Short on time? Here’s the best Mac antivirus in 2020:
- 🥇 Intego: Exclusive macOS antivirus software with 100% detection rates, firewall, Wi-Fi protections, a Mac optimizer, advanced backup tools, and parental controls.
Why is finding an antivirus that will actually work on your Mac so hard?
Because there’s a big problem — most antiviruses are designed for PCs and don’t fully protect Macs.
So this is very important:
- Only use an antivirus that can provide protection against Mac-based malware.
Even if popular antivirus companies have a Mac version of their software, you can almost always assume it’s not optimized for macOS computers and won’t actually keep you safe.
But I’m going to help! In a few minutes, you’ll have your Mac fully protected against the latest cybersecurity threats.
I’ve tested all of the best antivirus programs for Mac to find the most effective ones in 2020.
Here’s what I found out.
Here’s a summary of the best Mac antivirus software for 2020:
- 1.🥇 Intego — #1 antivirus and anti-malware for all macOS systems in 2020.
- 2.🥈 Airo AV — Lightweight and easy-to-use antivirus application.
- 3.🥉 Total AV — Great malware protection, easy-to-use junk cleaning tools.
- 4. Norton — High-quality malware protection, internet security features.
- 5. McAfee — Reliable malware scanner.
How to Find the Best Antivirus Software for Your Mac
Most antivirus brands only offer PC protection. And many antiviruses that claim to protect Macs don’t actually protect against the latest masOS malware. And Apple’s in-built security defenses are not nearly powerful enough.
The best Mac antiviruses not only include protection against Mac-based malware, they also include:
- Mac cleaning and optimization tools.
- Real-time malware scanning.
- Advanced ransomware protection.
- And a lot more…
These additional features are great for enhancing your level of security and speeding up your Mac, but they’re only useful if you need them. Otherwise, there’s no reason to spend money on something you don’t need.
There are 5 things you need to look for when finding the best Mac antivirus:
- Level of protection
- Included security features
- Ease of use
- Technical support
- Overall value
And here’s what I did to help you:
- I tested each Mac antivirus for malware detection rates, internet security features, and overall strength of the protection offered by each antivirus program.
- I used every feature offered by all the antivirus software to see if they worked properly and added to the overall security of my test Mac computers.
- I made sure that each product was simple, easy to understand, and intuitive for a wide range of Mac users, both technical and non-technical.
- I contacted each product’s customer/technical support teams to see if they were able to resolve both common and uncommon problems.
- And I assessed whether or not each Mac antivirus provided a good value or if it was way overpriced and unreliable.
Ready to protect your Mac? Let’s go!
Intego is by far the best antivirus for most Mac users in 2020.
It’s specifically designed for Macs — offering 100% protection against the latest macOS malware (and all other malware).
Intego also includes:
- Internet firewall.
- Mac optimization tools.
- Parental controls.
- Advanced backup and recovery options.
Intego’s firewall is really good. It offers a lot of extra customization options that Apple’s built-in firewall doesn’t have.
I also really like Intego’s Mac optimization tools. They’re effective, easy to use, and help clean up thousands of junk files in seconds — it cleaned 18 GB from my MacBook!
And Intego’s parental controls are the best Mac parental controls I’ve ever used — blocking access to specific sites, apps, and messaging software. They’re way better than Apple’s parental controls.
Overall, Intego is a really great value for the price. Even with all of its extra features, it’s still cheaper than many competing antivirus brands. Intego’s lower-priced Mac Internet Security X9 is pretty good — it has the malware scanner and the firewall — but Mac Premium Bundle X9 is a much better value — you also get the backup tools, device cleaning, and parental controls. All Intego plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can try Intego risk-free to see if it’s the best antivirus software for your Mac.
Intego is the best antivirus for Mac — it’s 100% secure, easy to use, and full of extra features. It has excellent malware protection, even against the latest macOS malware, and it also includes a huge range of additional tools to keep your Mac safe and optimized. All of Intego’s plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Airo AV is powerful, lightweight, and really easy to use. It’s exclusively designed for Macs — offering excellent protection against all malware, including macOS-specific threats.
Airo AV blocked and removed 100% of the malware on my test Macs, and because it’s so lightweight, it had the least impact on my computer’s performance than any of the other antiviruses on this list.
I was also impressed by the speed of Airo AV’s malware scanner. Not only is the scanner already faster than any other Mac-based antivirus, Airo AV uses file caching, so previously scanned files are skipped over, making all subsequent scans even faster.
Airo AV also has:
- AI and machine learning detection.
- Safe browsing protection (Safari and Chrome).
- Easy to use interface.
I like that Airo AV is intuitive and simple to use, making it a great choice for non-tech-savvy users who just need a simple antivirus.
Airo AV doesn’t include as many additional features as other brands, but it’s also one of the most low-cost options on this list. There’s only one Airo AV plan — which covers up to 5 devices — and it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Airo AV is fast, lightweight, easy to use, and provides advanced macOS malware protection. Because it’s so lightweight, it protects your device without slowing down your system. While Airo AV doesn’t have a huge range of additional features, it does have decent browsing protection for Safari and Chrome. If you don’t need anything other than a simple antivirus with 100% detection rates (and fast, low-impact scanning), then Airo AV is a good choice.
TotalAV combines one of the best antivirus engines with excellent Mac optimization tools.
