Top trusted antivirus for macOS

According to the newest report by Malwarebytes, Mac malware dropped by 38% in 2020. Such great news for every Mac user out there, right? Yes, but let’s be a little more realistic. Cyber attacks and malware spread haven't stopped, so this number can change any minute.

Macs, for a fact, are UNIX-based, meaning they’re highly secure. Plus, Apple’s extra built-in security features (like FileVault, Firmware Password, ID Two-Factor Authentication, and more) do a great job guarding Mac devices. That’s why users perceive macOS as one of the safest operating systems. But that is also why its growing popularity makes it an attractive target.

My point is there is no 100% guarantee that your Mac is secure and protected from all fronts. And here’s why I suggest you boost your Mac security with additional antivirus software.

So this year, take full advantage of legit antiviruses for Mac. I’ve handpicked the market’s top 5 paid antivirus applications and software. And not only those but also some free options to choose from. Okay, now here’s top-notch paid antiviruses for Mac:

Name

Features

Info

1

CleanMyMac X

One-button in-depth system scan, extensive safety database, Mac-specific threats detention & removal, additional Mac optimization with Clean-up and Speed modules

Link

2

Bitdefender

Multi-layer ransomware protection, real-time data protection, vulnerability assessment

Link

3

Norton

Smart firewall, cloud backup, and password manager included, secure VPN and dark web monitoring

Link

4

Intego

On-demand malware scan, macOS protections, privacy tools, and system optimization functions

Link

5

Kaspersky

Data protection, backup, and encryption, password manager, network monitoring

Link

Best antivirus for Mac

The best approach to choosing antivirus software — research until you’ve found the one that works for you. It doesn’t matter with free software where you have nothing to lose. But when hard-earned cash is involved, you need to be sure you’ve paid for the software or app that will get the job done.

When it comes to reliable information, there’s no better place to get it from than independent labs — researchers whose job is to test antiviruses for Mac that market offers. For instance, AV-TEST is an independent IT security institute that regularly tests and analyses macOS antivirus software. Or any IT lab of your choice.

The catch here is to remember that legit antiviruses for Mac are few. After some research, you’ll notice that almost every ranking on the web has the same name. So I’ve created my own shortlist of top virus protection options you can choose from and buy today.

1. CleanMyMac X

Cost for Mac: Free download with limited free scans, then $39.95/year

CleanMyMac X is a utility app with dedicated Malware Removal and Privacy modules. Not only does it help you to get rid of system threats, but also it scans your system for malware in real-time and offers immediate removal. It’s as simple and effective as malware protection gets.

In addition to that feature, the tool also has a vast range of options for ridding your system of junk files and keeping Mac performance at the top of its game. The ability to clean up old apps and files in a few clicks perfectly complements malware removal.

adware found with malware removal module of CleanMyMacX

Pros:

  • Excellent malware scanning
  • Real-time anti-malware monitor
  • Good Uninstaller to remove "undeletable" apps
  • Removes lots of recent threats, including adware, spyware, and viruses

Cons:

  • It has a limited number of free Malware scans

2. Bitdefender

Cost for Mac: $19.99/year

Every ranking has Bitdefender as one of the best antiviruses for many years in a row. The multi-layer ransomware protection and adware removal are standout features of this award-winning cybersecurity leader.

Bitdefender app

Pros:

  • Excellent Mac integration
  • Capable of scanning Windows malware

Cons:

  • Antiviruses designed for Mac might have a broader range of specialized features

3. Norton

Cost for Mac: $34.99/year

Norton antivirus comes with a reputation for outstanding performance, and that’s what you get. Its malware detection engine is great, and you can use it across multiple Mac, iOS, Windows, or Android devices.

Norton app

Pros:

  • Works across a range of devices
  • Excellent malware detection
  • Smart Firewall protection

Cons:

  • Not the cheapest option
  • Can affect system performance

4. Intego

Cost for Mac: $24.99/year

Intego is a household name in Mac protection and does the job of keeping your computer free of malware in a no-fuss kind of way.

Intego app

Pros:

  • Firewall protection
  • Accurate scanning and detection
  • Real-time scanning
  • Live chat support

Cons:

  • Complicated pricing system
  • No mobile applications
  • Simple Windows app

5. Kaspersky

Cost for Mac: $39.99-49.99/year

Kaspersky offers an outstanding range of features, including encrypted browser, malicious URL blocking, comprehensive virus scans, webcam protection, and more. But the downside is it covers a maximum of 3 devices and can be a bit pricey. Some also dislike the Mac app interface, maybe because it looks similar to the Windows 10 antivirus version.

Kaspersky app

Pros:

  • Good all-around protection
  • Built for compatibility with the latest macOS
  • Nice range of features

Cons:

  • consumes a lot of memory
  • frequent updates to the app
  • missing DLP function
  • pricey

Okay, next up, some free antiviruses to check out…

Best free antivirus for Mac

If you’ve looked at the prices of paid options and balked a little, you’re welcome to test this next bunch of antiviruses since they’re free.

Free software doesn’t get the same fanfare as paid products, mainly because it doesn’t have to push for sales at every given opportunity. But that doesn’t mean it won’t serve you just as well.

Free antiviruses tend to only be available for one device per download. However, if you only have one Mac to protect, that’s all you need.

If you want to keep your device malware-free, these best free antivirus for Mac will do the job.

1. Sophos Home

This cloud-based antivirus comes with critical features like a real-time scanner, web protection, and parental controls. Sophos is a paid tool that comes with a free version. This version is limited in functionality but still offers accurate scanning and features like website filtering and anti-phishing.

Sophos Home app

Pros:

  • Good virus detection
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Limited features

2. Avira

It’s a free antivirus for Mac with excellent malware detection rates. This software has great protection against well-known adware and ransomware, as well as trojans, worms, etc. It also contains all the “gold-standard” tools for antivirus, such as password manager and browser extensions. More advanced features are only available with a paid package.

Avira app

Pros:

  • Hight malware detection rate
  • Cloud technology with a real-time scanner
  • Works for macOS 10.15 (Catalina) and newer versions
  • VPN, password manager, and browser extension

Cons:

  • Free version doesn’t fix all privacy and performance issues

Which antivirus for Mac should I use?

Many users and researchers back the antiviruses I’ve listed here, so you can choose any and be happy with your purchase.

With the paid options, it’s better to base your decision on specific needs you have in terms of privacy and protection. But also it should be compliant with your budget. With the free option, you have the freedom to try each one of them and see which works for you.

I personally use CleanMyMac X. This app protects my Mac from malware while also removing clutter and freeing up much-needed space.

Laptop with CleanMyMac
CleanMyMac X

Your Mac. As good as new.