Best Free Antivirus Software For Apple Mac

Posted By admin On 15/02/22
  1. Comodo Antivirus Software
  2. Avast Free Antivirus Software
  3. Antivirus Software For Apple Computers
  4. Best Free Antivirus Software For Mac
  5. Avast

Top 10 Best Free Mac Antivirus Software 2018 Compare the world’s leading virus protection for Mac Macs need antivirus protection just like windows computers. Your guide to the best antivirus and security software for Mac 2018 for your peace of mind. Comodo Antivirus for Mac is an efficient security application that has been the most sought after and is considered to top the list as the best antivirus solutions for Mac OS. Users can just install-and-forget. Top 10 Best Mac Antivirus Software 2018. There is always a question whether Mac computers need antivirus, however as many Mac users may or may not be aware Mac computers DO benefit from using antivirus software and there are many versions available that will go a long way to keeping your Mac safe and virus free.

Even Macs Need Antivirus Protection

You heard it on the TV—Macs don't get viruses. And like much of what you hear on the TV, this isn't true. Sure, macOS is intrinsically more secure than Windows or Android, but Mac-centered malware totally exists. The time to think about protecting your Mac is now, not after you've lost all your important documents to ransomware. If you're picking a Mac antivirus for the first time, don't worry. Our reviews will help you make an informed choice.

As with Windows antivirus tools, the most common price is just under $40 per year for a single license. ProtectWorks is unusual in that a single $29.95 payment lets you protect all the Macs in your household, with no subscription needed. McAfee goes beyond that, with a $59.99 per year subscription that protects all your Macs, PCs, Android, and iOS devices. With Sophos Home Premium, $60 per year lets you install and remotely manage protection on 10 Macs or PCs. At the high end, you pay $99.99 per year for a three-license subscription to Intego Mac Internet Security X9.

You may have heard that macOS Mojave, the latest macOS, advances the platform's privacy and security. Safari on Mojave automatically blocks ads and social media trackers. The built-in password manager does more than ever. And when AppleScript apps try to access internal macOS features, Mojave makes them wait until you give permission. But nothing we've seen suggests that upgrading to Mojave will obviate the need for an antivirus utility.

Free Mac Antivirus Protection

There's another angle to the variation in Mac antivirus pricing. How about paying nothing at all? Avast Security (for Mac), AVG AntiVirus for Mac, Avira Free Antivirus for Mac, and Sophos Home Free (for Mac) are totally free for personal use, although Sophos technically limits you to three devices, macOS or Windows. AVG also offers free antivirus for Mac, but until its phishing protection improves we can't recommend it. The best commercial products offer more protection but if you can't afford the best, at least install a free antivirus.

What's Not Here

Every macOS antivirus that earned 3.5 stars or better appears in the chart above. Another half-dozen managed a decent three-star rating, but there isn't room for another six products. I chose to favor three products that originated on the Mac platform, ClamXAV and Intego Mac Internet Security. Everything else being equal, there's surely some virtue in loyalty to macOS.

Avast Security Pro (for Mac), ESET Cyber Security (for Mac), and Malwarebytes for Mac Premium also earned three stars, as did the Mac-specific ProtectWorks AntiVirus. However, ProtectWorks, ESET, and Malwarebytes don't have any lab results at present, and with Avast, you might as well use the free edition, because you don't get a lot more by paying. These four didn't quite make it into the chart. The names Avast, ESET, and Malwarebytes are well known in Windows circles. If you're using a Windows security product from one of these companies, it makes sense to do the same on your Macs.

Malware Protection Lab Certifications

When you go to select a new washer, refrigerator, or other appliance, chances are good you research it first. User reviews can be helpful, as long as you discard the very best and very worst of them. But actual test results performed by an independent lab give you more reliable information. Two large labs include macOS antivirus products in their testing, but the slate of products for testing is variable. When we first rounded up Mac antivirus products, all those in the chart below had at least one certification, but at present, many of them don't appear in either lab's test results.

