antivirus best antivirus for mac

The best antivirus software for Mac protects against malware, spyware, and other online threats. Most Mac users don’t think they need antivirus software because Apple products are known for being secure; however, there are several Mac-specific threats out there. With that said, finding the best Mac antivirus that ticks all the right boxes for you can be challenging.

To help, we’ve reviewed and compared the best antivirus software for Mac in 2023. We’ve looked at various factors, including ease of use, price, and features, and put together a list of our top 10 choices. Read on to find out how providers like TotalAV, McAfee, and Norton Antivirus can keep your Mac safe.

The Best Antivirus Software for Mac 2023 | Top 10 Shortlist

With a market flooded with antivirus software for Mac, it can be difficult choosing the right one. Some antivirus programs are more comprehensive than others, offering features like malware removal, phishing protection, and real-time scanning — with that said, our research found that TotalAV is the #1 pick for Mac, but here are the top 10:

  1. TotalAV — Overall, the Best Mac Antivirus Software for Industry-Leading Security | Take Advantage of the 30-Day Guarantee.
  2. McAfee — Popular Antivirus for Mac for Excellent Real-Time Protection | Try the 30-Day Free Trial Now.
  3. Norton Antivirus — Powerful Multi-Device Protection | Protect Your Mac, iOS Devices, and Windows PCs with One Subscription.
  4. Avast Antivirus — Popular Mac Antivirus for Ransomware Protection | Award-Winning Security Program for Mac.
  5. Kaspersky — Great for Multi-Layered Web Protection with the Safe Browser Extension | Download and Try it Free for 30 days.
  6. Surfshark Antivirus — Outstanding Antivirus Software for Mac that Comes with a VPN | Offers a 7-Day Free Trial.
  7. TrendMicro — Best Anti-Phishing Features + An Easy-to-Use Interface | Test it Free for a Full Month.
  8. Intego — Phenomenal Malware Remover with their Mac Internet Security X9.
  9. Avast — The Best Free Mac Antivirus Software on the Market.
  10. Avira — A Popular Free Mac Antivirus with Cheap Premium Plans.

The Top 10 Antivirus Tools for Mac | Reviewed

To help you narrow down your options, we’ve reviewed each of our top 10 in some more depth below.

1. TotalAV — Overall, the Best Mac Antivirus Software in 2023

TotalAV is relatively new antivirus software that has made a big splash in the cybersecurity world. It includes a valuable set of extra features and provides the real-time protection you need to keep your Mac safe.

TotalAV — Best Mac Antivirus Software on the market

Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial Max Devices Supported Automatic Updates Auto-Clean
$29.00 1. Realtime Protection

2. Malware Cleaner

3. Advanced Cloud Scanning

30-Days 6 Yes Yes

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Excellent desktop and mobile app
  • Offers a free version

Cons

  • The complete scan can take a while

Realtime protection is the core feature of any antivirus software, and TotalAV hits the ball out of the park in this department. It has a 100% detection rate for Mac-specific malware and provides excellent protection against zero-day threats as well.

Unlike other software, where you need to check for malware manually, TotalAV automatically runs a scan in the background and notifies you if any threats are found.

In addition to its excellent real-time protection, TotalAV also includes its advanced malware cleaner, which is a great tool in your arsenal. This feature allows you to remove any malware that may have slipped past your real-time protection.

Malware and spyware are brutal to remove manually, and even some antivirus software programs struggle with removing them completely. TotalAV’s malware cleaner, on the other hand, is designed to remove any malware from your Mac comprehensively.

TotalAV also offers an advanced cloud scanning feature that uses artificial intelligence to detect and block threats before they even reach your Mac. With most of our tools and data now stored in the cloud, it’s essential to have an antivirus that can also protect you in this environment.

Overall, TotalAV is our top pick for the best Mac antivirus software in 2023. It offers excellent protection against all types of malware, has great extra features, and is very easy to use.

Pricing

TotalAV pricing

TotalAV offers three pricing plans — all of which offer a robust set of features. The Pro plan costs $29 for your first year and lets you connect up to 3 Mac devices simultaneously.

On the other hand, the Internet Security and Total Security plans include a VPN and AdBlockers, and allow you to connect more devices.

