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Intego Antivirus for Mac Review 2023
By Tibor Moes / January 2023 / Rating 5 of 5
About the author
This article was written by Tibor Moes, founder and CEO of SoftwareLab.
Tibor is an engineer from the Netherlands that started reviewing security software in 2014. Since then, he has tested 72 antivirus software, VPN, password managers, and hosting services.
Currently, he uses BitDefender and Norton to protect his devices, CyberGhost for his privacy, and Dashlane for his passwords. This website, SoftwareLab.org, is hosted on a Digital Ocean’s server via Cloudways and built with DIVI on WordPress.
Intego Antivirus for Mac 2023 – Review Summary
Intego is one of the best antivirus software for Mac. By featuring a malware scanner, firewall, backup, disk optimizer, and parental controls, it is a very complete security solution for macOS.
And for those wanting additional privacy protection, Intego offers an optional VPN. As it is based on Private Internet Access, the VPN is not only incredibly fast and secure, but also highly customizable.
On macOS, the only real competitor to Intego is Norton. Norton includes a password manager and protection for Windows, iOS, and Android, which Intego doesn’t.
However, Norton can’t match Intego’s intuitive firewall and highly advanced VPN. On top of that, we think Intego is more user-friendly. It’s impressive how Intego can be both highly secure and a breeze to use.
If you only have a Mac to protect, Intego is the best antivirus for you. However, If you want to protect multiple devices, including a Windows PC or Android phone, Norton is the best choice for you.
In the end, both of them will keep your Mac perfectly safe.
- Excellent anti-malware: Intego scores top results in the anti-malware tests by the independent test labs.
- Highly intuitive firewall: Intego has the most user-friendly firewall we have ever tested. Its graphical layout explains the concept perfectly.
- Ultra-fast and advanced VPN: Intego’s VPN is based on Private Internet Access, which is one of the very best VPN out there.
- Personal backup: Intego’s personal backup allows you to create your own backups, so that you don’t need to pay for iCloud Drive.
- Clean up your Mac: Intego’s Washing Machine feature helps you free up space on your hard drive and tidy up your files.
- Excellent Parental Controls: Intego allows you to monitor and protect your children online. It is both easy to use and highly advanced.
- VPN costs extra: The VPN costs $ 19,99 per year and only supports Mac and Windows. Norton’s VPN is free and works on all operating systems.
- No password manager: Intego does not include a password manager, as Norton and Kaspersky do.
- Mac only: We like Intego’s focus on macOS. But that also means that its antivirus for Windows is poor and that it has no apps for Android and iOS.
Intego’s price varies by region. Click the link below to see it in yours.
Intego Antivirus for Mac Review 2023
Intego’s Antivirus for Mac comes in two versions:
- Intego Mac Internet Security X9 is the base version, which only includes anti-malware and a firewall.
- Intego Premium Bundle X9 is the premium version, which adds a Mac optimizer, backup, and parental controls on top.
Note that neither includes the optional VPN, which costs extra.
In this Intego review, we test all security features in detail. Spoiler alert: We think it is one of the best antivirus for Mac in 2023.
Intego Security Features
Click the links below to read about Intego’s security features.
- Anti-Malware Test
- Firewall Test
- VPN Test
- Backup Test
- Optimizer Test
- Parental Controls Test
- Intego Antivirus for Windows Test
- Company Profile
- Plans and Pricing
Alternatively, you can check our comparisons on the best antivirus software for 2023, Windows, Android, and iOS. Or have a look at our privacy focused comparisons of the best VPN and antivirus with a VPN included.
Intego VirusBarrier Review [Anti-Malware]
Key takeaway: Intego’s virus protection, called VirusBarrier, is excellent. The VirusBarrier can search for macOS, Windows and Linux malware. It can do so on your Mac, iPhone, and iPad. On top of that, it can scan external disks and your Apple Mail app. It’s all the protection you need.
Intego VirusBarrier Review [Anti-Malware]
Intego’s VirusBarrier is its anti-malware scanner that looks for infected files. It includes all the usual suspects, such as quick, full, and scheduled scans.
