Best Antivirus for Mac

Best Antivirus For Mac In 2021

Traditional “viruses” are not as much of a problem for Mac as they are for Windows, so a Mac antivirus needs to improve upon the already built-in macOS security features and provide value by fighting other kinds of malware that are unique to Macs.

Written by Adam Stevenson- Technical Content Editor,  Updated on November 21, 2021


Many people have a misconception of Macs and viruses. The fact is, Macs can get viruses although they are more secure. This is why it is so important to choose a well-researched and well-rated antivirus solution for your Mac. We did some research and provide you with the top antivirus solution for Mac to choose from.

 Can't Wait to Pick Your Mac Antivirus Software Now? See our Top 7 Choices!

1- Intego - is one of the leading providers of Mac cybersecurity software that offers great features such as malware protection, data protection, a firewall, and more.

2- Norton Security Deluxe - delivers great antivirus protection for Macs, including a two-way firewall, a password manager, and a full-powered VPN.

3- TotalAV - offers strong protection for Macs against all kinds of viruses, trojans, ransomware, and worms.

4- ESET- for Mac combines antivirus protection with a collection of useful bonus features including ransomware protection, an on-demand malware scanner, malicious URL blocking, and more.

5- Sophos Home - offers a pretty good free Mac antivirus, including parental website filtering, web protection, remote management, and more.

6- Avast Security - for Mac delivers effective malware protection along with a network security scanner.

7- Kaspersky Internet Security - for Mac offers parental control, protection against network attacks, privacy protection, and more.

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  • Real-time protection
  • Full-featured firewall
  • Live scanning files as you access them
  • Detecting PC-based malware
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  • Real-time malware protection
  • Around-the-clock support
  • Strong privacy protection
  • Safe web browsing
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  • Real-time malware protection
  • Safe-browsing using Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • Remote Firewall
  • Multi-device use
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  • High level of online protection
  • Gaming mode
  • Users seeking a single cross-platform antivirus
  • UEFI Firmware protection
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  • AI technology for scanning and data protection
  • Remote access to the system
  • 30+ years of experience
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  • Threat detection from sophisticated malware
  • Encrypted online browsing and transactions
  • Encrypted online browsing and transactions
  • Recovering damaged files
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  • Real-time malware protection
  • Advanced security features
  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • Value for money
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Do I Need Antivirus Software For Mac?

Traditionally, the Mac has been regarded as a safe and secure haven compared to other desktop platforms – particularly Windows – and a common line of thinking has been that Apple computers don’t need antivirus defenses, because security is tight enough anyway, and threats are relatively scarce.

But is that still true today? Mac threats might once have been far thinner on the ground than malware targeting other operating systems, but that’s no longer the case.

How Did We Select the Best Antivirus for Mac

To determine the best antivirus solutions for Mac, we considered different features. Here are the key aspects we centered our tests on: 

  • Antivirus Scans – we tested on-access and on-demand scans using all the antivirus solutions included on the list. All of them performed well carrying out in-depth antivirus scans. 
  • Simplicity – all 7 antivirus solutions present on this page proved to be easy to use. Some even offer robust configuration options (e.g. Eset).
  • Network and Browsing Protection – we carried out tests by connecting to different WiFi networks and we were pleased to see that the tested antiviruses detected unsafe networks and provided malicious URL blocking features. 
  • Bonus features – all the solutions we tested provide some extras such as remote management, parental control, website rating, etc. 

The 7 Best Antivirus Software For Mac (Full Analysis)

#1 Intego Mac Security - Best for Minimal system Impact

Intego Antivirus for Mac

Intego is one of the leading providers of Mac cybersecurity software. It consistently scores high marks in independent testing labs and offers great features.

Top Features: 

  • Antivirus
  • Firewall
  • Data protection
  • Anti-spam software
  • Real-time malware protection
  • Excellent protection
  • Almost no speed impact
  • Mac only

Intego Specifications

Pricing Plan

From $34.99/1-year, Free Trial Available

Subscription Options1- year subscription

Want to know more? Visit our Intego Review and learn more about the features and level of protection guaranteed by this provider.

IntegoRead our Intego Product Review for Mac

#2 Norton Security Deluxe - Best for Unlimited VPN

Norton Antivirus for Mac

Norton 360 Deluxe delivers lab-certified Mac antivirus protection along with a two-way firewall, a password manager, and a full-powered VPN.

Top Features:

  • Firewall
  • Exploit prevention
  • File cleanup scanner
  • Full-featured VPN protection
  • Includes no-limits VPN
  • Firewall blocks exploit attacks
  • Cleans up unneeded files
  • Limited detection of Windows malware

Norton Specifications

Pricing PlanFrom $39.99 per year
Subscription Options1,2,3 years subscription

Norton Deluxe costs more than a simple Mac antivirus, but it's well worth the price.

Visit our full Norton Review for more info on performance, offer and rating of this software provider.

