Comparison: the best Mac antivirus, which one should you choose? (2022)

In June 2021, Apple presented macOS Monterey with great fanfare. No major revolution (the big changes had mostly happened with Big Sur). On the other hand, many additional features are part of the security level. And for good reason: the context of cybercrime has exploded in recent years.

With millions of new malware detected, it is therefore always necessary to equip yourself with the best possible protection. Hence this comparison, which explores in detail the options offered by each of the most popular Mac antiviruses. Craig Federighi, VP Engineering at Apple has also recognized that Macs were too vulnerable to viruses.

We have divided the comparison into two categories. In the first section, we will talk about the best antiviruses for Mac . As you will see, they are all paid. That said, they usually offer a trial period to familiarize themselves with their offer. Rather than putting your data at risk with an obscure antivirus vendor on its business model (does it resell your data?), you might as well pay a few euros a year to be safe.

If you have decided to get the best antivirus for your Mac, you should realize the value of the data on your computer. The value is not only financial (in the case of sensitive documents) but above all sentimental. If you lose data to which you attach an emotion (photos, etc.), the value is sometimes much greater. That said, we’ve also sorted freeware further down this page . If you don’t have a budget, it’s better than nothing (but not always).

Top 5 best antiviruses on Mac in 2022:

  • Purpose
  • Bitdefender Total Security
  • McAfee
  • Kaspersky
  • Avast antivirus

The best Mac antiviruses are… paying!

Finding the best price for a Mac antivirus is not easy. Indeed, each program already offers several offers that you have to compare to find the one that suits you. Also, some features, like those of Intego, are sometimes sold separately. It then becomes more advantageous to buy only those which interest you to avoid any possible additional cost.

To choose the best antivirus for your Mac, several criteria must be taken into account. Beyond the price, there is first the level of security offered (the most important argument), the speed of the software and its discretion. Below in our premium Mac antivirus guide, they tick all the boxes. That said, we have our favorites.

1) Purpose VirusBarrier X9

best mac antivirus
© Purpose

This is the real number one in this comparison: Intego. The cybersecurity company has specialized in Macs since its inception in 1997. Until mid-2021, its only product was a Mac antivirus with more than 30 million customers. Since then, it has just released an adapted version on Windows. The specificity of Intego is that its antivirus was designed natively on Mac. The competitors have all done the opposite: they have developed a Windows antivirus that they have more or less adapted to the Mac. And it shows in the performance since Intego would be close to 100% malware detection.

Only downside: its trial version is limited in time (30 days). But its subscription features are great for any Mac looking for the best protection. The first and most obvious is VirusBarrier X9 , the best antivirus on macOS. This smart software protects your hardware against malware that specifically targets Apple computers.

Explore Intego for Mac

The Intego editor is also NetBarrier . This firewall is responsible for protecting your network both on site (for Mac Pro and mini for example) and on the move. MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and classic MacBook are therefore also compatible. All incoming and outgoing connections to your Wi-Fi or 4G hotspot are covered with NetBarrier. Even the best hacker will not be able to reach you, because surveillance is permanent. So the apps you use are scanned in real time and Intego NetBarrier detects whether they are receiving or transmitting stolen or malicious data.

If you decide to go for a Mac version of its antivirus, you can also go for its excellent Mac Premium Bundle X9. It is a pack that includes the antivirus but also a tool to clean your Mac, a backup tool and a parental control system. The value for money of the latter is quite attractive.

2) Antivirus Bitdefender Total Security

mac antivirus comparison
© Journal du Geek

It’s time to look at another serious contender for the title of best antivirus for Mac: Bitdefender. Number 2 in the comparison, Total Security is a complete suite that offers protection in a single product – and for all your devices. From iMac and Mac Pro to iPad and iPhone (and all Windows, Linux and other devices), all are compatible. Remember that Intego is exclusively available on Mac and Windows.

On macOS, Bitdefender Total Security includes a dozen different features. Already on the protection side, we really appreciate Safe Files. This is the best file security perimeter on the antivirus market. This prevents unauthorized modifications from being applied to them, when they are important. It’s up to you which folders should be protected in this way.

We can also mention the Time Machine Protection. Time Machine is Apple’s backup tool. A tool particularly targeted by Mac hackers. With Bitdefender, an additional layer of security is dedicated to it. This antivirus editor is one of the most famous in the world: no less than 500 million machines are protected with its software.

See the Bitdefender offer

On Mac, Bitdefender also includes anti-adware. This solution is one of the best against pop-up ads. However, it is not found on all antiviruses. This is a very positive point, especially when we now know that some free Adblockers let ads through. So it’s a good way to avoid all this discomfort.

