The Best Mac Antivirus Protection for 2022


I think we can agree that you need anti-virus protection on all your PCs. But consider this. PC means a personal computer, and Mac is also a personal computer. Yes, macOS is more secure internally than Windows, but it’s not perfect. Malware attacks and exploits, including malicious ransomware, can break your Mac. To make sure that doesn’t happen, you need anti-virus protection on your Macs. We’ve put together dozens of MacFocus antivirus products through testing and evaluation, so it might help you figure out which one works best for you.

As with Windows anti-virus tools, the most common cost is less than $ 40 per year for just one license. ProtectWorks is unique in that a single payment of .9 29.95 lets you protect all your Macs at home, without the need for a subscription. McAfee goes beyond that, with a 59.99 annual subscription that protects all your Macs, PCs, Android, and iOS devices. With Sophos Home Premium, $ 60 per year lets you install and manage security on 10 Macs or PCs remotely. On top of that, you pay $ 99.99 per year to subscribe to three licenses for Intego Mac Internet Security X9 or Airo Antivirus for Mac.


When macOS Mojave came out, it enhanced security in a number of ways, including blocking trackers in Safari, password managers, and cracking down on AppleScript. macOS Catalina adds more security features, including better control over data access permissions, weaker password warnings, a stronger anti-malware gatekeeper, and more. Big Pig goes further, sealing the operating system in a secure volume that is inaccessible through malware. Still, what we haven’t seen is that upgrading to Catalina or Big Sur will eliminate the need for antivirus utilities.

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Free Mac Antivirus Protection

There is another angle to the difference in the price of Mac anti-virus. What about not paying anything? Avast One Essential for Mac, AVG AntiVirus for Mac, and Avira Free Antivirus for Mac are absolutely free for personal use. The best commercial products offer more protection but if you can’t afford the best then install at least one free antivirus.

What’s Not Here


Ten commercial MacOS antivirus products that have earned 3.5 stars or better appear at the top of the list. Another seven managed a decent three-star rating, but there is no room for all of them. ESET Cyber Security for Mac, Malwarebytes for Mac Premium, and Vipre Advanced Security for Mac are among those who received three stars. If you’re using a Windows security product from one of these companies, it might make sense to do the same on your Mac.

Malware Protection Lab Certifications

When it comes to choosing a new washer, refrigerator, or other appliance, chances are good that you should research it first. User reviews can be helpful if you dismiss the best and worst of them all. But the actual test results, published by an independent laboratory, give you more reliable information. The two major labs include macOS antivirus products in their testing, but the product slate for testing is variable. When we first introduced Mac Anti-Virus products, we only selected at least one certified one, but for now, many of them do not appear in any lab test results.

Researchers at the AV-Test Institute evaluate Mac antivirus products on three criteria: protection, efficacy, and use. One product can earn up to six points each. Protection against malware is important, of course, as it has little effect on performance. A high usage score indicates a small number of false positives, legitimate programs, and websites identified as dangerous. In the latest report, seven products scored a perfect 18 points, all six points for all three standards.

Lab Test Results for macOS

In the AV-Comparatives macOS malware test, most charted products scored 100%. The lab also included a test using malware for Windows purposes. Yes, these samples may not affect computers running macOS, but they can reach Windows machines on the network. All but one of the test products scored 100% against Windows malware. Holdout still managed 94%. The lab recently added a test using PUAs (potentially unwanted applications). Most products are 100% or less resistant to these viral NNs. You will notice that although MacKeeper scored 100% against malware, it did not receive certification. This is because it does not take real-time protection out of the box, a feature required for certification.


The results of MacOS-specific tests are much smaller than those of Windows Anti-Virus Utilities. It’s good that many of the products on the charts have received at least one certification for Mac protection, and even better if some have received two certifications. Avira is the only product that currently receives high scores from both labs.

Hands-On Phishing Protection Testing

When we test for malware protection on Windows, we use live malware inside an isolated virtual machine. We’ve coded a number of analytics tools over the years to help with this test. Very little of this testing goes to Mac.

However, it is not specific to phishing platforms, nor do we have anti-phishing tests. Phishing sites mimic secure sites, from banks and finance sites to gaming and dating sites. If you enter your credentials on a fake login page, you have given Fisher access to your account. And it doesn’t matter if you’re browsing on a PC, Mac, or Internet-aware rowing machine.

Phishing Protection Results Chart

Phishing scammers are in the business of fraud, and they constantly change and update their techniques in the hope of avoiding detection. If a fraudulent site is blacklisted or blocked by the authorities, it simply pops up with a new site. Because of this, we try to use state-of-the-art phishing URLs for testing, scraping them from phishing-focused websites.


