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Best places to buy Kaspersky Anti-Virus in 2020 - Android Central

Best places to buy Kaspersky Anti-Virus in 2020 - Android CentralBest places to buy Kaspersky Anti-Virus in 2020 - Android CentralAntivirus Software Market Pin-Point Analyses of Industry Competition Dynamics to Offer You a Competitive Edge - 3rd Watch NewsAntivirus Software Market Research with Covid-19 after Effects - Apsters NewsAntivirus Software Market Scope by Trends, Opportunities to Expand Significantly by 2026 - Jewish Life NewsBest places to buy Kaspersky Anti-Virus in 2020 - Android CentralPosted: 28 Apr 2020 12:00 AM PDTKaspersky Anti-Virus is one of the best computer protection programs around, and has been thoroughly tested by several third-party labs and in our own in-house tests, too. The best place to purchase a copy of Kaspersky Anti-Virus is from Kaspersky itself. However, you can often find deals through other vendors. The trick is finding a trustworthy one, so you don't accidentally purchase and download malware instead of a legitimate copy of Kaspersky. Here a…

The best antivirus software in 2020: Free antivirus and paid software - Tom's Guide UK

The best antivirus software in 2020: Free antivirus and paid software - Tom's Guide UK

The best antivirus software in 2020: Free antivirus and paid software - Tom's Guide UK

Posted: 08 May 2020 10:18 AM PDT

Every Windows PC needs to be running one of the best antivirus programs, even if that program happens to be free.  

The Windows Defender antivirus software built into Windows 10 is very good, but while it certainly holds its own against other free rivals, it still can't quite match the features or protection of the best paid antivirus offerings.

The best antivirus protection of 2020 for Windows 10 - CNET

Posted: 04 Apr 2020 12:00 AM PDT

We should all know the rules of how to protect our privacy and internet security and keep Windows secure: Don't open mysterious messages and emails, don't give out personal information, don't tap questionable links or download apps from shady sites, use secure passwords and keep your Windows software up to date.

You can also take a few extra internet security steps to make sure you're safe online with a PC: Use a VPN to protect your internet traffic, a password manager to keep track of login credentials and an end-to-end encrypted messaging app to keep people from spying on your communications.   

Best Windows antivirus software

But if you are looking for legitimate antivirus suite to keep your Windows device secure, a good first step is to run the best antivirus software. The best antivirus suite and antivirus tools monitor your app downloads and watch for malicious software and suspicious software behavior.

And here's the first important thing for you to know about the best antivirus software and antivirus products: Microsoft Defender -- the free antivirus program and internet security software that comes free with Windows 10 and until recently was called Microsoft Windows Defender -- does a fine job of protecting your PC and providing internet security. (Amazingly, Microsoft provided no built-in protection for Windows back in the days of Windows 98 and XP.) Using Microsoft Defender should be your starting point for the best antivirus security on Windows, and most users will find they don't need to go any further.

However, you can make the case that the Windows security ecosystem is healthier when users don't depend on just one company for protection from a virus or malware. If you favor robust platform diversity, you can easily find solid virus or malware protection from third-party security companies that are up to the task of guarding your PC for free. And most let you also protect all your devices with an annual subscription -- though, it's important to note, that's largely unnecessary outside the Windows realm.

To that end, we've put together a list of the best antivirus products for Windows, encompassing both free antivirus programs and subscription options. These picks of the best antivirus programs are a combination of recommendations from independent third-party labs AV-Test and AV-Comparatives as well as our hands-on testing.

Note that the free and paid security services discussed here are independently chosen by our editors. We're in the process of updating this full list, so check back for an update.

Update, Oct. 21: This list previously included Avast's antivirus as an alternate free choice, but we've pulled that recommendation in light of a report from Avast that its internal network was breached this year, possibly to insert malware into its CCleaner software. This is the second such security issue from Avast in under 3 years

Our recommendations

Looking for free antivirus protection or virus detection, willing to pay for an antivirus solution that offers broad coverage across all your devices, including from ransomware and phishing, or needing to remove a virus or malware from your PC right now? Here's where to start.


