What are the best free antivirus programs for the Mac?

FA December 23, 2010

I’m fed up with Norton and their fishy ways of trying to get more and more money out of me. Also, their latest version doesn’t support OS 10.6. Anyone use Avast, Sophos or Clam XAV? I’d like to know which is best overall.

  1. Chcurtis
    March 25, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I use Sophos on my Mac -- it's got a good history and reputation among sysadmins. The Mac version is free, thought the Windows version is not.
    I also find utilities such as CleanMyMac, OnyX, and MacKeeper useful.

  2. RealResource
    March 22, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Oh come on, Mac's don't get viruses, they don't crash and you can believe everything a company with 4.6% total world computer market share tells you.

    For computers with a purpose in the productive and meaningful world ESET is definitely a leader.

  3. Bud Mulqueeney
    January 12, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Ukohara, please answer the guy's question without all of the diatribe and rant! Never had a problem with Avast! on a windows-based PC, preferred AVG.......

    On a Mac, currently use iAntiVirus and has kept my iMac "clean." Originally tried
    ClamXav, but not happy with it. Also highly recommend "CleanMyMac," much like
    "CCleaner" for a PC, but not free.

  4. Aibek
    December 31, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    There are a bunch of MakeUseOf article on the topic,

    Two Free Antivirus Programs For Mac OS X

    Are Anti-Virus Programs Necessary For Mac?

    Protect Your Mac With Sophos Anti-Virus For Free

    Can you recommend antivirus programs for the Mac?

  5. ukohara
    December 25, 2010 at 10:44 am

    well i know this problem n dilemma very well.. our notebook or desktop are like our best tools to get rid of our most problems whether related to work or entertainment, socializing needs...but they also face problems due to viruses and malwares and other malicious programs.. which are created and released all over the net with the soul purpose of corrupting a decent system so that the users would run to buy the suggested cure of so called virus so that in the near future they don't have to face this same problem again. and we do it...

    the precautions are the only thing that matters irrespective of which OS or anti virus you are using...

    wrong...in fact OS is not a problem... the real problem can b ur ANTI VIRUS APP. What i have learned from my experience that there are few apps who promise a lots of things but does not deliver...i cannot name them because i m not an expert on the software development.. but i used some of them n i am just giving my feedback... it is up to you to verify it or not... but believe me it is genuine.

    well there are two scenarios-- 1] u use internet and ur system is always connect to net or remains in touch with net most of the times daily or once or twice in a week or month.

    Here you get enough time to update your Anti virus app n you can stay protected from threats from removable media...but that is not enough.. as i mentioned that some apps does not deliver what they promised so you must b aware which apps to trust.. well i would suggest Kaspersky Anti virus Personal. if you use a public system like in a Cafe for your frequent Internet visits so your system only needs protection from common known threats like worms, Trojans, root kits or some dose of Win32 etc. which this prog. can handle without any problem... plus this prog. doesn't consumes much RAM so it does not slows down the overall performance of PC. where the Norton products sucks coz they take a lots of time in initializing a scan whether on demand or proactive threat protection. so this app detects threats much quickly so it is great. You can opt for the internet protection of kaspersky if you have a internet connection attached PC 24x7. so you are protected from all kind of online and offline threats.. Buy a full version if u can and you won't be disappointed by the its performance... I'd also suggest Quick Heal anti virus also known as Guardian Anti virus. It has been developed by an Indian IT company and it is one of the most successful product I've seen in detecting and removing threats after database update is done.. its trial version works like its Full version so u'll be able to decide to go for it or not.. [but it is good] If kept updated u'll never change ur anti virus...

    2] If u cannot update your anti virus on a daily or regular basis u need to install some extra protection... install a registry cleaner software like Registry Mechanic from PC TOOLS or Uniblue Registry mechanic to name a few.. they repair the damage done by the Viruses and also defragment your registry and files so that system doesn't slows down. it also cleans up the cookies and Temporary files which consumes a lots of RAM which eventually leads to a slow system instead of superior hardware. Though you can opt for the offline updation method of anti virus in case you are unable to shift your system [ a desktop usually at home or hostel or PG Rooms] for internet connection so that u remain updated against the unknown threats... Symentec Endpoint Protection 11.0 Enterprise version for small clients is a good one though it also from the same company like Norton but u can easily download their update files from Symentec's server and it's an executable file so just double click and you install it.. and a while later ur anti virus is up to date.. I have followed it for over a year and never had any problem with viruses though i frequently uses removable media who usually are the main reason of spreading virus other than internet emails or webpages.
    You can also try Bit Defender [Warning! It Consumes a lots of RAM So if u have sufficient RAM available it is one of the Best ]

    hope it'll help.

    • Mcgee1724
      March 19, 2011 at 8:41 pm

      I disagree with your views on Avast. i have had Avast on Windows XP and Ubuntu 10.10 and it has never deleted any files after numerous virus and malware attacks. Avast can only delete files if it has been set up to do so within it's preferences, if anything i believe Avast is the best free virus protection on offer. Also, why would it matter about win32 files on a Mac OS?

      I recommend not using the latest version of AVG as it uses a lot of system resources and has caused my Windows XP system to crash numerous times.

  6. Mike
    December 24, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I would definitly go with (any)one of the free AntiVirus programms for Mac.

    The only real benefit of the payed applications is that (most of them) offer protection and detection of Windows malware. Then again, any Windows user should have some virus and malware protection installed in the first place.

    I prefer iAntiVirus (www.iantivirus.com) over Sophos for Mac Home because the GUI is way more user friendly.

    There is also a 2.0 Beta version of ClamXav which offers folder monitoring and will detect Windows malware too.

    I'm using the ClamXav Beta for over 2 Weeks now. It doesn't offer real-time protection but I figured monitoring my Downloads and Desktop folder is sufficient enough.

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