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11 best antivirus for Mac 2016

Matt Egan | July 11, 2016
The 10 best antivirus programs for OS X. Best free AV for Macs

Do I need antivirus for Mac?

A hoary old question. Plenty of Mac afficianados will tell you that Apple computers are inherently secure and don't require protection. We'd argue that they are wrong - or misguided at least.

Macs are more secure - or less insecure at least - than their Windows brethren for two reasons. On the technical side, OS X is a Unix-based operating system. As a Unix-based operating system OS X is sandboxed. It's like having a series of fire doors - even if malware gains access to your Mac, it is unable to spread to the heart of the machine. Macs are not unhackable, but they are more difficult to exploit than Windows PCs.

Which is the second reason. Not only are there far fewer Macs than there are Windows PCs, but they are harder to hack. Is it any wonder, then, that cybercriminals focus on the Windows world? All malware these days exists to make money, and the criminals who create and share such filth are not doing so because they want to work hard. They pick off the lowest hanging fruit, and that is unprotected Windows PCs.

There are active malware in the Mac world, however. And one of the biggest threats is your own behaviour. So it is definitely worth investing in Mac antivirus. Here we showcase the 11 best in reverse order.

What we look for

For any security software to be effective and worth the install it has to be able to prevent malware from infecting your computer. Mac antivirus is no different. We look for anti-malware properties that prevent known and unknown threats from having their way with your Mac. We use AV-Test.org's own testing data to ascertain the effectiveness of each antivirus in this respect.

But security is only half the story. In order for an antivirus to work effectively it also needs to be unobtrusive. AV-Test also looks at the impact of these pieces of software on your system: in laymen's terms, how much does the antivirus slow down your Mac, if at all.

For each of the security solutions we outline over the following slides, we have tested their ability to keep your Mac safe, and balanced that against the impact on your Mac's performance. You'll see that even though the best free antivirus programs are good at protection, for instance, they also hurt your Mac's speed much more than do paid-for software. So you need to balance cost against performance impact when selecting a product. Now, on to the 10 best Mac antivirus.

11. Intego Mac Premium Bundle

Not cheap, and with only 92 percent of threats detected far from perfect, Intego Mac Premium Bundle X8 10.8 is a full-featured security products for Macs. It costs £69.99 for one Mac for one year, but also offers some optimisation, parental controls and backup tools. But we can do better than that, on the next slide.

 

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