The quick scan took about 15 seconds in our test, whereas the full scan took 4 minutes and 20 seconds. Of course, depending on your Mac and the files on your hard drive, it could take longer or shorter. We tested on a 16″ MacBook Pro from 2019, equipped with a 2.3 GHz 8-core Intel i9 CPU.
Intego allows you to turn the real-time scanner on and off and can send you an e-mail if any malware is found. On top of that, it enables you to filter the types of malware to scan for. By default, it looks for all malware types, but you can turn the following options on and off:
- Mac malware (cannot be turned off)
- Windows malware
- Linux malware
- Malicious scripts
- Hacking tools
Furthermore, Intego can also scan external disks, iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod), and e-mails (only via Apple’s Mail app).
If any file is flagged as malware, Intego will give you the option to trust it (mark the file as safe), quarantine it (move the file to a secure vault), or repair it (attempt to remove malware from the file).
Anti-Malware Test Scores
Finally, there is the safe browsing feature. Rather than being an anti-phishing tool, this feature checks whether your browsers have their safe browsing features turned on to block malicious and fraudulent websites before you visit them. It can check Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.
Intego NetBarrier Review [Firewall]
Key takeaway: We’re big fans of Intego’s firewall, called NetBarrier. Not everyone is a security expert. And Intego’s interface explains the concept very well. It’s easily the most user-friendly firewall we have tested.
Intego NetBarrier Review [Firewall]
When you connect to the internet, Intego’s NetBarrier automatically scans the Wi-Fi network and classifies it as Home, Work, or Public. Depending on the network, it will then allow or block the following:
- Incoming Internet Connections
- Outgoing Internet Connections
- Incoming Local Connections
- Outgoing Local Connections
To be clear, internet connections are made via the web. Unfortunately, these are usually the dangerous ones. After all, you don’t know everyone on the internet. The local ones are on the devices connected to your Wi-Fi network, like your printer.
At Home or Work
At Home or Work, Intego will allow all connections, except incoming connections via the internet. Incoming internet connections are automatically blocked until you permit them.
For instance, when you launch Spotify, it will want to start streaming music. That is an incoming internet connection and therefore blocked. Intego will give you a pop-up and ask whether you wish to allow the connection. You can click “allow,” and your music will start.
The first time you install Intego, you’ll get the pop-up a few times. After all, you’ll need to teach Intego who is allowed to connect and who isn’t. But once you have, Intego will remember your choice. So the pop-up won’t return.
And don’t worry about accidentally blocking a legitimate connection. You can always change your choice later under the “applications” tab.
On Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is a bit different. Imagine your local Starbucks. All the people browsing the web via Starbucks’ internet connection are on the same Wi-Fi connection. So they are on the local network.
That means that Intego will only allow outgoing connections. And it will automatically block incoming connections from the internet and the local network. After all, not everyone at Starbucks should be given access to your Mac.
We really like the interface of Intego’s firewall (see the image below). It does an excellent job of explaining how it works. After all, a picture says more than a thousand words.
Compared to Norton’s Firewall
This contrasts Norton’s firewall on Mac, which kept forgetting our choice. So every time we launched Spotify, it asked us whether we would like to allow it. That gets annoying pretty quickly.
So we’re happy with Intego’s firewall.
Intego Privacy Protection Review [VPN]
Key takeaway: Intego’s VPN, called Privacy Protection, is the most advanced and customizable VPN we have ever tested on Mac. On top of that, it’s incredibly fast. It’s too bad that at the time of writing, the VPN is only available on Windows and Mac, and not on Android or iOS.
What is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts your internet connection and hides your IP address. This allows you to:
- Surf the web anonymously without Facebook (and others) tracking you.
- Use public Wi-Fi networks safely without the risk of being hacked.
- Watch foreign Netflix shows exclusively available in other countries.
- Avoid internet censorship in places like China, the UAE, and Turkey.
To determine, whether Intego’s VPN is any good; we tested the following:
- Streaming and Torrenting
- Server Locations
- Logging Policy
- Platforms and Devices
- Security Features
Let’s dive in.
