• The best antivirus for Mac is none at all

    Home » Forums » AskWoody support » Apple » Apple operating systems » macOS » The best antivirus for Mac is none at all



    The online world is still a dangerous place, but while antivirus providers are trying to sell you subscriptions for their wares, macOS is still secure enough for users to resist the products. The best antivirus for Mac is a combo of existing protections and user sanity.

    Macs reputation of security exists for good reason. :


    Of all of the protections Apple has in macOS, Gatekeeper is the most visible one to users. You’ll know it as the warning that flags up whenever you download a piece of software from the Internet and try to run it.

    Gatekeeper is capable of stopping malware from being run on a Mac, by placing multiple obstacles in the way that the user themselves need to work around…

    System Integrity Protection

    System Integrity Protection (SiP) is another mechanism that comes into play, that limits how an application can run on a Mac.

    Specifically, it stops malicious software from making changes to certain protected folders and files on the Mac. By restricting the root user account, the main one that has free administrative reign, SiP can help limit the damage caused by malware working as if they are a root user…

    Apple Silicon

    Another thing that Apple’s hardware manages to do right is the hardware itself. Apple’s shift away from Intel provided more than just performance benefits and more control over the entire system.

    It also means Apple’s systems aren’t affected by the same chip issues that can plague Intel-based computers…

    If you’re vigilant, you can be fairly safe online with a Mac, without an antivirus installed…


    • This topic was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by Alex5723.
    Viewing 3 reply threads
    • #2544720

      “On Windows, having some form of additional protection was, and still is, needed, …”


      Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.1485 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

      • #2544795

        For years the least privilege guy (aka run your machine without admin rights) would argue that you didn’t need antivirus on a Windows machine.

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

    • #2544874

      To quote my post on the subject from October:

      Just because antivirus software can’t access the kernel on MacOS that doesn’t make them useless. They can still detect malware and block it in the user space before it does harm, not to mention that good antivirus software will also detect Windows malware before it can spread to your other machines. MacOS malware is at an all time high and should be taken seriously.

      People wouldn’t create two million pieces of malware in a year for MacOS if it is naturally immune to malware! And the Windows machines that you presumably interact with with your Mac certainly aren’t immune to malware either, so it’s good to protect them in advance.

      $2000 on a Mac and then skimp on $30/year for antivirus software that takes up 1% of its CPU and memory? That doesn’t make sense to me. As I said on another thread, about Linux antivirus software, which also applies to Macs:

      Is it likely that you download malware that targets desktop Linux? If you’re a smart user then probably not, but it’s not about being smart, it’s about the fact that you’re mitigating a low risk high cost scenario with a low opportunity cost activity (running an antivirus), so from a risk management perspective I still think that it makes sense to install one.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2546768

        I agree it’s better to have a/v on MAC than not, it makes me “feel” safer. The thought of having an unprotected computer really scares me!  Is it a false sense of security??? One can find strong arguments for both sides – e.g. you must have it or it’s a total waste…..as it is with many things!!! Lots of opinions, not all without merit, thank you World Wide Web!  It does make it difficult to know what is true or best and so my question is, what is the ‘best’ A/V for Mac?

        I’ve seen recommendations for Intego or MBAM.  But I have not researched it lately……just wondering what the thoughts are on it for those who subscribe to the notion that A/V is needed for MACs. thanks! Donna

        • #2547062

          Here are some MacOS tests from AV-TEST.

          As you can see, most of the ones tested are pretty good. I recommend further research on review sites if you want to tell them apart. Something to check is if they also scan for Windows malware, as that’s helpful to have.

          Malwarebytes is excellent for on demand scans on Windows, but doesn’t offer full system scans on Mac.

          Something else to bear in mind, if you have an M1/M2 Mac, is to check if the AV software in question runs natively on these chips or not. I remember looking into this about a year ago and being surprised that some still run through Rosetta, which is obviously going to be a performance hit. Some do run natively on M1/M2, though.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2545526

      I haven’t used an AV within Linux, no matter what distro, debian, debian/ ubuntu derivatives, faaaaaaar too much FUD on t’interweb.

      The only antivirus in linux should be the person using it..think before clicking links (If the email client has been removed from on your Linux installation and opting to use webmail – in my experience) and beware of fake websites, you should know what to check by now…don’t download 3rd party apps from outwith the repo’s (unless entirely trusted, your call..)
      nothing, nada, zero infections in over a decade of using various linux distro’s and when that day comes (if ever) you’ll be the first second to know (I’ll be the first!)

      Keep IT Lean, Clean and Mean!
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2546769

      don’t download 3rd party apps from outwith the repo’s (unless entirely trusted, your call..)

      What is “outwith the repo’s”?

    Viewing 3 reply threads
    Reply To: The best antivirus for Mac is none at all

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use all available BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.

    Your information: