We may earn a commission when you make a purchase via links on this site.

The 4 Best Antivirus for Mac (2023 Update)

By Tibor Moes / Updated: March 2023

Why do you need antivirus software on your Mac? Although macOS is safer than Windows, there is a vast number of threats targeting your Macbook. And the problem is growing.

  • Threats for Mac are increasing rapidly. According to Malwarebytes, the number of malware attacks on Macs increased by more than 200 percent in 2021, to 164 million.
  • Adware spies on Mac users. Adware, like OSX Genio, tracks your browsing activity, changes your passwords, and shows you intrusive ads. It appeared on 10% of all infected Macs.
  • Older macOS versions are not safe. According to Intego, older macOS versions don’t get the latest security updates, making them vulnerable to system exploits.

Installing one of the best antivirus software for Mac will free you from malware, adware, and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). This protects your Macbook and your privacy.

Short on time? This is the best antivirus for Mac

Norton - The best antivirus of 2023

Norton Antivirus

Ranked #1 of 20 antivirus software

  • Device Security 100% 100%
  • Online Privacy 100% 100%
✓ Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS
✓ 60-day money-back guarantee
✓ VPN: Free and unlimited

Trusted by 50 million users around the world

The best antivirus for Mac of 2023

What is the best antivirus software for Mac in 2023? We have tested 20 brands. And to be honest, not all are worth your money.

Because most cybersecurity companies focus on Windows, their antivirus software for Mac often lack features such as a firewall or password manager.

So which one should you buy? Below you can find the four that we consider the best. Especially the first two, Norton and Intego, are exceptionally good.

Click the links or scroll down for more.

Alternatively, you can look at our comparison of the best antivirus for 2023, Windows 11, Android, or iOS. Or our privacy-focused comparisons of the best VPN and best antivirus with a VPN.

Norton for Mac

Norton for Mac

Ranked #1 out of 20 Antivirus

Norton Antivirus for Mac Review

Norton Antivirus for Mac Review

Summary: Norton offers the best antivirus protection for Mac. It combines anti-malware, web protection, firewall, unlimited VPN, password manager, parental controls, and dark web monitoring. No competitor offers such complete protection on Mac.

Norton’s antivirus for Mac consists of a central dashboard, called My Norton, from which you can access the various security features. We’ll discuss each:

Device Security

As most Mac users want to keep things simple, Norton has added the Quick Scan and Live Update buttons that allow you to update the software, run a quick scan of your Mac, and get on with the rest of your day.

But sometimes, you’re in the mood for a bit more. That is when you hit the Open button to access the advanced features and settings.


  • Add Devices: Send a download link to another device via text or email, or scan the QR code to install Norton’s app on your phone.
  • Scan: Run a Quick Scan, Full System Scan, or File Scan to check your entire Mac or a specific file.
  • LiveUpdate: Download the latest product updates and malware database to your Mac to keep your security updated.
  • Clean: Search and remove temporary, duplicate, or similar files to clear up space on your hard drive.


  • Protect My Mac: Customize your system scans by including or excluding specific folders.
  • Firewall: Adjust the firewall to block specific applications, protect vulnerabilities, or sharpen the firewall’s network awareness. 
  • Safe Web: Install Norton’s Safe Web browser extension on Safari, Chrome, or Firefox to block malicious websites before visiting them. 
  • Activity: See the security history of your Mac, including firewall blocks, scans, threat detections, and updates.
  • Product Settings: Access Silent Mode, Error Management, Automatic Upgrades, and Norton Community Watch.

Anti-Malware Test Results

Norton’s malware removal for Mac is exceptional. Its test scores in the independent test lab, AV-Test, have been consistently 100% since tests for Mac began in June 2017.

No other brand has a perfect track record on macOS. Avast, Avira, AVG, Bitdefender, F-Secure, Intego, Kaspersky, MacKeeper, TotalAV, and TrendMicro all fall behind Norton when averaging the test results.