 

2. McAfee — Popular Antivirus for Mac for Excellent Real-time Protection 

McAfee is one of the most well-known names in the antivirus industry, and for good reason. The company has been around for a long time and offers a variety of features to keep your Mac safe from viruses.

McAfee — Excellent Real-time Mac Protection from Viruses
Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial Max Devices Supported Automatic Updates Auto-Clean
$29.99 1. Real-time Threat Protection

2. Protection Score

3. File Shredder

30-Days 10 Yes Yes

Pros

  • Easy-to-use
  • Excellent customer service
  • Light and portable

Cons

  • Limited cloud backup

One of the best things about McAfee is that it offers real-time protection against viruses. This means that as soon as you download a file or visit a website, McAfee will scan it for malware and block anything malicious.

What sets its real-time scanning apart from other antivirus software is that it’s very effective at catching new and emerging threats.

Another prominent feature of McAfee is its Protection Score. This tool gives you a quick overview of how well your Mac is protected from viruses. It’ll take into account:

    • The strength of your antivirus software
    • The state of your operating system
    • Whether you have any other security measures in place (like a firewall)

This will come in handy if you plan to sell your Mac.

Lastly, McAfee’s file shredder is a great tool for securely deleting sensitive files. When you delete a file, usually, it can still be recovered by someone with the right software. However, when you shred a file with McAfee, it gets deleted permanently.

McAfee is a phenomenal option if you’re looking for antivirus software that offers excellent real-time protection and a variety of other features.

Pricing

McAfee pricing

The cheapest is its individual plan for $29.99. If you plan to protect more than one device, then the Premium Plan for just $49.99 will cover unlimited devices.

Take advantage of the 30-day free trial today.

 

3. Norton Antivirus — Offers Powerful Multi-Device Protection

Norton is a well-known name in the antivirus industry, and their Mac product is every bit as good as their Windows offering. Norton Antivirus for Mac provides real-time protection against malware and online threats, where you can connect unlimited devices and get real-time updates.

Norton Antivirus — Powerful Multi-Device Protection
Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial Max Device Supported Automatic Updates Auto-Clean
$19.99 1. Online Threat Protection

2. Cloud Backup

3. Smart Firewall

7-Days Unlimited Yes Yes

Pros

  • Real-time updates
  • Great for multiple device use
  • Offers VPN add-on

Cons

  • Can be pricey
If you’re working on your Mac and browsing, this is a great option to keep you safe.

Norton is one of the pioneers when it comes to online threat protection; it scours the web and uses heuristics and signatures to identify threats and protect you in real-time. It’s one of the best spyware protection tools out there.

Besides this, like its cloud backup feature, Norton Antivirus for Mac also provides as much as 100GB of secure cloud storage to keep your important files backed up and safe from any potential threats.

And finally, when it comes to network protection, Norton has a firewall that can be customized to your needs, as well as an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) and Web Isolation, all of which provide an extra layer of security.

Norton’s Smart Firewall monitors your internet traffic and blocks suspicious activity, while the IPS stops attacks before they can even reach your device.

Pricing

Norton pricing

Norton offers four plans. Protection against ransomware, spyware, and malware is included with the Norton AntiVirus Plus subscription, and it offers a smart firewall, a password manager, and 2GB of cloud storage.

 

4. Avast Antivirus Pro — Popular Mac Antivirus for Ransomware Protection

Avast boasts over 435 million customers — but does it safeguard the devices? Well, monthly, Avast’s software blocks over 1.5 billion attacks — so yes, the software has phenomenal security measures in place.

Avast — Your Choice For Relentless Mac Network Security
Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial Max Device Supported Automatic Updates Auto-Clean
$50.28 1. Network Security Scan and Alerts

2. Pay Guard

3. Ransomware Protection

7-Days 10 Yes Yes

Pros

  • Quick system scan
  • Offers ransomware protection
  • Network alerts and detection

Cons

  • PC only

Avast’s security includes a malware-scanning engine that can identify threats in real time and an antivirus database that’s regularly updated with newly discovered threats and vulnerabilities.

Its network security module is also highly effective, providing an extra layer of protection for your devices. It can detect and block malicious traffic before it reaches your computer, keeping you safe from online threats.

