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7 Best Antivirus for Mac Reviews in 2020 | Top Protection For Your Apple PC

7 Top Picks

4 Reviewers

40 Hours of Research

20 Options Considered

There is a common misconception that Macs are incapable of getting infected with malware. This simply isn’t true. Various tests have proved otherwise. It is believed by some sources that Windows is now the safer option of the two, especially if you have comprehensive internet security tools! So. yeah, you need the best antivirus for Mac at all costs.

I was given the task of researching and reviewing the top-performing software for protecting your Mac, and I can’t wait to share the results with you. From my tests, these are your best bet for keeping your Mac safe and secure whether you need antivirus protection for business, network security, or personal use with VPN as a reinforcement. I covered antivirus software for gamers separately due to their unique needs.

3 Top Antivirus for Mac

McAfee logo

Once again, McAfee impresses with a wealth of protective features and services. One of the best additions I like is McAfee’s remote malware removal. If malware happens to slip past McAfee’s protection, they have experts who will remove it remotely.

  • Comprehensive protection
  • Remote malware removal
  • Cross-platform coverage
orange and white Avast logo

In what is quite possibly the best free Mac antivirus, Avast Free Mac Security comes with a solid amount of useful features that are sure to serve you well. It offers just about everything you’d find in the free AVG for Mac, but with much better protection.

  • Super-fast scanning
  • Lab certified
  • Reliable
Avira antivirus logo

Avira is another handy antivirus utility that won’t cost you a dime. It automatically comes installed with the latest malware detection to ensure that you are protected from new and existing threats. More on the best anti malware software in this post.

  • Speedy virus scanning

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Excellent detection

Antivirus for Mac - Which Software to Go For

The need for Mac security is at an all-time high. While it’s true that newer versions of macOS have increased internet security in many ways, all of our tests show that it’s still vulnerable to threats and attacks.

And perhaps a large part of the need for Mac antivirus is due to so many users maintaining a false sense of security. You don’t want to be caught with your guard down, no matter how steadfast you are in your belief that your Mac is invincible.

I have been the unfortunate victim of malware on my Mac – even while running the latest Catalina OS. Anyone familiar with this platform knows that it features some of the best antivirus for Mac seen to date.

Its internet security has been thoroughly upgraded, offering amazing protection in its own right. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be beaten by crafty malware, because it happens on a regular basis.

And hey, I get it. Apple products aren’t exactly known for being affordable. You figure with the small mint that you dropped on your Mac that you shouldn’t have to pay for additional security.

Fortunately, some of the best free antivirus for Mac provides incredible protection without the added expense. If you prefer to go the free route in protecting your Mac, I’ve included a couple that is sure to impress you.

If you can reason paying for antivirus software for Mac, you will find that the ones I reviewed here are reasonably priced. Most of them are on par with anything you would find for Windows.

But before we explore the best options for protecting your Mac, let’s first discuss what you should be looking for in the best antivirus software for Mac. With the proper insight, you will be sure to end up with an antivirus that fulfills your needs.

Best Antivirus for Mac Reviews 

McAfee logo

Features: 

  • Easy firewall protection keeps unwanted sources from accessing your connection
  • Cross-platform protection on a single license makes McAfee AntiVirus Plus a win
  • Virus Protection Pledge ensures malware removal in extreme cases of infection
  • No-limit VPN ensures complete anonymity while you browse the internet
  • Easy-to-use interface for effortless antivirus management

Once again, McAfee impresses with a wealth of protective features and services. One of the best additions I like is McAfee’s remote malware removal. If malware happens to slip past McAfee’s protection, they have experts who will remove it remotely.

This feature, known as the Virus Protection Pledge, is worth just shy of $100 by itself. So it makes sense to invest in AntiVirus Plus for Mac. 

McAfee AntiVirus Plus (for Mac) Technical Specifications: 

Protection type

Security suite

Remote malware removal

Yes

Parental controls

No

Phishing protection

Yes

Firewall protection

Yes

Cross-platform

Yes (Windows/iOS/Android)

I also like that the license for AntiVirus Plus works on other platforms, as well. So you can use it on Windows or Android, too.

As with past iterations of McAfee software, you’re getting a very slick user interface that makes navigation and antivirus management easy and straightforward. I would have liked it if McAfee included the Windows-specific PC Performance portion, but it isn’t completely necessary.

It’s important to note that McAfee has fallen off of lab-tested lists in recent years. But it still performed really well during the time I spent with it. AntiVirus Plus does a fine job of detecting malware and eliminating it accordingly.

Scanning with AntiVirus Plus takes about an hour to complete. This is pretty lengthy compared to other antivirus suites. But by the same token, it is deep and precise in its findings.

