Best Antivirus For Mac
Is an antivirus for Mac needed?
A Greek philosopher Heraclitus said “Everything flows, everything changes.” Until quite recently Mac OS did not need any antivirus means, because it was considered as very reliable and stable to infection (the roots of this operating system are from *nix systems series).
Nowadays, the situation has been changed and that means that Mac OS needs (even if not so actively as Microsoft Windows) antivirus protection. In order to understand the main point of such phenomenon it is necessary to have a dip in history.
Is Mac vulnerable?
Up to some point of its development, the digital world of application software programs has lived with two parallel platforms – PowerPC represented by Apple Inc. and its creation – Mac OS, and traditional for a wide audience – Intel “x86” with dominating Microsoft Windows at that time. If there were viruses for PowerPC it was as a pure exotic to users, Intel “x86”, firstly acting through DOS and then – Windows, was full of virus attacks. From that moment on, the opinion has been established that Mac OS is invulnerable to harmful program influence.
Afterwards, one event happened that one can consider as a starting point of Mac OS inclusion into a cohort of virus-subjected operating systems: Mac OS was ported on the Intel “x86” platform. Undoubtedly, Mac OS change for the Intel “x86” platform contributed to popularization of this operating system among a broad spectrum of users, since the PowerPC platform was more “for the chosen ones”, particularly, due to its high cost of both hardware and software parts. In these conditions for some time, Mac OS after moving to “another world” remained in the category of invincible. It became considered by users as a real alternative to “thoroughly weak in front of viruses” Windows in contrast to Linux that long ago pretended to hearts of a gross audience, but which could not achieve any feelable sympathies toward itself.
For this reason, Mac OS popularity growth has led this system to the point where some cyber criminals started to pay attention to it. Periodical news from the Intego company on detection of new virus threats for Mac OS, in general, was not able to break an assurance bastion of users in vulnerability of this operating system. Moreover, followed further attacks of DNSChanger-a (that was spread by authors of a harmful TDSS program family which is famous in the Windows world), and also a false virus MacDefender were massive though; however, they were indicators of gullibility degree for Mac OS users who up until now did not face virus epidemics, and that’s why installing malicious programs from dmg-installators by themselves.
In practice, the final nail in the coffin of the myth on “virus-resistant” Mac OS was botnet revelation of more than 550,000 computers, infected with BackDoor.Flashback, by the DrWeb company. Herein we need to specify though, that a vulnerability in external software assisted in successful botnet creation, and also particularity of Apple policy influenced that does not allow patching for external programs – in fact, an approach for guaranteed Apple protection, more correctly for its defined inertance, was inverted against itself. The last drop in the bucket was detection of the new harmful program called Backdoor.OSX.SabPub after two weeks from the moment when the abovementioned botnet Flashback was found. In this case, as it was with Flashback, successful SabPub installation was realized due to the fact that external software contained vulnerabilities – there were detected six documents of Microsoft Word that carried Exploit.MSWord.CVE-2009-0563.a, and two of them were downloading SabPub.
Nevertheless, taking into account, that the system inherited Unix principles for delimitation of user rights in the system, Mac OS still remains the reliable operating system; and even if the “command to system destruction” happens, its activity will not cross borders of a user profile. The hypothetical situation – vulnerability exploitation that will allow users to elevate their rights to a root level and realize a relevant code.
Antivirus for Mac - what for?
Antivirus installation on Mac OS can be justified on grounds of an additional barrier on the way to spreading of Windows-oriented malicious programs, for instance, when scanning portable carriers. Virtually, Mac computers with an installed antivirus is a kind of an antivirus sluice which can help to check and, if it is necessary, delete bad programs on external flash drives and, in doing so, prevent their further spreading. Particularly, it is seen very well in heterogeneous networks (it is a network type that linking computers to other appliances with various operating systems and protocols) that are spread almost everywhere – now it is not a rarity when devices managed by Microsoft Windows, Android and Mac OS are used at home.
When it became quite obvious, that Mac OS is opened to virus threats, producer companies of antivirus solutions have started to offer their products for this platform.
Certainly, on the one hand, necessity of antivirus installation on Mac can be disputed by experienced users, and information security experts can tell many reasons to protect their positions. On the other hand, currently there are many those who moved to this platform and Mac users interested in the question: which antivirus for this system is better to use. We are going to decide about best protection of the most reliable antivirus.