If Bitdefender can also be considered the best antivirus for Mac, it is thanks to Traffic Light. Rare effective extension spotted by making this comparison, this one ensures the protection of your navigation on all the websites visited. When you make purchases in particular, your transactions are more secure. Traffic Light is also a feature that filters out daring content. In this way, your antivirus will also be able to take care of the younger ones.

3) McAfee

best mac antivirus
© Journal du Geek

McAfee also presents itself as a complete antivirus suite for Mac. A much better arrangement than having to install each module separately. Let’s do a quick comparison of the different offers of this software to better understand what differentiates them.

First of all, the one that is for us the best offer is McAfee Family. For 39.95 euros per year instead of 99.95 euros, this suite allows you to protect up to 10 devices per year against viruses. With McAfee Family, you also have a VPN and a tool to optimize your computer’s performance. We also appreciate the ability of this antivirus to provide security to the home network. As indicated by its developer, McAfee thus takes on the role of firewall.

Explore McAfee

McAfee’s second offering is McAfee Individual (which is the McAfee Total Protection suite). As the name suggests, this is the best Mac antivirus for single people. We also note that the price has been thought out accordingly: 29.95 euros per year instead of nearly 70 euros. You have the chance to protect one piece of equipment per year with antivirus, VPN, password manager and even storage.

Finally, McAfee Multi-equipment is an antivirus for 5 different Macs. It also gives access to a dedicated customer service available online in the event of a technical problem. So you can go on vacation with peace of mind. Note also that mobiles running iOS and Android are also eligible.

4) Kaspersky

mac antivirus comparison
feature comparison © Kaspersky

Kaspersky is the penultimate antivirus in our (paid) comparison for Mac. Why such a distant place? Because the rates are unfortunately quite high, even if the experience is there. Indeed, for example, you have to pay 39.99 euros to protect yourself with Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac. The Kaspersky Total Security antivirus suite, comparable to that of Bitdefender of the same name, is even more expensive: 69.99 euros! There is also the Kaspersky Security Cloud Personal package at 41.99 euros to protect its applications on all devices.

The best antivirus for Mac from Kaspersky remains for us Internet Security. It is indeed excellent value for money. There are many features that act as a shield against viruses, including the traditional real-time antivirus. It is also with this software that phishing can be blocked. This way, fraudulent websites and emails are quickly detected and you can get rid of them. Impossible to have your identity and your money stolen, or almost.

And Kaspersky Total Security, then? It is simply the most premium of this comparison. Indeed, for 69.99 euros per month you can also protect your iPhone with the antivirus. This software also makes your transactions safer.

It does this by using smart encryption when you type credit card details into Safari. But the other browsers that you can install on your Mac are not left behind. Moreover, a VPN makes it possible to defend them even better thanks to a package of 300 MB per day. This represents an episode of a series of about twenty minutes. Useful for accessing content from foreign streaming catalogs.

5) Avast premium offers

mac antivirus comparison
© Avast

With Avast in the paid version, you will not have any surprises unlike its free offer. It is totally legitimate and your data will not be resold. But you still need to be able to download the “right” version of Avast. So let’s do a quick comparison of the Mac antivirus offered by this company. Let’s start with the best.

This is for us Avast “Premium Security”. We consider it more effective than the classic Avast software because it also includes a module to secure your purchases by avoiding fraudulent web pages. It is the advanced solution against phishing. Another important tool in this suite: the secure environment. This allows you to start your favorite software and apps in an OS that is free of any recognized virus. This is also where Avast can warn you if a spy tries to access your webcam.

Download Avast

Finally, we wanted to introduce you to Avast Ultimate. If it is better than Avast Premium Security, this antivirus for Mac is however one of the most expensive in our comparison. And for good reason: it is billed more than 115 euros per year. Fortunately, we have negotiated for you an offer at 79.99 euros per year only accessible right here. This signs 33% off the base price. What more can you get for this price? Very serious assets for your safety. In particular Avast AntiTrack but also the VPN (medium) SecureLine.

Comparison of “free” Mac antiviruses

The real disadvantages

Before making the comparison of “free” Mac antiviruses, let’s first remember their risk. Unfortunately, equipping yourself with this kind of solution will not be easy, unlike paid offers. The first reason is that $0 Mac antiviruses are simply less effective: publishers limit the features they include. Objective: to make you switch to the paid version.

Another negative point: confidentiality. While paid antiviruses make money from your annual or monthly billing, free antiviruses resell your data. For advertisers or advertising agencies, the objective is the same anyway. It’s about better targeting you with personalized ads. In the end, you therefore take an additional risk on your data. This is the exact opposite of what an antivirus should do!

Below, however, we have listed the offers anyway. It is at your own risk.