Free version? Yes, built into Windows 10

Paid version: Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection is available to corporate users for a fee

Honestly, if you consistently practice safe computing -- you keep your software up to date, you use strong passwords (with the help of password manager) and you steer clear of unexpected emails and links -- you probably can stay clear of zero-day attacks and ransomware attacks. And with Microsoft's free Microsoft Defender Antivirus software running on Windows 10, you have a safety net if you do let your guard down. (Note that Microsoft recently changed the name of Windows Defender to Microsoft Defender and has expanded the service to other platforms.) This antivirus program is literally built into Windows -- just leave it turned on (it is by default) and let it do its thing and this will cover the basics. Microsoft pushes new updates daily.

Read more: The best password managers and how to use them


Platforms: Windows 10 plus MacOS, Android, iOS

Cost: $100 per year for five devices, on sale for $60

For a long time, respected security company Norton Security from Symantec, now called NortonLifeLock, has earned high marks from AV-Test for virus and malware detection. A five-device subscription via Norton Security is normally $99.99, but you can sign up for $59.99 to get coverage across PCs, Macs, Android devices, and iPhones and iPads. (But note, again, that we don't think antivirus protection is terribly useful outside the Windows realm.) In addition to malware and virus protection, you get 100GB of automatic backup to the cloud, safe-browsing tools, a VPN, an easy device management via a web-browser console and LifeLock identity-theft protection.

Read more: The guide to password security (and why you should care)


Platforms: Windows 10 plus MacOS, Android

Free version? Yes, after 14-day trial expires

Paid version: $40 per year for one device, $60 per year for three devices

Malwarebytes does protect your PC from a virus or malware, scoring well in recent independent testing for guarding against malware infections. But that's not really what Malwarebytes is known for. If you find yourself in trouble, the go-to disinfectant for many is Malwarebytes. You can get protection and disinfection for one device for $40 a year. To cover 10 devices -- any combination of Windows, MacOS and Android -- it's $130. To get the free antivirus version, download this trial version, which "downgrades" to a no-fee on-demand cleaner with fewer features that detects and removes viruses and malware when you run an on-demand scan.

Read more: Special report: A winning strategy for cybersecurity (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Also worth considering

In addition to the three antivirus apps we recommend above, a handful of other anti-malware tools are worth considering among the best antivirus protection if you find them at a better price or prefer to use one over our picks above.

Platform: Windows

Free version? Yes

Paid version: $80 per year for three PCs; $120 Family Pack per year for 15 devices

If you'd like to take a step up in securing your PC without taxing your wallet, it's hard to beat Bitdefender's free anti-virus software for Windows 10. The Windows security software offers real-time monitoring for viruses, malware and spyware and ransomware protection. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is easy to set up and stays out of your way until you need it. And the protection it offers is solid. Bitdefender consistently earns top marks for its antivirus protection and usability from the respected AV-Test independent testing lab. The free antivirus version covers one Windows PC. For broader protection, Bitdefender Internet Security is $80 MSRP and available at the moment for $45. It lets you protect three computers, set up parental controls on a kid's computer and run a VPN. To protect every device you own, the Bitdefender Family Pack can secure 15 total device -- Windows, Android, iOS and MacOS -- in your home for $120 MSRP and discounted to $60 right now.

Read More: This is the best free password manager

Platforms: Windows 10 plus MacOS, Android, iOS

Cost: $120 per year for 10 devices, on sale for $45

It feels like the company has been around forever, first on its own in the '80s, then as part of Intel starting in 2010, and then again on its own when Intel spun it off in 2017. And it's been around forever because quarter after quarter it creates solid security software that protects your PC. (In recent evaluations by AV-Test it had perfect scores on detecting 0-day attacks and blocking current widespread viruses and malware.) McAfee Total Protection guards against viruses and offers ransomware protection, wards off shady websites, includes a password manager and lets you manage all your protected devices through web console. A 10-device subscription is normally $120 MSRP, but currently is $45 for any combination of Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS devices.

