Mac Reviews

Best Antivirus for Mac 2019: Paid and Free Options

Written by John

Having a reliable and robust antivirus for your Mac system is more essential now than it ever has been before. The threat of cyber-security has grown exponentially with the development of both technology and the internet. You use your computer to do so many things and need all the information the Mac stores kept safe and secure. Hackers can not only attack your system and make it redundant but can also get hold of your details and leak or sell these on, not only putting possibly your finances at risk but also you and your family if information such as your address is leaked. Today we’re going to look at some of the best options you have when it comes to picking the best antivirus system for your Mac, looking at the features and the price of each of these options to try to give you as much information as possible before making a decision.

Best Antivirus for Mac 2019

1. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac

Bitdefender is a comprehensive antivirus solution that supports many platforms such as PC, Mac, Android and also iOS. The smart learning embedded in Bitdefender means that it can learn as it goes along and can advise you on security actions that will benefit your system relative to the needs and the usage patterns that you have. 

Bitdefender Antivirus in macOS Mojave

When you install BitDefender for Mac, you will see a simple interface that is very easy to use. Scanning the whole Mac is done fast in a discreet manner that has little effect on other uses of the Mac. The system’s performance and speed are not affected. As for the functioning, this will protect every bit of your Mac from all sorts of malware.

Time Machine Protection: this is a facility within your Mac OS system that you can use to back up your files. This means if the unfortunate eventuality does occur and your system does get attacked you have all of your data backed up ready to restore once the threat has been removed. Once such dangerous type of attack can be that of Ransomware of which its sole purpose is to encrypt all of your private files such as photos and videos. The hackers who have infected you might demand ransom to return your pictures to you, so this gives you extra protection.

Safe Files and Time Machine Protection

Safe Files Improved: This feature of Bitdefender will prevent any authorised changes including the deletion of your most important files. The role Bitdefender plays in this feature is to act as a guard and protect these files against ransomware attacks and other forms of malware. It only allows official applications that you trust access to your files.

Blocking and removal of adware: Adware is basically the annoying unsolicited adverts that you’ll find popping up in your browser becoming a distraction. Bitdefender removes adware as well as other malicious programs based in your browser leaving you to get on with your day.

Price: Basic $34.99, with Installation and Setup $60.99, with Premium VPN also $100.98

2. Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes is an anti-virus program specifically designed for Mac systems designed to comprehensively give you protection against any cyber threats, especially malware. It has advanced anti-malware technology that allows it to detect and remove malware threats in real time. It also has the added benefit of being able to detect and remove any annoying adware so that you can browse the internet peacefully.

Malwarebytes for Mac

Due to it being designed specifically for Macs means that it can scan your whole OS in under 15 seconds; this scan can also be run in the background leaving you to get on with your work. It is also light only taking up the same amount of memory as three music files. You also have the option of being able to test how effective the solution is by taking up a 14-day trial.

Price: Basic/Free, 1 year/$39.99, 2 years $79.98.

3. Norton Security for Mac

Norton is by far one of the most recognisable brands when you think of anti-virus protection. To help protect your files and your Mac system they have an anti-virus solution that has been specifically designed for Mac OS referred to as Norton Security Deluxe. It gives you round the clock protection against all different types of viruses, ransomware, spyware, malware and also adware.

Norton Security on macOS High Sierra

If you sign up to Norton Security Deluxe, you have an expert on hand to help you stay protected, or if they can’t, you are entitled to a refund. Due to their global presence, Norton has amassed one of the most significant intelligence networks allowing them to pre-emptively pick up on cyber threats and remove these threats. Updates are also automatic meaning you will never be a step behind and always a step in front when it comes to being protected from any threats.

Norton Security for Mac

With the higher packages, Deluxe and Premium, you get convenient security like securing many devices with one subscription, automatic backups, secure cloud storage and an easy to use the online portal from where the security of the devices can be monitored.

Price: $59.99/year

4. Avast Security for Mac

For those looking for the best free antivirus for Mac, this is the best option. The free version offers antivirus protection, scheduled scans, home network scan and protection of web, mail and files. As for the paid version (49.99 per year), it has a Wi-Fi inspector and ransomware shield together with the features the free Avast version has.

Avast Security on macOS

This antivirus program from Avast gives you protection on multiple fronts against many different types of viruses such as malware, ransomware, spyware, adware and, DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks. It has many impressive features on the core free version including real-time and comprehensive protection against malware variants such as viruses, spyware and, trojans. It will also scan any removable devices such as CD or DVD to scan for any threats contained on these. Scans can either be performed there on the spot, or they can be scheduled for when your system is sleeping or when you’re away from your Mac so that it doesn’t cause any inconvenience.

