To harden your Mac’s defences against the continual onslaught of malware, you’re best opting for one of the many excellent, third-party security suites. Here are four of the top choices, that’ll keep your Mac safe in this uncertain world.
While there are several security suites available for Mac users, four of them tend to lead the way in terms of anti-malware effectiveness, features, support, and value for money. Naturally, you’re free to make your own decisions with regards to what software you decide to install on your Mac to strengthen its overall security, however, the four we have listed below regularly win awards, and score the highest in reviews and tests across many different sources.
Bitdefender is regarded as one of the best security suites in the world, regardless of the platform you’re installing it on. The company’s malware detection engine leads the world, with many other AV companies using it as the base for their own products.
Currently, at the time of writing, Bitdefender for the Mac offers three different packages: Bitdefender Premium Security, Total Security, and Antivirus for Mac. Each package includes a number of features and comes in at different price points.
Premium Security is the flagship product for Mac from Bitdefender. For around £69.98 per year, although you’ll need to check prices as they can change frequently from time to time, you get a complete security setup. On offer is the company’s award winning malware, spyware and adware detection engine, unlimited VPN traffic via the Bitdefender VPN – with fully encrypted data, performance enhancers, Time Machine protection, ransomware protection, advanced parental controls, anti-phishing tools, and an added protected vault for your most valuable data.
The Total Security package offers much the same as the aforementioned Premium Security model, however there’s a metered traffic VPN, and lack of operating system performance enhancements. You do, however, get the same award winning malware detection engine. Total Security costs less, around £35 for a year’s subscription, but again, you’ll need to check the most recent pricing.
Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac offers less features than its two siblings, but that’s not to say it’s lacking in protection. If you’re not too concerned about a system enhancement tool, fully-featured VPN or parental protection, then this is good choice – and it only costs £20 for a year’s subscription.
Hot on the heels of Bitdefender is Norton’s 360 security packages. Again these come in three unique variants: Norton 360 Standard, 360 Deluxe, and 360 Premium.
Norton 360 Premium is, as you would expect, the flagship model for the company. With it you’ll get the excellent anti-spyware, malware and ransomware detection engine, a decent 750GB cloud backup, firewall, password manager, parental controls, VPN, webcam protection, and a unique plan called Dark Web Monitoring.
Dark Web Monitoring is an interesting feature, as it will search the dark web – which, if you’re not familiar, is an area of the internet where shady dealings take place, where cybercriminals trade stolen identities, and where you’re able to purchase everything from drugs to guns – for any instance of your email address. If it finds anything, you’ll be notified and steps can be taken to prevent anything nasty happening with your details.
The Deluxe edition features much the same as above, minus half the number of VPNs installed, and 50GB of secure cloud storage. And finally, the standard edition doesn’t feature the parental controls or Dark Web Monitoring, and it only has 10GB of secure cloud storage available.
Prices can vary from time to time, as to be expected, but you’ll be looking at around £45 for the Premium, £35 for the Deluxe, and £25 for the Standard models per year.
There are three products available to consumers from Kaspersky, however, only two of them can be installed in a Mac environment: Kaspersky Internet Security, and Kaspersky Total Security.
Needless to say, Kaspersky Total Security is the company’s top product and features an award winning anti-malware engine, phishing detection, ransomware protection, firewall, the ability to remove all trace of your action on a computer, an encryption vault, webcam protection, password management and parental controls. This version costs £19.99 per year.
Kaspersky Internet Security offer the same as above minus the encryption vault, password manager and parental controls and it costs just £17.49 per year. As before, though, please check the latest pricing.
Kaspersky is a good all-rounder in the consumer digital security market. There’s lots on offer for good value, and its anti-malware detection engine is highly regarded.
Intego are primarily a Mac-specific security and enhancement tools provider; although they’ve recently released a Windows version for their specialist products. There are two main products that the Mac user can opt for in terms of security: Intego Mac Internet Security X9, and Intego Mac Premium Bundle X9.
The leader of the pack is the Intego Mac Premium Bundle, as it contains not just the Internet Security X9 product, but also the company’s ContentBarrier Secure X9 parental control package, and the Mac Washing Machine Secure X9 package. The parental control element has some good features, such as the ability to shield children from unwanted content, and an anti-predator chat monitoring tool, which will monitor chat content for anything deemed inappropriate or certain keywords that child predators use in such circumstances. The Washing Machine, a name which always amuses us, is an enhanced system cleaner and performance monitor.
The Intego Mac Internet Security X9 product offers excellent malware protection, a firewall, and anti-phishing detection. It’s also one of the fastest anti-malware products available for Macs, but not as thorough as Bitdefender’s offering.
The Premium Bundle will cost you around £70 per year, and the Internet Security X9 will set you back around £40 per year.