Dark Web Monitoring

Norton can search the Dark Web for your data and email you if any of it is sold by hackers. It can search for your Address, Driver’s License, Insurance, Mother’s Maiden Name, Gamer Tag, Email, Bank Accounts, Credit Cards, and Phone Numbers.

Norton has become a leader in identity theft protection thanks to its Dark Web Monitoring and its LifeLock features available in the US.

Secure VPN

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) makes you anonymous online and safe on public Wi-Fi networks. It does this by encrypting your internet connection and hiding your IP address. This significantly increases your online safety.

Where most competitors’ VPNs have a data limit of a few hundred MB per day, Norton has included an unlimited VPN for free. It’s fast, secure, private (no logs), works with Netflix, and allows you to download torrents.

Although it will be enough for most users, privacy wonks prefer Intego’s VPN. Intego’s VPN is far more advanced as it includes a kill switch, split tunnel, auto-connect, and a range of customizable features. Still, Norton’s VPN is included for free, while you’ll need to pay extra for Intego’s VPN.

Password Manager

Norton’s password manager is excellent. It helps you create and store ultra-secure passwords and auto-fills them when logging onto a website. It also automatically syncs those passwords on all your devices.

We like that you can use your phone’s fingerprint or facial recognition to log in to your password vault on your phone and your Mac.

Parental Controls

Norton’s parental controls allow you to monitor and protect your kids online. For example, you can block specific websites and apps and set screen time rules.

Is Norton 360 the best antivirus for Mac?

Yes. We believe so. By featuring anti-malware, web protection, a firewall, an unlimited VPN, a password manager, parental controls, and dark web monitoring, Norton is far more than just an antivirus program.

We believe Norton is the most complete security software you can buy. It offers both the best virus protection and the best internet security for Mac.

For an even more in-depth analysis, see our full review of Norton 360 Deluxe.

Intego for Mac

Intego for Mac

Ranked #2 out of 20 Antivirus

Intego Antivirus for Mac Review

Intego Antivirus for Mac Review

Key takeaway: Intego is one of the best Mac antivirus software. It isn’t as versatile as Norton. Because it only offers great protection for Mac (not other OS), and it misses the password manager and dark web monitoring. That said, we are big fans of its intuitive firewall, customizable parental controls, and highly advanced VPN. If you only have a Mac to protect, Intego is an excellent choice.

Intego’s antivirus software for Mac consists of five features and one optional one, the VPN.

  • The two core features, the anti-malware, and firewall, are present in Intego Mac Internet Security X9.
  • If you upgrade to Intego Premium Bundle X9, you also get the other three features; the backup, optimizer, and parental controls.

Below we’ll discuss each feature.


Intego has named its anti-malware for Mac the VirusBarrier. And it’s excellent. It consists of a real-time scanner, quick scan, full scan, and scheduled scan. And can hunt for various malware types, including:

  • Mac malware
  • Windows malware
  • Linux malware
  • Malicious scripts
  • Hacking tools
  • Keyloggers

On top of that, it can scan external harddisks and devices, including your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. It can even check your email if you use the Apple Mail app.


We’re big fans of Intego’s firewall, called the NetBarrier.

What we love most about it is its interface. Let’s be honest; not everyone enjoys studying the ins and outs of firewalls. Intego solves that perfectly by using a user-friendly layout that explains the concept perfectly.

On top of that, it will automatically detect whether you are at home, work, or on a public Wi-Fi network and adjust its security settings for both internet and local connections accordingly.

It’s an excellent firewall.


Although Mac users already have their fair share of backup options, thanks to the Time Machine and iCloud Drive, Intego has built its own and called it the Personal backup.

It allows you to back up and sync your entire hard drive, or individual files and folders, to an external hard disk. So it’s similar to iCloud Drive but doesn’t charge a monthly subscription fee.

Of course, unlike iCloud Drive, you must supply your own hard drive.

