Top 5 FREE Antivirus for Mac 2018

by Olivia Morelli - -

Even though many Mac users believe that their Macs are protected and they do not need additional third-party antivirus, this is not a truth. Macs, just like Windows PCs are also being targeted by many cyber threats including malware and other viruses, phishing attempts, hacking and more. In order to keep your Mac malware-free and protected, make sure to use reliable security software. You do not even have to spend any money on it! Here is a list of best FREE antivirus for Macs!

Top 5 Free mac antivirus

Avast Free Mac Security

Avast Free Mac Security[1] is a free, trustworthy antivirus application with a decent feature list. The security software is developed by one of the largest antivirus and security software provider in the world which protects more than 400 million users.

In order to catch threats, Avast Free Mac Security uses traditional signature-based detection combined with heuristic monitoring. According to independent testing labs based in Germany, Avast Free Mac Security stopped 99.17% of Mac OS X malware installed on the test computer. 

In addition to its almost perfect malware detection, the security software comes with useful additional features, such as real-time protection, online secure browser, and password manager. Avast Free Mac Security monitors the network, hard drive, POP3 and IMAP emails. The application also protects users from social network-based tracking. 

Avast free antivirus for mac

While working in the background, Avast Free Mac Security has a system-performance hit by only 0.5%. 

Avast Free Mac Security is a great application for those who require great antivirus protection without a negative impact on a system. The application is also easy to navigate. 

Feature Score
Antivirus protection Excellent
Additional features Decent set of extra features
System-performance impact Almost none
Scanning performance Average speed scans with a low impact on a system
User interface Very informative and data-rich

Bitdefender Virus Scanner for Mac

Bitdefender Virus Scanner for Mac[2] is a free and lightweight antivirus tool that detects and removes both Mac and Windows threats. Bitdefender is a Romanian-based cybersecurity and antivirus products provider that protects over 500 million business and individual users.

Bitdefender Virus Scanner for Mac allows users to perform scans of running applications, critical locations, specific locations or the entire system. Bitdefender Virus Scanner for Mac uses the same malware detection techniques as its paid Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac and provides superior malware detection rates and updates its signature database every hour. 

bitdefender mac security scanner

The scanner does not have any additional features such as real-time protection or web filtering and provides only basic virus scanner. 

The tool is very simple and lightweight. It does not have a negative impact on a system and does not conflict with other applications. It would be a great tool running alongside another security app. 

Feature Score
Antivirus protection Excellent
Additional features None
System-performance impact Light
Scanning performance Quick system scans
User interface Simple and easy to navigate

AVG Free Antivirus for Mac

AVG Free Antivirus for Mac[3] is a simple and pleasant software that provides free award-winning antivirus protection. AVG is developed by AVG Technologies that became a member of Avast family in 2016. 

AVG similarly than other antivirus applications uses traditional scanning engine together with a heuristic monitoring. As a result, the antivirus catches both widespread and zero-day malware samples. According to AV-Comparatives, the software provides nearly perfect malware detection rates, as it caught 99.9% of malware samples. 

avg free antivirus for mac

When it comes to extra security and privacy features, AVG Free Antivirus for Mac does not offer any. The free version only catches malware and keeps your system malware-free. If you require any additional features, you will have to purchase the full version of the antivirus program. 

Scans take an average of approximately 40 minutes and have a medium impact on system performances. 

All in one, AVG Free Antivirus for Mac is a free antivirus that offers nearly perfect malware detection rates with a mediocre impact on a system. 

Feature Score
Antivirus protection Excellent
Additional features Free version does not offer extra features
System-performance impact Relatively high
Scanning performance Average speed scans with a mediocre impact on a system
User interface Pleasant and comprehensive user interface

Sophos Home for Mac

Sophos Home for Mac[4] is a complete security suite with a full feature set that does not cost anything. Sophos Group Plc is a British-based company that provides users award-winning cybersecurity products.

The security suite comes with a single bundle for Mac and Windows PCs and can protect up to 10 devices. Just like most of the antivirus software, Sophos uses traditional signature-based identification together with a heuristic behavioral-based monitoring. Even though the malware detection rates are decent, they are far from superior. 

Sophos Home for Mac provides a full set of features including remote management, real-time protection, web protection and even parental controls. 

sophos home protected

While working in the background, the software has a mediocre system performance hit. In addition, there are some slowdowns during scans. 

Sophos Home for Mac would be a great solution for those who look for reliable and free family protection. The security suite provides a decent malware detection and removal rates together with a full-featured set. 

Feature Score
Antivirus protection Mediocre
Additional features Many
System-performance impact Mediocre
Scanning performance Average system scans with a heavy performance hit
User interface Simple and easy to use

Avira Free Antivirus for Mac

Avira Free Antivirus for Mac[5] is one more simple, lightweight software that offers reliable antivirus protection for Macs. Avira Operations GmbH & Co is a German-based multinational cybersecurity company that develops Internet security software, privacy and identity tools for home and business users.

Avira Antivirus for Mac is easy to install and use. Even though it does not provide additional features such as web filtering, network scanning, and other security features, it focuses on antivirus protection. According to AV-Comparatives, Avira Free Antivirus for Mac detected 99.1% of malware samples.

avira free antivirus for mac

Although Avira Free Antivirus for Mac has a very reliable antivirus protection, it has a notable system impact during scans. The user interface is very clean and looks modern.

To sum up, Avira Free Antivirus for Mac is a good choice for those who look reliable anti-malware protection for their Macs.

Feature Score
Antivirus protection Decent
Additional features None
System-performance impact Heavy
Scanning performance Average scans with a notable impact on a system
User interface Looks modern and clean


About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Senior Media writer

Olivia Morelli is a senior media writer on Her favorite topic to write about is ransomware attacks and how to deal with them, but she also enjoys covering the topics of other types of malware and VPNs.

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