When macOS Mojave came out, it advanced security in various ways, including tracker blocking in Safari, a password manager, and a tighter rein on AppleScript. MacOS Catalina piled on more security features, with enhanced control over data-access permissions, weak password warnings, a strengthened anti-malware gatekeeper, and more. Big Sur goes further, sealing the operating system in a protected volume that's unreachable by malware. And Monterey adds subtle security enhancements like hiding your IP address in Safari and Mail and easier access to passwords. Still, nothing we've seen suggests that upgrading to Monterey will obviate the need for an antivirus utility.
Kaspersky Standard for Mac is a full macOS security suite, going for a price that just gets you plain antivirus protection from many competitors. Among its many features are a hardened browser for financial transactions and active Do Not Track for online ads. Despite these virtues, we've had to remove it from our list of best Mac antivirus tools.
After consideration, we can no longer recommend that you purchase Kaspersky security products. We've left the reviews in place, with a warning, since they provide useful information. You'll find Kaspersky's features mentioned in several places below, for comparison purposes. But at least for now, we're removing Kaspersky products from our "best of" lists.
When you go to select a new washer, refrigerator, or other appliance, chances are good you research it first. User reviews can be helpful, if you discard the very best and very worst of them. But actual test results published by an independent lab give you more reliable information. Two large labs include macOS antivirus products in their testing, but the slate of products for testing is variable. When we first rounded up Mac antivirus products, we only selected those with at least one certification, but at present, many of them don't appear in either lab's test results.
There's another angle to the variation in Mac antivirus pricing. How about paying nothing at all? Avast One Essential for Mac, AVG AntiVirus for Mac, and Avira Free Antivirus for Mac are totally free for personal use. The best commercial products offer more protection, but if you can't afford the best, at least install a free antivirus.
However, these aren't the only choices. Look over our reviews, pick the product that suits you best, and get your Mac protected. Once you've done that, you should also consider installing a Mac VPN. While an antivirus protects you, your devices, and your data locally, a VPN extends that protection to your online activities, protecting both your security and your privacy.
Macs get attacked by cybercriminals trying to encrypt or steal your personal data. Or they might try to use your system as part of a botnet to attack other computers globally. Our Mac OS antivirus software offers the best Mac virus removal and protects your system. Scan your system at the push of a button and repair folders with just one click. Our Apple virus scan software is free. Download it now for your Mac with macOS 10.13 (Sierra) and later versions! For additional features get our Free Security Suite, including free Antivirus for Mac, free Phantom VPN to secure and anonymize your online surfing, Avira Browser Safety (on Firefox) to block ads and browser trackers. For premium antivirus protection, discover the benefits of our Antivirus Pro for Mac now.
Macs don't have visible anti-malware software built-in, at least not in the same way that Microsoft does with Windows' highly visible Defender software. But Apple began to include rudimentary anti-malware protections in macOS starting with Snow Leopard in 2009. Called "XProtect," this system service downloaded and installed new malware definitions in the background in between major macOS security updates, mostly to protect against the installation of known, in-the-wild malware.
Since then, Apple has added multiple anti-malware features to macOS, though they're not always branded that way. Gatekeeper, app notarization, System Integrity Protection, the Signed System Volume, and access controls for hardware and software are all, one way or another, about proactively protecting system files from being tampered with and making sure that installed apps do what they say they're doing. Another under-the-hood tool, the Malware Removal Tool (MRT), behaved more like a traditional anti-malware scanner, periodically receiving definitions updates from Apple so that it could scan for and remove malware already present on your system.
Howard Oakley at the Eclectic Light Company makes a habit of tracking updates to XProtect and the MRT, and he maintains several utilities that check the versions of your definitions (as well as your installed firmware and other Mac esoterica that Apple regularly updates but rarely mentions). And he says that Apple's anti-malware tools have undergone a dramatic but mostly silent change over the last few months.
"In the last six months macOS malware protection has changed more than it did over the previous seven years," Oakley writes. "It has now gone fully preemptive, as active as many commercial anti-malware products, provided that your Mac is running Catalina or later."