How fast is Intego Privacy Protection VPN?
Because VPN encrypt your data and route it through a VPN server, they usually slow your internet speed down by about 5% to 15%.
Intego’s VPN is a copy of Private Internet Access (PIA). A VPN also owned by Kape Technologies, the parent company of Intego. And that’s good news because PIA is one the fastest VPN in the industry.
So we took it for a spin. We tested Intego on a 110 Mbps connection in Europe. Once while connected to a local server, and once while connected to a server in the USA. The results are in the table below.
As you can see, Intego’s VPN is lightning fast.
Note: The results above were measured while using OpenVPN, the most commonly used open-source VPN protocol. When we repeated the results on WireGuard, a newer VPN protocol, the results were nearly identical.
Streaming and Torrenting
Intego has dedicated streaming servers in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the USA. So it works perfectly with Netflix and other services.
On top of that, Intego is an excellent choice to download torrents (P2P) via popular torrent clients like uTorrent, BitTorrent, Transmission, and Deluge.
Thanks to its port forwarding, you can connect to more peers, which allows you to reach higher upload and download speeds.
Intego has 25.000 servers in 77 countries. That vast number of servers reduces the load per server, increasing speed.
Platforms and Devices
Intego’s VPN can be installed on 10 Macs and Windows PCs.
At the time of writing, PIA’s Android, iOS, and Linux apps haven’t made their way over to Intego yet. That is a shame.
Like PIA, Intego is incredibly customizable and has a ton of features.
For instance, on Mac, you can customize the following:
- The VPN protocols OpenVPN and WireGuard.
- The encryption strength (AES-128 or AES-256) and type (GCM or CBC).
- The remote port, local port, data authentication, and handshake.
If that sounds a bit complex for your taste, don’t worry, Intego works perfectly on its default settings. But if you enjoy it, there is more to come. Intego offers the following security features:
- Auto-Start: Start the VPN when you launch your Mac.
- Auto-Connect: Connect the VPN when you launch your Mac.
- Kill Switch: Block your internet connection if the VPN fails.
- Web Protection (called MACE): Block malicious websites.
- Split Tunnel: Let specific apps bypass the VPN tunnel.
- Private DNS Servers: Use Intego’s own DNS servers or custom ones.
- Allow LAN Traffic: Permit data between devices on your local network, such as your Mac and your printer.
- Open-source encrypted proxy: Redirect your traffic via Shadowsocks or a custom SOCKS5 proxy. They are often used to bypass internet censorship.
- VPN Snooze: De-activate the VPN for a set amount of time (e.g., 5 minutes), after which it will automatically re-activate.
Intego is one of the most advanced VPN for Mac. And thanks to all its technical magic, none of our data was leaked during the IP, DNS, and WebRTC tests, using browserleaks.com.
One question remains: Why not choose PIA instead of Intego? After all, both VPN are identical. Except PIA is also installable on Android, iOS, and Linux.
The answer is simple: Price. Intego’s VPN costs just $ 19,99 per year. In comparison, PIA costs $ 39,99 per year.
Only you can decide which is best for you.
For even more details, please read our full Intego VPN review.
Intego Personal Backup Review
Key takeaway: Intego’s Personal Backup allows you to backup and sync your files to an external harddrive. Although you can also do this via iCloud Drive, Apple will charge a monthly fee for the pleasure. Using an external harddrive and Intego’s Personal Backup, you can create your own “iCloud Drive”, without paying a monthly fee.
Intego Personal Backup Review
Where Apple Time Machine allows you to backup your entire Mac to an external storage device, Intego Personal Backup enables you to backup specific folders and files. So instead of creating a backup of everything, you can create a separate backup of, for instance, your photos or work files.
As with Apple Time Machine, you can execute these backups manually or automatically at daily or weekly intervals.
Bootable Backup, Synchronize and Restore
Next to the regular backup feature, Intego offers three additional ones:
The Bootable Backup is a complete backup of all your files and macOS operating system. If you ever need to reboot your Mac, you can use the Bootable Backup to re-install all your files and OS in one go.
