Best Mac Antivirus Software

We talked to an IT security expert to find the best antivirus and anti-malware software.
Best overall
Bitdefender online security box
Bitdefender Total Security
Expert recommended
Malwarebytes Premium
  • con
    No email integration
  • pro
    Supports up to 5 devices
  • pro
    99% effective
Best for families
Norton 360 Premium
  • pro
    Email integration
  • pro
    Supports up to 10 devices
  • pro
    99.9% effective
Best for crypto
ESET Smart Security Premium
  • pro
    Email integration
  • con
    Supports 1 device
  • con
    98.9% effective
Best quick scan
Webroot Internet Security Complete
  • con
    No email integration
  • pro
    Supports up to 5 devices
  • con
    No test data available

SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and review

Through extensive hands-on testing and thorough research of the best antivirus software, we have determined that Bitdefender stands out as the top choice for the best Mac antivirus software. It offers virus protection, malware protection, ransomware protection, phishing protection, zero-day exploit protection, and malicious website protection to ensure hassle-free security for your Mac computer. Additionally, Bitdefender is a dependable option that catches threats 99.7% of the time. 

While we highly recommend Bitdefender, we also suggest exploring our other selections. Each one offers unique features that may better suit your specific requirements.



Compare top Mac antivirus software brands

Product
Best for
Price Icon Tooltip  Dark
Number of devices
OS compatibility
Learn more
Read review
Best overall5Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Expert recommended5Windows
macOS
Android
Best for families10Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Best for crypto1Windows
macOS
Android
Best quick scan5Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Chromebook

Best Mac antivirus reviews

1. Bitdefender Total Security: Best overall and best for budgets

Best overall

Bitdefender’s Total Security package packs the most punch for the price, better than other Mac antivirus or antimalware software on the market. It's so good, we even picked it as the best antivirus software for any system.

It's chock full of features:

  • Protection from viruses
  • Malware protection
  • Phishing protection
  • Ransomware protection
  • Protection from zero-day exploits
  • Web protection
  • Password manager
  • VPN
pro
Pros
pro Email integration
pro Network integration
pro Real-time malware detection
pro Heuristics learning
pro Daily updates
pro Gamer mode
con
Cons
con Some false positives

We love Bitdefender's free version, but our favorite package is the Total Security option. It protects five Mac devices, including your Apple or Android phone, and has a built-in speed optimizer.

When Bitdefender said Total Security they weren't joking. It comes with extras like parental controls, identity theft protection, a virtual file shredder, and a computer firewall. Plus, there's microphone and webcam protection.

Bitdefender doesn't bog down your computer when it scans. That's something that Norton LifeLock has a problem with.

Learn more in our full Bitdefender Antivirus Review.

2. Malwarebytes Premium: Expert recommended

Expert recommended
Malwarebytes Premium
$59.99
/first year

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Malwarebytes Premium is recommended by IT security expert and SafeWise advisor Pete Canavan. It also has been extensively tested by SafeWise on a range of devices.

pro
Pros
pro Free cleanup
pro Behavior-based detection
pro Gamer mode
con
Cons
con No email integration
con Some false positives

Not only doesn't Malwarebytes protect your computer, but it also cleans it up if it's already infected. It's also much easier to use than a lot of other antivirus and Mac malware software we've tested for this review.

The only thing that could make it better is if it had some of the extras that the other software on our list offers, like parental controls or microphone and webcam protection.

Third-party tests indicate that Malwarebytes is more likely to slow down your computer than the other options on our list, but we haven't noticed a difference when comparing it to other software on our list.

Read our full Malwarebytes review for more information.

Screenshot: Alina Bradford, SafeWise

“Malwarebytes is my go-to antivirus software because it is incredibly easy to use and doesn't bog down my computer while it scans.”
—Alina B., SafeWise product tester

3. Norton 360 Premium: Best for families

Best for families

The Norton 360 Premium package includes the best parental controls we've tested on this list. Plus, you can use Norton on up to 10 devices, making it perfect for a home office situation or families.

pro
Pros
pro Email integration
pro Network integration
pro Real-time malware detection
pro Parental controls included
con
Cons
con Pricey

If you want Mac antivirus software you can count on, this is a great pick. In independent testing, Norton blocked 99.9% of all harmful files and sites.

The 100GB of cloud storage, firewall, VPN, and password manager that you get with Norton 360 Premium is a big draw to the software, too. 

Learn more in our full Norton Antivirus review.

4. ESET Smart Security Premium: Best for crypto

Best for crypto

ESET is the only Mac protection software with crypto wallet protection. When you're accessing your crypto wallet (or doing regular online banking), it provides a special secure browser mode to keep everything safe.

pro
Pros
pro Email integration
pro Network integration
pro Real-time malware detection
pro Advanced machine learning
pro Daily updates
pro Gamer mode
con
Cons
con Additional device protection costs extra

Unlike some of the others on our list, you have to pay extra for every additional device with ESET cyber security. This adds up to around $10 to $15 each. That means ESET probably isn't a good pick for families looking to fight a Mac virus.

ESET Smart Security Premium is still a pretty good deal when you consider all you're getting:

  • Virus protection with advanced machine learning to thwart unknown attacks
  • Anti-phishing and anti-spam protection
  • Firewall
  • Parental controls
  • Webcam protection
  • Monthly security report 

Check out our in-depth review of ESET NOD32 Antivirus, a more affordable version of ESET Smart Security Premium.

5. Webroot Internet Security Complete: Fastest scans

Fastest scans

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Webroot Internet Security Complete is super fast. It takes just 20 seconds to scan your computer, compared to minutes. We also like that it is cloud-based too, saving space in your Mac's memory.

pro
Pros
pro Daily updates
pro Few false alarms
pro Gamer mode always on
pro Works with Chromebook
con
Cons
con Limited iOS functionality
con No email integration
con Pricey
con Missing useful features

Webroot's blindingly fast real-time scanning can be used on up to five devices. The only downside is that it has fewer features than some of the other brands on our list. There are no parental controls, for example, and it has limited features on iOS. It has a big price tag for lacking so many features.

For more information, be sure to check out our full Webroot review.

Final word

Bitdefender Total Security is the best mix of affordability and features for Mac users. If you're on the fence, check out its 30-day free trial to get a better feel for how the features work with your needs.

How we reviewed antivirus software

Dashboard on Bitdefender antivirus on Mac

Screenshot: John Carlsen, SafeWise

For our best Mac antivirus software review, we did hands-on testing and consulted our IT security advisor Pete Canavan. We also researched the performance and speed tests conducted by the AV-Comparatives group on Mac antivirus protection. 

To learn more about how we review products, visit the SafeWise methodology page.

Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

  1. AV-Test, “AV-TEST Award 2021 for Bitdefender,” March 1, 2022. Accessed February 23, 2023.
  2. AV-Comparatives, “Real-World Protection Test July-October 2022.” Accessed February 23, 2023.
Disclaimer

*Product prices and availability are accurate as of post date and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Alina Bradford
Written by
Alina Bradford
Alina is a safety and security expert that has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. Her goal is to make safety and security gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification and paving the way to her current career. Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

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