Anti-phishing protection on AntiVirus Plus is most excellent. If you’re concerned with being tricked into handing over your banking credentials, McAfee is a solid choice for protecting yourself from such threats.

You’re also getting effective firewall protection that ensures outside sources aren’t accessing your internet connection. In this day and age, it’s a much-needed feature, and AntiVirus Plus delivers it well.

If you ever come across suspicious websites, you could be at risk for phishing attempts and other attacks. McAfee does a fantastic job of subverting your clicks to fraudulent URLs.

I like that McAfee’s browser features different colors that let you know the status of webpages. It’s easy to get used to the changing colors so that you can quickly avoid sites that might be harmful to your health.

You can even change the settings to make the browser more aggressive in its behavior. If you want to make it to where you can’t even access suspicious pages, McAfee lets you make it so.

Although you won’t find direct parental controls, there are enough settings that you can tweak that come pretty close to it. 

For everything you’re getting, AntiVirus Plus is a heck of a bargain. The fact that a single license covers ALL of your devices, regardless of the operating system, is huge. 

Pros

  • Comprehensive protection
  • Remote malware removal
  • Cross-platform coverage
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Missing some Windows-specific features

Features: 

  • Excellent malware prevention keeps your Mac safe from online threats
  • Protect up to 10 devices at a great price with Avast’s Premium option
  • Fast scanning looks for threats in mere minutes without the long wait
  • Lab certified ensures you are investing in a proven antivirus 
  • Deep scanning ensures that more malware is discovered

orange and white Avast logo

In what is quite possibly the best free Mac antivirus, Avast Free Mac Security comes with a solid amount of useful features that are sure to serve you well. It offers just about everything you’d find in the free AVG for Mac, but with much better protection.

The fight against malware is particularly notable, with deep scanning that is both fast and effective. If you’re like many, you believed the press that Apple consistently touted, claiming that Macs are incapable of getting malware.

Avast Free Mac Security Specifications: 

Protection type

Security suite

Fast scan

Yes

Lab certified

Yes

Web protection

Yes

Active do not track

Yes

Phishing protection

Yes

Of course, this proved to be flat-out wrong. As such, the need for Mac-related virus protection has risen in recent times, since more of these threats are popping up all the time.

Avast for Mac does a fine job of removing malware, free as it may be. And that is perhaps what makes this antivirus so impressive. 

There is an option for a Premium edition of Avast Mac Security if you’re interested in adding protection against ransomware. 

You’re also getting real-time firewall protection that lets you know when an outside source has piggybacked off of your network connection.

If you’re just looking to protect your home Mac, the free version should prove sufficient. But if you’re a small business owner, I recommend investing in the premium edition, as it gives you top-notch protection.

The fact that Avast Free Mac Security is currently lab-certified is a big deal. You can trust that you are getting an effective antivirus to keep your Mac protected from potential threats.

Pros

  • Super-fast scanning
  • Lab certified
  • Reliable
  • It’s free

Cons

  • Missing some useful features found on Windows edition
Avira antivirus logo

Features: 

  • Fast scanning allows you to get back to your Mac use without the long wait
  • High lab scores ensure you’re getting an effective and reliable antivirus
  • Impressive malware protection that keeps your Mac safe from attacks
  • Phishing protection keeps your web browsing safe and secure
  • No cost ensures that you can protect on the cheap

Avira is another handy antivirus utility that won’t cost you a dime. It automatically comes installed with the latest malware detection to ensure that you are protected from new and existing threats.

Better still, Avira Free Antivirus scored really well in independent lab tests. This is a big plus, too, as it lets you know that you are getting a tried-and-true antivirus that should serve you and Mac well.

Avira Free Antivirus for Mac Technical Specifications: 

Protection type

Free antivirus

Malware protection

Yes

Fast scan

Yes

Firewall protection

Yes

Browser safety

Yes (third party)

Phishing protection

Via extension

The user interface that comes with Avira Free Antivirus is simplistic yet effective. There are no convoluted menus to worry about; just straightforward Mac management that works really well. 

I could see this program being a big hit among beginners who are new to antivirus protection. It’s a cinch to schedule scans and change desired settings. And speaking of scans, boy, are they speedy.

In the scans I ran, it took anywhere between 4 and 30 minutes to complete. Quick scans are obviously faster, but the time it takes full scans s nothing to balk at, either.

I would have liked it there was phishing protection for Safari, but there’s no option for this. You can download an extension that works on Firefox or Chrome, though.