The Synchronize feature makes sure that the files on your backup are updated when you change them on your Mac. And the Restore functionality does the reverse: It restores a file from your backup to your Mac in case you made accidental changes or deleted the file.
Do you need Intego’s Personal Backup?
There is significant overlap with Apple’s built-in features:
- The Time Machine allows you to backup your entire system.
- The iCloud Drive enables you to backups individual files and sync them.
- The Revert function allows you to restore older versions of your file.
- Finally, the Migration Assistant lets you move your files to a new Mac.
So strictly speaking, you don’t need Intego’s Personal Backup. But if you don’t want to pay for Apple’s iCloud Drive (it charges $ 9,99 per month for 2TB in the US), with Intego, you can create your own backup system.
Intego Washing Machine Review [Optimizer]
Key takeaway: Intego’s Washing Machine allows you to recover disk space by removing useless and duplicate files. It also enables you to declutter your Mac by organizing your files into folders.
Intego Washing Machine Review [System Optimizer]
Intego’s Washing Machine is a system optimizer and cleaner. It allows you to do three things:
- Reclaim disk space by finding and deleting junk files in your caches, downloads, languages, logs, and trash. You can set the system to “safe” or “aggressive.” And it always shows you the files that it suggests for deletion. Then you can choose which to keep and which to delete.
- Remove duplicate files to free up even more disk space in your folders, archives, movies, documents, music, and pictures. You can select which folders to include and exclude in the search. And Intego will only suggest files for deletion. You have the final say in what goes or stays.
- Organize your Desktop, Dock, and structure files into Smart Folders. This is a surprisingly handy feature for mac users who tend to be unorganized. Ask yourself: Do you have a lot of files cluttering your desktop? And what about your Dock? Do you have apps there that you never use? Intego will help you clean this up.
Intego’s Washing Machine is a convenient feature. Organized people will find the disk space reclaiming helpful and unorganized people will finally have a tool to clean up their Mac computers with ease.
Intego ContentBarrier Review [Parental Controls]
Key takeaway: Intego’s parental controls, called ContentBarrier, help you monitor and protect your kids online. Thanks to the pre-designed protection levels, it is easy to setup. And should you want, you can dive into the customization options to really optimize your kids’ digital safety. Blocking websites and apps, recording chats, screenshots and keystrokes, and getting automated reports by email, are all possible.
Intego ContentBarrier Review [Parental Controls]
The ContentBarrier allows you to monitor and protect your children online.
The setup is straightforward, for each of the accounts on your Mac, you can select one of four protection levels:
- No protection.
- Monitored. This level tracks what websites are visited.
- Safe Web Surfing. This level is designed for teenagers and blocks specific website categories, including alcohol, gambling, hacking, racism, adult entertainment, and violence. It also blocks torrenting (peer-to-peer file transfers).
- Restricted Internet. This level is designed for young kids and is the most extensive. It only allows websites that you specifically approve, blocks standard chat, email, and news protocols, and blocks torrenting and FTP.
Once you have chosen the appropriate protection level, you can choose to receive daily or weekly reports on what your kids do online.
Optionally, you can also get an Anti-Predator alert immediately. In this case, Intego will notify you by email if your child talks to bad actors in a chat room. Intego identifies this via specific speech patterns and malicious words.
And that’s it; the setup is done. From this moment forward, you can see what your child is doing in the Activity tab and customize the protection level in the Configuration tab.
The monitoring side of the app, called Activity, is divided into five categories:
- Websites. See the websites your child visited or attempted to visit. From this tab, you can also choose to block specific websites.
- Chats. See the chat conversations your kids are having.
- Recording. If screen or keystroke recording is turned on, you can see a chronological order of these recordings here.
- Applications. See a list of applications that you have blocked.
- Alert. Get an overview of important events.
The configuration side of the app is divided into the same five categories. However, from this tab, you can make detailed adjustments to each.
