As a macOS user, you’ve probably heard that your computer doesn’t need an antivirus to protect it from malware. Unfortunately, that’s nothing more than a myth that was debunked a long time ago. 

If you’re in the market for a new antivirus package for your Mac, there are a few things to consider before you choose one. Aside from the price factor, you should have a look at other considerations like the malware detection rate, the user interface, and the scan speed. 

To make the choice easier for you, we selected the best antivirus software for Mac including both free and paid options. 

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Do You Need An Antivirus For Mac? 

Getting an antivirus for Mac is not essential, but recommended. Your Mac has a way of protecting itself thanks to its Unix-like operating system. Among the tools that macOS uses to protect itself from malware is the anti-malware scanner Xprotect that runs in the background and the Gatekeeper that scans any unknown applications that can potentially harm your PC. 

You can also reduce the risk of getting your Mac infected by following basic security protocols. 

Update Your Mac Regularly

One of the most basic security measures you can take to protect your Mac is to keep it updated. Your Mac will normally prompt you to do it when a system update is available. However, you can check for updates manually. 

Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Software Update. In that same menu you can set your Mac to install updates automatically. 

Don’t Install Suspicious Applications

Installing software from an unknown source can also lead to infecting your computer. To be on the safe side, try to only use apps from the App Store or the ones signed with a developer certificate.

Another good practice is to get rid of Adobe Flash as it can also be a source of viruses. Most websites don’t use Flash anymore, and if you ever need to, there are still ways to play Flash files in your browser

Use a VPN

Using a VPN service can effectively help you avoid catching malware on your Mac. That’s especially relevant if you’re someone who often connects to public WiFi networks and hotspots. 

Some antivirus packages actually include a VPN, so you don’t have to buy or download it separately. After all, despite following all the security practices mentioned above, getting an antivirus for your Mac can be still worth your money and time. Even if it just gives you peace of mind. 

Top Free Antivirus Options For Mac

If you’re looking for a basic malware removing tool without any premium features like a VPN access or personal firewall, you’ll be okay with a free antivirus software. 

The following are some of the best antivirus options for Mac.

Avast Security For Mac

Price: Free. Premium starts at $70 per year, but use our link and it’s 20% off.

Avast Security For Mac is a great option for anyone looking to install a program once and forget worrying about malware for good. Avast allows you to run full-system scans or targeted scans on specific parts of your system, like a specific drive, folder, or even a single file. You can also schedule automatic scans to run at certain times when you’re away from your Mac. 

Avast has both free and paid premium versions. The premium features include detecting ransomware and real-time WiFi security alerts. 

Malwarebytes For Mac

Price: Free. Premium usually starts at $39.99 per year, but use the link and get it for $29.99.

Malwarebytes For Mac is another great basic antivirus tool. Among its advantages is a clear simple interface and lightweight installation. You can use it for speedy scans and basic malware removal. However, if you want real-time protection, you’ll have to get the paid premium version. 

Sophos Home

Price: Free. Premium starts at $30 per year.

For those looking for an option with extra features but still not willing to pay for them Sophos Home is the best solution. This antivirus is packed with useful attributes which you don’t always find in premium versions. That includes real-time protection, browser filtering to block potentially dangerous sites, and parental controls to supervise your children’s internet use

Even the free version of Sophos Home allows you to use it on multiple (up to three) Mac or Windows devices. You can also get premium if you want add-ons like ransomware protection, and an option to cover up to 10 devices to protect the whole family. 

The Best Paid Antivirus Options For Mac 

If you don’t mind spending a little on an antivirus software and you feel like the free options aren’t enough to remove stubborn malware, try one of the following premium antivirus packages. 

Bitdefender Antivirus For Mac

Price: Starts at $19.99 per year.

If you’re concerned about your Mac’s security but don’t want to pay a fortune for antivirus, check the Bitdefender Antivirus first. It comes with a variety of handy features like ransomware protections, blocking of suspicious websites, and anti-phishing protection. 

Bitdefender also helps you maintain your privacy while surfing the web. As a part of the antivirus package you get access to Bitdefender VPN

Trend Micro Antivirus For Mac

Price: Starts at $29.95 per year.

Trend Micro Antivirus For Mac is also one of the top performers when it comes to malware protection. The app’s top features include social media protection that keeps the data you share online safe, email filtering for detecting scams, and extensive parental control options.

The main downside here is that Trend Micro allows you to use the antivirus software on only one device. If that’s not a deal breaker for you, look no further. 

Norton 360

Price: Starts at $39.99 per year.

Norton 360 is the premium all-in-one antivirus service that offers multiple layers of protection and online privacy. Depending on the plan that you choose, you can cover up to 5 devices and up to 100GB cloud storage to backup your PC. 

Other perks you get with Norton 360 include strong malware protection, an intelligent firewall, password manager, and even dark web monitoring. The latter means that Norton will notify you if any of your personal information is found on the Dark Web.  One of the biggest perks though is the access to Norton Secure VPN that’s included in your antivirus package. 

Get Extra Protection For Your Computer

Even if you use all the security tools available on your Mac and follow the protocols, you still should never assume that your Mac is safe from malware. No matter which operating system you run, getting that extra layer of protection for your computer in the form of an antivirus is still a good call. 

Do you think it’s necessary to run an antivirus on a Mac? Share your security practices with us in the comments below.