PROS / Avast detected 99 percent of Windows malware on Mac devices during independent testing.
CONS / This program creates noticeable lag while running on your computer.
VERDICT / It uses a lot of resources while running, but Avast Mac Security is good software for detecting malware on all iOS devices, including cell phones and tablets.
Editor’s Note: Top Ten Reviews uses test results from the independent laboratory AV-Test as part of our review process for the best antivirus software. AV-Test looks specifically at malware detection and loss of performance on Mac operating systems, and it performs these evaluations several times throughout the year. We use the most current AV-Test scores available at the time of our review. It is possible that new AV-Test scores will be released after our review goes live on our site. We will consider those scores during our next review of the best Mac antivirus software.
As a virus protection program for Mac, Avast does very well. Its Mac Security software detected 96.80 percent of new Mac malware threats during the December 2016 evaluations by AV-Test, earning it a place in our best Mac antivirus review. It also detected enough Windows threats to earn a mention from AV-Test, which only noted those solutions that scored average or above in this particular test. However, it didn’t fare as well in computer performance tests.
Avast detects threats embedded in websites and corrupted online files, and it automatically scans incoming emails to ensure there aren’t harmful links or hidden malware threats attached. The app’s biggest downfall is the extent to which it slows down your computer while it runs. AV-Test noted that Avast Mac Security slowed its test computers by an average of 466 seconds when testers performed common tasks such as copying files and downloading programs.
Mac Security doesn’t automatically scan USB drives when you connect them to your computer. However, this antivirus solution for Mac computers does scan the files as you open them, which keeps viruses from infecting your computer. Avast also includes a rescue CD so you can boot and restore your computer in the event a virus gets through and infects it. In addition, you can protect your iPhone or iPad with Avast’s mobile app, which is available at no extra charge if you are a registered user.
To offset the program’s resource drain a bit, Avast has a gamer mode that suspends scans, pop-up reminders and other functions while you play games or watch videos online. This minimizes the lag and makes sure the software doesn't interrupt your play.
Avast has 24-hour telephone support, which is important since problems don't always happen during business hours. Additionally, the company has online support materials, including a searchable knowledgebase and FAQs section.
While it takes a toll on your computer's resources, Avast Mac Security is a decent antivirus program that detects most internet threats, both Mac and Windows. It even extends this virus protection to other Mac devices such as iPhones and iPads, and it includes a bootable CD and gamer mode. It doesn't scan USB drives as you connect them, but it does scan the files as you open them to ensure hidden threats don’t infect your computer.