If your network is ever compromised, Avast will also automatically isolate the infected device to prevent the spread of the threat.

Besides this, the Premium version also offers an online payment guard that encrypts your payments and browsing activity, so you can shop and bank online with confidence.

As with any premium service, protection from ransomware is available in its paid version. Ransomware is widespread these days and can encrypt your files, so you can’t access them unless you pay a ransom.

With Avast’s ransomware protection, you can rest assured that your precious files are safe from harm.

Pricing

Avast Antivirus Pro pricing

For $50.28/year, you can protect 1 Mac with Avast Antivirus Pro. If you need more, it’ll set you back by $69.48 for ten devices — both plans are covered with a solid 30-day money-back guarantee.

 

5. Kaspersky — Great for Multi-Layered Web Protection

Kaspersky is one of the premium providers on our list, and for a good reason. The company offers a wide variety of features, excellent protection against all kinds of malware, and doesn’t bog down your Mac.

Kaspersky — Great For Multi-Layered Web Protection
Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial Max Device Supported Automatic Updates Auto-Clean
$56.99
  1. Online Payment Protection

2. Performance Optimization

3. Unknown Malware Detection

Free 5 Yes Yes

Pros

  • Updated malware and virus database
  • Light memory usage
  • Offers system optimization

Cons

  • Pricey

Its quick scan feature is one of the best in the business, and it can even scan for specific kinds of malware.

However, what makes Kaspersky really different is its Unknown Malware protection feature. It gauges the behavior of apps and looks for anything that might be nefarious.

Also, if you’re into e-commerce, it has its own online payment protection feature that’ll keep your information safe when you’re shopping or banking. It ensures that no one can intercept your data or steal your identity by creating a secure connection between your browser and the site you’re visiting.

Kaspersky’s features don’t stop there. It can also optimize your Mac’s performance and free up disk space. Overall, it’s one of the most comprehensive security suites for Mac.

Pricing

Kaspersky pricing

Kaspersky provides several options, including three premium subscriptions and one free one. The free version only offers malware protection and is rather rudimentary and constrained.

Kaspersky’s Standard Anti-Virus package is a good option if you’re seeking sophisticated security. It’ll safeguard your device against ransomware in addition to viruses, and you’re aware of how your data is being collected.

 

6. Surfshark Antivirus — Outstanding Antivirus Software for Mac With a VPN

Surfshark is an antivirus tool that also offers one of the best VPN services out there. It’s one of the few companies that offer both services, and it does so at an affordable price.

Surfshark Antivirus — Outstanding Antivirus Software For Mac With a VPN
Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial Max Devices Supported Automatic Updates Auto-Clean
$65.76 1. Real-time Protection

2. VPN

3. Device Scanning

7-Days 5 Yes Yes

Pros

  • Data breach monitoring
  • Excellent VPN
  • Realtime protection

Cons

  • No Firewall

The Surfshark antivirus software is available for Mac, Windows, Linux, and Android. It offers real-time protection against malware and phishing attacks, and it can easily detect and block viruses, Trojans, worms, and other types of malware.

The Surfshark VPN service is available in over 50 countries. It offers unlimited bandwidth and server switching. You can connect to any server in any country with just a few clicks.

If you choose to buy this software, you’ll get tons of VPN capabilities along with excellent antivirus protection. This is best for those who want to save money by getting both services from one provider.

Pricing

Surfshark Antivirus pricing

For a mere $3.48/month, you can get the Surfshark Antivirus software with a VPN service. This is an incredible price for what you’re getting. If you want to know more about its superb VPN capabilities, check out our Surfshark VPN review here.

It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.

 

7. TrendMicro — Best Anti-Phishing Features + An Easy-to-Use Interface

TrendMicro is an excellent option if you’re looking for comprehensive protection for your Mac, including anti-phishing features.

TrendMicro — Best Anti-Phishing Features
Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial Max Device Supported Automatic Updates Auto-Clean
$29.95 1. Ransomware Protection

2. Advanced AI Learning

3. TrendMicro Pay Guard

30-Days 5 Yes Yes

Pros

  • AI-Powered
  • Excellent for phishing prevention
  • Ransomware protection

Cons

  • Limited parental control

It would be best if you had protection from these phishing scams not only on your computer but also on your mobile devices. Thankfully, TrendMicro covers all of your devices with just one subscription.

