What antivirus software do you recommend?

Hey all,

So I need to get one of the below antivirus for my Mac. I have no opinions about the options and I’m wondering if any of y’all have opinions or recommendations from the list?


Edit: it’s being required (long story), so I have to choose one of the above. Thanks!

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If you’re not doing anything weird on your Mac and you pay attention to the many system warnings, you don’t need antivirus software. I used some and it ended up being much, much more trouble than it was worth.
I would however recommend Objective See tools such as BlockBlock to watch for weird patterns.


Sophos family plan works very well and it doesnt bother you unless it really needs your attention👍

Mark, I use a VPN and it seems to work well.

While this not a comment on the risk of malware on Mac’s, I’m curious how a VPN protects against malware (or other unwanted) entering your machine?

It’s my understanding that a VPN is an encrypted “tunnel” between two endpoints. It doesn’t, to my understanding, do any checking of the data that enters and exits this tunnel. Does your VPN do more than that?


I second @rms, while a VPN is a valuable security measure, it’s not an antivirus and mostly not an anti malware apart from its blocking of possible malevolent ads.

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As of 3 years ago I was using Sophos AV on all my company’s PCs but only two of our 100+ Macs. IMO, Sophos offered good protection and was the least intrusive.

In general I see no need for AV on a Mac for someone who uses a bit of common sense and doesn’t run as an administrator.


Sophos slowed my iMac Pro down, and periodically required my attention to remove PUAs from my girlfriend’s laptop (rather than preventing them).

I’ve switched to Malwarebytes, and things are much better. No slowdowns, and my GF’s laptop hasn’t had any infections or weirdness since.


This is probably well-intended. But telling you’re using a VPN in an antivirus topic is really bad ‘advice’. A VPN offers no protection against computer viruses or malware.


I had a similar question about VPN, but I can think of at least one kind of “malware” that a VPN protects against:

(and that might have become less important now that most traffic is encrypted https instead of unencrypted http?)

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But, only if the end point is at the destination does a VPN reject this attack i would think (which is what, as you say, what https does). or am i missing something? i know that a detail.

To think a VPN protects from malware is naive or … as i hear claimed/implied in some podcast adverts for VPN products.

Same experience here: Sophos on Big Sur was dragging everything down, so I got rid of it and moved to Malwarebytes. (If I recall correctly, on your advice.)

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A VPN will indeed not prevent most malware, but it is/was useful for this very specific kind of attack.


Unfortunately I have to get one of those from the list :confused:

Thanks for the feedback! Gonna rule our Sophos based on your input. Thanks!

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Ah, if there’s a mandatory requirement you have no control on, then Bitdefender. Compatible M1 through Rosetta, regularly comes up ahead in tests and reviews, usually updated reasonably quickly with new OSes, it’s the least worst that I know of. However know that uninstalling will be quite a pain under Big Sur because of system extensions.

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Though no real need on the Mac, I also run an AV. Just in case and also I don’t want to be passing anything on. It’s like wearing Masks while fully vaccinated to me…

I use the Intego suite, more so for the software firewall than for the AV/Malware. The firewall is intuitive for day2day use away from home. At home I have a hardware firewall.

I do have MacScan as well as an extra malware prevention layer. Do MacScan scans every other day and run Intego VirusBarrier in Real-Time mode.

Both MacScan and Intego are in Intel mode and run on M1 in Rosetta. I expect the next versions to become native on the M1.

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I got Malwarebytes through my Eero+ subscription. I do t use the active protection, just run it periodically to check on things. Never found anything due to my cautious nature.

Finding people with experience with any/all of those will be a challenge, where so many Mac users are used to hearing and or experiencing that the cure for Viruses on the Mac is worse than the disease.

My company has installed Sophos on some of the Macs we install for clients. As a user I liked it because it never seemed to interfere with running the computer. I never remember issues that I said - that’s Sophos slowing my computer, or interfering with me using my computer. It never really indicated it was doing anything.

I’ve been using Crowdstrike Falcon for about year now. It’s not on your list, but others may stumble over this thread. Falcon was much more suspicious to install than Sophos, but also doesn’t seem to interfere with me working with the computer. Falcon also never has told me it is doing anything.

I’ve heard that Kasperskky is Russian - do with that information what you will. I have no actual experience with it.

None of the ones in your list have huge alarm bells inside my head saying stay away, Out of that list I would choose Sophos.

P.S. Just read more other comments - Others with more recent experience with Sophos are warning you away from it. You should probably listen to them, and not me.

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I am using Bitdefender and never had issues with it.