Mac Optimizer

Intego helps you to optimize your Mac with its Washing Machine feature. It will enable you to:

  • Reclaim disk space by finding and deleting junk files.
  • Remove duplicate files to free up even more disk space.
  • Organize your Desktop and Dock, and order files into Smart Folders.

Parental Controls

Intego’s parental controls, the ContentBarrier, allow you to monitor and protect your kids online. It’s easy to set up, thanks to its pre-designed protection levels, focused on teenagers or young kids.

But it also offers a wealth of customization options if you want to get your hands dirty. Amongst others, you can:

  • Block websites and apps by category or individually.
  • Record chats, screenshots, and even keystrokes.
  • Get automated reports via email.

One of the most notable features is the Anti-Predator alert, which instantly sends you an email when your child engages with a bad actor in a chat room. Intego recognizes this via speech patterns and word choice.


As you might already know, a VPN encrypts your internet connection and hides your IP address online. This makes you anonymous online and secure on public Wi-Fi.

Intego’s VPN, Privacy Protect, is an optional feature that costs extra. It’s based on the Private Internet Access VPN, also owned by Intego’s parent company, Kape Technologies.

And we must admit, we are huge fans of the VPN. It is lightning-fast, secure (no leaks), private (no logs), and works with streaming services (Netflix) and torrent clients (uTorrent). And, as if that wasn’t enough, it’s the most customizable VPN we have ever tested on Mac.

You can read more about it in our full review of Intego’s VPN.

Is Intego the best antivirus for Mac?

Intego is the only real competitor to Norton. Although it misses a few features compared to Norton, like the password manager and dark web monitoring, it compensates with its intuitive firewall and advanced VPN.

However, remember that Intego is primarily designed to protect macOS, the operating system of MacBooks and iMacs. Although the company has recently launched Intego antivirus for Windows, it’s not very good.

So if you only want to protect a Mac, Intego is excellent. But if you also want to safeguard an Android phone or Windows PC, Norton is a better choice.

For even more details, please read our full review of Intego antivirus for Mac.

Kaspersky for Mac

Kaspersky for Mac

Ranked #3 out of 20 Antivirus

Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac Review

Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac Review

Key takeaway: Kaspersky’s Internet Security for Mac is one of our favorite antivirus programs for Mac. It’s advanced yet affordable. And the browser extension has more features than a Swiss army knife. The only downsides are its lack of a password manager and unlimited VPN. To access these, you will have to pay extra (or get Norton, which includes both for free).

Kaspersky’s Mac Antivirus is called Internet Security. And the name is apt because Kaspersky offers many tools to increase your online safety. Below we discuss all the security features that you can access.

Protection Center

The protection center gives you insight into the following:

  • Your license duration
  • Active threats on your Mac
  • Real-time protection
  • Database status

It also helps you install the excellent browser extension called Kaspersky Security. It offers the most extensive web protection that we have tested and includes a range of features that can be turned on and off individually:

  • Web antivirus: Scan incoming data and get notified of threats.
  • Website tracking: Stop sites from installing cookies into your browser that track your activities online. By default, this feature is off.
  • Safe money: Check the authenticity of e-commerce stores and online banks and their security certificates.
  • URL advisor: Know whether a link is safe to click before clicking it.
  • Onscreen keyboard: Type passwords into a digital, rather than physical, keyboard to avoid being tracked by keyloggers.


All the usual suspects are present, such as the quick scan, full scan, and scheduled scan. There is also the option to scan an individual file or folder. Then, in typical Apple fashion, you can drag and drop the file into the window to scan it, which we like.


Ensure the database’s malware samples are up to date to get the highest possible malware detection rate. Kaspersky itself also updates the database at regular intervals. But if you want to run a scan, updating the database first is also handy.