Pros

  • Speedy virus scanning
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Excellent detection
  • Free

Cons

  • Requires High Sierra 10.13 or later

Features: 

  • Excellent malware detection keeps your Mac safe from potential threats
  • Autopilot mode handles your protection for an easier user experience
  • Easy-to-use interface makes Bitdefender a nice choice for beginners
  • Fast scanning ensures less time spent waiting for results
  • VPN lets you browse the net in anonymity

bitdefender antivirus

If you’re looking for a hassle-free security suite that covers all the basics and then some, Bitdefender Virus Scanner will serve you well. Or, if you’re looking for a comprehensive antivirus for your Mac, Bitdefender will blow you away. 

Either way, you can trust that you’re getting some of the best protection that’s available for the Mac. I really appreciate how well everything runs. Thanks to a clever and handy Autopilot mode, you can sit back and surf in peace while Bitdefender takes care of the rest.

Bitdefender Virus Scanner for Mac Technical Specifications: 

Protection type

Security suite

Ransomware protection

Yes

Phishing protection

Yes

Online tracker blocking

Yes

Malicious URL blocking

Yes

VPN

Yes

It’s an ideal feature for folks who are just getting into antivirus protection and want something that isn’t so hands-on. And yet there are a plethora of protective features to keep your Mac running like a top and safe from threats.

I am a bit disappointed that Bitdefender didn’t include all of the sweet bonus features found in the Windows version, but there’s still a lot here nonetheless.

For those who like to connect to the ‘net incognito, a Virtual Private Network is yours for the taking. Ransomware protection is also quite impressive, ensuring that you and your Mac are safe from such attacks.

I like that Bitdefender has options for scanning levels, ranging from quick to custom. Managing your security is made easy thanks to a simple yet effective graphical user interface. It isn’t unlike most other antivirus programs, and I applaud Bitdefender for not deviating too far from the norm. If it ain’t broke…

The price for this suite is pretty reasonable when you compare it with other similar products. You get a good bargain if you buy more licenses, you small business owners will want to take notice. 

It’s a shame that there aren’t parental controls, although you can find plenty of features and settings to make up for this minor setback.

It’s also nice to see that as long as you’re running Yosemite (10.10) or newer, you should have no trouble running Bitdefender. 

Perhaps most promising of all, Bitdefender has two of the best ratings from independent lab tests. 

Pros

  • Robust protection
  • Quick scanning
  • Well-priced
  • Reliable

Cons

  • Lacks bonus features
Malwarebytes antivirus logo

Features: 

  • Real-time protection means Malwarebytes is always working to keep you safe
  • Incredible malware protection finds threats that other antiviruses can’t
  • Free version lets you see any threats so you can act accordingly
  • Flexible plan options to ensure all of your devices are protected
  • Speedy scan ensures less downtime with faster results

If you get tired of waiting around for virus scanning to complete, Malwarebytes for Mac may just be the perfect fit for you. 

It has really solid malware detection and is known for being a reliable antivirus. In fact, Malwarebytes is the top choice for many Windows users. With that said, the Mac version doesn’t detect known Windows malware.

Malwarebytes for Mac Technical Specifications: 

Protection type

Standalone malware protection

Fast scanning

Yes

Malware protection

Yes

Real-time protection

Yes

Free version available

Yes

OS requirement

Yosemite (10.10) +

This is only really an issue if you are connected to a network of cross-platform systems. Macs can’t directly suffer harm from Windows malware. But if you’re in a position where your Mac could come in contact with a Windows PC, you could potentially be a “carrier” of malware.

Aside from that, the Mac version of Malwarebytes has a really enticing pricing structure. You can choose between either one, three, or five devices to protect. And if you’re a business owner, there are options to protect up to 10 devices.

The user interface of Malwarebytes is your standard fare, which is to say, really easy to navigate and manage your security. One potential snag for users, however, is that you must be running Yosemite (10.10) or later. 

If you’re still using an older OS, you’ll have to either upgrade or opt for a different antivirus altogether. The bottom line, though, is that Malwarebytes is a must-have if you need to take care of some serious malware.

You won’t find ransomware protection or phishing protection, so if those are concerns of yours, you’re better off investing in a security suite. Malwarebytes strictly handles malware, and it does a dang fine job of it. 

If you’re upgraded to the latest macOS, you should have pretty solid antivirus protection by default. Malwarebytes will make a great companion in this instance. Its real-time protection is a boon for aggressive malware and will serve you well in your fight against internet infections.