The entire options list is quite extensive. So we’ll sum up the core features:
- Blocked Websites. Block specific websites or entire categories, like gambling. Add trusted websites. Enable SafeSearch. Block encrypted websites.
- Scheduled Access. Block one of your kids’ accounts for a certain amount of hours or until a specific time. Alternatively, you can set a daily schedule during which your kids can access the internet.
- Chat. Allow or block chats. Or, more granularly, hide suspicious phrases like “don’t tell your parent.” You can also add phrases to the list in any language you prefer.
- Recording. Take a screenshot every x hours or minutes. And record keystrokes, which is typing on a keyboard.
- Blocked Applications. Select which applications are allowed to connect to the internet.
Finally, there is the advanced tab, from which you can block email, FTP, audio/video, newsgroups, connection to game servers, and peer-to-peer.
Intego’s parental controls include an advanced set of protection features. It is both easy to set up and offers extensive customization options. With a bit of effort, you can significantly increase your child’s digital safety.
Intego Antivirus for Windows Review
Intego antivirus for Windows was launched in September 2020. As it is still relatively new, it doesn’t have much functionality. It has anti-malware capabilities, like real-time protection, a quick scan, and a full scan. And it is a web protection (anti-phishing) feature, but it isn’t great.
Intego’s Windows version is basically the VirusBarrier app, ported to Windows. It’s a decent anti-malware tool but doesn’t justify the price.
If you are looking for antivirus software that protects multiple operating software, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, we recommend looking at our review of Norton 360 Deluxe. It’s our favorite antivirus software.
Intego Company Profile
Jean-Paul Florencio and Laurent Marteau founded Intego in Paris in 1997. That year, their first antivirus product, called Rival, was launched for Mac OS 8. Two years later, in 1999, NetBarrier followed. And in 2000, VirusBarrier 1.0 saw the light.
Kape Technologies, an Israeli cybersecurity company, bought Intego for $ 16 million in 2020. It is part of a long list of acquisitions by Kape, which also owns ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost, and ZenMate.
Intego’s Plans and Pricing
Intego’s offers for antivirus programs for Mac:
- Intego Mac Internet Security X9. Starting at $ 49,99, it includes the VirusBarrier and NetBarrier.
- Intego Washing Machine X9. Starting at $ 64,99, it includes the VirusBarrier, NetBarrier, and Washing Machine.
- Intego ContentBarrier Secure X9. Starting at $ 79,99, it includes the VirusBarrier, NetBarrier and ContentBarrier.
- Intego Mac Premium Bundle X9. Starting at $ 84,99, it includes the VirusBarrier, NetBarrier, Washing Machine, ContentBarrier, and Personal Backup.
There are also business versions of the VirusBarrier X9 and NetBarrier X9, Intego’s recently introduced VPN, and Intego antivirus for Windows.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are the most frequently asked questions about Intego.
Is Intego for Mac any good?
Yes. Intego is one the best antivirus for Mac. Its anti-malware is excellent, its firewall is easy-to-use, its VPN is highly advanced, and its parental controls tool is our favorite for macOS. It’s not perfect, though. Find out more in our review.
Will Intego slow your Mac down?
No. Intego will not slow your Mac down. It has performed excellently in all performance tests since June 2019, which measure the speed impact of antivirus software. Intego scored a 5.8 out of 6 on average, which is excellent.
Is Intego easy to use?
Yes. Intego is very easy to use, thanks to its user-friendly interface and explainer graphics that appear when you click the “help” button. In fact, we believe its firewall is the most intuitive one we have ever used.
Does Intego offer a free trial?
Yes. Intego offers a free trial for all its Mac products, except for the VPN. So you can download Intego Mac Internet Security X9 and test it without risk. You don’t even need to add your credit card details.
Does Intego have a mobile app?
No. Intego does not have a mobile app. You can connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to your Mac to scan it for malware. But there is no dedicated iOS or Android app, which is too bad.
How is Intego’s customer support?
Intego’s customer support is great. There is live chat (although not 24/7), email ticket support, and an extensive knowledge base. On top of that, there is an option to submit malware that you have discovered yourself. However, there is no phone support.