The researchers at AV-Test Institute evaluate Mac antivirus products on three criteria: protection, performance, and usability. A product can earn up to six points for each. Protection against malware protection is essential, of course, as is a low impact on performance. A high usability score reflects a small number of false positives, legitimate programs and websites identified as dangerous. Several products achieved a perfect 18 points, all six points for all three criteria.

In the macOS malware test by AV-Comparatives, most charted products scored 100 percent. This lab, too, included a test using malware aimed at Windows. Yes, these samples can't affect a computer running macOS, but they could conceivably escape to Windows machines on the network. Scores in the Windows malware test ranged from zero to 100 percent, which is quite a span.

Results in macOS-specific tests have a much smaller point spread than in tests of Windows antivirus utilities. It's good that many products in the chart received at least one certification for Mac protection, and even better that some received two certifications.

Hands-On Phishing Protection Testing

When we test malware protection on Windows, we use live malware inside an isolated virtual machine. We've coded a number of analysis tools over the years to help with this testing. Little of that testing regimen carries over to the Mac.

Phishing, however, isn't platform-specific, and neither is our antiphishing test. Phishing websites imitate secure sites, everything from banks and finance sites to gaming and dating sites. If you enter your credentials at the fake login page, you've given the phisher access to your account. And it doesn't matter if you are browsing on a PC, a Mac, or an internet-aware sewing machine.

Almost all the products in the chart below include protection against malicious and fraudulent sites. With ClamXAV and Intego, this just isn't an included feature. Malwarebytes and ProtectWorks also lack an antiphishing component.

The wily malefactors who create phishing sites are in the business of deception, and they constantly change and update their techniques, hoping to evade detection. If one fraudulent site gets blacklisted or shut down by the authorities, they simply pop up with a new one. That being the case, we try to use the very newest phishing URLs for testing, scraping them from phishing-focused websites.

We launch each URL simultaneously in four browsers. One is Safari or Chrome on the Mac, protected by the Mac antivirus that's under test. The other three use the protection built into Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. Discarding any that don't fit the phishing profile, and any that don't load correctly in all four browsers, we report the product's detection rate as well as the difference between its detection rate and that of the other three test systems.

Most of the products in this roundup beat the combined average of the three browsers. Kaspersky and McAfee top the list with 100 percent detection, while Bitdefender's score of 99 percent comes close behind. All three of these winners scored precisely the same when tested under Windows.

Ransomware Protection

The scourge of ransomware is on the rise. While ransomware attacks are more common on Windows devices, Macs have suffered as well. Of course, any antivirus utility should handle ransomware just as it handles spyware, Trojans, viruses, and other malware types. But since the consequences of missing a ransomware attack are so great, some security products add components with the sole purpose of preventing ransomware attacks.

We've observed a wide variety of ransomware protection techniques on Windows. These include blocking unauthorized access to user documents, detecting ransomware based on its activity, and recovering encrypted files from backup. Of the products listed here, Bitdefender and Trend Micro offer a ransomware component that blocks unauthorized modification of protected documents.

As with Bitdefender's Windows edition, the Safe Files feature prevents all unauthorized access to your documents. On a Mac, it also protects your Time Machine backups. Trend Micro offers multiple layers of Windows ransomware protection. Folder Shield, which, like Safe Files, prevents unauthorized document access, is the only layer that made its way to the macOS edition.

Sophos Home Premium includes the same CryptoGuard behavior-based ransomware protection found in its Windows equivalent. Our Windows test sytsems are virtual machines, so we feel free to release real-world ransomware for testing. We just roll back the virtual machine to a clean snapshot after testing. We don't have the option to do that on the physical Mac testbed, so we just have to figure that since it worked on Windows, it probably works on macOS.