Read more: 6 steps to secure your Windows 10 machine

Platforms: Windows 10 plus MacOS, Android, iOS

Cost: $90 per year for 10 devices, on sale for $50

Maybe not as well known to consumers because of its focus on enterprise security, Trend Micro quietly brings its business expertise to the home with its Trend Micro Maximum Security tools. Trend Micro's software earns high marks from AV-Test -- scoring 100 percent of detecting 0-day attacks and widespread viruses and malware. And Trend Micro does a good job of not taxing system resources. Trend Micro's 10-device subscription for computers and mobile devices is $90 MSRP but discounted currently at $50.

Read more: This is the browser you'll want if you care about online privacy

Platform: Windows

Cost: $59 per year for three PCs

If you are looking for something easy to set up and use, ESET NOD antivirus may meet your needs. It earns top scores for usability and offers solid virus protection. And its Android antivirus gets top marks in third-party tests.

What about Kaspersky?

Because the company has been in the news the past few years, let's talk about Kaspersky Lab -- specifically about the federal ban that blocks US government agencies from using Kaspersky products.

Based in Moscow, Kaspersky Lab has for years produced some of the best antivirus software for business antivirus needs and home customers. But in 2017 the US government prohibited Kaspersky software on federal government computers because of alleged ties between Kaspersky and the Russian government.

Notably, the ban does not apply to its consumer products. But, like China-based Huawei, the question remains: If the federal government doesn't think the products are safe enough for its own devices, should consumers avoid it as well?

In a statement sent to CNET, the company said, "Kaspersky Lab has no ties to any government, and the company has never, nor will ever, engage in cyber offensive activities. Kaspersky Lab maintains that no public evidence of any wrongdoing has been presented by the U.S. Government, and that the U.S. government's actions against Kaspersky Lab were unconstitutional."

In Kaspersky's favor, it continues to earn top scores and awards for virus and malware detection and endpoint security from independent testing labs. And it's reasonably priced, with basic antivirus protection for three devices running $30 a year, or blanket protection for 10 devices -- with Kaspersky Total Security -- for $75 a year. In comparison, the Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus program costs $37.50 per year for three devices -- and a single device on Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus costs $30 a year. 

In the end, even though no one has ever publicly produced a "smoking gun" linking the company to Russian intrigue, we think any of the options listed above are a safer bet. And, if you are a US government employee or work with the federal government, you'll want to steer clear of Kaspersky.

Antivirus basics: What to look for

Picking the best antivirus software for Windows means finding one that keeps your PC safe, doesn't take up a lot of system resources, is easy to use and stays out of the way till you need it. Here's what to look for.

Effectiveness. Antivirus scans for a known virus and malware, of course, and can offer real-time protection. And it watches for shady websites and suspicious links to keep you out of trouble. It can also offer ransomware protection and monitor unexpected behavior that may be a sign of new and not-yet-identified viruses and malware. You want antivirus that can successfully identify these unknown online threats without flagging too many false positives.

Light on system resources. You don't want antivirus that taxes your PC's resources. If after you install antivirus, websites open slowly, apps download or open sluggishly, or file copies take longer than expected, you may want to try another service. The good news is, all our picks offer a free trial to let you try out the antivirus program, so if your system feels sluggish after you install antivirus solutions, you may want to keep looking.

Cost and discounts. Don't just pay the sticker price for antivirus. Before you buy, check for discounts on a company's website. Another way to save: The prices we list above are for 10 devices -- if the company offered that package -- but you can trim your cost with antivirus packages if you need to cover just three or five devices. You may also find discounts on an app's Amazon page.

Privacy. To be effective, antivirus software needs to monitor what's going on with your PC and check in with company servers about unusual behavior. The companies say they anonymize this technical data as much as possible to protect your privacy. But if you want to know more, the security companies on our list post privacy policies on their websites, so read their privacy statement to learn what the companies do with the information you share.

Protection for other platforms. Microsoft is by far the biggest target for viruses and malware. But Android is second, with the largest threat coming from sideloaded apps -- those you install outside Google's Play Store. Google said in the last quarter of 2018, 0.99 percent of apps installed outside the Play Store were a potentially harmful app, or PHA. For those installed from the Play Store, the number drops to 0.042 percent. To stay safe, we do not recommend sideloading apps, but sometimes, like with Fortnite, you might want to. In that case, running virus and malware protection from a trusted security company is not a bad idea.