In short, yes, you do need antivirus for your Mac. Mac computers are not immune to viruses, and other malware and Mac-targeted attacks are increasingly prevalent. Following best practices for securing your device and using built-in security features can help, but antivirus software can protect your device even further.
Norton 360 Deluxe: Norton is one of the best-known options on the market. Its 360 Deluxe AV tool comes with a heavy first-year discount and is currently priced at $49.99 (down from $104.99). It can be used on five devices and offers PC cloud backup, parental controls, and VPN coverage.
It is a good idea to scan your Mac for viruses every week. You can use the built-in Apple malware protection system or choose a third-party option. Whichever option you choose, keep your software up to date to ensure the best protection.
Avira also provides one of the best free password managers on the market, with unlimited password storage, biometric logins, and a built-in TOTP (time-based one-time password) authenticator.
Avira is the best 100% free antivirus for Macs. It provides lightweight real-time malware scanning, good anti-phishing protection, an excellent free password manager, and a decent VPN. The malware scanner blocked every malware file in my testing, and the web protections blocked both phishing sites and annoying ads. Upgrading to Avira Prime adds a VPN with no limitations, additional password manager features, and coverage for up to 5 devices.
To really protect your Mac, one of the best things you can do is update to the latest version of macOS and turn on auto-updates for all your apps. The latest versions of the software have all the security fixes that developers know about, so they are a good place to start.
The best way to scan for viruses on a Mac is by using a reputable tool. Look for an antivirus program that is designed specifically for Macs and make sure it has comprehensive protection which includes scanning for viruses and malware, the ability to update regularly, etc. We recommend CleanMyMac X.
"In the last six months, macOS malware protection has changed more than it did over the previous seven years," writes Oakley in a blog post published this week. Malware detection on the Mac is now "fully pre-emptive" and as active as "many commercial anti-malware products."
Ventura Cache Cleaner is an award winning general purpose tool for macOS X. VCC makes system maintenance simple with an easy point and click interface to many macOS X functions. Novice and expert users alike will appreciate the powerful toolset VCC provides. Ventura Cache Cleaner is one of the world's leading maintenance tools with millions of downloads around the globe. Maintenance Ventura Cache Cleaner is a one stop solution for all of your macOS X maintenance needs. Intel or PPC, Tiger or Ventura, VCC has the tools to keep your system running at its best. VCC Documents and the VCC Engine maintain system health by providing full automation of common maintenance chores including virus scanning of internet downloads. The VCC Engine can even repair permissions automatically after software installations. With the VCC Engine, powerful system maintenance and antivirus can be completely transparent or as close as your menu bar. Optimization Ventura Cache Cleaner can improve system performance by tuning internet and file cache settings, implementing ram disks, and cleaning out various cached and stale data. VCC includes tools to help optimize files and memory. VCC can recover wasted disk space by eliminating language localization files and slimming Universal Binaries. Customization Ventura Cache Cleaner lets you control your macOS X experience. Turn off Spotlight or Dashboard, or turn on a Login Items Folder. VCC can tweak many macOS X features to suit your tastes. All without permanently altering or harming your system. Disaster Planning Ventura Cache Cleaner lets you create a bootable Installer USB drive from your Ventura download that will boot and install Ventura on any supported machine. Ventura Cache Cleaner lets you create bootable Emergency Disks that include system repair utilities and VCC's powerful cache cleaning functions. If disaster strikes, the power of Ventura Cache Cleaner is available at the command prompt in Single User Mode. Registered users of VCC can install a portable version on a flash drive or iPod. Ventura Cache Cleaner Portable runs on any supported Mac and is a great tool for testing hard drives, screen pixels, batteries, ram, and more before buying a machine. Antivirus Ventura Cache Cleaner helps protect your system from malware. VCC adds three additional layers of malware protection to Big Sur, and ships with the powerful ClamAV antivirus built in. VCC can scan your downloads on the fly providing industrial strength virus protection from Mac and Windows threats. And even more features... Read the Users Manual 2b1af7f3a8