Spyware Protection

Any kind of malware problem is unpleasant, but spyware may be the most unnerving. Imagine some creeper secretly peeking at you through your Mac's webcam! Other types of spying include logging keystrokes to capture your passwords, sending Trojans to steal your personal data, and watching your online activities to build a profile. As with ransomware protection, we've observed more features specifically devoted to spyware protection on Windows-based security products than on the Mac, but a few products in this collection do pay special attention to spyware.

Under Windows, Kaspersky's Safe Money feature opens sensitive sites in a secure browser that's hardened against outside interference. The Safe Money feature on the Mac doesn't do that, but it does check URLs to make sure you're on a legitimate secure site. Kaspersky offers an onscreen keyboard, so you can enter passwords with no chance of capture by a keylogger. Its webcam protection isn't as configurable as it is on Windows, but you can use it to disable your Mac's webcam whenever you're not using it. It even includes the ability to block advertisers and others from tracking your online activities. If spyware is your bugaboo, you'll like Kaspersky.

Sophos Home Premium offers protection for the webcam and microphone that's more substantial than Kaspersky's. You get a notification any time an untrusted program attempts to access either; you can allow access or stop the program. There's also an option to whitelist a program, so you don't get a popup every time you use your off-brand video chat tool.

Bonus Features

Many antivirus tools on Windows pack in a ton of bonus features, packing in everything from tune-up utilities to VPNs. That behavior seems less common on the macOS side, though Norton now includes a VPN with no bandwidth limits. Even so, some vendors don't have a standalone Mac antivirus, opting instead to offer a full security suite as the baseline level of protection, and a few others include suite-like bonus features in the basic antivirus.

A typical personal firewall component blocks attacks coming in from the internet and also manages network permissions for programs installed on your Mac. Intego, McAfee, and Norton each include a firewall component, while Kaspersky's Network Protection comes close.

Parental control is another common suite component. With Sophos (free or premium) and Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac, a content filter can block access to websites matching unwanted categories. Kaspersky goes beyond that, with content filtering, screen time limits, and control over apps used. An additional $14.99 per year unlocks all the features of the powerful Kaspersky Safe Kids.

Protect Your Mac

Most of the products covered in this roundup earned certification from at least one independent testing lab; some managed two certifications. There really are no bad choices here, as far as basic antivirus protection goes. Even so, a few products stood out. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac not only achieved certification from both labs, it earned the maximum score in every test, and took the top antiphishing score. Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac also earned high scores. It offers a full suite of Mac security tools, at the same price competitors charge for basic antivirus protection. Symantec Norton 360 Deluxe (for Mac) is also a suite, and its features include a no-limits VPN. These three are our Editors' Choice winners for Mac antivirus protection.

Look over the reviews, pick the product that suits you best, and get your Mac protected. Once you've done that, you should also consider installing a Mac VPN. While an antivirus protects you, your devices, and your data locally, a VPN extends that protection to your online activities, protecting both your security and your privacy.

Editors' Note: We are aware of the allegations of Kaspersky's inappropriate ties to the Russian government. Until we see some actual proof of these allegations, we will treat them as unproven, and continue to recommend Kaspersky's security products as long as their performance continues to merit our endorsement.

Best Mac Antivirus Protection Featured in This Roundup:

  • Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac Review


    MSRP: $39.99

    Pros: Protects files and backups from ransomware. Top ratings from two independent testing labs. Excellent score in our antiphishing test. No-hassle Autopilot mode. Blocks ad trackers in browsers. Includes VPN.

    Cons: Full access to VPN features requires separate subscription.

    Bottom Line: Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac gets top marks from the independent labs and in our own hands-on testing. With its handy Autopilot mode, you can set it, forget it, and have confidence that your Mac is protected against malware.

    Read Review
  • Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac Review


    MSRP: $39.99

    Pros: Excellent scores from two independent testing labs. Kaspersky Safe Kids for parental control. Network protection. Perfect score in our antiphishing test. Privacy protection. Useful bonus tools.

    Cons: Safe Money and webcam protection features are limited compared to their Windows counterparts. Safe Kids and VPN require additional subscription for full functionality.