Best antivirus solutions for Mac
Bitdefender Internet Security – is the complex antivirus with a firewall and strong protection of personal data
The antivirus and the antispyware with an effective engine provide reliable protection against viruses. A new adaptive scan technology helps to increase speed and antivirus productiveness. The two-sided firewall in Bitdefender Internet Security controls all Internet connections on the computer and guarantees safety of Wi-Fi connection. Multilevel web protection consists of antiphishing, protection against bad websites, a safe search, an isolated web browser and an electronic wallet for protected e-banking and online purchases. Parental control with web-management allows blocking undesired content and keeping a close watch on online activity of your children. The web portal gives a chance to remotely control protection of your devices where Bitdefender is installed.
The program protects your machine with the help of a two-level system. The first one scans the whole system for detection of harmful programs and if it finds them it will delete them from the system. The second component provides safety of users in the Internet.
Avast has a simple intuitive interface that helps to use it easily. The WebRep plugin can be added to a triftbox of its positive features. The plugin automatically is integrated with browsers and it warns you about reliability of any website, and in real time scans each file that you need to open.
Compatibility: OS X 10.5 and higher.
The program can show off a convenient easy usage. In the capacity of protection ClamXav steps back in front of Avast pretty much, but for Mac it will be more than enough. The most important thing is that this antivirus does good job with main tasks – virus detection and deletion.
Compatibility: OS X 10.6 and higher.
Sophos Home Edition
Sophos Home Edition – is a free version of the Sophos antivirus. It is one of the most user-friendly solutions for Mac. You need to press only one button to start full computer scanning. The only thing that can make you press more than one button – is a wish to set the antivirus in a special way, but it, usually, is not necessary. This tool is able to watch over Mac security system even if it is in a background mode. Online protection once and for all will allow you to forget about safety and feel real freedom of actions. If you are looking for a simple solution for Mac protection the program is developed exactly for you.
Compatibility: OS X 10.5 and higher.
Avira is a popular antivirus for Windows and now it is accessible for Mac too. This software can be distinguished by excellent functionality. To compare the version for Mac and the version for Windows, so the first might seemed as more ordinary (but it makes sense). With Avira you can scan the whole system, some its elements or separate files. The free program always checks your system so that it is protected from different viruses and other dangers. Above all, all processes in Avira are fully automated.
The antivirus finds and deletes viruses and Trojans including less known macro-viruses. There a possibility to monitor the system constantly.
Compatibility: OS X 10.6 and higher.
Comodo – is a free product providing full protection for your computer from malicious software that is potentially can harm your system. In real time mode the antivirus permanently monitors computer system security scanning each element that you work with. On an incredibly regular basis updates for Comodo Antivirus are appearing often that demonstrates Comodo like a tool of good protection.
With all due respect, there are many different free and commercial antivirus versions. Both are distinguished by possibilities, in some ways – even cardinally. At the same time, Kaspersky Security for Mac and ESET NOD32 Cyber Security contain such useful function as cloud technologies. It allows react quickly on threat development that increasing a protection level of a final device. In fact, an antivirus cloud is like a company infrastructure designed to process information, received from user computers, with a purpose to detect new threats which are hard to find with signatures.
In addition, Kaspersky Security for Mac has parental control and a virtual keyboard. Parental control, to our opinion, is the system protection function that must be in each antivirus or in the system Internet Security; after all, the amount of negative and destructive information that can be accessible to children exceeds any rational number. Limitation and control over pastime in front of the computer, in general, can have a favorable effect on child development.
It should be said, that Norton AntiVirus 12 for Mac has an intrusion detection system of an initial level that helps to define an attack vector and neutralize the attack before it reaches the target and causes damages to data or to a final device. Moreover, Norton AntiVirus 12 has a possibility to scan files sent with IM iChat that creates an additional barrier on the way of malicious software spread.
Taking all things together, examined functions of mentioned antiviruses have to secure safe computer work headed by Mac OS that is not only as a direct potential victim of malicious attacks, but also a blocking sluice on the way of Windows-oriented harmful programs spread. Upon that, it is important to note the fact, that the amount of Mac-oriented deleterious programs still is substantially smaller comparing to the amount of their Windows-oriented “co-brothers”.
Even a Mac shall be protected
Although a great while Mac was not the main target for cyber criminals, it is commonly believed, that the Apple platform has great immunity to malicious programs neither. Several existed popular antivirus solutions for Mac OS were considered in the article. Features of these instruments, that pointed on providing effective protection against virus penetrations and reasons for usage of antivirus programs on devices powered by Mac OS, were reviewed.
It is difficult to say which antivirus is better for you. In general, people expect different features from computer protection. Some like “quick”, some – “not demanding for resources” and some – “look well – feel protected”. Each his one.
To sum up all information, we can say that there are top three best antiviruses. The first best virus is Avira, then the second – Bitdefender and the third – Avast.