Pros

  • Deep detection
  • Easy to use
  • Free trial

Cons

  • Limited features

Features: 

  • Low cost ensures more people can protect themselves without breaking the bank
  • Lots of protection to ensure that you and your family are safe from online attacks
  • Webcam and mic protection give you peace of mind that your kids are safe
  • Parental controls might be simplistic, but they take care of business
  • Protect up to 10 computers with Sophos’ flexible plan options

Sophos logo

Parents, rejoice. Sophos delivers a robust internet security suite that makes protecting your children easy and straightforward. If you often worry about some creep spying on your kids (or you), this is the antivirus you want to get.

I like that you get features and utilities not always found in security suites. Sophos includes a lot of protective and preventive functions that ensure you and your family are safe online.

Sophos Home for Mac Technical Specifications: 

Protection type

Security suite

Ransomware protection

Yes

Webcam protection

Yes

Parental controls

Yes

Remote management

Yes

Phishing protection

Yes

You get solid ransomware protection that prevents potential attacks from siphoning your hard-earned money. Phishing protection is equally impressive, although not as good as what you find on McAfee AntiVirus Plus.

You’ll be pleased to know that Sophos includes parental controls that are simplistic but effective. You should have no problem managing your children’s internet use through Sophos. 

You can choose to either block websites outright or display a warning depending on how much you trust your child. I found trashy website detection to be better on the Windows version, however.

When it comes to protecting your children from cyber-pervs, you have to take things up a notch or two in some cases. This is where Sophos gets my personal seal of approval. It lets you know when an outside source has accessed a device’s webcam.

If this happens, you get the option to either allow the webcam to remain active, or to shut it down. I wish I could say that was all you had to worry about as a parent, but there’s more.

Another spying trick that weirdos like to exploit is listening in on your kids’ computer microphone. They figure if they can’t see them, they will listen to them. Fortunately, Sophos has you covered there, too. 

As sad as it is that we have to think about such things, Sophos gets extra points for including microphone protection, as well.

If you have a large family or small business that you need to protect, Sophos has plans that include 10 Macs or PCs. These plans are also really well-priced, so you should definitely have a look to see if Sophos is within your budget.

Pros

  • Great for families
  • Affordable
  • Robust

Cons

  • Missing some features found on the Windows version
Trend Micro Logo

Features: 

  • Impressive malware detection ensures a safer user experience
  • Protective features that ensure the safety of your children
  • Lab-certified means you’re getting protection that works
  • Reasonable price makes it affordable to try out
  • Fast scanning means less wait-time

Trend Micro’s Antivirus for Mac is another security suite that parents will appreciate. It comes with a host of protection that works to keep your family safe and secure. 

I’m quite fond of the user-friendly parental controls. They are a nice bonus that ensures you will be able to manage your children’s screen time without headaches or hassles. 

Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac Technical Specifications: 

Protection type

Security suite

Parental controls

Yes

Phishing protection

Yes

Ransomware protection

Yes

Microphone protection

Yes

Webcam protection

Yes

There’s even webcam and microphone protection for those who are concerned with the idea of someone snooping on your family. 

If you have ever had a run-in with a malicious website, you will be pleased to know that the phishing protection is some of the best I’ve seen. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

Independent lab tests show Trend Micro’s Antivirus for Mac to be some of the best protection around. It handles malware like a champ, too, so you can trust that you’re investing in a winner.

Scanning is particularly fast, too, with a quick scan taking just a couple of minutes to complete. 

Price-wise, there’s only one option: a single license. If you want more, you’re out of luck. Unless you switch over to Trend Micro’s Internet Security or Maximum Security. 

But the price for Antivirus for Mac isn’t unreasonable, leaving you with a solid contender that’s certainly worth a look.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Effective
  • Reliable

Cons

  • No direct multi-license plan

What to Look for in Antivirus Software

Lab certification (more on that in a moment) is a big deal. It tells you that you are investing in a product that scored well in virus protection. 

And depending on your needs, you might want to go for a program that includes specific bonus features. If you’re keen on improved firewall capabilities or VPNs, for example, you will need to research each antivirus to make sure that it comes with the features you need.

If firewall security is what you’re after, I have included antivirus software that bundles that in for your convenience. 

Parents are always on the lookout for ways to improve internet security for their children, and rightfully so. We live in an age where it’s nearly impossible to block all trash from coming into contact with our kids. 

With parental controls, it’s easier than ever to get a lock on what your children are viewing online. And while many popular cross-platform security suites include this component, many of them have limited Mac support.

That’s why I included anti virus for Mac that comes with robust parental controls for keeping your kids safe. With the right program, you can prevent your kids from accessing specific websites and limit their time on the internet. 

You also need to be mindful of spyware, as it can lead to a whole host of invasive problems, from logging your keystrokes to snooping on you through your own webcam. We covered reliable anti spyware here.