    Bottom Line: Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac excels in independent lab tests, and it goes far beyond mere antivirus, offering protection against network attacks, parental control, privacy protection, and many other useful features.

    Read Review
  • Symantec Norton 360 Deluxe (for Mac) Review


    MSRP: $99.99

    Pros: Includes no-limits VPN. Certified by one independent testing lab. Fast scan. Firewall blocks exploit attacks. Cleans up unneeded files.

    Cons: Relatively expensive. Limited detection of Windows malware.

    Bottom Line: Symantec's Norton 360 Deluxe delivers lab-certified Mac antivirus protection along with a two-way firewall, a password manager, and a full-powered VPN.

    Read Review
  • Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus (for Mac) Review


    MSRP: $39.99

    Pros: Very fast full scan. Certified by one antivirus lab. Excellent phishing protection. Excellent detection of Windows malware. Marks dangerous links in search results.

    Cons: Lowest passing score in independent lab test.

    Bottom Line: Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus is by far the fastest Mac antivirus scanner we've seen, and it provides especially good phishing protection in our testing, too.

    Read Review
  • F-Secure Safe (for Mac) Review


    MSRP: $69.99

    Pros: Very good scores from two testing labs. Simple cross-platform parental control. Quick full scan.

    Cons: Expensive at high numbers of licenses. So-so phishing protection.

    Bottom Line: F-Secure Safe for Mac gets high marks from two independent antivirus testing labs. It offers simple multi-device parental control, but it can't match the rich feature collections of the best Mac antivirus tools.

    Read Review
  • McAfee AntiVirus Plus (for Mac) Review


    MSRP: $59.99

    Pros: Subscription covers unlimited macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS devices. Perfect score in antiphishing test. Includes simple personal firewall.

    Cons: No current test results from independent labs. Firewall no longer includes application control.

    Bottom Line: One subscription gives you unlimited licenses to protect all your Macs with McAfee AntiVirus Plus, and your Windows, Android, and iOS devices, too, and it aces our phishing protection test.

    Read Review
  • Sophos Home Premium (for Mac) Review


    MSRP: $60.00

    Pros: Remote management. Webcam protection. Decent phishing protection. Ransomware protection. Simple parental control. Inexpensive.

    Cons: No independent lab test results. Parental content filter foiled by secure anonymizing proxy. Lacks exploit protection, download reputation check, keylogger protection, and other advanced features found in the Windows edition.

    Bottom Line: Sophos Home Premium offers Mac antivirus protection at a low price, but it lacks many advanced features found in the Windows edition and doesn't have verification from independent testing labs.

    Read Review
  • Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac Review


    MSRP: $39.95

    Pros: Certified by two antivirus testing labs. Speedy full scan. Social network privacy scan. Includes ransomware protection, webcam privacy, and parental control.

    Cons: Parental control foiled by secure anonymizing proxy. Very poor phishing protection score. Webcam privacy needs work. Social network privacy not fully functional. Licensing model not practical for all-Mac households.

    Bottom Line: Two major independent testing labs certify Trend Micro's ability to fight malware on your Mac. It comes with a boatload of bonus features, but some of those need work.

    Read Review
  • Avast Security Pro (for Mac) Review


    MSRP: $59.99

    Pros: Certified by one independent testing lab. Speedy full scan. Excellent phishing protection for Chrome and Firefox. Useful bonus features. Ransomware protection. Wi-Fi intruder detection.

    Cons: Doesn't add much to free edition's features. Expensive. Poor phishing protection for Safari. Password manager includes only basic features.

    Bottom Line: Avast Security Pro (for Mac) adds ransomware protection and Wi-Fi intruder detection to the features found in Avast's free antivirus, but these additions don't merit its high price.

    Read Review
  • ClamXav (for Mac) Review


    MSRP: $29.95

    Pros: Lab-certified for Mac malware protection. Scans for malware on demand, on access, and on schedule. Straightforward user interface.