The privacy section includes two features:

  • Block webcam: Block all apps from accessing your webcam. It’s a nice feature because few other antivirus tools offer it on Mac. But it would be even better to allow specific apps to access the webcam while blocking all others. So now it’s a bit of a blunt instrument.
  • Block website tracking: This is a shortcut to the browser extension’s anti-tracking feature, called Website Tracking. So you can (de-)activate it from both the antivirus software and the browser extension.

There is also a link to Kaspersky’s VPN, called Secure Connection, based on Hotspot Shield‘s technology (just like Bitdefender’s and Panda’s VPN). It’s a fast, secure (no leaks), and private (no logs) VPN that works with Netflix and allows you to download via torrents clients like BitTorrent.

However, the free VPN included is limited to 300 MB/day. So if you want an unlimited VPN, you must pay extra.

Safe Kids

Safe Kids are the parental controls by Kaspersky, which are housed in a separate app. With your Internet Security for Mac subscription, you’ll get a basic version of Safe Kids, allowing you to protect your kids online by blocking specific websites and website categories.

You will have to buy the premium version for the complete feature set. This one adds a GPS tracker, social media monitor, and low-battery notifier.


Some of the features mentioned above can be customized under preferences. For instance, you can choose which type of tracking cookies to block: Web analytics, ad agencies, web behavior trackers, and social networks.

Here you can also find Kaspersky’s firewall, called Network Attack Blocker. It is not a full-feature firewall like Norton and Intego offer, but it offers similar protection. For instance, it scans incoming traffic for attacks. When it discovers any, it will block the data stream from that source for an hour.

Is Kaspersky the best virusscanner for Mac?

No. Although it’s excellent, we prefer Norton and Intego.

Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac offers excellent anti-malware protection and a range of web protection features. We especially like the advanced and customizable browser extension. 

However, because it doesn’t include a password manager, complete firewall, or unlimited VPN, it can’t compete with Norton on sheer protective abilities.

That said, Kaspersky is a bit cheaper. So if you think the features on offer are all you need, it might be a great deal for you.

For more, please read our full review of Kaspersky Internet Security.

Bitdefender for Mac

Bitdefender for Mac

Ranked #4 out of 20 Antivirus

Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac Review
Bitdefender: Save 60% on this secret page 🔥

Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac Review

Key takeaway: Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac is a well-designed app, with excellent anti-malware, ransomware prevention, and web protection. However, it lacks a firewall and password manager, and the unlimited VPN costs extra. All of which are freely available with Norton.

Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac looks just as cool as its brother on Windows. On the left side, you can find a menu with seven items that house the features and settings. We’ll walk you through them from top to bottom:


The first menu item, Dashboard, offers short-cuts to five core features:

  • Quick scan
  • System scan
  • Protect a new device
  • Safe files
  • Web protection


The second menu item, Protection, covers the security features:

  • Quick Scan: Quickly scan areas of your Mac that are sensitive to malware.
  • System Scan: Run a complete scan of all files and directories of your Mac.
  • Custom Scan: Pick specific files to scan.
  • Quarantine: See a list of possibly dangerous files. Delete or remove them.
  • Exceptions: Create a list of files that can be excluded from scanning.
  • TrafficLight: A browser extension for Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, that stops you from entering phishing sites and downloading malware.
  • Safe Files: A ransomware protection feature stops malware from making unauthorized changes to your files.
  • Time Machine Protection: Protect Apple’s built-in backup feature, the Time Machine, from unauthorized changes.


The third menu item, Privacy, covers the privacy features:

  • VPN: A Virtual Private Network (VPN) restores your privacy online. Bitdefender’s VPN is fast, private, secure, and works with Netflix and torrents. It’s excellent. However, the free version is limited to 200 MB/day.
  • Anti-Tracker: A browser extension that blocks tracking cookies in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.


The fourth menu item, Notifications, gives you a chronological overview of everything security-related that occurred on your Macbook.

My Account

In the fifth menu item, My Account, you can see account information and the remaining duration of your subscription. It also includes a link to Bitdefender Central, where you can manage your account.


