Best Security Tools For Mac

Posted By admin On 15.02.22

Macs may be a far less tempting target for malware and viruses, but they’re not immune from attack. Even if you don’t care about adware or being used as a means to infect users on other platforms, it’s still possible to fall victim to ransomware, password theft, or stolen iPhone backups.

  1. Types Of Security Tools
  2. Best Security Tools For Windows 10

Accordingly, good antivirus software will protect your Mac on all of these fronts. It’ll catch malware that’s still spreading or in circulation; block ransomware; protect older systems with out-of-date software from security vulnerabilities; prevent your Mac from acting as a carrier for malware aimed at other operating systems; and keep infected files off of any virtual machines you’re running.

LaCie Prave-Public is perfect if you’re looking for a reliable and fast encryption tool to use on the go. What’s more, it’s available for both Windows and Mac OS X, and is backed by the name of Seagate, which just makes things better. Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP; Mac OS X 10.5 – 10.9. Best security software for windows and mac free download - Path Finder, iMac 101 for Windows 10, WIFI Password for Windows 10, and many more programs. Sophos has a powerful piece of software for protecting your Mac. It has custom scans that you can schedule or use on-demand for individual files, folders or your whole Mac. Internet security software is a step up from basic Mac antivirus programs that cost about $50 for a single license and don’t include the same number of protection tools as Mac internet security software. This is advanced cyber security tools software which is a framework of several services and tools, vulnerability scanning and vulnerability management solution. It obtains the quality support and contributions from many individuals belonging to penetration testers, power users and security researcher’s community.

Antivirus for Mac cheat sheet

Our quick-hit recommendations:

  • Best paid antivirus for Mac:Sophos Home Premium for Mac[sophos.com]
  • Best free antivirus for Mac:Avast Free Mac Security[avast.com]

Many antivirus suites provide a decent level of protection, but a few rise above all others by providing the very best in performance. Our top contenders dominate by posting perfect (or virtually near perfect) scores from security research labs, passing our own malware detection tests with flying colors, offering well-designed interfaces, and even throwing in extra features like a firewall or password manager.

Updated 08/15/19: Added our review of Avira Free Antivirus, a worthy free option that’s easy to use and effective.

Looking for Windows antivirus recommendations? You can read about the best antivirus suites for PC on our sister site, PCWorld.

Best overall antivirus software

on Sophos

Sophos Home Premium has the most extensive and up-to-date approach to fighting malware at an unbeatable price.

Sophos Home Premium has it all: Effective malware protection, ransomware monitoring, protection against potentially-unwanted-apps, and additional features that often require separately licensed software. Its cloud-based configuration and generous licensing (up to 10 Macs and PCs) also make it easy to shield friends and family from threats, no matter where they live. (Full details available in our review.)

Best free antivirus software

Though Sophos does offer a good free version of its software, Avast Free Mac Security edges it out as the best free antivirus software for macOS. In security lab tests, Avast detected 99.9 percent of macOS malware, and 100 percent of Windows malware. However, if you want more advanced protection (like ransomware detection), you’ll need to upgrade to paid software.

What to look for in antivirus software

By our reckoning, antivirus software should be able to neutralize a threat before it can begin wreaking havoc. That means preventing the download, installation, or execution of malicious software.

Since you can encounter threats by visiting compromised or malicious websites, receiving virus-laden attachments, or accessing USB drives with malware, good AV software should scan on a continuous basis unless you configure it otherwise. And ideally, files identified as malicious should be quarantined into a special storage area managed by the AV software, with the option to automatically delete files known to be malware or repair normal documents that also carry devious payloads.

Great AV suites also will monitor the filesystem for certain kinds of changes. Ransomware—which is malware that will rapidly encrypt user files like documents and mailboxes and then delete the originals—has become a huge moneymaker on other platforms. As a prime opportunity for attackers, it’s the greatest danger Mac users likely face as a category.

Detecting this pattern and halting it before any files are unavailable should be possible without an anti-malware system knowing the specific innards of a ransomware virus. Sophos, our top pick, includes this feature in the Home Premium version of its 2018 update. Other vendors, like Avast and Trend Micro Antivirus, offer an alternative feature that allows you to whitelist programs allowed to manipulate files in specific directories. So if this particular type of attack becomes rapidly popular, you’ll be protected.