    Cons: No filtering of malicious or fraudulent websites.

    Bottom Line: ClamXAV wraps the venerable, open source ClamAntiVirus engine in a straightforward user interface. It's lab-certified to protect your Mac, but doesn't go beyond the basics.

    Read Review
  • ESET Cyber Security (for Mac) Review


    MSRP: $39.99

    Pros: Elaborate scan scheduling options. Good detection of Windows malware. Simple device control. Includes online cybersecurity training.

    Cons: Poor results in our hands-on antiphishing test. Slow scans in testing. No longer certified by independent labs.

    Bottom Line: Though it doesn't have current certification from independent testing labs, ESET Cyber Security offers comprehensive protection for your macOS devices plus cybersecurity training.

    Read Review
  • Intego Mac Internet Security X9 Review


    MSRP: $49.99

    Pros: Certified by two labs for Mac malware protection. Includes full-featured firewall. Detects Mac, Windows, and Linux malware.

    Cons: Poor detection of Windows malware. No protection against malicious or fraudulent websites.

    Bottom Line: Intego Mac Internet Security X9 scores well in lab tests using Mac malware, and it offers firewall protection. But it fails against Windows malware and lacks protection against dangerous URLs.

    Read Review
  • Malwarebytes for Mac Premium Review


    MSRP: $39.99

    Pros: Extremely fast malware scan. Very good reputation among tech experts.

    Cons: No protection against malicious or fraudulent websites. No detection of Windows malware.

    Bottom Line: The premium edition of Malwarebytes for Mac scans for active malware and uses real-time detection to prevent infestation. It has a very good reputation, but hard data showing its effectiveness is scarce.

    Read Review
  • ProtectWorks AntiVirus (for Mac) Review


    MSRP: $44.99

    Pros: Certified for Mac protection by an independent testing lab. Scans on demand, on access, and on schedule.

    Cons: No web-based protection against malicious or fraudulent sites. Mediocre detection of Windows malware.

    Bottom Line: An independent lab verifies that ProtectWorks AntiVirus can keep your Mac safe from malware, but it lacks some useful features found in competing products.

    Read Review

Best Basic Antivirus

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

Superior protection, low system impact

Comodo Antivirus Software

Best Midrange Antivirus

Kaspersky Internet Security

Most everything you need

Best Premium PC Security Suite

Kaspersky Total Security

Still top of the class

Plenty of Windows users believe they don't need to pay for antivirus software. Many Mac and Android users think they don't need protection at all. Windows' high profile makes it the biggest target, but macOS and Android are also vulnerable to malware, even if they don't encounter as much of it.

We believe it's worth paying for Windows antivirus software, because even the best free software leaves out some protection features we consider essential. But you don't have to spend a lot. Many antivirus products are sold online for much less than their list prices. Mac and Android users have other options: Some of our favorite Mac AV products cost nothing, and most Android security apps have free versions.

Different Types of Antivirus Software

Latest Security Alerts and Threats

—The Android PDF-creation app CamScanner was corrupted with adware, despite being in the Google Play app store. CamScanner's developers may not have been aware. ADVICE: Delete CamScanner from your Android device until a new version appears in the Play Store, and run Android antivirus software.

—Spammers have been sending emails to inject scam or malicious messages in regular people's Google Calendar pages. ADVICE: Follow our instructions to stop phony Google Calendar notifications from happening to you.

—Diagnostic software loaded onto most Lenovo Windows computers made between 2011 and 2018 could be used to hijack a PC. ADVICE: Uninstall Lenovo Solutions Center from your Lenovo PC., and run Windows antivirus software.

How We Tested

Our evaluations were based on an antivirus product's interface, performance, protection and extra features. Was the interface intuitive and user-friendly? How badly did malware scans slow performance? How well did the program detect and remove malware? Does the program have any additional tools, and are they useful?

