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Mac AV

Contrary to the popular myth, the Mac is vulnerable to security threats and there are over a thousand Mac-specific viruses. While this is a tiny number in comparison with Windows (several million viruses), it is nonetheless a significant threat. As the number of Mac security threats is on the rise, you really should protect your computer by installing anti-virus  software on it.

The text below lists most of the  popular Mac AV packages.

Free software
  1. Sophos Antivirus for Mac Home Edition: Protects against Mac viruses only
  2. ClamXav Free: No real-time protection. You must scan the disc to find and remove viruses.
  3. PC Tools iAntiVirus, protecting against Mac viruses only (free for home use. Commercial licence: £29.99)

Paid-for software (price per year)

    1. Intego Virusbarrier: £34.95 for 2 Macs.
    2. Kaspersky for Mac: £39.99
    3. Panda Antivirus for Mac: £41.99
    4. Norton AntiVirus for Mac  £39.99


    As seen above, some packages look  for Mac-specific malware only. This is good, in that it speeds up the program, but  bad in that you might unwittingly pass a virus onto a PC user. You will also see that two products are free, and others vary considerably in price. There is nothing wrong with the free products! Sophos is one of the top names in the security arena, and ClamAV (of which there are versions for Windows and Linux as well) is also a highly respected product. The company with the best reputation for effective virus protection is Kaspersky, but their products tend to be large and slow.

    If your needs are basic, I would suggest using both free products. Sophos will provide round-the-clock protection for your Mac, and you can run Clam periodically to ensure your computer is not harbouring any PC/Linux-specific nasties. 

    If you feel a paid-for product definitely the way to go, go onto the companies' web sites and compare features and prices Many companies offer 'bundles' of Mac+PC AV products, or licences for a certain number of Macs. Finally, make sure to check the 'System requirements' section of their web sites. Some packages will only run only the very latest versions of Mac OS X, and others will run on older versions but possibly not on the latest!