Antivirus software is a valuable tool that detects, quarantines, and removes potential threats on your device. Despite macOS being generally less vulnerable than Windows OS, it still has vulnerabilities that can be capitalised on by cybercriminals. Mac users are at more risk than ever before, since not only is malware becoming increasingly more sophisticated, but due to Apple’s increased market share over the past few years, threat groups are more inclined to target macOS systems. 

If you don’t have antivirus software installed on your Mac, then you’re exposed to having your sensitive data stolen, locked, or deleted, in addition to having your online activity spied on and your files held for ransom. Your device can also become severely slowed down by malware and bombarded with ads if you fall victim to a cyber attack. Antivirus software is usually highly affordable and can drastically reduce your chances of having your device become infected and permanently damaged. 

If you’ve decided that you want antivirus software to protect your Mac, but don’t know which provider to choose, then we’re here to help. We’ve accumulated a list of the best antivirus software for Macs to ensure that you receive the finest protection possible. So, keep reading to discover the best Mac antivirus software in 2022!

A half-opened MacBook.
Did you know? As of 2022, there are over 900,000 detected malware and 882,000 PUA (Potentially unwanted applications) under macOS!

You can also find out the best antivirus software for Windows 11 and Android devices!

The best Mac antivirus software quick guide

  1. Bitdefender – Best overall choice
  2. Norton – Highly secure with fantastic performance 
  3. Kaspersky – Affordable and feature-rich

Why do I need antivirus software? 

Although macOS technology is highly advanced, it still has a wide range of security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by cybercriminals. Malware is malicious software that has been written with the intent to infect a victim’s device and cause permanent damage. This can include wiping files, stealing financial information, spying on user activity, logging passwords, and even holding an entire device for ransom. Malware is hidden in websites, email attachments, and downloadable files, which is why many unsuspecting users install it on their devices by accident. It can be extremely different to detect malware before it has already affected your Mac and caused you harm. This is why you need antivirus software. 

Antivirus software is an installable program that regularly scans for threats such as malware and removes them from your device before any damage is caused. The software is designed to detect any suspicious behaviour and compare all apps, files, and programs against an extensive database of known cyber threats. If a match is detected then the antivirus will quarantine and remove the suspected malware. Antivirus software can detect and fend against all common forms of malware including Trojans, spyware, adware, ransomware, bots, worms, rootkits, and keyloggers.   

By having antivirus software installed on your Mac, you’re drastically reducing the potential destruction that malware and other cyber threats can do. Through running frequent scans on your entire device and monitoring all incoming files, antivirus software can prevent cybercriminals from abusing your system’s weaknesses, stealing data, and wreaking havoc on your device. Antivirus software can have other advantages too, as many providers offer additional features such as file shredders, firewalls, ad-blockers, email scanners, VPNs, and password managers. Overall, if you want to protect yourself from cyber attacks and browse the web with complete peace of mind, then antivirus software is absolutely necessary to have installed your Mac (and any other device!) 

Our top recommended Mac antivirus software

Based on the criteria we’ve listed above, here is a selection of the top three best antivirus software providers for Mac in 2022 –

  1. Bitdefender

Bitdefender is a fully-featured antivirus software that can detect and successfully remove even the most elusive cyber threats. With a streamlined interface, affordable pricing, and robust security features, Bitdefender is the best all-around antivirus software for Mac users

There are three plans available for Mac users. The basic plan allows up to 3 devices and provides users with ultra-fast scanning, anti-phishing, and an ad-blocker. The Total Security plan allows up to 5 devices and also gets you real-time data protection, vulnerability assessments, and parental controls. For access to all of Bitdefender’s available features and to protect up to 10 devices, you’ll want the Premium Security plan. This plan provides you with Bitdefender Shield, a file shredder, browser extensions, and cross-platform malware detection.

Bitdefender offers their included VPN with all Total and Premium Security plans. This VPN will encrypt all traffic to protect your privacy when online, keeping valuable information such as passwords, browsing activity, and IP addresses out of the hands of third parties, government agencies, and ISPs. This VPN includes unlimited traffic and is fully supported on all macOS and iOS devices. 