The threat to MacOS and especially iOS are low, in part because of the tight control Apple has over its app stores. While the Mac does rarely come under attack via sideloaded apps, if you download apps only from the Mac and iOS app stores, and keep your guard up when clicking links and download files, you should be OK without an antivirus app on Apple devices.

Read more: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Originally published earlier. Updated to clarify Norton pricing details and LifeLock service options, and to note the removal of the earlier Avast recommendation.

The best Mac antivirus software in 2020 - Tom's Guide

Posted: 02 May 2020 08:04 AM PDT

Every Mac needs one of the best Mac antivirus programs, whether that program is free or paid.

We're long past the days when Apple could claim in its TV ads that Macs don't get infected. The last few years have seen the onslaught of notorious Mac malware such as Shlayer, Proton and KeRanger. And today's Macs are absolutely plagued by adware, scareware and potentially unwanted programs.

Does your Mac really need antivirus software? We asked the experts - Digital Trends

Posted: 07 May 2020 08:50 AM PDT

There's an age-old belief in the tech world that Macs don't get malware. Well, we know that isn't true — Mac security firm Intego uncovered several new threats specifically targeted at Macs in June 2019 alone, and notable instances of Mac malware have been uncovered in the past. But is it true that Macs are less vulnerable than Windows PCs?

Macs have a lot of built-in features that can be powerful tools in the fight against malware. But are they enough? These features come with every Mac by default, so is there really a need to install third-party antivirus software on your computer? We asked the experts.

Vulnerabilities in Apple's systems

Macbook Air (2018) Review
Riley Young/Digital Trends

The belief that Macs are fairly resilient to malware isn't just idle fanboy-ism. Windows PCs make up roughly 90% of the market, making them a much more attractive target to malware makers.

And Macs really do have some stellar built-in tools that protect you right off the bat. For example, when you download an app off the internet, your Mac checks it against a list of known malware apps using XProtect. It works invisibly in the background, meaning it needs no maintenance or activation and doesn't slow down your Mac. Gatekeeper, meanwhile, will prevent the app from opening without your permission if it hasn't been digitally signed as safe by Apple. And now, Apple has even started notarizing apps so that they can prove they are trustworthy.

On top of that, all apps are sandboxed, meaning they can only do what they're meant to do, without being able to access critical system infrastructure and settings.

But there are gaps in the armor that protect Mac users' systems. The MacOS layer of security relies on Apple adding quarantine tags to suspicious or outright malicious software, which in turn results in the warning dialogue you see when you try to open them.

Thomas Reed, Director of Mac & Mobile at security firm Malwarebytes, told me that the defenses aren't as comprehensive as it seems. "Adding that flag is not a requirement, and not all software does [it]," he explained. "For example, torrent software often doesn't, while at the same time being used heavily in piracy."

"The nature of sandboxing on MacOS actually restricts antivirus software."

In addition, XProtect's list of malicious file signatures is hardly all-encompassing. Reed explained that it only checks files against 94 rules, "a tiny fraction of the rules found in any more powerful antivirus engine." Kirk McElhearn, co-host of Mac security firm Intego's podcast and a writer on malware topics, concurs that XProtect only looks out for "a handful of strains of malware."

What about the new security features in MacOS Catalina? Apple says apps will require your permission before accessing your documents, desktop files, iCloud Drive, and external drives, plus it's promising greater security thanks to a dedicated system volume for the operating system and the T2 Security Chip in new Macs.

Apple's T2 Coproccesor

However, Reed still doesn't believe these go far enough. He told me that Gatekeeper still won't perform a signature check on non-quarantined apps on launch, meaning a malicious actor could tamper with a legitimate app and it would still be permitted to run on MacOS.

Reed also believes the nature of sandboxing on MacOS actually restricts antivirus software, at least if you download it from the App Store.