Ransomware is equally problematic, although in a completely different way. If you’re hit with one of these attacks, you stand to lose a great deal of money and resources. 

To ensure that you are investing in the best Mac antivirus for your needs, I have notated what features are included with each review in their accompanying specifications box. This will make it easier to pinpoint key additions for protecting yourself.

How We Tested

Making sure that the best antivirus for Mac lives up to its expectations is a big deal. We first have to acquire live malware that is commonly found in infected Macs. Once sufficient infections are found, we use them in a system that is quarantined from all other connections.

One by one, each antivirus is tested against the infections. We then log the success rates of each program and rank them accordingly. 

Lastly, we factor in the results from independent lab tests with our own. The end results are what you see in the reviews below. It’s important to note that not all antivirus may have high lab scores.

While it’s true that some antivirus programs perform better than others or focus on different areas, it is our belief that you will get the best mileage out of the ones we included. 

As always, our goal is to ensure that you end up investing in the best antivirus software for your Mac.

Malware Protection Lab Certifications

Like anything important that you buy, you are likely to do a great deal of research prior to investing in it. This is especially true when looking for a car, appliance, computer, smartphone, and so on. 

But as you know, user reviews aren’t always reliable. You need independent testing to ensure that what you are purchasing is worthy of your time and money. It’s why so many people subscribe to Consumer Reports. 

They know that what they are reading is their best bet for getting the straight story on any given product. Well, think of virus lab certifications as the Consumer Reports of the antivirus community.

If you buy a lab-certified antivirus program, you can be sure that you are investing in the best malware removal for Mac. But that’s not to say that an antivirus without lab certification isn’t worth a look, either.

There are plenty of antiviruses that don’t have this distinction, yet they still perform well enough to ensure the safety of your Mac.

Hands-On Phishing Protection Testing

Ah yes, phishing. The one antivirus test that doesn’t focus on any single operating system. This is because any OS can be at the center of a phishing scam. 

To those unaware, phishing scams often work by imitating a legitimate website in an attempt to obtain your login credentials. It could be anything from Facebook to your online bank account.

If you have a good virus scan for Mac, these phishing scams are usually defeated quite easily. You will either be blocked from accessing a malicious website or you will be alerted when something smells funny.

To ensure that our testing parameters are up to snuff, we make sure to look for potential threats that aren’t specific to any one platform. This gives us a wider search base to find these types of scams.

If this is something that you are particularly concerned about, you will need to make sure that you are investing in an antivirus that included phishing protection. It’s not something that all software features, so be on the lookout.

Ransomware Protection

We know that Windows users are more vulnerable to ransomware attacks. But that’s not to say that Mac users are in the clear, either. 

We found that some antivirus programs handled these threats better than others. In fact, a few of them include additional components that focus on ransomware.

Trend Micro’s Antivirus for Mac and Bitdefender Mac both work really well in preventing ransomware attacks. You can look forward to getting protection against unauthorized access to certain files.

The multilayered ransomware protection is a must-have if you’re interested in keeping your protected documents safe and out of the hands of cyber-thieves. 

Spyware Protection

As I touched on earlier, spyware has the ability to access your webcam to watch your activity first-hand. It’s why Mark Zuckerberg himself keeps his webcam taped over. This is a real threat that you have to be aware of.

If you have children, you need to be especially cautious of said attacks on your privacy. There are some real weirdos out there who would love nothing more than to spy on your kids.

But with the right protection in place, you can effectively fight against such violations. It’s a shame that’s what this world has come to – watching your family through tiny cameras embedded in your computer – but it’s where we are in society at present.

As such, you need to arm yourself with the right defenses. In our tests, Sophos Home offered the best protection against these kinds of threats. It lets you know if an outside source has accessed your webcam or microphone (yes, they try to listen in, too). 

From there, you can block the use of these utilities to ensure that you aren’t being spied on. Whether you have children or not, this feature might be something you want to look into.

Privacy Concerns

Unfortunately, new threats are popping up all the time. Staying on top of them can be a full-time job if you aren’t adequately protected. That’s why your Mac virus scan needs to be capable of sniffing out these new threats for you.

When you buy a top-rated antivirus, you’re investing in a lot more than just virus protection. You are arming yourself with a product that keeps you one step ahead of the bad guys.

Your personal data is always going to be at risk. And if you own a small business, your customer’s data is at risk, too. It is therefore imperative that you do all that you can to keep yourself safe. 

These cyber-punks will do all that they can to score a free payday. Research each antivirus to ensure that your private information remains safe, secure, and out of the hands of these would-be criminals.