Try Norton Now!Read our Norton Product Review for Mac

#3 TotalAV - Best for Real-Time Protection

TotalAV Antivirus for Mac

TotalAV may be fairly new in the cybersecurity scene but it’s already competing with some of the biggest brands. And with its strong protection against all kinds of viruses, trojans, ransomware, and worms, TotalAV can definitely hold its own as one of the best antivirus programs around.

Top Features:

  • Real-time protection
  • Ransomware protection
  • Safe Browsing (VPN)
  • WebShield extension
  • Password manager
  • Excellent protection against all forms of internet threats
  • Great desktop app
  • Real-time protection to keep you safe at all times
  • Only protects a maximum of six devices
  • The browser extension isn’t particularly user friendly

TotalAV Specifications

Pricing PlanFrom $19.00/year, Free version available
Subscription Options1- year protection

TotalAV is one of the safest antivirus programs out there. It uses strong antivirus technology to deliver a powerful and extensive security package. It offers robust protection against viruses, trojans, ransomware, phishing scams, and malware.

Read our TotalAv Review to get familiar with the full results of our research and testing.

#4 ESET - Best for Speedy In-depth Virus Scanning

ESET Antivirus for Mac

Cyber Security (for Mac) combines Mac antivirus protection with a collection of useful bonus features.

Top Features:

  • Ransomware protection
  • Plentiful configuration options
  • On-Demand Malware Scan
  • On-Access Malware Scan
  • Malicious URL Blocking
  • Phishing Protection
  • Good detection of Windows malware
  • Speedy in-depth scan
  • Simple device control
  • Only manual updates
  • No website filtering

ESET Specifications

Pricing PlanFrom $39.99 per year
Subscription Options1, 2, 3 years

ESET Cyber Security offers decent comprehensive protection for your macOS devices.

Take a look at our full ESET Review for a honest overview of products, features and performance of this provider. 


Read our Eset Product Review for Mac

#5 Sophos Home- Best for Mac Ransomware Security

Sophos Antivirus for Mac

Sophos is a well-known cybersecurity company that provides security software for businesses. Sophos Home offers a pretty good free Mac antivirus.

Top Features:

  • Real-Time Mac Antivirus
  • Parental Website Filtering
  • Mac Web Protection
  • Remote Management
  • Mac Ransomware Security
  • Privacy Protection
  • Premium Support
  • Protects against ransomware, keyloggers, exploits
  • Advanced features require uncommon tech expertise
  • Parental control and webcam protection limited

Sophos Specifications

Pricing PlanFrom $ 49, Free version available
Subscription Options1, 2, 3 years

Sophos is a good option for Mac users looking for decent malware protection and web security features. Upgrading to the premium version of Sophos gets you Mac ransomware protection, privacy tools, and coverage for up to 10 devices.

 Visit our Sophos Review and find out why we recommend this software provider.

Sophos Antivirus

Read our Sophos Product Review for Mac

#6 Avast Security for Mac - Best for Parental Control 

Avast for Mac

Avast offers excellent antivirus protection. Not only that, but it offers a network security scanner, a password manager, and browser protection. It also offers an amazing collection of security features.

Top Features:

  • Ransomware Protection
  • Malware Protection
  • Phishing Protection
  • Behavior-Based Detection
  • Vulnerability Scan
  • Speedy full scan
  • Excellent phishing protection
  • Network security scanner
  • Network scanner lacks features found in its Windows equivalent

Avast Specifications

Pricing PlanFree 0 $69.99 per year
Subscription OptionsFree

Avast is one of the most popular antivirus programs. It has millions of users and a global presence. Avast Security for Mac delivers effective malware protection along with a network security scanner.

Read our full Avast Review for more detailed about products, features, lab test results and pricing of this antivirus provider.

Avast CTA button

Read our Avast Product Review for Mac

#7 Kaspersky - Best Network Security Scanner

Kaspersky Antivirus for Mac

Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac goes far beyond mere antivirus, offering parental control, protection against network attacks, privacy protection, and many other useful features.

Top Features:

  • Malware Protection
  • Website Rating
  • Malicious URL Blocking
  • Phishing Protection
  • Firewall
  • Kaspersky Safe Kids for parental control
  • Network protection
  • Safe Money and webcam protection features are limited compared to their Windows counterparts

Kaspersky Specifications

Pricing PlanFFrom $23.99 (1-year, 1-Mac), to $71.99 (2-years, 3-Macs)
Subscription Options1-year, 2-years

Kaspersky doesn't offer a stand-alone Mac antivirus, so Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac is this company's entry-level security product for macOS. In addition to high-scoring malware protection, you get a parental control system, protection against fraudulent and malicious URLs, privacy protection features, a firewall-like Network Attack Blocker, a bandwidth-limited VPN service, and more.

 Visit our Kaspersky Review and read more about what this leading software provider has to offer.

Kaspersky Antivirus

Read our Kaspersky Product Review for Mac

Do You Need Additional Malware Or Ransomware Protection For Mac

Macs may be a far less important target for malware and viruses, but your Mac is not immune from being attacked. Even if you don’t care about adware or being used to infect users on other platforms, it’s still possible to fall victim to ransomware, password theft, or online crime.

