You’ve probably heard people say “Macs don’t need antivirus software”. Well, we’re here to tell you they do. Macs are susceptible to viruses just like PCs are. See the “Do Macs need antivirus” section below to find out more. Before that, check out our list of the Best Mac Antivirus packages and read on further to find out why you need to install security software on your Mac right now.
Quick list: 6 best Mac antivirus packages
In a rush? Below are the six best Mac antivirus packages listed in this article. Scroll down further to find out more about each Mac antivirus.
- Bitdefender for Mac
- ESET for Mac
- eScan for Mac
- Kaspersky for Mac
- Norton for Mac
- Intego Mac Premium Bundle
6 best antivirus for Mac 2017
Best antivirus for Mac: 1. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac
Bitdefender remains the undisputed leader of the pack in terms of Mac security. In AV-Test’s lab Bitdefender detected and protected against literally every piece of malware thrown at it. And it had no recognisable negative impact on performance.
Bitdefender costs from £39 for a one-year licence for a single Mac.
Best antivirus for Mac: 2. ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
ESET is another excellent Mac antivirus, offering exactly the same perfect protection as did Bitdefender in AV-Test’s lab. It also causes very little grief to Mac performance but loses out of Bitdefender on the basis of a tiny amount of system impact.
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac costs from £39 a year for a single Mac.
Best antivirus for Mac: 3. eScan Anti-Virus Security for Mac
Cheaper than both ESET and Bitdefender is ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac. This program offers perfect protection, as do those other Mac antivirus packages. So what is the catch? Sadly, eScan takes quite a hit on your Mac’s performance. Or at least that is what AV-Test’s report suggests.
If you can stand that system impact, ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac costs only £23 for a one-year licence for one Mac.
Best antivirus for Mac: 4. Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac
Kaspersky ‘failed’ to hit a perfect protection score in AV-Test’s lab, picking up a mere 99.17 percent of the net nasties chucked its way. And although it had more of an impact on system performance than either Bitdefender or ESET, this excellent Mac antivirus has nothing like the impact of eScan, according to the AV-Test lab results.
You can pick up a one-year, single-user licence of Kaspersky for Mac for £39.
Best antivirus for Mac: 5. Symantec Norton Security for Mac
Security giant Symantec will likely be unhappy that Norton ranks only fifth in AV-Test’s run-down of the best Mac antivirus programs, but it is a really close-run thing. Norton picked up 99.17 percent of the filth AV-Test threw at it, which is by any stretch a good result. Its system impact was about the same as Kaspersky’s – a little more impact on some elements, less on others. Let’s call it joint fourth.
A two-year, one-device licence of Symantec Norton Security for Mac costs £39.
Best antivirus for Mac: 6. Mac Premium Bundle X9
It is not cheap, and according to some independent tests doesn’t offer the very best security against known or zero-day threats, but the £69.99 Intego offers an unsurpassed feature set.
Antivirus, anti-phishing and anti-spyware are a given, as is firewall network protection even outside your home. You may appreciate the parental controls with website and application blocking, and there are also backup and Mac speed up functions.
Now let’s look at the best Mac security freebies.
Best antivirus for Mac: Do Macs need antivirus?
Simply, yes. Many people will tell you the opposite, of course. And it is true that the threat is much less urgent if you are a Mac user than those Windows-using clowns. But if you have a Mac you care about, and it is connected to the web, you ought to install security software.
Macs are less vulnerable than are Windows PCs and laptops for two reasons. Firstly, there are fewer Macs. All cybercrime is based on plucking low-hanging fruit, so the much larger group of Windows users in the world is a much bigger target. That may change, however, as the Apple user base grows. Lest we forget, Macs are expensive so Apple users are a lucrative target.
Which brings us to the other point: Macs are harder to attack than are Windows PCs. That’s because the Mac OS (previously OS X) is a UNIX operating system, built in the dim-and-distant past on a UNIX derivative. This means that it is sandboxed. Unlike a Windows PC or laptop, if a crook infects a Mac in one area, they can’t get it all. Not easily, anyway.
This makes Macs less attractive to hackers. But that is a long way from making them invulnerable. So if you value your computer and the information on it, get yourself some security software. These are the best.
We base our ranking on the most recent AV-Test group review of Mac antivirus products, as well as price and ease of use. The tests look at efficacy in terms of detecting and destroying known and unknown web threats, and the impact each program has on system performance. We’ve split the best Mac antivirus products into those you pay for and free Mac antivirus. In general, the best free products offer high levels of protection but tend to have a greater negative impact on system performance when compared to their paid brethren.
Windows users should read our piece: Best antivirus for PC | Best antivirus for laptop | Best security software for Windows.