In the sixth menu item, Preferences, you can (de-)activate various features, such as Bitdefender Shield. You can also choose what files should be scanned. For instance, you can exclude backups or decide only to scan modified files, to speed up your scanning.

Is Bitdefender the best virusscanner for Mac?

No, it isn’t. Although we like Bitdefender’s anti-malware, anti-ransomware, anti-tracking, and web protection, it misses some essential features.

For instance, we would have liked to see a firewall and password manager. And although we are impressed by Bitdefender’s excellent VPN, the free version is limited to 200 MB/day, making it useless.

We, therefore, think both Norton and Intego remain the best security software for Mac.

For more, please read our full review of Bitdefender Total Security.

Comparison table of the best antivirus software 

Starting Price
€ 15 / year
€ 25 / year
€ 40 / year
€ 35 / year
Malware Detection Rate

Password Manager

Parental Controls

Dark Web Monitor

Free VPN Data Limit
300 MB / day
200 MB / day
Operating Systems
Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Chromebook
macOS & Windows
Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
Number of Devices
Up to 10
Up to 5
Money Back Guarantee
60 days
30 days
30 days
30 days

How we test the best antivirus for Mac of 2023?

According to research by Malwarebytes, 11% of all security threats for macOS came from malware in 2022. The other 89% comprised adware and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). Both programs often come pre-installed with other software and are hard to remove.

Interestingly, the most commonly downloaded PUPs are made by the antivirus brands MacKeeper and JDI (the owner of TotalAV). This shows the aggressive strategies that less-reputable cybersecurity firms are willing to go to market their products.

The best antivirus for Mac protect you from these cyber threats and many others, such as data breaches, phishing attempts, privacy invasions, ransomware attacks, spyware infections, zero-day attacks, and more. To discover which provider is worth your money, we have tested them.

> Test 1: Anti-malware protection test

Malware is malicious software and includes many online threats, such as adware, keyloggers, ransomware, spyware, trojans, viruses, and worms. Most of these threats are known malware, meaning cybersecurity companies have encountered them before. However, some are unknown malware, meaning they are new and have never been encountered before.

These latest malware threats pose a serious problem. Because the classic form of real-time protection uses virus definitions to detect threats. That means that the antivirus program scans the code of potential malware against a wide range of malicious code samples in its database. That way, it can differentiate between legitimate programs and malicious threats.

To discover new threats, the antivirus engine had to evolve. Therefore, the best anti-malware software developed heuristic analysis. This is a complex word for behavior monitoring, which enables the antivirus software to scan the behavior of apps for suspicious patterns. This behavior-based detection can discover malware before its code is added to the database.

To discover which antivirus packages have the best real-time malware protection, we run our own tests and analyze those by independent antivirus testing labs. In our tests, we infect a Mac with many viruses and malware via a USB stick. We then analyze the malware scanning capabilities to see whether the antivirus software removes all threats.

Independent testing labs, like AV-Test, SE Labs, and AV-Comparatives, run similar analyses on a larger scale. Our preferred source is AV-Test, where we average Mac’s historical protection test results since 2016 to find the best malware removal software.

> Test 2: False positives test

A false positive happens when antivirus software mistakes legitimate software for malware, confuses a harmless file for malicious code, or stops a safe website from opening. It happens to every antivirus program and isn’t a cause for concern.

But when it happens in large numbers, it can become quite annoying. AV-Test runs a large-scale analysis of false positives in its usability test. We use their findings to guide our writing.

> Test 3: System performance test

It’s important to surf the web safely. But it’s a problem if the antivirus software uses your Mac’s resources entirely. That’s why we measure the CPU load while the antivirus software runs quick and complete system scans. If the security software requires fewer system resources, you will have more of your computer’s performance left for other tasks.

We also look at the results of AV-Test’s performance section, where they measure the slow-down caused by antivirus software on opening websites and downloading, installing, and launching software. These are the best proxies to measure the impact on a device’s performance.

