Top 10 best antivirus for Mac (2022) – 100% Secure

What’s the best antivirus software for Mac? We’ve analyzed all the manufacturers to show you the top 5.

We tested the software in depth. To support our research, we charge a fee via one of the links.

Do we need to buy an antivirus program for our Mac? This is a question we are often asked. The answer is simple: yes, it is. There are two main reasons: The first is the increase in the number of antivirus programs designed specifically for macOS. The second is that the best Mac security programs do more than just protect us from malware.

By including features such as a firewall, parental controls, a password manager, and a virtual private network (VPN), they not only protect our MacBook, but also our privacy, our passwords, and our family. But, a word of warning to buyers: many Mac antivirus programs are watered-down versions of their Windows counterparts, lacking many of the essential security features.

So how do we find the best antivirus for our Mac? That’s what we’re here for: to help. Since 2014, we’ve tested hundreds of the best antivirus for Windows PC, Mac, Android, and ios.

The brands we recommend the most are:

1. Intego

intego

The best antivirus for Mac

Antivirus, firewall, parental controls, optional paid VPN.

  • Malware protection 100%
  • Online privacy 100%

Mac and iOS
✓ Refundable up to 30 days.
VPN: optional

Read our Intego review

2. Norton

norton

Excellent protection

Antivirus, firewall, VPN, password manager.

  • Malware protection 100%
  • Online privacy 100%

✓ Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
✓ Refundable up to 60 days
✓ VPN: Free and Unlimited

Read our Norton review

3. BitDefender

bitdefender

Good protection

Antivirus and VPN.

  • Malware protection 100%
  • Online privacy 72%

✓ Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
✓ Refundable up to 30 days
✓ VPN: 200 MB free per day

Read our BitDefender review

4. Kaspersky

kaspersky

Good protection

Antivirus and VPN.

  • Malware protection 100%
  • Online privacy 70%

✓ Windows, Mac, iOS and Android
✓ Refundable up to 30 days
✓ VPN: 200 MB free per day

Read our review of Kaspersky

5. Airo

airo-av

Good protection

Antivirus.

  • Malware protection 100%
  • Online privacy 56%

Mac
✓ Refundable for up to 30 days
VPN: not included

Read our review of Airo

Intego

Perfect protection and the best parental control

Advantages:

  • Perfect antimalware for Mac: Intego detected and removed all malware samples in testing.
  • Firewall: Intego’s firewall identifies unauthorized devices and prevents them from connecting to your Mac.
  • Parental Controls: Intego is one of the few antivirus programs that offers parental controls for Mac. Its ContentBarrier feature allows us to censor internet content for our children.
  • Best price: Intego offers perfect protection at the lowest price.

Disadvantages:

  • No password manager: Intego doesn’t help us create and store highly secure passwords.

·  No VPN: Without a VPN we can’t encrypt our internet connection or be anonymous online.

If we want to learn more about it, we can read the full review.

Norton

Perfect protection and the best privacy features

Advantages:

  • Perfect anti-malware for Mac: Norton detected and removed 100 percent of malware samples in its tests.
  • Antiphishing: Norton’s anti-phishing technology alerts us when we are about to visit a dangerous website.
  • Password Protection: Norton helps us create and store strong passwords.
  • Intelligent Firewall: Norton’s firewall will prevent any suspicious device from connecting to your Mac. It protects us from eavesdroppers.
  • Free and unlimited VPN: With Norton VPN we can encrypt our internet connection. It gives us absolute anonymity online.

Disadvantages:

  • No parental controls: Unfortunately, Norton’s parental controls are only available to Windows users. Parents may want to consider Intego as an alternative.

If we want to learn more, we can read the full review.

BitDefender full

Perfect protection, but lacking several features

Pros:

  • Perfect anti-malware for Mac: Like the others, BitDefender discovered and deleted all malware samples in the tests.
  • Antiphishing: BitDefender’s anti-phishing tools alert us against websites that try to trick us into revealing sensitive information.
  • Anti-tracking: BitDefender’s anti-tracking browser extension prevents ads from chasing us around the web by blocking tracking cookies.
  • Free VPN up to 200 MB per day: We can encrypt our internet connection with BitDefender’s VPN. This way, we will be anonymous online, without anyone being able to track our activity.