Price: Basic/Free, Premium/$63.77

5. Eset Cyber Security for Mac

This antivirus solution from Eset comes with award-winning technology that provides fast, powerful and comprehensive anti-malware protection for your Mac OS system. The anti-virus and anti-spyware facilities are also built on the record-breaking ESET NOD32 along with anti-phishing capabilities meaning that no hackers will be stealing your username or bank details. The streamlined interface is also extremely user-friendly meaning you can tailor the settings of the system to exactly how you want or you can stick with the default if you’d rather.

ESET Cyber Security Pro

Some advanced features that are present in the basic package of this antivirus are anti-phishing, removable media control, cloud-powered scanning, automatic updates and free support. This will cost you $29.99. For a little more you can get features like anti-theft, parental control and personal firewall. If unsure, try the free version available for 30 days and you will be convinced why this is the best.

Price: ESET Cyber Security £29.99/year, Cyber Security Pro £39.99/year or ESET Multi-Device Security Pack £44.99/year.

6. AVG Antivirus for Mac

This is an antivirus that looks great and will do the job perfectly. The newest version has some cool looks but is also as effective as all its predecessors if not better. We have ascertained this through hands-on and laboratory tests.

On download and installation, you will see two main panes. The first is the free mac antivirus that ensures that you get the basic protection you need. In the basic protection pane there are two icons; computer protection and web and email protection. Both are enabled by default. In the second pane are more advanced options that you have to enable by purchasing the AVG security suite. These protect private data, protect against hacks and protect you during online transactions.

AVG AntiVirus on macOS

With the free AVG antivirus for mac you can do a full scan of the computer or scan a particular file. You can also customize the scanning as you wish. An advanced option that you have is to scan for programs that you may have downloaded unintentionally.

Other than the scanning that you set up, AVG gives your mac real-time protection by detecting and eliminating new threats as they arise. This way after the initial full scan your computer will remain protected without the need to repeat the scan.

7. Sophos Home

The Sophos Home “Scan Now” button is placed at the top of the software’s main window making it easily accessible. This however is not the only reason why we will feature this as among the best free antivirus for mac. Just above the button are the system status and the protection status at the bottom. You get the information on whether you are protected or not at a glance. At the top of the page is a link to the Sophos home dashboard website. This is where the software can be controlled from.

Sophos Home for Mac

Up to 10 macs can be managed using one account. However, you can only use the web interface to control these. Another downside is that the antivirus for MacOS Sierra does not offer protection against browser extensions and does not offer email attachment protection. The background scan it performs however does scan every file when it is open and prevents browsers from navigating websites that have malicious content.

Sophos Home scans the computer and its connections every now and then when you request so and in the background as the computer is in use. It also comes with parental controls. All these can be easily carried out thanks to the easy to use interface and remote accessibility. Full system scans take as long as several hours but this software has the least impact on the system’s operation.

8. Avira for Mac

A while back Avira was the best antivirus for mac. Recently however, it has been failing to detect some malware and as such some users find it non-satisfying. This does not mean that it is not a viable contender. After all, it is here among the best antivirus for macOS Sierra.

Avira Free Antivirus

The main window has a “New Scan” button that when pressed begins a scan. This can either be a quick scan or full computer scan depending on what you choose in the start button drop-down menu that follows.

Avira is updated frequently and benefits from information from 100 million users all over the world. Detected malware is quarantined to prevent it from spreading. Like most other antiviruses you can set Avira to carry out scheduled scans as you wish to be it daily or weekly. There is also real-time protection that is offered by Avira which quarantines threats as they are detected.

9. G Data Antivirus for Mac

G DATA Antivirus for Mac

This antivirus from German company Gdata is designed to keep your Mac OS system protected for all manner of threats protecting both the integrity of your system and your private files ensuring that you suffer no loss in performance for your Mac. It will also scan links to assess whether they’re malicious so that you know not to click it and if you do by accident Gdata will block you from accessing the website in question. Like many of the other solutions here it also has the facility to scan any external devices you may have such as a USB stick for threats such as malware, spyware and adware.

Price: 1 year for one device/$39.95

10. BullGuard Internet Security

BullGuard Antivirus

This is an anti-virus program developed by London based firm BullGuard. It provides you with next generation protection when it comes to anti-malware protection picking up a host of top rating when it came to industry tests by AV-Test and AV-Comparatives. It has daily updates meaning it can proactively look for any threats on your system and remove them if necessary. Another innovative feature which is parental control which can block access to malicious or inappropriate websites by putting filters in place to keep them protected round the clock from any inappropriate material and preventing them from clicking a malicious link containing malware or spyware.

Price: 1 year, three devices/£24.97

Bottom line

As you can see there are many different options at your disposal should you be looking for the best antivirus for your Mac in 2019. Each of these solutions provides comprehensive protection; however, you’ll also want to look at the added extras that are included such as a firewall and how many devices you can use the antivirus on. There is also the value for money element however in this case you can’t put a price on keeping your system, your personal and private files and financial information safe from any hackers who will want to steal these details for their own financial gain. Whichever you choose to purchase, just ensure that you know that it’s going to be protecting you and your files round the clock from any manner of threat.

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