> Test 4: Firewall test

A two-way firewall is the first line of defense against hackers and other cyber threats. A simple firewall filters incoming and outgoing data on local networks and the internet. And advanced firewalls will allow you to set rules that regulate the data stream. On top of that, it will cloak or block open ports on your Mac so that hackers can’t find them.

We use the ShieldsUP! test of the Gibson Research Corporation to find out whether the antivirus software successfully blocks all ports.

> Test 5: Password manager test

Password managers have two core functions. First, they should help you create and store highly unique and secure passwords. Second, they should automatically fill out online login forms, so you don’t have to.

On top of that, they should offer features such as two-factor authentication (2FA) and biometrics login via fingerprint or facial recognition. We test all these security features.

> Test 6: Virtual Private Network (VPN) test

When you use a VPN, your data is sent through an encrypted VPN tunnel to a VPN server before it reaches the web. This makes you anonymous online and safe from man-in-the-middle attacks on public wi-fi networks. The price you pay is a slightly slower internet connection (about 10%).

We test whether the built-in VPN is secure (encryption strength and VPN protocol), private (log policy), and fast (download speed). Whether it works with popular streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime. Whether it offers unlimited data (unlimited VPN access). And whether it allows downloading via peer-to-peer networks and torrent clients.

> Test 7: Parental control test

Parental controls allow parents to monitor their kids online and set protective boundaries. These include screentime rules and the blocking of specific websites and apps. Sometimes parental controls also offer the ability to see where the child is in the real world, usually on a map.

We test whether all these parental control features work. We do this by installing the boundaries on a test device. And then we attempt to circumvent them. Like an intelligent child would. We also examine whether our behavior on the test device is reported accurately and in real-time in the parental control admin.

> Test 8: Anti-phishing protection test

Malicious websites and phishing emails attempt to steal your sensitive data by tricking you into filling out fake forms. Many antivirus programs include a browser extension that blocks phishing sites before they can open. We test this web protection feature by installing the antivirus browser extensions and attempting to visit the dangerous URLs.

> Test 9: Ransomware protection test

Ransomware attacks encrypt the data on your hard drive and demand a ransom payment for the decryption key. The sad truth is that you often don’t receive the key even if you pay. Advanced ransomware protection features prevent the data on your hard drive from being encrypted.

Multi-layer ransomware protection goes one step further. These advanced threat prevention systems detect ransomware attacks at both the delivery stage and the execution stage. In the first stage, the ransomware attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in the software on your device. In the second stage, behavioral detection reveals the malicious encryption patterns of the ransomware.

We test the security suite at both stages of the attack: It should be highly capable of both exploit prevention and behavioral detection.

> Test 10: Bonus features test

An antivirus program can include a wide range of additional features. These range from basic extra features, like spam filters, to more advanced features, like secure browsers, and premium features, like secure online storage. We can’t discuss all the features in detail, but consider the following cybersecurity tools valuable:

  • Ad Blocker
  • Anti-theft
  • Data Breach Monitoring
  • Dark web monitoring (identity protection)
  • Email protection
  • File encryption
  • File shredder
  • Gaming mode
  • Identity Theft Protection
  • Microphone protection
  • Mac maintenance features
  • Secure browser (hardened browser to protect your online banking)
  • Secure cloud storage (cloud backup)
  • Spam filter
  • Startup optimizer
  • Tune up tools
  • Virtual keyboard
  • Webcam protection

> Test 11: Ownership and reputation test

Not all antivirus companies are trustworthy. For instance, Avast tracked and sold the browsing habits of millions of its users. It collected this data via its Online Security browser extension and sold it via its subsidiary, Jumpshot. Although it claims to have stopped these activities and has been sold to Norton, the reputation lingers.

We analyze whether the cybersecurity companies in our test have a poor reputation, especially concerning customer data. To find this out, we spend a fair amount of time reading press releases, news articles, and privacy policies (especially of browser extensions and VPN services).