Good antivirus software should also use minimal computational resources. That’s especially the case these days—AV monitoring hasn’t become much more complicated than when it first became available, and faster, multi-core CPUs can easily handle the demands of running AV software in the background without disturbing your active work.

Beyond these primary features, an easy-to-navigate interface and extra features are worth factoring into your decision. Some AV software are full-fledged suites that offer additional options like backup service for essential files, a password manager, parental controls, anti-tracking and privacy modes or options, a more advanced firewall, and the blocking of Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs).

How we test

Each software package is evaluated creating a clean installation of macOS Mojave, cloning it for each AV product, and then booting separately into each one to install a different package. This was to ensure that previous app installations didn’t interfere with new ones—sometimes AV software treats other AV software as an infection.

In addition to visiting malicious websites, downloading known malicious software, and even running said malware, we also reference the most recent reports from two labs that regularly cover macOS malware: AV Comparatives and AV-TEST. These laboratories test AV software against sets of known malware as well as products that are grouped as potentially unwanted applications (like adware).

The latter doesn’t damage or expose your computer or its files but may consume power and CPU cycles. Because the testing effectively looks at a combination of virus databases and behavior, they remain good gauges even after many months. When an antivirus software package lacks a rating from a known security research lab, we do more extensive testing with real malware.

Finally, while we gave props for a lot of different features and behaviors, we marked products down if they lacked any or all of the following:

  • A nearly perfect score on macOS malware detection
  • Ransomware monitoring
  • Native browser plug-in or system-level Web proxy
  • A high score on Windows malware detection

Privacy concerns

Using an anti-virus product, especially any that includes tools to also improve your online privacy, may lull you into believing you’re safe from personal and private information leaking out. That’s not quite the case. While there’s no reason to panic, you should consider a few reasonable issues.

Best Security Tools For Mac

First, an antivirus product may upload the complete text of files flagged to the cloud, where it can be analyzed by separate tools hosted there. This practice is normal and sensible: Some malware can detect when a running process may examine it, and will then engage in subterfuge. Antivirus software makers also can access their massive databases to examine files with characteristics that trigger their algorithms—certain elements that match known malware. As a result, security researchers discover new viruses, worms, Trojans horses, and the like.

However, helping the greater good means you’ll have to be comfortable with trusting a third-party with your file contents. Where appropriate, we noted privacy policy issues in individual reviews.

Second, this software may also rely partly or entirely on cloud-based checks of URLs, malware, and the like. Accordingly, an AV package might upload every URL you visit, metadata about files, signatures of files, information about your computer’s hardware, a list of running or installed applications, and more. Companies vary on their disclosure of such policies, and may not let you opt out of this kind of sharing. We note issues in each review as available.

Third, anti-virus software makers also get a sense of what behavior is happening on your computer that’s being monitored or blocked, and may use that information for their own purposes. In some cases, you can opt out of this information gathering.

All of our antivirus for Mac reviews

If you have specific requirements or just wish to see other options, below is a list of all the antivirus software we’ve reviewed. We’ll keep evaluating new and refreshed software on a regular basis, so be sure to come back to see what else we’ve put through the ringer.

With the internet abuzz with privacy concerns and the potential changes coming to net neutrality, you’ve likely heard about virtual private networks, better known as VPNs. When used correctly, a VPN can greatly strengthen your online privacy, assist in keeping your personal information secure, and even spoof your location in the world—allowing you to access websites or services that would otherwise be off limits due to region-locking.

With the increased popularity of VPNs has come an increased number of VPN providers vying for your business. That makes finding the best one to suit your needs difficult. To help you sort out the right provider for you, we’ve committed to extensive research and testing of VPN services that cater to Mac owners.

If nothing but the best will do, check out our routinely updated list of category leaders.

The best VPN services for Mac 2019

  • NordVPN: Best overall [nordvpn.com]
  • Mullvad: Best for security/privacy [mullvad.net]
  • CyberGhost: Fastest VPN [cyberghost.com]

If you prefer to do your own shopping, we’ve got your back there, too: Each of the VPNs we test is thoroughly reviewed, allowing you to make an informed decision on which one to throw your money at. See complete summaries of our picks, and our full list of reviews below.

