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There’s a constant debate of whether or not Macs can get viruses. If you’re still wondering: “Do I need antivirus for my Mac?” The answer is yes.
Although Macs are less likely to become a victim of a virus, it’s important to stay on the safe side. You don’t have to go overboard with the antivirus tool that you choose. In fact, you have many free options that you should consider. Here are some of the best free antivirus for Mac—don’t worry, they don’t come with any gimmicks!
Avast’s free antivirus for Mac is considered one of the best options for Mac users. It comes loaded with features that constantly work to block any ransomware, viruses, or malware that compromise your Mac’s security.
When browsing the web, Avast Security will let you know when you come across a potentially dangerous site, and will also keep out any web trackers. Avast even prevents malicious emails and lets you know if there are any security holes in your Wi-Fi connection.
Since Avast Security is completely free on its own, it withholds some extra features for the paid Premium plan. Just be careful when you install the Free plan. Avast will try to throw in some costly extra features during installation that you probably don’t want.
Bitdefender doesn’t come with many bells and whistles, but it’s still a viable option as a free antivirus software for Mac. This antivirus is especially great for scanning specific files or apps. It also allows you to omit files, making for a speedy scanning process. If it does happen to find a threat, Bitdefender will quarantine or remove it.
Bitdefender doesn’t run by itself, so you’ll need to manually prompt Bitdefender to perform scans. Fortunately, virus signatures are automatically updated every hour to ensure that you have the latest protection.
The only downside to Bitdefender is that it lacks the tools to protect your Mac online. For protection against dangerous websites or tricky phishing emails, you’ll have to look into a more well-rounded antivirus software instead.
Avira doesn’t just think about the security of your Mac, but it considers the security of Windows-users as well—this makes it one of the best free antivirus programs for both Mac and Windows. It detects malware that can damage a Mac or Windows computer. This way, you don’t accidentally pass on any malware to any PC-using friends.
Despite the fact that Avira is free, it still has tons of useful features. The real-time scanner is capable of scanning your entire computer or just specific files. If you want a more hands-off approach, you can even schedule the scanner to run at certain times.
The full system scan can take a long time and tends to slow down your computer. You’ll have to perform less-involved quick scans if you want to keep your Mac’s performance up.
By default, Sophos’ Home Free plan comes with a 30-day trial of Sophos’ Home Premium. You don’t have to buy the Premium version once the trial ends, but you’ll lose a couple of Premium features you might’ve gotten used to. Either way, you can still get by with just the Free plan.
Sophos Home constantly keeps tabs on the status of your Mac. It searches and detects any ransomware, malware, viruses, Trojans, worms, bots, and more that can harm your computer.
Sophos Home also comes outfitted with parental controls that allow you to prevent your children from accessing certain websites. You can have up to three devices (both Mac or Windows) on the Free plan, ensuring that everyone in your family has protection.
AVG’s free protection is powerful enough to secure your Mac from malware, and protect you when you’re online. It can also prevent you from acquiring and passing on any PC or Android viruses. AVG automatically updates its virus database, so you’ll always have the most effective security.
That said, you won’t need to open AVG on a daily basis. It runs in the background, and covertly deflects any threats, such as malicious emails, websites, and downloads.
If you’re looking for any parental controls or webcam blockers, the free version of AVG won’t have it. It just offers scanning and detection features, which is just good enough for basic security needs. Unfortunately, the full system scan does cause your computer to perform slowly, and you can expect it to take several minutes (or hours) to complete.
Malwarebytes promises to scan a typical Mac in just under 30 seconds. If it finds anything suspicious, it’ll provide you with a list of potential threats. You can either choose to have Malwarebytes ignore it, or place the files into quarantine and delete them.
The Free version of Malwarebytes can help you detect malware threats quickly, but it doesn’t offer enough protection to use on its own. You’ll also get a 14-day trial of Malwarebytes Premium, so you’ll have to pay if you want access to all of its features in the future. By itself, the Free plan is just a bare-bones antivirus software—it simply identifies and erases any malicious threats.
Komodo offers an easy-to-use interface and free protection for your Mac. Checking a file or app for viruses is as simple as dragging and dropping it into Comodo. It comes with a quick scan that finishes in minutes, and a total system scan that might take an hour or two to complete. The scheduler lets you pick and choose the times you want to perform scans so your computer won’t get bogged down at the wrong time.
Like some of the other antiviruses on this list, Comodo also stays up-to-date on the latest virus signatures to protect you from all types of viruses. Just remember that Comodo doesn’t automatically protect you online. You’ll have to download the free browser extension Comodo Online Security if you want to block any dangerous websites.
Finding the Best Free Antivirus for Mac
Many Mac users think that their device is resistant to viruses, however, that’s just not the case. Even if your Mac is less likely to contract a virus, especially if you download your Mac apps from safe websites and steer clear of these bad security choices, it’s still possible for you to pass along malware to Windows and Android users. It doesn’t hurt to install a free antivirus for your Mac to prevent any security breaches.
If you’re looking to protect your Windows PC as well, check out our list of the best antivirus for Windows 10.