Best Antivirus Software For Mac | 2022 Guide

Popular Antivirus Software

Although it’s commonly thought that Macs don’t need protection from viruses and other malware, this isn’t true. While Windows 10 and older versions of Windows are more widely used than macOS, and thus are more attractive targets for hackers, Mac owners are still at risk.

According to Peter Stelzhammer, co-founder of independent security testing lab AV-Comparatives, Macs and Windows machines are equally vulnerable to online attacks. These attacks can come in a myriad of forms, such as:

  • Adware, which pops up unwanted ads on your computer screen
  • Viruses, which damage other software on your computer
  • Ransomware, which can render your computer useless until you pay a fee, or “ransom”
  • Worms, which are pieces of software that can spread between computers
  • Spyware, through which someone can monitor your computer activities


“Malware” is a generic term for malicious computer files. There are other types of attacks as well, including a common technique called “phishing.” During a phishing attempt, a hacker will send you an email or text with a link to a fake website that resembles one used by your bank or another company or institution. If you click on the link and enter your information, such as your Social Security or bank account number, the person operating the fake website can steal it.

Using strong passwords and taking other commonsense precautions online will go a long way toward protecting yourself from these attacks. But for more complete protection, subscribe to a good Mac antivirus program.

Antivirus software scans the files and other data sent to and from your computer over the internet. If the software detects a suspicious website or file, it will warn you not to click on it. The software will also try to quarantine and eliminate any suspicious files that you accidentally download.

In addition, many antivirus programs include a virtual private network (VPN), which disguises what you do online, along with parental controls to protect children from online threats, and a firewall, which monitors traffic on your home network.


To help protect you online, here’s the Best Antivirus Software for Macs of 2022:

Best Mac Antivirus Software of 2022

Intego Antivirus – Mac »

4.2 out of 5

Price$49.99 & Up $29.99 & Up
Devices Covered Up to 5 Devices
Free Version
View Plans »

Exclusive offer: Mac Premium Bundle X9 for only $29.99

Intego Antivirus – Mac »

4.2 out of 5


$49.99 & Up $29.99 & Up Price
Up to 5 Devices Devices Covered
Free Version
View Plans »

Exclusive offer: Mac Premium Bundle X9 for only $29.99

Learn More

The following are the Best Antivirus Software for Macs of 2022. If two prices are separated by a slash, the first price pertains to the first year of a subscription, and the second price pertains to each subsequent year.

Intego Antivirus – Mac  »

Intego Antivirus - Mac

Exclusive offer: Mac Premium Bundle X9 for only $29.99

$49.99 & Up $29.99 & Up

Free Version

Operating Systems

Price reflects discount

Intego: Intego sells four consumer macOS antivirus packages in a variety of multiyear/multidevice subscription configurations, covering just macOS devices or macOS devices plus a single Windows device. They range in price from $39.99/$49.99 for a single-year, single-device subscription to $149.99/$184.99 to cover three devices for two years.

Bitdefender: Bitdefender’s five different antivirus packages, each with different prices depending on the number of devices (usually three, five, or 10) and subscription length (one, two, or three years). These packages range in price from $19.99/$39.99 for Antivirus Plus on one device for one year to $89.99/$149.99 for Bitdefender Premium Security on 10 devices for one year.

ESET: ESET sells three antivirus software configurations in one-, two-, or three-year subscriptions. The least expensive option costs $39.99 a year for basic malware defense for one device. The most advanced option comes in at $449.97 a year for the Smart Security Premium package, which covers 10 devices for three years. Read more about ESET.

Norton: Norton has five primary antivirus/identity theft protection packages that range in price from Norton 360 Standard ($39.99 for the first year and $79.99 thereafter) to Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus ($299.99/$349.99). If you just want antivirus protection, Norton Antivirus Plus is available for $19.99/$59.99.

Kaspersky: Kaspersky antivirus software packages are available with three-, five-, 10-, or 20-device coverage in one-, two-, and three-year subscriptions. Prices range from $39.99 for three devices for one year of Kaspersky Internet Security ($79.99 upon renewal) to $74.99 for 10 devices for one year for Kaspersky Total Security ($149.99 upon renewal). It also offers a basic free antivirus program called Kaspersky Security Cloud Free.

Avast: Avast offers completely free antivirus software along with two paid antivirus software packages under both the Avast and AVG brands. Avast also sells Omni, a separate combined hardware/antivirus protection subscription solution to protect smart home/Wi-Fi networks. Prices range from $39.99 to $69.99 for the first year for a single device, and $69.99 to $119.99 a year thereafter to protect 10 devices.

McAfee: McAfee antivirus software ranges in price from $29.99 for one device for the first year ($79.99 upon renewal) for McAfee Total Protection to $39.99 for McAfee LiveSafe, which covers an unlimited number of devices for one year ($119.99 upon renewal).

Sophos: Sophos sells just one antivirus software package, Sophos Home Premium. It comes in one-, two-, and three-year subscriptions. Home Premium on a one-year plan costs $44.99 a year. A two-year plan costs $74.99, and a three-year plan costs $104.99. The free version, Sophos Home Free, protects a combination of up to three Mac computers.

Trend Micro: Trend Micro’s Antivirus for Mac (one year, one device: $29.95/$39.95) offers “Advanced AI” protections against viruses, ransomware, phishing emails, and suspicious or malicious websites. Its Maximum Security package (one year, five devices: $39.95/$89.95) protects multiple desktop and mobile operating systems, covers either five or 10 devices, and includes a password manager.

