Choosing the Right Free Antivirus Software for Mac

What To Look For In Free Antivirus Software For Mac?

In an era where almost everything we do is online, we’re also more exposed to threats than ever before. Our growing online presence means that having decent antivirus software in place is essential. The problem is that the features included in some of the paid options are not necessary. Although, many times, when using a free option, our payment is in the form of pop-up advertisements. So are there any genuinely free antivirus options available?

The answer is yes; there are many free antivirus software options available, but how do you know if you’re using the right one? In this article, we’ll look at how necessary it is to have an antivirus in place and consider some of the main features required.

“Macs Don’t Get Infected”

The Mac operating system is sandboxed or closed off. Thus, if malware were able to infect a device, although chances are slim, it would not be able to spread. Apple has a unique feature preventing any unauthorized downloads. This particular feature is what reduces the chances of a malware infection on a Mac computer.

Although these features generally make the Mac operating system less vulnerable than Windows, it doesn’t mean immunity. Malware, ransomware, spyware, adware, and phishing attacks are all serious threats that we should protect ourselves from.

Features To Look For

We know how vital a decent antivirus is, but what features should we look for in our free antivirus for Mac?

Malware Detection

The purpose of malware is to intrude on a machine to retrieve sensitive information for malicious intent. The malware detection feature scans the computer, device, or online source to identify any potential malicious attacks.

Automatic Updates

A vital part of any software is the update. We especially want our antivirus to update automatically. Hackers are always finding new ways to attack, but by keeping our antivirus software updated, it can continue protecting us from their ever-evolving attacks.

User Interface

A good antivirus has an excellent user interface. This means that it’s easier to navigate and helps us personalize the settings according to our specific requirements.

Customer Support

Our chosen antivirus provider must have an excellent customer support department. How easy is it to reach a consultant should you have a problem? Which platforms are available for us to reach out to them? How knowledgeable are the consultants about the product? These are all questions that we should be asking when looking at customer service.

Extra Features

Parental Controls

If our children have access to our Mac computers, parental control is a feature that is needed. This feature is the added line of defense that you should have in place, along with online restrictions.

Real-time Scans

Although antivirus software is designed to detect malware, it doesn’t always work in the same way. Real-time scans help us stay protected by repeatedly checking for the presence of any malicious content.


A firewall monitors and controls traffic based on network settings. It also creates a barrier against any untrusted networks such as the internet.

PC Maintenance

Despite its efficacy, antivirus software is still a human-made code and is, as such, susceptible to human error. Some software does not entirely remove the threatening code and you have to do it manually. Some even retain data of all scans, which inevitably occupy space and slow down our computers. It’s best to choose an antivirus that “cleans up” after itself without impacting performance.

Is A Free Antivirus Good Enough?

“Good enough” is a relative term depending on our protection needs. Free antivirus is sufficient to protect against the most common threats. More significant risks like ransomware, spyware, and adware will not be covered. The more serious the protection level required, the bigger the price tag will become. The free options are only designed to protect us from the most basic dangers, such as viruses and malware.

Bonus Tip

Since hackers are always looking for vulnerabilities in the Mac operating systems, there are regularly new updates available. To ensure that our chosen antivirus remains relevant and useful, you should keep a close eye on available updates for our operating systems.

A Final Thought

Some of the companies offering these free antivirus have a smart sales tactic. They provide us a free option with limited features then start charging as your needs increase. For some of us, the basic option may not be sufficient. On the other hand, it could be just enough. The option you choose to use is determined by how much protection you feel your Mac devices need.