In addition to phishing protection, this software also offers real-time scanning of files and email attachments for viruses and malware. You can schedule scans or run them manually at any time. This is great for when you want to be extra cautious, like before downloading anything new.

Plus, TrendMicro is one of the few that employs AI-learning technology to improve its virus and malware detection capabilities over time. So, you can be confident that your Mac is in expert hands with this software.

One type of malware that’s caused a stir in the macOS community is ransomware. Trend Micro provides Folder Shield, a function also included in its Windows version, as a primary line of ransomware defense.

Pricing

TrendMicro pricing

The Basic plan will only cost you $29.95 for the first year and it covers 1 Mac device with all the features we’ve mentioned. If you need to protect more devices, its other plans will have you covered.

 

8. Intego — Phenomenal Malware Remover for Mac

Intego offers everything you could possibly want in an antivirus program. Its internet security package comes with a Mac-centric antivirus program, data backup software, and machine optimization.

Intego — Outstanding Malware Remover For Mac
Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial Max Device Supported Automatic Updates Auto-Clean
$29.99 1. Internet Security

2. Content Barrier

3. Washing Machine

30-Days 10 Yes Yes

Pros

  • Firewall protection
  • Anti-predator chat monitoring
  • Mac optimization

Cons

  • Complicated UI

As a heavy Mac user, you need to have a top-notch malware remover like Intego Mac Internet Security X9. This software is equipped with a robust firewall that’ll protect your computer from online threats while cleansing your system of any existing malware.

Intego is one of the more comprehensive internet security suites available for Mac.

The content barrier is another Intego strength. It’s a content filtering system that helps parents control what their children can see and do online. It works well, given that it can block websites, webcams, and even instant messaging applications — as you’d find with some of the best parental control apps.

Overall, you’ll have your mind at peace, knowing that your children are browsing safely.

And if you’re worried about identity theft, don’t be. Intego’s Identity Guard is top-of-the-line, given that it can monitor your credit score and report any changes to the three major credit bureaus. So, not only will it protect your computer from online threats, but it’ll also safeguard your personal information.

Pricing

Intego pricing

Users can have quality security at a comparatively reasonable cost.

Of course, prices vary depending on the product, with the cheapest package costing $29.99 annually. The price of the bundle also takes into account the features and the number of users.

 

9. Avast — The Best Free Mac Antivirus Software

Avast is by far one of the best free Mac antivirus software tools on the market. They’ve been around for a long time, and they’re one of the most trusted names in the security industry.

Avast Antivirus Pro — The Best Free Mac Antivirus Software
Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial Max Device Supported Automatic Updates Auto-Clean
Free 1. Anti-Malware Security

2. Web and Email Shield

3. Wifi Security Scan

Free Unlimited Yes Yes

Pros

  • Free plan
  • Fast system scan
  • Offers network scanner

Cons

  • Slow system scan

Avast offers a wide range of products, including both free and paid versions of their antivirus software. In this free version, you can get a comprehensive anti-malware security feature that’ll protect you from any malicious software that may try to infect your Mac.

If you download anything from the internet, this software will scan it for potential threats before allowing it to run on your computer. You can also schedule regular scans to keep your Mac safe and secure.

Besides this, there’s also a web and email shield that automatically filters any dangerous emails or websites you may encounter. This protects you from phishing scams, ransomware, and other online threats.

Even some premium services don’t have this type of filtering, which makes it an excellent value for free software. Plus, on top of this, Avast’s wifi security scanner also secures any public networks you connect to, so you can browse and shop online without worry.

Overall, we’re confident that the Avast One Essential is the best free Mac antivirus software solution available right now. It’s lightweight, easy to use, and has various features that can protect your Mac from any potential threats.

Pricing

Avast pricing

Simply download it for your Mac at no cost.

But if you feel that you need an upgrade, Avast Antivirus Pro is a solid option that we’ve reviewed earlier.

 

10. Avira — A Popular Free Mac Antivirus Solution with Cheap Premium Plans

Avira, like Avast, is one of the best free antiviruses for Mac, and with over 500 million users, it’s popular for good reason. It’s a phenomenal choice if you’re after comprehensive protection without spending money.