If you’re worried about antivirus software slowing down your Mac, then Bitdefender can put your mind at ease. This provider has a handful of performance-enhancing features that can save your system’s resources and optimise your device for speed. These features include a battery-saving mode, which tweaks system settings to extend your Mac’s battery life, and game/movie/work profiles, which automatically halt unnecessary background activities to reduce the strain on your device when you’re participating in certain activities. 

If you want to find out more about what Bitdefender has to offer, then you can check out the support center to read detailed FAQs, tutorials, and guides. Alternatively, you can contact the helpful 24/7 support team via live chat, phone, or email.  

Try out Bitdefender now for free for 30 days with their money-back guarantee

  1. Norton 

Norton is a renowned antivirus software that has a wide selection of plans with a broad set of security, privacy, and performance features. Norton can protect your Mac against malware and other common cyber threats without impacting your system’s overall performance

There are four plans available for macOS with Norton. The Plus plan supports a single device and includes anti-malware, anti-spyware, and ransomware protection, all powered through intelligent AI. Additionally, there is also a smart firewall feature that monitors all network traffic that is sent or received on your Mac. This firewall will block any suspicious traffic to protect your sensitive files and data from being spied on or attacked. For a small upgrade, the Norton 360 Standard plan also provides you with access to a VPN to encrypt your traffic and improve your privacy. 

To protect up to 3 devices and benefit from family-friendly features, you’ll want the 360 Deluxe plan. With this plan, you get access to parental controls which help you filter content and monitor your children’s online activity. Additionally, there is a school time feature that allows you to block specific websites during certain times in the day to ensure that your children remain focused on work when learning remotely. Finally, Norton’s 360 Premium plan includes dark web monitoring which regularly searches areas on the dark web to find any of your sensitive information. This feature helps you gain awareness of what data is compromised and lets you act accordingly. 

Norton also has a password manager which comes included in all four plans. This tool will generate complex passwords and store them in an encrypted cloud-based vault which is secured by a single master password. Norton’s password manager can save you from needing to remember endless passwords for all your online accounts. The tool also auto-fills your login data on online forms, saving you time when navigating accounts. 

Head to Noton’s extensive support center for FAQs, how-tos, and product information. There is also a range of video tutorials, forums, and other resources to be found on the Norton website. You can also contact the 24/7 customer support team via live chat. 

Try out Norton now for free for 60 days with their money-back guarantee

  1. Kaspersky 

Kaspersky is an affordable antivirus software that provides excellent protection against malware in addition to providing other fantastic features that can benefit both advanced users and beginners. If you’re new to antivirus technology and are looking for user-friendly antivirus software, then look no further than Kaspersky. 

This provider currently has two available plans for macOS. All plans have a default 1 device alliance, but you can increase this to up to 10 devices if needed. The Internet Security plan offers anti-phishing, payment protection, webcam protection, adult content blocking, and screen-time management. If you upgrade to the Total Security plan then you can also benefit from file protection, a GPS-child locator, and a password manager. Both plans come with Kaspersky’s VPN, to encrypt all traffic (with a 300 MB allowance), and an ad-blocker, to prevent websites from loading or displaying intrusive and annoying ads. 

Additionally, Kaspersky includes a performance optimizer in both plans which helps your Mac to run quickly and smoothly. Overall, this antivirus software won’t noticeably slow down your device, especially when you use the quick scan function. You can schedule full, quick, custom, or external scans to take place at regular intervals, or you can choose to manually start a scan at any time. Kaspersky’s real-time protection will continuously detect and neutralise any threats and scan files as they are installed on your Mac. This will stop malware from ever being unknowingly installed on your device.  

You can find out more information about this antivirus software through the comprehensive knowledge base. You can also check out the FAQS section or contact Kaspersky’s 24/7 customer support team. 

Try out Kaspersky now for free for 30 days with their money-back guarantee