As the Internet has become a playground for many cyber attacks, they are becoming more and more problematic, regardless of the operating system used. While it is true that in the past iMacs and MacBook only rarely “caught” viruses thanks in particular to the many security guarantees guaranteed by the Californian giant (chip that encrypts sensitive data, disk encryption, microphone that cuts off when the screen is closed, etc.), today, macOS is no more immune to viruses, malware, and other malicious software than Windows.
We have also had proof in recent years with severe attacks on Macs such as the MacDefender or Flashback Trojans which have grown to significant proportions in the space of just a few weeks and which have infected hundreds of thousands of Apple brand computers. Other types of nuisance also act by slowing down the performance of the device or by capturing our personal and sensitive information such as banking information, usernames and passwords, etc. Some also push the vice to ransom their victims.
Thus, Apple computers are not impervious to attacks, depending on your use, you may need to opt for an antivirus to avoid trouble. Let’s take a closer look.
What is a virus?
In computer science, a virus is software produced from a series of codes. Unlike other software, its purpose of use is what makes it unfriendly. Its goal is effectively to extend to a maximum of devices in order to be harmful to their users, its propagation can be done through a wide range of media. The Internet is of course the favorite mode of hackers, but a virus can just as easily be contained in your company’s intranet as in a USB key, an external hard drive or even a memory card. Since it’s encrypted, it’s almost impossible to read its code and guess whether it’s malicious or not. Among the viruses, we find:
The classic virus
The most classic of viruses is the one in which a piece of code interferes in another program in order to affect all the programs present in the computer.
The so-called worm virus uses security vulnerabilities in internet networks to infect as many devices as possible and carry out hostile actions such as service offenses, file recovery, etc. It is the one that we find the most in corporate intranets.
Spyware is nothing more or less than a spy that monitors the data on your computer in order to then pass it on to its designer.
The one hidden under this name is a virus considered to be one of the most dangerous in existence. Viciously keeping everything you type on your keyboard, it manages to steal your personal data such as mailbox passwords, bank card numbers, access codes, etc.
Meaning administrator kit, the rootkit is a virus that installs itself within your operating system simply to become its administrator and thus take control of your Mac. Successive bugs and unexpected parameter changes are reliable indications of its presence.
The Trojan horse
Faithful to the legend attributed to it, in computer science the Trojan horse does not transport warriors but a virus. Difficult to detect, it can be hidden in another program intended to be installed on the computer.
Do you need an Antivirus on Mac? (MacBook or other antivirus software)
Among the favorite targets of hackers / hackers, those who need antivirus on Mac are users who download, usually illegally, a lot of movies and series. Whether you go through torrent software (P2P) or through a cloud service, you run the risk of downloading a Trojan horse that will take over your computer in the background and jeopardize your folders as well as your files.
If you are a darknet fan, you are no more protected than moviegoers since you will also be susceptible to downloading malware from black hats.
The older generations being less careful about the dangers of the Internet are likely to end up with viruses by opening a simple unknown attachment.
Either way, as long as you have an internet connection for your Mac, whether you have technical skills or not, an antivirus will protect you more than if you didn’t.
Now let’s talk about the best antiviruses made for Mac.
What is the best Mac antivirus? Our Mac antivirus comparison
As you can see, whatever use you make of your Mac, from the moment you browse the web, you are not immune to reporting a virus, so we recommend that you opt for an antivirus in order to avoid potentially dangerous problems for your machine as for your personal data.
When it comes to the antiviruses that you can use, there is a phenomenal amount of them. Let’s start by eliminating from the game those that are free but which overwhelm you with pop-ups and encourage you to buy their paid version, among other things, those that slow down your Mac or start blocking processes built into MacOS, those that use your personal data and of course, those who do all of this at the same time.
Now let’s get down to business with our Mac antivirus review.
1. Intego Mac Internet Security X9
Number 1 in our comparison, this antivirus is easy to install and use. Hyper fast, it manages to perform a complete scan of your Mac in thirty minutes and identify and block installed viruses. If you want to test its performance, it offers a free trial version here.
2. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac
Simple and quick to install and use, Bitdefender antivirus for Mac offers interesting features such as VPN, an extension on Safari that allows you to block phishing attempts, an anti-ransomware function, etc. Its Bitdefender Central application allows it to provide a complete analysis of your network and secure your online purchases.