Avira — Cheapest Mac Antivirus Software on Our List
Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial Max Device Supported Automatic Updates Auto-Clean
$19.99 1. Web Protection

2. Anti-Phishing

3. Anti Ransomware

30-Days 25 Yes Yes

Pros

  • Can connect up to 25 devices
  • Offers device whitelisting
  • Excellent browser protection

Cons

  • The premium plan required for advanced features

Avira offers real-time protection against malware and phishing attacks.

It also has a web browser extension that blocks malicious websites and tracks your online activity to prevent you from accidentally revealing personal information to hackers. You may not think you need this level of protection, but it’s good to have if you ever encounter a malicious website.

Besides this, its anti-phishing feature is also top-notch. It works with all the major browsers and it doesn’t slow down your Mac — plus,  you can schedule scans and choose which types of files you want to be scanned.

So if you’re on a tight budget and still want a great Mac antivirus, go with Avast or Avira.

Pricing

Avira pricing

If you want added protection for your MacBook, you’re looking at $18.99/year.

This is a great deal, considering most other antiviruses charge $40-$70 for single-device protection. Plus, you can test any of the yearly plans free for 7 days before committing.

 

The Best Antivirus Programs for Mac | Compared

As a Mac user, you’re probably well aware that viruses and other malware threats are much less common on macOS than they are on Windows. But that doesn’t mean your Mac is completely immune. Here’s our head-to-head comparison of the best Mac antivirus programs to help you choose the right one for your needs:

Software Cheapest Plan Best Features Free Trial Max Device Supported Automatic Updates Auto-Clean
TotalAV $29.00 1. Realtime Protection

2. Malware Cleaner

3. Advanced Cloud Scanning

30-Days 6 Yes Yes
McAfee $29.99 1. Real-time Threat Protection

2. Protection Score

3. File Shredder

30-Days Unlimited Yes Yes
Norton Antivirus $19.99 1. Online Threat Protection

2. Cloud Backup

3. Smart Firewall

7-Days Unlimited Yes Yes
Avast Antivirus Pro $50.28 1. Network Security Scan and Alerts

2. Pay Guard

3. Ransomware Protection

7-Days 10 Yes Yes
Kaspersky $56.99
  1. Online Payment Protection

2. Performance Optimization

3. Unknown Malware Detection

Free 5 Yes Yes
Surfshark Antivirus $65.76 1. Real-time Protection

2. VPN

3. Device Scanning

7-Days 5 Yes Yes
TrendMicro $29.95 1. Ransomware Protection

2. Advanced AI Learning

3. TrendMicro Pay Guard

30-Days 5 Yes Yes
Intego $29.99 1. Internet Security

2. Content Barrier

3. Washing Machine

30-Days 10 Yes Yes
Avast Free 1. Anti-Malware Security

2. Web and Email Shield

3. Wifi Security Scan

Free Unlimited Yes Yes
Avira $19.99 1. Web Protection

2. Anti-Phishing

3. Anti Ransomware

7-Days 25 Yes Yes

Do I Need an Antivirus for Mac in 2023

Contrary to popular beliefs of Mac owners worldwide, Macs can and do get viruses. While it is true that PCs are more susceptible to malware, that doesn’t mean you can let your guard down when using a Mac.

We spend a large portion of our lives online, and even if you’re extra careful, there’s no guarantee that your computer is safe. In fact, all it takes is visiting the wrong website for your computer to become infected. So why do you need an antivirus for Mac?

Cybercrime is On the Rise

Cyber theft has been steadily rising over the years and is only expected to increase in the future. As our lives move increasingly online, we are more at risk for malicious attacks through the internet.

Macs Are No Longer Immune to Viruses

For a long time, Macs were considered immune to viruses because of their Unix-based operating system. However, this is no longer the case, as there have been several malware attacks specifically targeting Macs in recent years.

Even if You’re Careful, You Can Still Get Infected

Even if you’re careful about the websites you visit and the files you download, it’s still possible to get infected with a virus. This is because viruses can be spread through email attachments and downloads from trusted websites that have been compromised.