"By default, for example, [an antivirus app] cannot get access to most of the files on the hard drive. Even if you grant access to the entire hard drive, many of those files cannot be removed by an App Store app. This means App Store antivirus software is less likely to be able to detect all threats and is also less likely to be able to remove all threats."

Where's the weak link?

What about the common criticism that antivirus apps put an unnecessary strain on Macs, slowing them down and adding unwanted bloatware? McElhearn feels this concern is overblown.

"A decade or longer ago, the argument that antivirus software could slow down your Mac certainly may have had some merit, in some cases," he explains. "But modern Macs generally have plenty of resources (processing power, memory, and disk speed) to allow antivirus software to protect you without any noticeable detriment to the Mac's speed."

Reed, however, is not so dismissive, calling antivirus apps' performance hit a "bane" to Mac users.

"So many people still feel like Macs don't need antivirus software that, if you convince them to install something, it's an instant failure if performance takes a hit," he laments. If you're going to install an antivirus app, then, you need to find one that's not only trustworthy but fast, too. If your Mac slows to a crawl while your antivirus app is conducting a scan, you'll soon run out of patience — potentially putting yourself at risk.

Relying purely on Apple's systems isn't enough.

There are further indications that we are often the weak link. Reed argues that Apple's in-built protection systems do a poor job of detecting adware and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), things that he describes as "the most prevalent" threats to Mac users today.

If you fall victim to Mac malware, he argues, it's less likely to be at the hands of a traditional virus and more likely to be due to you being tricked into installing malicious software masquerading as a trustworthy app — Mac Defender being a well-known example.

McElhearn, meanwhile, argues that relying purely on the systems that Apple has implemented isn't enough. For example, while Gatekeeper can block apps that originate from third-party or untrusted developers, it can easily be bypassed by the user with a couple of clicks.

While Gatekeeper gives you plenty of warning that ignoring its checks is a bad idea, it still lets you do it with relative ease.

Both points cut to the heart of the biggest vulnerability in Mac security: Us. Humans are fallible creatures, open to manipulation or just plain laziness.

We may think that an app has been unnecessarily flagged by Gatekeeper (or get "dialogue fatigue" and allow it to run without thinking), thereby inadvertently opening the door to malware. Or we may see a well-made forgery of a trustworthy website, leading to us giving away our bank details to fraudsters and malcontents.

In cases like these, neither your Mac's layers of built-in security nor third-party antivirus apps can offer you 100% protection.

A multipronged approach

The obvious conclusion seems to be that you should install antivirus software on your Mac (we've rounded up the best options for you). But as we noted above, there are some important caveats, and it's certainly not the only precaution you should take.

An efficient, fast antivirus app can be a useful tool in keeping your Mac safe.

Ultimately, antivirus software alone will never be enough. You always need to back it up with a strong dose of common sense. Don't download apps from questionable sources; don't overrule Gatekeeper's warnings; don't click links in emails from unknown senders and don't listen to suspicious websites prompting you to install Adobe Flash Player or any other app.

That said, an efficient, fast antivirus app can be a useful tool in keeping your Mac safe, helping to cover ground that's missed by Gatekeeper, XProtect, and the other security measures in place on your Mac.

So, there you have it. You should install antivirus software on your Mac, but make sure you find one that doesn't slow your machine to a crawl, and back it up with plenty of common sense. Do all that and you stand a good chance of keeping Mac malware at bay.

Editors' Recommendations

Avira Free Antivirus for Mac Review - PCMag

Posted: 06 May 2020 01:30 PM PDT

The illusion that Macs are invulnerable to malicious software is just that, an illusion. Yes, Windows and Android are more popular as targets, but Macs suffer malware attacks too, even ransomware attacks. You need antivirus protection on your macOS devices, though you don't necessarily have to pay for it. Avira Free Antivirus for Mac doesn't cost a penny, and it earns decent scores in tests by the independent labs.

When you launch Avira's installer, it downloads the latest code and malware signatures. The main window features a simple menu down the left, most of which echoes the similar menu in Avira Antivirus Pro. The rest of the window features plenty of whitespace around three components: a round icon that reflects your security status, a button to run a full or quick scan, and a target that you can drag files or folders onto for a quick scan. It's a simple, reassuring layout.