1) Free Avast

best mac antivirus
© Journal du Geek

The best-known free antivirus in France is Avast. Difficult to make a complete comparison without mentioning it. But then, what does this package among the most accessible contain? To be honest, not much unfortunately. First of all, Avast Security (that’s the name of this version) offers anti-malware protection. This detects viruses, ransomware and other threats in real time. It is also a light but powerful antivirus, which is not the case for all. Spyware (spyware) is detected with Avast Security.

What’s more, Avast Security also includes the Wi-Fi Inspector. Here, it’s about preserving your connection when you surf via a box at the office or in a public space (station, airport, hotel). Finally, with the basic Avast antivirus, you are also protected against phishing.

Explore Avast

A brief explanation of what phishing is. This is a technique against which most of the antiviruses in our comparison act. With it, hackers create web pages that pretend to be real sites that you are used to visiting. The best will be so well done that you will see nothing but fire. You then enter your details, and the hacker takes the opportunity to recover them. Credit card code, secure identifiers, passwords… The amount of information that can be recovered is colossal.

2) Bitdefender pour Mac

best mac antivirus
© Journal du Geek

The second best Mac antivirus of all categories is Bitdefender. If we rank it so high in this comparison, it is thanks to several factors. The first therefore concerns its free version, which is not a trial version. With this, several solutions are available to you to protect your Mac.

Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition (our test) notably includes Virus Scanner. Essential security module, this one is once again limited to the minimum. To be entitled to better with the same publisher, we invite you to read point 2 of the next part of our comparison. Virus Scanner is able to analyze running apps, but also, according to the developer, “ critical locations ”, specific and system-wide.

See Bitdefender offers

Bitdefender Free Edition antivirus uses detection engines awarded by many specialized journals. It is also updated every hour based on the latest virus signatures detected on the parallel market. When a threat is recognized, you can then remove it immediately. If, however, you prefer to verify its veracity yourself, then Bitdefender can also quarantine it.

All documents, archives and files are compatible, even videos and images. In addition, the interface is easy to use and uses common terms. It is therefore not necessary to have technical knowledge to use this software. That’s why it’s also perhaps best for older audiences.

3) AVG

mac antivirus comparison
© Journal du Geek

On the contrary, we find that the ergonomics are not the best with the AVG antivirus. We present it all the same because it is another free solution. However, even after an informed comparison of all the offers in Europe, it was difficult for us to find antiviruses with this advantage as explained above. But AVG isn’t a dunce either: it has a few options that will make your life on the Mac safer.

Compatible with macOS 10.10 (Yosemite) at least, AVG for Mac provides “ security made easy ”. This is also what is verified on a daily basis, since like the previous ones this antivirus is effectively limited to what is strictly necessary. Note, however, that the protection is triple, because viruses are also detected on PC and mobile if necessary. In addition, the AVG antivirus is always-on: it runs in the background and does not bother you.

Discover AVG

Performance Comparison

To get a better opinion on all antiviruses for Mac, what better than to look at the numbers? This is what the specialized site AV-Comparatives offers us. This one was able to take Avast in hand like us, and, according to him, it detects all 99% of the threats. This only applies to the paid version.

Bitdefender is also entitled to this very good mark, since it is tied with 99% of the viruses detected during the evaluation. Just behind, we find the Mac Intego antivirus with a 97% success rate. Finally, the youngest noted by AV-Comparatives is Kaspersky. You thought his grade would be low? Think again: this one still gets 96%.

But then, why such close scores? There are several reasons. Already, you should know that when cybersecurity researchers discover breaches, two options are available to them. The most profitable is to participate in bug bounties to collect a reward. For this, they announce the discovery of the flaw to the developer who is responsible for it. The companies then pay them a bonus to thank them for having found a breach. And most often, publicly share the bug as soon as it’s fixed, to keep users informed.

Antiviruses for Mac, from the best to the worst in this comparison, then jump at the chance. Indeed, this information allows them to update their database. And to make their software even more efficient. This is why we go from 96% for Kaspersky to 99% for Bitdefender. As for the fact that nobody is 100%, this is explained because there are an incalculable number of hackers. They are the ones who work tirelessly to test the capabilities of operating systems and antivirus software. And it happens that they are one step ahead. But usually it only takes a few weeks before their actions are postponed. And then the flaws they use patched by antivirus.

Verdict: And the best antivirus for Mac is…

For the Journal du Geek , the place of the best antivirus for Mac is played between 2 serious competitors. On the one hand, we have the famous Intego with its excellent VirusBarrier X9 antivirus. With a very solid experience on Mac (for 20 years, it only offered one version), it is the paid antivirus which is the easiest to use in our comparison.

But Bitdefender and its performance optimizations overshadow it, so it is sometimes difficult to decide between the two competitors. The latter has the advantage of being compatible also on mobile, which is not the case with Intego. That said, in terms of efficiency, Intego is more convincing than Bitdefender. On a Mac, the value for money leans heavily in favor of Intego.