> Test 12: Apple’s security features test

Apple has its own built-in defensive tools. In our last test, we analyze the quality of these security features and attempt to find their limitations.


XProtect is a built-in malware scanning tool that automatically checks downloaded apps against a list of known malicious applications. It is integrated into the operating software, regularly updated by Apple, and doesn’t affect the speed of your Mac.

If you try to open a malware-contaminated file, XProtect will warn you to delete the file. Although XProtect is not as up-to-date or comprehensive as third-party antivirus solutions, it provides some protection.


Gatekeeper is a security feature on Mac that blocks software from unknown developers to protect you from potential malware. All apps in the App Store are pre-approved and safe.

So if you download an app from an unverified developer on the web, GateKeeper will issue a warning. However, it is easy to bypass this warning by marking the app as trusted, which creates a malware infection risk.


Sandboxing means that apps are kept separate from critical software and files. This makes it harder for them to snoop on your data and can’t infect critical components of the operating system.

On top of that, since the introduction of macOS Catalina, apps must ask for your permission to access sensitive components like your webcam, microphone, and keyboard.


Safari has multiple protection features. For instance, its anti-phishing will detect malicious websites and stop them from opening. And its anti-tracking features will prevent tracking cookies from following your moves across the web (you can see all blocked trackers in the Privacy Report).

It also has a built-in password manager that will generate strong and unique passwords for each of your accounts and store them in the iCloud Keychain. That way, you can access them on all your Apple devices.

Do note, however, that these security features are limited to Safari. If you want to use a different browser, like Chrome or Firefox, they won’t offer any protection.

Private Relay

With the introduction of macOS Monterey and iCloud+ came the Private Relay, which is similar to a VPN because it sends your internet requests through two secure internet relays. 

This process hides your IP address and DNS records from the sites you visit and your network provider. Therefore, advertisers can’t identify you and track your browsing history.

Keep in mind that it only works in Safari. All your other apps and browsers do not benefit from the same protection. If you would use a VPN, all internet traffic will be protected.

What antivirus for Mac have we tested in 2023?

We have tested 20 antivirus for Mac. Where available, we tested the free antivirus software, paid antivirus programs, and the premium versions. We also tested the free VPN services and paid versions.

In general, even the best free antivirus for Mac didn’t offer a great deal of value over the standard built-in protection features of Apple. So we recommend buying a the best paid antivirus for Mac, or sticking Apple’s own defenses.

Of all virus scanners for Mac, we believe that Norton is the best.

Frequently asked questions

Do you need virus protection on a Mac?

Yes, you need virus protection on Mac for three reasons: Malware explicitly designed for macOS, identity theft, and privacy invasion. Great antivirus software protect your Mac from malware, restore your anonymity online, and check whether your personal data, like credit card information, is sold on the Dark Web. 

Does macOS have built-in antivirus protection?

Yes, macOS is relatively safe. For instance, Notarisation and GateKeeper keep malicious apps out of the App Store, XProtect identifies and blocks malware via signature-based detection, and MRT (Malware Removal Tool) removes any malware that was able to execute. On top of that, Safari has built-in web protection to hide your IP, prevent cross-site tracking, and block dangerous websites.

However, Apple is not specialized in anti-malware software, has no multi-OS password manager, offers no unlimited VPN, and doesn’t check whether your personal data is traded on the Dark Web. Considering the damage hackers and cybercriminals can cause, we consider the investment in antivirus software a no-brainer.

Author: Tibor Moes

Author: Tibor Moes

Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab

Tibor is a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur. He has tested security software since 2014.

Over the years, he has tested most of the best antivirus software for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, as well as many VPN providers.

He uses Norton to protect his devices, CyberGhost for his privacy, and Dashlane for his passwords.

This website is hosted on a Digital Ocean server via Cloudways and is built with DIVI on WordPress.

You can find him on LinkedIn or contact him here.