If you have a computer running Windows 10, Windows 7, or another version of Windows, we’ve researched the Best Antivirus Software of 2022. Click on the company names below for more information about the antivirus software that each offers.

In your search for the best antivirus software for your Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Choose an antivirus program: Good internet security in part requires choosing a good antivirus program. Look for one that detects and removes viruses, spyware, phishing emails, worms, and other threats. Antivirus software also should be easy to use and have the features you need without breaking the bank.

  1. Consider creating an account: When you purchase antivirus software online, you will probably be asked to create an account. This will let you adjust various settings related to privacy, the devices you’re protecting, your subscription, and your payment method. Creating an account also will allow you to receive notifications of software updates.
  2. Download the antivirus software: Download and install your antivirus software on your Mac the same way you do any other type of program. A few antivirus programs come on DVDs or other physical media, and these will come with their own installation instructions.
  3. Consent to the licensing agreement: To use the software you’ve installed, you will have to consent to the user or licensing agreement.
  4. Restart your computer if required: If you were using other antivirus software that you uninstalled or a free trial of your new software, you will have to restart your computer for your new software to begin operating.
  5. Scan your computer for viruses: Once your new antivirus software is installed, you should run an initial scan for viruses and other malware. If you have a lot of files on your computer, the initial scan could take an hour or more. The software will let you know how long the scan will take and if you can use your computer in the meantime. Subsequent scans usually take only a few minutes.
  6. Update the antivirus program if prompted: Antivirus software automatically updates itself with new virus definitions and security features. This usually happens many times per day without interrupting what you’re doing on your computer. If a new version of your antivirus software is released, you’ll have to install it manually.

Mac Antivirus Software Price Comparison

Everyone with a device connected to the internet should get antivirus software. However, this software is no substitute for being careful online. According to John Hawes, chief operating officer of the international nonprofit Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO), relying solely on your antivirus software for protection while using weak passwords or taking other risks is like driving a mechanically sound vehicle “with your eyes shut.”

Use strong passwords that are hard to guess, ignore email attachments from strangers, and only provide your Social Security number or other personal data to legitimate recipients. Take other measures to protect yourself and boost your internet security with features such as a firewall, parental controls, an updated browser, or a password manager.

However, antivirus software provides a critical extra layer of protection. This kind of software can detect malware and other threats that you might not notice until the damage is done. Hackers invent more than 350,000 new kinds of malware every day, says Andreas Marx, a managing director at testing lab AV-Test. Antivirus software companies frequently update their products to detect as many of these threats as possible, providing additional security that will complement your safe online behavior.

In considering which antivirus software to subscribe to, look for these features and traits:

Performance/Reliability: First and foremost, a good antivirus program can identify, block, and remove all types of malware, including viruses, worms, adware, and others. Antivirus software should also be able to detect phishing attempts. Our Best Antivirus Software for Macs of 2022 and Best Antivirus Software of 2022 ratings can point you to lists of effective antivirus programs.

Pricing/Value: Only buy programs with features you actually need, including the ability to protect all of your computers, tablets, phones, and other devices. In addition, look at the annual renewal price rather than the discounted first-year price.

Ease of Use: If the software offers a free trial, take advantage of it to make sure the program is easy to use and doesn’t slow down your computer. In addition, contact customer service during the free trial to see if they’re responsive and helpful.

The term antivirus software is somewhat misleading, according to Stelzhammer of AV-Comparatives. That’s because it guards against not only viruses, but also other types of malware like worms, adware, and ransomware. In addition, a good antivirus program will watch for phishing attempts that try to steal your personal data by getting you to enter it on a fake website.

Because of the variety of online threats, antivirus software uses several different methods of detecting them. These include, among others:

Signature Analysis: With this fingerprinting-like technique, real-time antivirus signature analysis records a piece of malware’s unique signature. It then uses that information to help identify new, similar threats.

Heuristic Analysis: Many hackers know how to defeat signature analysis. That’s where heuristic analysis comes into play. With this approach, antivirus software looks for files that are behaving suspiciously in a way that matches known malware.

Sandbox Detection: Some antivirus software, if it encounters a suspicious file, will open and run it in a secure area called a “sandbox.” This will prevent the file from harming your computer if it turns out to be malware.

Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence: Machine learning and artificial intelligence are two relatively new ways for computers to identify malware and other threats. The software then adds information about these threats to its detection database.

Behavior Monitoring: Hawes, of the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization, explains that behavior monitoring involves watching the traffic between your computer and various devices like disk drives and printers to “stop them when they do something suspicious.” You can also undo any authorized changes these external devices make that may compromise your internet security.

Best Antivirus Software for Macs Coupons and Discount Codes

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Still looking for more information about antivirus software or trying to find the best antivirus software for you? Explore the directory below to learn more.

Other Ratings from 360 Reviews

You may also be interested in:

We explain what matters most to consumers, experts, and professional reviewers when it comes to antivirus software. Then we provide an unbiased evaluation of antivirus software available at the time of review. Our goal is to empower consumers with the information and tools they need to make informed decisions. More information about our 360 Reviews methodology for evaluating antivirus software companies is here.

U.S. News 360 Reviews takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission but that in no way affects our editorial independence.

Erlando F Rasatro

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