Update 8/28/19 to include our review of Mullvad, which excels in terms of privacy and anonymity, and earns our pick as the best VPN for privacy/security. Scroll to the bottom of this article for links to all of our VPN reviews.

Best VPN overall for Mac

NordVPN is a compelling option for VPN service due to a well-rounded set of features and mostly competitive pricing.

NordVPN is the best all-around VPN service for most Mac users. While it isn’t the fastest VPN service that we’ve tested, it’s not particularly slow, either. (Read our full review of NordVPN.)

NordVPN offers above-average data encryption to keep their subscribers’ data safe while tunneling. It’s got a large network of servers, too: over 3,000 servers spread across more than 60 countries, allowing you to spoof a wide number of locations and avoid server congestion.

Moreover, its software interface is easy to use, making even new VPN users feel like online-privacy experts. While it’s not perfect, NordVPN gets more right than any of the other VPN providers we’ve tested so far.

Best VPN for security/privacy on a Mac

Sweden-based Mullvad is an excellent choice for anyone whose top priorities from a VPN are privacy and anonymity. Mullvad makes it a point to not learn anything about you, with no email or password requirement. While it doesn't offer any special features, this no-nonsense VPN is a solid choice.

Mullvad is the ultimate choice for users who want to remain as anonymous as possible online. Mullvad runs its own VPN network and wants to know as little about you as possible. Users don’t supply a name and email address to create an account, and you can even pay in cash if you like. The service’s privacy policy is also top notch. You won’t find any special features such as a promise to work with Netflix. Regardless, anyone who cares about privacy and anonymity should seriously consider Mullvad. (Read our full review of Mullvad.)

Fastest VPN overall for Mac

CyberGhost's connection speeds make it a great VPN option for most people, but users who deal in sensitive information may wish to look elsewhere for greater privacy from government actors.

The latest version of Romania-based CyberGhost maintains its edge in overall average connection speeds, making it superior to any other VPN we’ve tested so far. If you’re interested in connecting to VPN servers located within the continental United States, CyberGhost is the one to beat. (Read our full review of CyberGhost.)

Types Of Security Tools

Fastest VPN for other countries

If you are interested in connecting to servers in other countries, we’ve found the following to be fast options:

  • UK: TorGuard welcomes P2P file sharing on its VPN servers with open arms and offers the best connection speeds to servers in the United Kingdom that we’ve seen so far.
  • Europe: While TunnelBear gave us pause in the areas of user privacy and its ambiguous server numbers, the Canadian VPN provider takes first place when it comes to European connection speeds.
  • Asia: While we weren’t thrilled with its logging policies and the fact that it only allows P2P file sharing on a single server, Israel’s SaferVPN gets top marks when it comes to connecting to servers in Asia.
  • Oceania: If you want to connect with VPN servers down under, CyberGhost is the way to go.

How we tested VPNs

For each VPN service we review, we conduct tests at three different times of the day: morning, afternoon, and evening, using Ookla Speedtest. We start by measuring the speed of our unprotected internet connection before testing the upload/download speeds of the VPN service. These tests are conducted to servers located in North America, the UK, Europe, Oceana, and Asia over an ethernet connection with a service provision of 100Mbps.

To test upload and download speeds, I closed down all background internet processes on my Mac, using TripMode. The only traffic on my system able to upload or download any data was Ookla. I used this setup to ensure that the numbers that Ookla produced were not stymied by anything else that my computer may have been doing at the time. The speeds Ookla captured were then averaged, providing us with a final numeric score.

I then used those scores to calculate a percentage of difference in speeds, which is what you’ll see in our reviews. Since internet speeds change constantly based on server load, how fast your connection is, and a gazillion other factors, we feel this provides a better picture of what you can expect from a service, on the whole, than merely quoting the exact upload/download speeds we encountered during testing.

Speed isn’t the only quantifiable metric that we look at. The number of countries that a VPN offers servers in, total number of servers worldwide, and how much it’ll cost you to connect to those servers on a monthly or annual basis are also taken into consideration when recommending a VPN service to you.

Best Security Tools For Windows 10

Additionally, we conduct hours of research into the VPN providers to find out who owns them, where they’re based, what they do with subscriber information, and whether the provider has a track record of questionable business practices.