We launch each URL in four browsers simultaneously. One is Safari or Chrome on the Mac, which is protected by the Mac anti-virus that is being tested. The other three use protection built into Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. By rejecting anything that does not fit into the phishing profile, and does not load correctly across all four browsers, we report differences between the product’s detection rate as well as its detection rate and the other three test systems. Give

In this roundup, most products beat the combined average of three browsers. McAfee, Norton, and Webroot own this test, with 100% detection.

Ransomware Protection

The curse of ransomware is growing. Although ransomware attacks on Windows devices are more common, Macs have also suffered. Of course, any anti-virus utility should handle ransomware as it handles spyware, trojans, viruses, and other types of malware. But since the consequences of losing a ransomware attack are very good, some security products incorporate components with the sole purpose of preventing ransomware attacks.

We’ve looked at various ransomware protection techniques on Windows. These include blocking unauthorized access to user documents, detecting ransomware based on its activity, and retrieving encrypted files from backups. Of the products listed here, Avast, Bitdefender, and Trend Micro offer a ransomware component that prevents unauthorized editing of secure documents.

Sophos Home Premium includes the same CryptoGuard behavior-based ransomware protection that is found in its Windows equivalent. Our Windows test systems are virtual machines, so we feel free to release real-world ransomware for testing. We only return the virtual machine to a clean snapshot after testing. We don’t have the option to do this on a physical Mac testbed, so all we need to know is that since it works on Windows, it probably works on Mac OS.


Spyware Protection

Any kind of malware problem is unpleasant, but spyware can be the most annoying. Imagine some creeper peeking at you through your Mac’s webcam! Other types of espionage include logging keystrokes to capture your passwords, sending Trojans to steal your personal data, and viewing your online activities to create profiles. As with ransomware protection, we’ve seen more features dedicated to protecting spyware, especially on Windows-based security products, but a few products in this collection focus on spyware.

Under Windows, Kaspersky’s Safe Money feature opens sensitive sites in a secure browser that is strong against external interference. The Secure Money feature on Mac doesn’t do that, but it does check the URL to make sure you’re on a legitimate secure site. Kaspersky offers an on-screen keyboard, so you can enter passwords without being caught without a key logger. Its webcam protection isn’t as configurable as it is on Windows, but you can use it to disable your Mac’s webcam whenever you’re not using it. It even includes the ability to prevent advertisers and others from tracking your online activities. If Spyware Is Your Odor, You’ll Like Kaspersky.

The Best Spyware Protection Software for 2022 | PCMag

Sophos Home Premium provides protection for webcams and microphones, which is more important than Kaspersky. You receive a notification whenever an unreliable program tries to access any of them. You can allow or block access to the program. There’s also the option to whitelist a program, so you don’t get pop-ups whenever you use your off-brand video chat tool.

Bonus Features

Many anti-virus tools on Windows boast a ton of bonus features, packing everything from tune-up utilities to VPNs. This attitude seems less common towards MacOS, although Norton now includes a VPN with no bandwidth limit. Nevertheless, some vendors do not have a standalone Mac anti-virus, preferring to offer a complete security suite as a basic level of protection instead, and some add basic suite-like bonus features. Are

A simple personal firewall component prevents Internet attacks and also manages network permissions for programs installed on your Mac. Each of Intego, McAfee, and Norton includes a firewall component, while Kaspersky’s Network Protection is approaching.


Parental control is another common suite component. With Sophos and Trend Micro, content filters can block access to websites from unwanted categories. Kaspersky goes beyond that with content filtering, screen time limits, and controlling overused apps. An additional $ 14.99 per year unlocks all the features of the powerful Kaspersky Safe Kids.

Protect Your Mac

Many of the products included in this round-up have been certified by at least one independent testing lab. Some arranged for two certifications. As far as basic antivirus protection is concerned, there really isn’t a bad choice. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac not only got the lab certification but also got the highest score in each test. Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac has received high scores from a lab that tested it. It offers a complete suite of Mac security tools, at the same price that competitors charge for basic antivirus protection. Norton 360 Deluxe for Mac is also a suite, with a lab certification, and its features include unlimited VPN. All three are winners of our Editors’ Choice for Mac Anti-Virus Protection.

However, these are not the only choices. Check out our reviews, choose the product that’s right for you, and save your Mac. Once you have done that, you should also consider installing a Mac VPN. While an antivirus protects you, your devices, and your data locally, a VPN extends that protection to your online activities, protecting both your security and your privacy.

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