will protect you from viruses, malware, ransomware, and spoofed websites. Plus, you’ll be able to protect your passwords and any smart home devices connected to your home network.
What’s more, at $49.99 per year for ten devices, Avast is relatively cheap compared to its competitors – although any of the programs on our list are cheaper than getting hacked and having your details stolen.
All told, it’s the best all-round solution for everyone looking to protect their Macs, as well as any other devices you might have.
Avast Premium Security for Mac
- Easy to use
- Protects everything on your home network
- Rival providers can offer more features
2. Bitdefender Premium Security
Like Avast’s offering, Bitdefender’s Premium Security will cover ten devices – including Macs – from a range of online threats.
However, Bitdefender’s offering is significantly pricier. In fact, it costs $79.99 – more than twice the price of Avast Premium Security.
So, what do you get in return for that hefty outlay? Again, you get protection from the most common threats online. But with Bitdefender, you also get a built-in VPN, and advanced parental controls to help keep your children safe.
What’s more, Bitdefender is slightly less taxing on your system than Avast. However, most modern Macs won’t encounter too many performance problems.
Bitdefender Premium Security for Mac
- Loads of nice extra features including a VPN
- Won’t drain your performance
- Pretty pricey
- Extra features can add complexity
3. Norton 360 Plus
Norton Life Lock, or simply Norton as it was once known, has been in the antivirus game for years. Its Mac solution, Norton 360 Plus, costs $39.99 per year but only offers protection for one device.
However, you do get a good range of features for that high price. Like all the other providers on this list, you get real-time threat protection from malware and ransomware. Plus, Norton 360 Plus will also protect your private and financial information when you’re online. Like Bitdefender, Norton also gives you a secure VPN.
But there’s more. Norton promises to monitor the dark web to check if any of your personal information has ended up there from a data breach. It also rolls in a password manager, which creates and stores strong passwords for all your accounts – plus it can also store your credit card information and other credentials. You also get a 10GB cloud backup to protect against hard drive failures, stolen devices, or even ransomware attacks – after all, none of your documents can be locked by hackers if they’re all stored in the cloud.
Finally, Norton also has a feature called “SafeCam”, which will notify you if cybercriminals are trying to use your webcam and block them.
While all these features make Norton 360 Plus seem like incredible value for money, in reality, most people probably already have access to the extra features through different providers. Macs and iOS devices can access iCloud to store documents and passwords, for example, and VPNs can be had for cheaper with other providers. Plus, if you are really concerned about people accessing your webcam, you can always put some tape over it.
Norton 360 Standard
- Brings all the cloud-based security features you need into one program
- Only secures one device
- Its likely that users will already have many of the extra features
4. McAfee Total Protection
Another venerable name in the antivirus industry, McAfee offers its Total Protection software for up to ten devices for $39.99.
Again, it offers specific and tailored protection for MacOS-specific viruses and malware, while also chucking in a range of nice extras to round out your online security.
For example, McAfee gives you a customizable firewall to help protect your Mac from any file-based threats. It also keeps track of your details to see if they appear on the dark web, and can store your passwords and other credentials. McAfee Total Protection also gives you a VPN, and can spot spoof sites. You’ll also get a file shredder, which will completely erase files to ensure no traces are left behind – MacOS doesn’t do this by default when you delete a file.
McAfee Total Protection
- Competitive pricing
- Loads of features including a file shredder
- Doesn’t protect your entire network
5. AVG Ultimate
AVG Ultimate will protect up to ten devices, including your Mac, for $4.99 per month. That works out to approximately $60 per year, putting it at the pricier end of the providers on the list.
Again, you get full protection from MacOS threats online, and a range of nice extras. For example, it offers a “Do Not Disturb” mode, which blocks all incoming pop-up and app notifications so you can focus on whatever you’re doing. It can wall off files from ransomware attacks, for example, and protect your webcam from hackers. It also offers a data shredder, like McAfee’s solution.
If we’re honest, AVG’s solution is far from bad, but many of the features – such as the Password Protection, which prevents “blocked apps” from reading, changing, or deleting passwords – simply don’t apply to MacOS devices, given the strict control Apple imposes on its App Store.
Avast offers improved protection, more suited to Macs, for less.
- Wide feature set
- Not all features are useful
Antivirus for Macs: FAQs
Well, they do. Perhaps it’s more pertinent to ask why Macs don’t get as many viruses as Windows PCs.For a start, there are far more Windows computers out there in the world to infect. This makes it a much larger market for potential hackers to target.
MacOS is also built differently to Windows. Macs are built with stronger permissions to prevent unauthorized software from running – this doesn’t mean it’s impossible, just harder for a hacker to code.
And that’s really it! Macs are just a less enticing target for hackers – it’s far more effort on their end to create a virus for a Mac.