All of our Windows tests were performed on the same Asus X555LA laptop running 64-bit Windows 8.1 (later upgraded to Windows 10), with an Intel Core i3 processor, 6GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive containing 36GB of files. To assess a program's impact on system speed, we used our custom OpenOffice benchmark test, which matches 20,000 names and addresses on a spreadsheet. The longer it took the laptop to finish the test, the heavier the performance impact. For smartphones, we used the Geekbench 3 benchmarking app.

Our Mac evaluations were conducted on a late-2013 MacBook Pro running OS X El Capitan 10.11. The Mac had a 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM and 23GB of data on a 512GB SSD. For Android, we used a Nexus 6P smartphone running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.

For malware-detection scores, we've used the results of four independent testing labs: AV-TEST in Germany, AV-Comparatives in Austria, SE Labs in England and our own labs in Utah. Each lab subjects the major antivirus brands' products to stress tests involving thousands of pieces of malware, including hundreds of previously unseen samples.

Windows Antivirus Software Types

Most antivirus makers have three or four tiers of Windows products, with each price bump adding extra features, such as parental controls or cloud backups. But because each company uses a single malware-detection engine for all its Windows antivirus software, the cheapest item — even a free one — in any product line usually finds malware just as thoroughly as the priciest.

Not all users will need premium suites, or even midrange products. If you don't have kids, or if you already have backup software, the basic product may be enough.

MORE: How to Buy Antivirus Software

Basic or Entry-Level Windows Antivirus

The least-expensive paid Windows antivirus products, which generally list from $40 to $60 per year depending on the number of PCs covered, have the essentials. Definition updates and scans are automatic; websites and email attachments are screened, and the products are mostly easy to use. Some basic AV programs toss in extra features, such as file shredders or system optimizers, that are normally found in pricier products.

Best Basic Antivirus Product

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

Reasons to Buy
Little performance slowdown
Reasons to Avoid
Not great at blocking targeted attacks
Antivirus Plus 1 Year
$23.99

Not only does Bitdefender Antivirus Plus have nearly perfect malware-detection scores, but it also offers great value, with a strong selection of extra tools. You'll find a built-in password manager, a secure browser, VPN client software, protection against encrypting ransomware and automatic profiles that optimize Bitdefender's impact on your system, depending on whether you're working, watching a movie or playing a game.

Midpriced Windows Antivirus

These products usually list from $60 to $80 per year. They generally build on the basic packages by bundling in parental controls and a two-way firewall to catch outgoing data, although many add other features. But for the full feature set each brand offers, you'll have to pony up for the premium products.

Best Midrange Antivirus Product

Kaspersky Internet Security

Reasons to Buy
Many customization options
Password manager, backup software, rich parental controls
Reasons to Avoid

Kaspersky takes first place among midrange antivirus software products, thanks to its excellent malware protection, a moderate system-performance impact and a full assortment of extra features and tools. Kaspersky Internet Security includes a secure browser, a virtual keyboard, specialized protection against ransomware, webcam protection to guard your privacy and VPN client software that automatically switches on when you connect to an unsafe Wi-Fi network.

Premium Windows Antivirus

Top-tier packages are often called suites because they do much more than catch malware. They might also offer file encryption, secure online storage, a password manager or an ad blocker. As most suites cover multiple devices, they also frequently bundle in licenses for Mac and Android antivirus software. For all this, you're meant to pay between $80 and $100 per year — but as with all paid antivirus software, steep discounts can often be found online.

Best Premium Antivirus Product

Kaspersky Total Security

Reasons to Buy
Many customization options
Password manager, backup software, rich parental controls
Reasons to Avoid

Kaspersky Total Security has it all for those who want more than just excellent malware detection. This one rose to the top because it eliminates threats without generating many annoying false positives. We also like the included secure browser, which is ideal for online banking and shopping. Other highlights include a thorough file shredder and Windows backup and recovery software.