Disadvantages:

  • No password manager: BitDefender’s password manager is only for Windows. So we will have no help to create, store and manage our passwords.
  • No firewall: Since BitDefender doesn’t have a built-in firewall, third-party devices will be able to connect to your Mac at will.
  • VPN limited to 200 MB per day: 200 MB is not enough to make you happy online. And if we want to remove the restriction, we’ll have to pay for it.
  • No parental controls: To access BitDefender’s parental controls, you’ll need to purchase its more expensive Total Security package.

If we want to learn more, we can read the full review.

Kaspersky full

Perfect protection, but certain functions are limited

Advantages:

  • Perfect anti-malware for Mac: Kaspersky removed 100 percent of malware samples in tests.
  • Basic password protection: Kaspersky includes a free (though limited) password manager, helping us create and store secure passwords.
  • Basic firewall: Kaspersky’s firewall isn’t a full version, like Norton’s, but it does monitor your Mac’s ports and is capable of blocking attacks.
  • Free VPN up to 200 MB per day: Kaspersky’s VPN allows us to surf the web anonymously and safe from hackers (but only up to 200 MB per day).
  • Basic Parental Controls: Kaspersky includes a basic version of its Safe Kids feature, allowing us to restrict what our children see online.

Drawbacks:

  • Limited password protection – Kaspersky’s multi-device password manager, as bundled with Total Security, requires an additional subscription.
  • VPN limited to 200 MB per day: 200 MB per day isn’t much in terms of surfing the web. We’ll have to pay extra to access the VPN without restrictions.
  • Limited Parental Controls: To track our children’s location, monitor their social networks, and access other premium features, we’ll have to make an additional payment.

If we want to learn more, we can read the full review.

Airo AV full

Perfect protection, but no additional features

Advantages:

  • Perfect anti-malware for Mac: Airo detected and removed 100 percent of malware samples in its tests.
  • Antiphishing: Airo’s anti-phishing browser extension will alert us before we SEE malicious websites trying to steal our personal data.
  • Light-as-a-feather antivirus: Airo doesn’t have many additional features. However, this allows it to take up very little space and consume few resources.

Disadvantages:

  • No password manager: Airo doesn’t help us create and store highly secure passwords, unlike Norton.
  • No firewall: Without a firewall, Airo can’t keep out third-party devices, which can connect to our Mac without permission.
  • No VPN: With Airo, we won’t be able to encrypt our internet connection to become anonymous online and be safe from hackers.
  • No parental controls: Airo AV does not give us the ability to view and censor what our children do online.

If you want to learn more, you can read the full review.

How we review the best antivirus for Mac?

MacOS is much more secure than Windows and Android. That’s partly because there are fewer malware programs developed specifically for Apple’s operating system. And partly because macOS has several anti-malware features built into its software.

GateKeeper sends a warning signal when a non-digitally signed application is running. XProtect compares files with known malware samples. And the malware removal tool does what its name suggests: remove… malware.

However, security experts generally agree that adding an additional layer of protection on top of Apple’s built-in defenses is a prudent decision, for three reasons:

  • Apple’s security measures work well against malware already identified as such, but are too slow to respond to new and emerging threats.
  • Apple is not exempt from making mistakes. AV-Comparatives, one of the two leading global antivirus testing labs, detected a security flaw in macOS Mojave 10.14.4, and as recently as March 2019.
  • Today’s threats go far beyond malware. On a connected planet, anti-phishing and privacy features are just as important as anti-malware.

So, in our search for the best antivirus program for macOS, we checked three things: Protection, privacy, and speed.

Since all three factors matter, but not in equal proportion, we assigned a coefficient to each:

  • Protection 50%
  • Privacy 30%
  • Speed 20%

Protection

Both AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, the leading antivirus testing labs, conduct large-scale antimalware tests for macOS at least once a year.

