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lindagray

The best Mac antivirus software 2019

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Some might consider identifying the best Mac antivirus software in 2019 a redundant task, given that Macs "don't get viruses." But although its true that Apple machines are targeted less than Windows, they can still be infected.

The risks are increasing, which is why you need protection. Every product in this list has been chosen because it's especially designed to protect Mac systems and has scored highly at identifying and removing viruses and malware.

We've also highlighted the overall best antivirus
 
The macOS operating system is based on the Unix operating system, which is sandboxed. That means it’s very difficult for viruses to do any damage. Think of them as locked in a little box from which they can’t escape no matter how hard they try. 

This means that you need specific Mac antivirus software - whether that be the very strongest paid-for protection or a free download that we've picked out at the bottom of this guide - that's been designed to work with the unique demands that macOS has, so read on for our top choices.

Mac antivirus: which is best at detecting threats?

The excellent AV-TEST regularly puts anti-virus programs through their paces, and their most recent tests took place in June 2018 on macOS High Sierra. They tested two key areas: how well the packages detected Mac-specific threats, and how well they protected against Macs in mixed-OS environments being hijacked to spread Windows malware.

While the amount of Mac malware is still considerably less than that targeting Windows, its still 100 times higher than what experts predicted just a few years ago.

For Mac malware, six packages achieved 100% detection without false positives:

1. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac

Brilliant protection for Macs
Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac
€24.99

Integrates well with Mac OS
Scans for Windows malware as well
Not as many features as some competitors

Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac is one of the most accurate virus protection suites for Apple devices on the market, and it comes with a host of features, including multi-layer ransomware protection, adware removal, and it can also scan for Windows PC malware as well. If you're concerned about internet nasties, Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac is the best software for Macs in 2019.

2. Intego Mac Premium Bundle X9

Software from the Mac experts
Mac Premium Bundle X9 1 Year
€39.99

Accurate virus scanning
Firewall protection
Again, limited features

Intego has been protecting Macs for 20 years, so if there's any software that knows what kind of security Apple machines need, this is it. It comes with an antivirus engine that cans for the latest Mac threats, as well as Windows and Unix malware as well, and it also features a full firewall for managing network permissions.

3. Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac

Mac protection from a well known brand
Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac
€39.95

Good detection rates
Plenty of features
User interface won't be to everyone's taste

Kaspersky is a well regarded name in the field of antivirus protection, and it maintains that reputation with its Internet Security for Mac software, which brings a range of features that put much of its competitors to shame, including firewall protection, parental controls and tools to make sure you can shop and bank completely securely online. The huge range of features are certainly welcome, but it can make the interface a bit cumbersome to navigate if you're looking for a particular tool.

4. Norton Security Deluxe

Another well known brand to protect your Mac
Norton AntiVirus for Mac
€34.99

Excellent detection
Covers range of devices
Can impact speed of your MacPricey

Norton is another brand that's well known in the anti-virus world, and the Norton Security Deluxe software helps protect your Mac with an excellent malware detection engine. It can cover a range of devices, so you can have it protect your Macs, or even any Windows PCs you have, or mobile devices. While the security it offers is great, there can be a noticeable impact on system speed when in use. 

If you want to keep your Mac feeling as speedy as possible, look at one of the other choices in this best software for Mac list, but if you want robust, dependable protection, no matter what, then Norton Security Deluxe is definitely worth investing in.

The next four achieved between 99.5% and 98.4% without false positives:

5. Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac

Good security that includes social network protection
Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac
€34.97

Good protection
Parental controls
Not the most accurate detection
No firewall

If you're running the latest version of macOS, macOS High Sierra (10.13), then Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac is a very good choice, as it has been built for compatibility with the recent operating system. It brings antivirus protection, content filtering, a social media privacy checker and new ransomware protection tools. Scanning speed has also been improved since the last version, making it faster to check your Mac for any viruses.

6. ClamXAV

A trusted scanner for macOS
ClamXAV for Home Users
€26.45

Mac-specific tools
Simple to use
One-off fee rather than subscription
No website filtering

ClamXAV doesn't have the catchiest of names, but it's the antivirus software for Mac that many IT professionals swear by - not least because it only creates AV for Apple computers.

That doesn't mean it's overly complicated - in fact, it has one of the most simple and easy-to-use interfaces out of all the Mac antivirus software on this list. 

It's particularly adept at catching viruses in email attachments, and while it doesn't come with some of the internet safety tools of other suites, it's still an excellent choice for protecting your Mac, and unlike its competitors, it offers a one-off fee, rather than a yearly subscription.

7. ESET Cyber Security for Mac

A feature-packed suite
ESET Cyber Security for Mac
€29.95

Plenty of features
Parental controls
No website filtering

ESET Cyber Security for Mac scores highly from independent testing labs, so you can rest assured that your Mac is being well looked after if you have this installed. It's not the quickest software to scan your Mac for viruses, but it digs deep into your system to make sure your machine is completely free from viruses, and it has a pretty competitive price tag as well.

8. F-Secure SAFE

Accurate protection but light on features
F-Secure 1 Year
€59.90/year

Strong protection
Easy to use
Integrated parental controls
Lacking on features

F-Secure SAFE is pitched as an antivirus service for the entire family, protecting all manner of devices, including PCs, smartphones, tablets as well as Macs, and strong parental controls.

AV-Test found F-Secure protected against 100 per cent of zero-day threats during March and April 2018, as well as 100 per cent of all widespread and prevalent malware discovered during the previous four weeks. However as of June 2018, detection rates of MacOS malware are 96.4 per cent.

Concerns about the suite slowing down the installation of frequently used applications also persist, as does a relative lack of features. Having said that it does offer some nifty capabilities such as banking protection, which blocks specific sites and apps from interacting with your system while you’re logged in, and specific safeguards across the scourge of ransomware. 

In short, F-Secure’s user-friendly UI and accurate protection make it an adequate choice, but it is lacking in the feature department.

 techradar.com

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