Free Mac Antivirus: Avast Free Mac Security VS Sophos Antivirus for Mac Home Edition

by Julie Splinters - -

If you are looking for Mac security application but do not want to spend a lot of money, this article is just right for you because it will reveal the main features and reviews of two free security packages for Macs. Avast and Sophos offer users free Mac antivirus and security suites to keep their Macs protected and malware-free. Check out which package is better for you!

free mac security avast and sophos

Avast Free Mac Security

Avast Free Mac Security is developed by one of the largest cybersecurity companies in the world named Avast. The company uses next-gen technologies in order to provide advanced protection against malware, cyber attacks and other cyber threats in real time. Avast security software is used by more than 400 million individual users and businesses in over 150 countries across the globe. Along with the cybersecurity products and services, the company provides privacy and performance solutions.[1]

Free Avast Mac Security

Malware Protection

Avast Free Mac Security protects Macs using traditional signature-based detection. In order to provide maximum protection, the antivirus identifies and quarantines PC malware on Mac. Avast monitors not only Mac but also the network and allows on-demand and scheduled scans. Avast Free Mac Security offers relatively fast scans. 

Avast Free Mac Security was tested by AV-TEST that indicated that the application stopped 99.17% of Mac OS X malware, which is better than most of the other applications in the market.

Additional Features 

Avast Free Mac Security comes with Online Security browser extension which notifies users about suspicious and dangerous websites and search results. Avast also allows users to block social network-based tracking, monitors POP3 and IMAP emails. However, the free version does not include many extra features. 

Impact on system performances

Avast Free Mac Security has nearly zero system impact while working in the background. An average user would not even notice any performance slowdowns but without any active scans. A moderate impact on a system is likely to be noticed while scanning the system.

User Interface

Avast’s interface is very informative and provides users with plenty of data and options. The interface looks modern and is easy to navigate. 

Avast Free Mac Scan

The Final Verdict

Avast Free Mac Security provides users with an advanced malware protection together with a minimum impact on system performances. However, it does not offer many additional features.

Malware Protection Advanced
Impact on system performances Almost none
User Interface Veri informative and data-rich
Additional features Not many


Sophos Antivirus for Mac Home Edition 

Sophos Antivirus for Mac Home Edition is developed by British security software and hardware developing company Sophos Group Plc. The company specialized in security products and services for business and home users, including next-gen network protection, endpoint protection, encryption, mobile security and management and more. 

Sophos Antivirus for Mac Home Edition is a great solution for those who want to protect their family’s Macs for free. The antivirus solution comes in a single bundle not only for Macs but for Windows PCs too. This free package offers users remote management for up to three devices and also includes parental controls.[2]

Sophos home antivirus mac

Malware Protection

In order to detect and identify suspicious files, Sophos Antivirus applies traditional signature-based identification together with heuristic behavioral-based monitoring. Sophos Antivirus for Mac Home Edition constantly scans computers and checks its connections. In addition, users can control on-demand scans remotely. 

Sophos Antivirus for Mac full scan was completed in about 40 minutes which is longer than competitors’ average.

The antivirus application was tested by AV-TEST labs which noted that the protection is decent, but could be better. The detection score is behind many of its competitors.

Additional Features

Sophos Antivirus for Mac Home Edition offers users many security features, including remote management, parental web filtering, real-time antivirus and web protection from known malicious sites. In addition, premium features are offered for 30-days, so users can try Premium version before purchasing it. It is a great solution for those, who want to receive decent protection for the entire family, without spending anything.

Impact on system performances

Sophos Antivirus for Mac Home Edition has a relatively low impact on system performance while working in the background. However, during the scan users are likely to notice an impact. 

User Interface

Sophos Antivirus for Mac Home Edition has a simple user interface. The main window of the application allows users to start on-demand scans and check the health of the device. If you want to get more controls, youse Sophos Home web interface. The interface is bright and easy to navigate. 

Sophos mac antivirus

The Final Verdict

Sophos Antivirus for Mac Home Edition is a good choice for those who want to protect their family’s devices but do not want to spend money. The advantages of the application are easy to understand and simple interface, system scans that can be performed within a single click, additional features, including useful parental controls. However, malware detection is far from perfect.  

Malware Protection Could be better
Impact on system performances Low
User Interface Simple and easy to user
Additional Features Many additional features even in a free version

To Summarize

Avast Free Mac Security offers free and still excellent malware protection with nearly zero system impact in the background. It also includes password management. However, it does slow down a computer during scans and lacks some useful features, such as a firewall or privacy features. 

In contrast, Sophos Antivirus for Mac Home Edition full of additional features and even provides parental controls in a free edition, which makes Sophos Antivirus for Mac Home Edition great choice for families. The free edition offers protection for both, PCs and Macs, and provides a 30-day Premium trial, which includes even more useful features. However, the malware protection is only mediocre. 

So if you are looking for advanced malware protection, we would recommend you Avast Free Mac Security, but if you prefer additional free features, simpler interface and also want to protect your whole family Sophos Antivirus for Mac Home Edition would be your choice!


About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - VPN service analyst

Julie Splinters is a VPN service analyst at, who specializes in VPN services and anti-spyware applications. Her major of English Philology and her passion for IT helped her choose the path of an IT writer.

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