Their findings form the basis of our analysis in the Protection category.

In their «malware protection tests,» as they so enlighteningly call them, an antivirus program is installed on a newly updated MacBook, after which the MacBook is exposed to nearly 600malware samples.

These samples range from the very malicious to the virtually harmless, such as the software that often stows away in software packages. The samples also include close «relatives» – malware samples that are similar but slightly modified to avoid detection by XProtect’s blacklist of known malware.

Although a sample pool of six hundred malware units is very small compared to the more than 10,000 samples used for Windows, it is an accurate representation of the macOS malware «ecosystem».

The small number of malware samples is the reason why all five Mac antivirus programs on our list have a 100 percent detection rate. Given the limited malware catalog, any antivirus that does not achieve at least a 99% detection rate is considered a failure.

The testing process itself is very simple. Once the macOS systems have been installed (or reinstalled, as the case may be), and after updating them and equipping them with the latest version of the antivirus, a USB drive with the malware samples is inserted.

From there, there are three points at which the antivirus program can intervene:

  1. The antivirus may detect some or all of the threats once the USB key is inserted.
  2. If available, a scan of the USB key is run, during which the antivirus has another chance to detect the malware samples.
  3. If some of the samples are not detected or are not removed, they are moved to the Mac’s hard drive and executed. This is the last chance for the antivirus to quarantine and remove the threats.

We use the results of the test labs to determine the points attributed to the Protection.

Privacy

The data industry continues to expand. Governments, Internet service providers, all companies that advertise on the web, and technology companies track our every move online.

At a time when even a major antivirus brand has been caught red-handed selling its users’ data (yes, Avast, we’re talking about you), consumers are right to be concerned.

Fortunately, the desire to remain anonymous online has spurred a new wave of innovation. Cybersecurity startups have sprung up everywhere, creating technology solutions to help us protect our privacy.

By far the most important of these are virtual private networks (VPNs). A very simple, yet ingenious solution that allows us to encrypt our internet connection and, in return, become completely anonymous online.

It works as follows: Instead of surfing the web directly, we first establish an encrypted connection to a VPN server. After that, we proceed to surf the web, as we normally would.

Now, anyone who tries to track our online behavior to get to us will be forced to reach that server, which is used by thousands of people. It’s like trying to find out where we live but only getting as far as a crowded train station. Voila, we are anonymous.

At SoftwareLab, we test each cybersecurity company’s VPN and check several factors:

  • How does the VPN connection influence our upload and download speed, as well as our latency (the ping)?
  • How many servers are available, and in which regions?
  • What security features does the VPN incorporate (AES 256-bit encryption, an automatic switch and the OpenVPN protocol are key here)?
  • How much is the VPN worth?
  • Who owns the VPN, does the antivirus company own its own VPN (as Norton does), has it acquired another existing company (as McAfee has), or does it simply market a partner’s VPN service under its own name (as BitDefender, Panda, or BullGuard do)?

The final privacy score depends, to a large extent, on the quality of the VPN. However, it is also influenced by the presence (or absence) of other privacy features, such as webcam and microphone protection and anti-tracking.

Speed

The final factor we consider when selecting the best antivirus for macOS is the impact on operational speed.

Any program that runs continuously in the background requires a certain amount of resources to run. However, this decrease should be imperceptible.

AV-Test dedicates a specific part of its tests to measure the impact of a security tool on the operating speed: the so-called Performance section. We combine the results of their tests with our own experience of working with the antivirus program to determine a verdict in this category.

Sources

Trustpilot / Airo
Trustpilot / Avast
Trustpilot / BitDefender
Trustpilot / BullGuard
Trustpilot / Intego
Trustpilot / Kaspersky
Trustpilot / McAfee
Trustpilot / Norton
Trustpilot / Panda Security
Trustpilot / Total AV

AV-Test / Windows
AV-Test / Mac
AV-Test / Mobile

AV-Comparatives / Test Results