Free mac antivirus software

Free Windows Antivirus

Free Windows antivirus products have gotten much better, and our top two choices offer excellent malware detection, if little else. The others provide adequate protection with a smattering of goodies such as password managers or parental controls. Among those is Microsoft's built-in Windows Defender, which has risen to the middle of our rankings. However, free antivirus software generally leaves out extra protection features such as dedicated defenses against ransomware or spam blockers.

Best Free Windows Antivirus

Kasperky Free Antivirus

Reasons to Buy

Avast Free Antivirus Software

Light-to-moderate performance hit
Some customization options
Reasons to Avoid

Kaspersky Lab largely keeps quiet about its free antivirus product, but it's a winner, with a user-friendly interface, a fairly light system-performance impact and Kaspersky's nearly flawless malware protection. Just don't expect anything from it but the bare necessities.

Mac Antivirus

Despite what Apple's marketing has implied, Macs do get infected, and the amount of Mac malware keeps rising, with more seen in the first half of 2017 than in any previous year. But there's less money to be made in the Mac antivirus market than in the Windows one, and the products are less standardized. Some Mac antivirus products are free, and some are paid. Of the products we recently evaluated, one of our No. 2 choices, Avast Free Mac Security, doesn't cost a dime.

Best Mac Antivirus

Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac

Reasons to Buy
Minimal system impact
Reasons to Avoid

Kaspersky Internet Security offers both the lowest system impact and some of the best malware-detection rates recorded. It even provides extra security features, including parental controls and options to lock down your webcam and stop websites from tracking your browsing activity. If you're willing to pay to protect your Mac from malware, Kaspersky Internet Security is the best option available.

Android Antivirus Apps

Antivirus Software For Apple Computers

Every Android device, whether it's a smartphone, tablet or TV stick, should have antivirus software. Usually, that software comes with an all-encompassing security app that also includes anti-theft and remote-locating features, and many apps have both a basic free version and a premium version with more features.

The free versions of the Android security apps we reviewed are pretty solid. The paid versions, which cost between $15 and $30 per year, range from being just a bit better than the free ones to becoming practically separate products, with a wide range of capabilities. You'll have to decide what you need and select accordingly.

Best Android Antivirus

Bitdefender Mobile Security

Reasons to Buy

Best Free Antivirus Software For Mac

Comprehensive and reliable anti-theft features
Intuitive user interface
Reasons to Avoid
Can't schedule scans

Avast

BitDefender Mobile Security
$14.99

The Bitdefender Android security app has flawless malware protection, a small performance hit, privacy-protection tools and Android Wear integration. Yet there are no scheduled malware scans, and no freemium option. (The separate Bitdefender Antivirus Free for Android only scans for malware.) Still, at $15 per year per device, Bitdefender Mobile Security is worth the expense.

iOS Antivirus Apps

A lot of people want iOS antivirus software for their iPhones and iPads. The truth is that such software doesn't exist. Apple won't let third-party apps examine other iOS apps, or even inspect new apps as they're installed. Anything that claims to be antivirus software swiftly gets kicked out of the iTunes App Store.

Many major antivirus vendors, including F-Secure, McAfee, Norton and Trend Micro, do have 'security' apps in the App Store. But these check web links for known malicious sites, locate lost devices or pretend to protect your privacy. None scans an iPhone for malware.

There has been real iOS malware that affects non-jailbroken devices, but it's very rarely cropped up. In each instance, Apple has pushed out a new version of iOS to stop the malware in a matter of days or weeks. Generally, if you keep your Apple mobile device updated to the latest version of iOS, you should be safe.

[Editor's Note: Best Buy has removed Kaspersky Lab products from its shelves, citing concerns regarding Kaspersky's alleged (but as yet undocumented) ties to the Russian government. Top U.S. newspapers have run stories in which anonymous sources say Kaspersky software helps Russia spy on American spy agencies. However, until we see real evidence that Kaspersky software is a threat to consumers, we will continue to recommend it. Here is further clarification of our position.]