TotalAV’s antivirus engine scored a 100% detection rate against all of my test malware, and its real-time scanning engine blocked all the files I tried to download onto my MacBook.
I particularly like TotalAV’s device optimization tools, which are simple and effective — they cleaned almost 12 GB of junk from one of my Macs and sped up its startup time by over 30 seconds!
- Phishing protection.
- Cross-device compatibility.
- Great customer support.
- Virtual private network (VPN).
TotalAV has a VPN (with unlimited data), and it’s pretty good. While the download speeds aren’t as good as other Mac antiviruses with a VPN (like Norton), it’s still a worthwhile addition to TotalAV’s Internet Security package (covers 5 devices) and Total Security package (covers 6 devices, also includes ad blocker and password manager).
TotalAV is an excellent and easy-to-use antivirus. It has a decent range of features, including Mac optimization tools, phishing protection, and support for multiple devices. And the more advanced plans include a VPN, ad blocker, and password manager. All TotalAV plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Norton is fast, secure, and offers guaranteed malware protection for all devices (including Macs). It scored a 100% detection rate in my tests and offers a ton of great extra features.
All of Norton’s plans come with:
- VPN (with unlimited data).
- Safe browsing extension.
- Password manager.
- Mac cleaning tools.
I really like Norton’s VPN — it has the fastest speeds and the best geo-blocking capabilities of any other VPN on this list. I also like Norton’s Safari extension — it blocked all the known phishing sites I tried to access on all of my test Macs.
One thing that annoys me about Norton is that the interface includes greyed-out PC features that don’t work on Macs, such as the cloud backup and parental controls. I’d like to see Norton change their interface to be more “Mac-friendly” in the future.
Norton’s antivirus offers guaranteed protection for all Mac computers. Norton is also great for its additional features — like a VPN and a password manager. I don’t like that Norton’s Mac interface shows PC-only features that don’t work for Macs, but Norton is still a great antivirus. All Norton plans come with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
McAfee is one the most trusted antivirus brands — and its Mac antivirus scored 100% on all of my malware tests.
While McAfee is reliable, it’s more resource-heavy than other Mac antiviruses. When I tested the scanning engine, my MacBook was continually running at 80-95% CPU usage and many apps were slow to load and respond. Still, McAfee’s antivirus engine is great at detecting hidden malware and offering excellent macOS protection.
McAfee for Mac also includes:
- Mac cleaning tools.
- VPN (with unlimited data).
- Safe browsing extension.
McAfee has a lot of features that other antiviruses offer, including cleaning tools and a VPN. And while McAfee’s safe browsing extension is pretty cool — it verifies a website’s safety by showing a checkmark next to each search result — it only works on a small number of websites.
McAfee’s premium package, Total Protection, covers Macs as well as PCs and smartphones. It covers up to 10 devices, making it a good option for families with a lot of devices. But if you only need to protect your one or two Macs, Intego or Airo AV will be a much better option.
McAfee offers reliable protection for Macs (and all other devices). It’s not as lightweight as other antiviruses, and it doesn’t include a wide range of additional features. However, McAfee’s Total Protection plan is one of the best-value antiviruses if you need to cover a lot of devices across many different operating systems.
Comparison of the Best Mac Antivirus Software
|Designed for macOS||Parental Controls||VPN (virtual private network)||Multi-OS
|2.🥈Airo AV||Yes||No||No||No||30 days|
|4. Norton||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||60 days|
|5. McAfee||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||30 days|
Antivirus For Mac — Frequently Asked Questions
🤔 Do Macs really need antivirus software?
100% yes. Macs are increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks, as hackers have developed (and are still developing) very sophisticated Mac-based malware. If your Mac isn’t protected by antivirus software, you’re at risk of having your Mac hacked.
That said, you need to be careful to only download trustworthy and legitimate antivirus software. If your antivirus is ineffective, you will end up putting your trust in a product that won’t keep you safe.
🏆 What is the best antivirus for Mac?
Although there are many great antivirus products available, Intego is the best for most users. It’s designed specifically for macOS and has an impressive range of cybersecurity and Mac optimization tools — all for a good price.
🕵️♀️ Don’t Macs already have an antivirus built into the OS?
Macs have a few built-in security features, including:
- App review. Audits legitimacy of App Store apps before downloading.
- Gatekeeper. Scans apps for malicious code prior to launching.
- Web protection. Blocks malicious sites and tracking links on Safari.
- Anti-theft tools. Enables you to track Mac and iOS devices if they’re lost or stolen.
While these features are useful, they’re not powerful enough to fully protect Macs from ransomware, spyware, adware, and other advanced malware.
Even the latest macOS doesn’t include real-time scanning, ransomware protection, optimization tools, or advanced phishing protection. That’s why installing a comprehensive macOS-based antivirus suite like Intego or TotalAV, which is designed to keep you 100% protected against all cybersecurity threats, is the best choice.
🆓 Is there a free antivirus for Mac?
Free antiviruses are only “free” because they don’t offer complete protection until you upgrade to a paid plan.
Most free antiviruses don’t have:
- Real-time protection.
- Advanced firewall settings.
- Ransomware protection.
- Phishing protection.
- Mac optimization tools.
Nothing is ever “free”. It’s always better to spend a couple bucks a month on a low-cost premium antivirus like Intego than risk losing everything with a free antivirus.
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