The thing is, good antivirus software will protect your Mac from all of these threats. It will catch malware that’s still spreading or in circulation; block ransomware; protect older systems with out-of-date software from security vulnerabilities; prevent your Mac from acting as a carrier for malware aimed at other operating systems, and keep infected files off of any virtual machines you’re running.

This is why it is so important to make the right decision. You cannot install more than one antivirus solution on a device.

Bottom Line

Many antivirus solutions provide a decent level of protection, but a few rise above all others by providing the very best protection. Our recommendations fall under this category. Choosing one of our recommended antivirus solutions will keep your device safe from all threats. Keep your Mac safe!

What To Look For In Your Antivirus For Mac?

You have gotten yourself a nice Mac laptop or desktop, and you want to make sure to keep it safe, have a look at what you need to be aware of while choosing software. 

It neutralizes threats before they do damage

Detection tools are great because they let you know a virus is attempting to attack your computer, but they’re only half the equation. The best antivirus for Mac is the one that also neutralizes threats before they can do damage with firewalls, quarantine tools, and deletion systems. Your antivirus should stop threats before they ever become more than that.

It monitors your files actively to detect unusual activity

One of the most dangerous things about malware is that it can sometimes infect your devices and remain dormant for months. With a simple change to a file or a hidden installation, it can wait to wreak havoc. Your antivirus should constantly monitor your files to detect any unusual activity or directories.

It doesn’t impact your Mac’s performance

Antivirus software has a monumental task—it must constantly monitor online threats while also keeping track of your computer’s systems. However, it shouldn’t hog your Mac’s resources or make your devices unusable. Today’s tools are at their best when they can do their job without severely affecting your performance. Having tools like passive and game modes are a bonus.

It’s easy to use

It’s no good having the most powerful tools and effective antivirus software if you can’t use it. Despite the complexity of the tasks antivirus software has, it shouldn’t be impossible to use or limit you from getting the most out of it. Look for software that includes easy-to-navigate interfaces, scans that are easy to schedule and initiate, and management tools that let you tailor your protection to your specific needs. Moreover, look for features that are accessible and on the main screen.

It doesn’t hog your Mac’s resources

Although Macs are known to be powerful and effective, they only have so many available memory and computing resources. Antivirus software is always on, and it’s constantly performing minor and major tasks to keep you safe. This is an inevitable side effect of being protected, but it doesn’t have to mean you can’t do two things at once. Look for an antivirus that can effectively operate within your Mac system, and not despite it.

Mac User Safety

What About Privacy Issues With Third-Party Software?

One of the unfortunate side effects of today’s data-driven world is that even the products and companies that protect you can sometimes produce data that is valuable to others.

Antivirus software also produces significant data about users in terms of their experience with attacks and their online behavior. This obviously creates important questions about your data privacy, and especially when you’re using free tools.

Most companies include very clear information about how they use your data, what data they collect, and how they store and defend it. In most cases, companies will not share or sell your data with third parties (though they will share it with official public authorities upon legal request), although they do use it to optimize their services.

Even so, you should always be mindful about who you share your data with, and ask yourself the following questions:

What kind of data is the company collecting from me?

It’s inevitable that antivirus tools collect data about your computer usage and some of your online behaviors.

Companies need it both to protect you and to improve their services and malware detection tools. However, this shouldn’t extend to data that isn’t essential, and it should almost never include private data that is not relevant to the services they offer.

Who do they share the data with?

Antivirus companies will always let you know who they share data with. This often includes affiliates that provide additional services (such as VPNs or password managers), as well as parent companies that use it for feedback and product improvement. It shouldn’t include any third parties that use your data for marketing or sales-related purposes.

Privacy issues

How To Choose A Good Antivirus For Mac?

The macOS operating system is based on Unix, which is sandboxed, meaning it can be very difficult for viruses to do any damage. This means that you will need specific Mac antivirus software.

The question is, how do you know what to look for when choosing the best antivirus for your Mac? Well, we did the research for you, and these are the features you want to look at:

  • Real-time malware detection
  • Comprehensive antivirus scanner
  • Ransomware protection
  • Network firewall
  • Anti-phishing
  • Mac cleanup and optimization tools

Each antivirus you look at needs to add more functionality to Apple’s built-in security features, and even have better backup functionality than Apple’s Time Machine. It's important to keep these factors in mind.


1. Which antivirus does Apple recommend for Mac?

Apple recommends AVG as this is a free well-rated antivirus solution.

2.  Is there free antivirus protection for Mac?

Yes, AVG offers free antivirus protection for your Mac.

3. How do I check my Mac for viruses?

A good start to scan your Mac for viruses is to see whether you have applications installed that you don’t recognize and then removing those asap.

4. How do I clear my mac from viruses and malware?

To keep your device extra secure, it is recommended to turn on FileVault.

  1. Go to System Preferences
  2. Select Security & Privacy
  3. Navigate to the FileVault tab
  4. Choose Turn On FileVault

5. Does Apple send virus notifications on Mac?

No, Apple will not send virus notifications, this might be a scam if this happens to you.