Scanning and Scheduling

On the MacBook Air I use for testing, the quick scan took just a bit under two minutes, and the full scan took 28 minutes. That's good, considering that the average among current products for a full scan is 39 minutes.

Scheduled scanning is enabled by default, once per week. You can schedule more quick or full scans, on a daily or weekly basis.

Similar Products

Clicking Modules in the left-side menu displays the status of four security modules: Real-Time Protection, Protection Cloud, Firewall, and USB Scanner (the last is reserved for the Pro edition of this product). Seeing the label Firewall, you might get the impression that Avira includes a firewall component, like Intego Mac Internet Security X9, McAfee, and Norton. However, this component simply controls the built-in macOS firewall component.

Main Window

Pricing and OS Support

There's a big range of prices for Mac-based antivirus support. At the high end, Intego lists at $99.99 per year to protect three Macs, and Norton 360 Deluxe (for Mac) asks $99.99 per year for five cross-platform licenses. Granted, these two are security suites, going way beyond the features offered by a simple antivirus utility.

The most common pricing plan among products we've reviewed is $39.99 per year for one license and $59.99 for three. As for Avira, you don't pay a thing. Like Sophos Home (for Mac), it's totally free.

You do need a modern operating system to use this antivirus. Like Norton and Trend Micro, Avira requires macOS High Sierra (10.13) or better. If you're stuck using an old operating system for some reason, you may need to consider a different Mac antivirus. Intego support runs back to Mountain Lion (10.8), Webroot works on Lion (10.7) or better, and ClamXAV (for Mac) goes all the way back to Snow Leopard (10.6).

Malware Protection Lab Scores Down

When evaluating Windows antivirus utilities for malware protection, I use a wide range of tests that I've coded and re-coded over the years. I don't have anything similar for the macOS platform, as my many hand-coded testing tools and my coding skills are both Windows-only. For Mac antivirus, I necessarily rely heavily on the independent testing labs to know which products are the most capable. Fortunately, most of the tested products earn good scores.

Lab Test Results Chart - Avira

Two of the independent antivirus testing labs I follow report on macOS products, and both have Avira on their test roster. AV-Comparatives certifies Avira for malware protection, with 99.8 percent protection against macOS malware, down from 100 percent at my last review. Slightly over half the products earned 100 percent. Like Avast, Bitdefender, Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac, and most tested products, Avira detected 100 percent of the Windows malware used in testing. Of course, these samples couldn't affect a Mac, but removing them prevents the Mac from becoming a carrier.

The experts at AV-Test Institute rate antivirus utilities on three criteria: how well they protect against malware, how little they impact performance, and how carefully they avoid interfering with usability by flagging valid programs as malicious. With six points available for Protection, Performance, and Usability, the maximum score is 18.

Here, too, Avira's scores are down from their previous values. Avira took six points for Usability and 5.5 for Performance in the latest test. However, in the all-important Protection category it just managed 4 points this time around, for a total of 15.5. All but one of the other tested products earned a perfect 18 points. Avast, AVG, Bitdefender, Kaspersky, and Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac took 18 points in this test and also earned 100 percent from AV-Comparatives.

Scan Complete

You may notice that there aren't any results in the table for Sophos, ESET Cyber Security (for Mac), McAfee, and a few others. These products earned high marks in past test reports, but the labs don't always test the same set of products, and the latest reports didn't include them.

I ran my own simple test of Avira's ability to detect Windows malware, challenging it to clean up a USB drive containing the samples from my Windows-centered testing. It finished quickly, eliminating 87 percent of the samples, including every single ransomware sample. That's better than most of the products I've tested in this way, though Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus (for Mac) caught 100 percent of the Windows samples and ESET managed 93 percent.

Protection Against Phishing and Malicious Sites

Phishing pages are frauds that attempt to steal your login credentials by imitating sensitive websites. It's pretty easy to craft a fake bank site and fool people into giving away their passwords. Plenty of users don't have any real clue about how to spot a phishing scam. Certainly, creating a phishing page is vastly easier than writing a Trojan to actively steal those passwords.