There Are so Many Threats

There are a number of different types of malware, including:

    • Viruses
    • Trojans
    • Worms
    • Spyware
    • Adware

Each type of malware has a different purpose and can cause different kinds of damage to your computer. The most common now is “ransomware”, which can lock up your computer and demand payment for release.

While antivirus software protects against viruses, it also protects against various other threats, such as spyware, phishing attacks, and malicious websites.

Protect Your Kids

If you have young children who use your computer, it’s important to have an antivirus program installed. Most antivirus providers on our list offer parental controls that allow you to block certain websites and monitor your child’s activity online.

Free Mac Antivirus VS Paid Antivirus Services

Free isn’t always the best, but free solutions can be a great way to test the software before committing to a paid plan. Here are our top picks for the best free antivirus software for Mac:

Avast

Our best free Mac antivirus pick is Avast Free Mac Security, which offers excellent malware protection and a generous selection of extra features.

It’s not quite as light on system resources as some competitors, but it’s still reasonably efficient. The interface is attractive and easy to use, making it a good choice for less experienced users.

Avira

Avira Free Antivirus for Mac is our second-best pick.

It has good malware protection, although not quite as good as Avast’s, and a decent selection of extra features. However, its system-resource usage is higher than average, and the interface isn’t quite as user-friendly as we’d like.

Intego

Intego Mac Internet Security X9 is our third-best pick.

It has excellent malware protection and a good selection of features. It’s also quite efficient in terms of system resources, making it a good choice for users with older Macs.

While those are some good free antivirus programs available, they don’t offer the same level of protection as a paid program. In addition, free antivirus programs often lack some of the extra features that can be found in paid options, such as firewall protection and parental controls.

If you’re looking for the best possible protection for your Mac, we recommend investing in a paid antivirus program like TotalAV or McAfee.

How to Get Started with the Best Mac Antivirus Tool

Installing and setting up an antivirus tool on a Mac is straightforward. Let’s use TotalAV as an example:

Step #1: Download and Install TotalAV

Step #2: Click Continue to Install

Step #3: Enter Your Password to Complete the Installation

And, that’s it. It automatically updates itself, so you don’t need to do anything else.

Mac Antivirus FAQs

Can Macs get viruses?

What’s the best antivirus for Mac?

What’s the best free antivirus software for Mac?

Norton vs McAfee — which is better?

Doesn’t Mac have a built-in antivirus solution?

Do antiviruses slow Mac devices down?

Conclusion | What’s the Best Antivirus Software for Mac in 2023?

Mac devices can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, so you want to make sure they’re well-protected against the latest threats. We understand that you have faith in Apple’s built-in security features, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also have a reliable antivirus program installed. So here’s a recap of our top 10 best antivirus software for Mac in 2023:

  1. TotalAV — Overall, the Best Mac Antivirus Software for Industry-Leading Security | Take Advantage of the 30-Day Guarantee.
  2. McAfee — Popular Antivirus for Mac for Excellent Real-Time Protection | Try the 30-Day Free Trial Now.
  3. Norton Antivirus — Powerful Multi-Device Protection | Protect Your Mac, iOS Devices, and Windows PCs with One Subscription.
  4. Avast Antivirus — Popular Mac Antivirus for Ransomware Protection | Award-Winning Security Program for Mac.
  5. Kaspersky — Great for Multi-Layered Web Protection with the Safe Browser Extension | Download and Try it Free for 30 days.
  6. Surfshark Antivirus — Outstanding Antivirus Software for Mac that Comes with a VPN | Offers a 7-Day Free Trial.
  7. TrendMicro — Best Anti-Phishing Features + An Easy-to-Use Interface | Test it Free for a Full Month.
  8. Intego — Phenomenal Malware Remover with their Mac Internet Security X9.
  9. Avast — The Best Free Mac Antivirus Software on the Market.
  10. Avira — A Popular Free Mac Antivirus with Cheap Premium Plans.

TotalAV is our top pick because it provides excellent protection against all types of malware, has a user-friendly interface, and doesn’t slow down your Mac.

It’s also one of the most affordable antivirus programs on our list, plus it protects you from ransomware, phishing attacks, and other online threats, consistently, so that you can rest easy whenever you’re online.