3. McAfee for Mac
Well known in the antivirus market, McAfee is one of the most powerful antiviruses. Offering an elegant interface and features such as Web Boost or WebAdvisor, it includes all the useful functions to secure your Mac and your personal data and offers good value for money.
4. Malwarebytes: Mac anti malware
Offering targeted protection against malware, Malwarebytes acts in particular against PUPs (potentially unwanted software) and adware. Easy to use and offering powerful anti-malware capabilities, it is one of the best antiviruses on the market.
5. Norton 360 Standard and Antivirus Plus for Mac
Offering a VPN, cleaning tools and a firewall, among other things, Norton 360 for Mac does its job efficiently and discreetly.
Only negative point, the Mac version does not offer features exclusive to Windows such as parental controls, cloud storage or webcam protection.
6. Avast Mac: our opinion
Although it offers powerful features and strong protection, we do not recommend this antivirus. Avast has indeed found itself at the heart of a vast controversy concerning accusations of significant collection of confidential data: search history, gender, age, identity on social networks, etc. The company admitted the facts and ultimately it was the data of around 100 million users that was collected.
7. Avira Mac
Known not to slow down the Mac, the Avira antivirus runs in the background and automatically updates its database. Available in three paid versions, it is a perfectly effective antivirus.
8. Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac
One of the best-known companies in the antivirus market, Kaspersky has won over millions of customers around the world. A lightweight, easy-to-use, and hassle-free solution, this is an ideal option to protect against identity theft as well as online attacks. Be careful, however, since 2015, the suspicious practice of collecting data by the company has caused much ink to flow.
9.ESET Cyber Security for Mac and NOD32
This Mac antivirus offers its user a wide range of powerful tools. Easy to use, it provides effective protection without frills.
10. Sophos Home Premium for Mac
An effective antivirus program, Sophos provides excellent malware detection rates, remote management, parental controls, web and webcam protection, etc. However, it does not offer Mac optimization, VPN or password manager.
11. Airo Antivirus
Useful if you want an antivirus that is easy to use and doesn’t slow down your Mac, Airo offers good malware protection but sadly doesn’t offer much else.
12. F-Secure Safe for Mac
Strong, fast and efficient antivirus, F-Secure Safe detects and eliminates viruses quickly.
Be careful, however, if your Mac is running a version prior to MacOs 10.13 High Sierra, it will not be compatible.
13. Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac
Easy to use, Trend Micro provides a quick scan of your Mac and effectively protects it from malware and fraudulent emails. Despite its somewhat steep price, it offers its users some serious protection.
The FAQ: how to install, uninstall and use your Mac antivirus?
Among the most asked questions about antivirus on Mac, we bring you some answers here.
How do I know if I have a virus on my Mac?
If your Mac starts behaving strangely (especially after updating Big Sur), that it performs unexpected operations, if your computer is slow, displays advertisements or if you notice the presence of software or applications that you have not installed and an application asks you for your administrator password, your Mac is most likely infected with a virus.
How to install a Mac antivirus?
Each antivirus works differently, select the antivirus you want to use on your machine and refer to the developers’ instructions.
How to scan for virus on Mac?
From the interface of your antivirus, run a quick or complete scan and let yourself be guided.
How to disable your Mac antivirus?
If you wish to temporarily deactivate your antivirus, launch the software and click on “Temporarily deactivate” from the interface.
How to uninstall your Mac antivirus?
To uninstall your antivirus on your Mac, two solutions are available to you. If you downloaded it from the App Store, delete it directly from the Launchpad by clicking on the antivirus icon, once it starts to vibrate, you just have to click on the cross at the top right of the icon and validate.
If you installed it in the classic way by downloading the software file from your internet browser, open Finder> Applications folder> Find your antivirus> Delete the folder or drag it to the trash.
What are the best VPNs for Mac?
Express VPN, NordVPN, and CyberGhost are some of the best VPNs on MacOs. Each one having its own specificities, do not hesitate to opt for the one which will be the most adapted to your needs.
Now you know everything there is to know about Mac antivirus. So where are you going to go to protect your computer?