Malware programs are also platform-specific, while phishing works on any platform. If you're foolish enough to log into, say, a fake PayPal page on the browser built into your smart fridge, you lose your credentials just the same as if you entered them in a browser on your Mac. Preventing access to such pages, or to pages containing malicious code, can be the first line of defense for an antivirus tool, whether it's Mac or Windows antivirus.

Avira Free Antivirus does not in itself protect against malicious or fraudulent URLs, but it does give users easy access to Avira's Browser Safety extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Sorry, Mac purists; there's no extension for Safari. I installed the Chrome extension and proceeded to test Avira's browser-based protection.

Phishing Results Chart - Avira

For this test, I gather the newest phishing URLs I can find, including ones that haven't yet been analyzed and blacklisted. I use one of my hand-coded tools to launch each URL and record results in three browsers, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, each protected by the browser's own built-in protection. As for the Mac product under test, my analysis tool works strictly on Windows, so I test by hand on the Mac. I ran this test simultaneously with my test of Avira Free Security on Windows.

For testing purposes, I discard any URL that doesn't load properly in any of the browsers, and any URL that doesn't actively attempt to capture login credentials. Analyzing the confirmed phishing pages, I found that Avira's detection rate came at 93 percent, as it did under Windows. It makes sense that the scores match since both used the same Chrome extension.

Avira's phishing protection has been steadily improving. It earned 66 percent when last tested, and 47 percent the time before. The current 93 percent brings it into the top half, score-wise. Even so, others have scored still higher. Kaspersky and Trend Micro came in with a perfect 100 percent, while Bitdefender and McAfee AntiVirus Plus (for Mac) earned 99 and 98 percent respectively.

Phishing Detected

As it does on Windows, Browser Safety also actively blocks ads and prevents advertisers and others from tracking you. A small numeric overlay on the toolbar button lets you know how many trackers it found on the current page. You can click for more detail, but you don't get the option to fine-tune what it blocks the way you do with Bitdefender, Kaspersky, and others.

Should You Go Pro?

At the bottom of the main screen's left-side menu is a highlighted item titled "Get Pro." Clicking it gets you a laundry list of the virtues of the Pro edition. These include scanning removable devices and full-scale phone support. But the list also includes features that exist in the free edition, such as quarantine management, safe browsing, and an activity log.

As far as I can see, the added benefits don't seem to merit the price. Personal tech support is nice—free users only get FAQs and community support forums—but not $44.99 per year nice. I didn't see a reason to review the Pro edition separately.

Free and Simple

Many Mac users have experienced years of hearing the mantra, "PCs get viruses; Macs don't." Even if they now admit that's not the case, they still may resent having to pay for antivirus. Avira Free Antivirus for Mac does a decent job at no cost. Its lab scores are down a bit, but we expect them to go back up. You might also look at Sophos Home (for Mac). Admittedly, it doesn't boast any current lab test results, but it does well in our hands-on testing.

If you have a little cash to splash on antivirus for your Mac, there are several choices. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac and Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac both earned top scores from both labs. Only one lab recently evaluated Norton 360 Deluxe (for Mac), but it took the maximum score. Bitdefender includes such advanced features as ransomware protection for your documents and backups. Kaspersky is a full suite, with components including parental control and network protection. With Norton 360 you get five cross-platform licenses and five no-limits VPN licenses. These three are our Editors' Choice products for Mac antivirus.

Avira Free Antivirus for Mac


  • Eliminated most Windows malware in hands-on tests

  • Good scores from one independent testing lab

  • Good phishing protection score in our testing

  • Free

View More


  • Protection against malicious and fraudulent pages requires separate download

  • No web-based protection for Safari

  • So-so scores from one independent testing lab

The Bottom Line

Avira Free Antivirus for Mac costs nothing, and it's easy to use, but its independent lab test scores have dropped a bit.

Avira Free Antivirus for Mac Specs

On-Demand Malware Scan Yes
On-Access Malware Scan Yes
Website Rating No
Malicious URL Blocking Yes
Phishing Protection Yes
Behavior-Based Detection No
Vulnerability Scan No
Firewall No

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