PROS / MacKeeper includes many useful utilities.
CONS / It did not excel during recent tests conducted by an independent software lab.
VERDICT / MacKeeper is not the best Mac antivirus according to tests conducted by independent software labs. However, its rich feature set demonstrates a vision for security that goes far beyond antimalware.
Editor's note: A new version of this software is now available. Clicking the Buy button will take you to this version for purchase. We will evaluate, rank and review the new version when we next update the Mac security software reviews. Meanwhile, enjoy our review below about MacKeeper.
AV-Comparatives, one of the most respected security software testing labs, subjected Kromtech MacKeeper to a rigorous test suite in the autumn of 2012 in which MacKeeper achieved a perfect score. Unfortunately, two years later MacKeeper detected just 80 percent of 65 Mac malware samples during the AV-Comparatives test. In the same test, Mac security software from Bitdefender, Intego, ESET and Kaspersky turned in far better Mac malware detection rates ranging from 97 to 100 percent. A few months after the 2014 AV-Comparatives Mac virus protection testing, AV-Test conducted something similar. Unfortunately MacKeeper was not one of the 18 tested antivirus software products for Mac. Keep in mind, however, that malware is just one portion of internet security. Phishing, especially for Mac users, is also a threat to guard against. To that end, MacKeeper has real-time safe browsing to protect you from identity theft, credit card fraud and phishing.
Kromtech's vision for Mac antivirus software goes beyond protecting you from malware. Take MacKeeper's anti-theft feature, for instance. What good is security software on your MacBook Air if it can't help you retrieve it from thieves? If you have MacKeeper on your computer and someone steals it, you can log in to your online Kromtech account from any computer to report the theft. As soon as the thief connects your Mac to the internet, it will generate a location report that MacKeeper will email to you, along with an iSight snapshot of the thief. You then have the data that will help the police recover your computer. When you activate the anti-theft service, you can collect the computer's IP address and geographic location hourly. As soon as you report it stolen, you will receive the IP address, location, trace route and an iSight camera snapshot every five minutes. Whether the theft is virtual or physical, this software does not leave you at the mercy of thieves.
Data-control features are creative ways that MacKeeper expands on conventional functions of antivirus software for Mac. It includes features that give you secure control over the files on your hard disk. You can encrypt files and hide them behind a password so that nobody can retrieve them from the Finder or Terminal. If you accidentally remove a file or change your mind after you delete it, a file-recovery feature can scan your hard drive to see what it can recover. If the file you need is in the list of recoverable deleted files, you can get it back with one click.
If you want to delete a file in such a way that nobody will ever be able to recover it, you can use MacKeeper's Shredder. The Shredder supports the Gutmann method that writes 35 patterns over the region you want to erase so that even the FBI would fail to resurrect the file. There is also an automatic backup utility to synchronize the copies of your files on external hard drives, USB flash drives and FTP servers.
The MacKeeper feature set also includes cleaning utilities. You can remove part of applications you don't need as well as cached files. You can also remove unused languages from applications and clean up log files. For your convenience, there is also a duplicate file finder to free up space on your hard drive. These are rare but useful features for Mac security software.
Kromtech gives support that will not annoy you. In a market where some of the best Mac antivirus publishers support customers via email only, it is wonderful that Kromtech supports its MacKeeper users 24/7 via live chat, telephone and email. The manual is online too. Out of curiosity, we tried the live chat support a few times with impressive results. Whenever we entered chat mode, an intelligent, communicative and spirited representative entered the chat room within seconds, not minutes. There was none of the typical boring, "So, if I understand your question correctly …" or "Please refer to the following links for an answer to your question." Kromtech support is superlative. It's so good, in fact, that we now judge its competitors according to a stricter standard.
MacKeeper is not the best virus protection for Mac, though it certainly has a richer set of useful features than any of its competitors. And the help and support for MacKeeper are best in class. However, its performance in the Mac malware tests conducted by AV-Comparatives in 2014 reveal that there are better Mac OS X antivirus products to consider.