PROS / Norton is adept at detecting malware.
CONS / You to have purchase licenses for mobile devices separately.
VERDICT / Norton Security fared well in AV-Test's analysis and has an impressive feature package – it goes beyond basic antivirus and includes tools that protect you while you’re online.
Editor’s Note: Top Ten Reviews uses test results from the independent laboratory AV-Test as part of our review process for the best Mac 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.
While Norton's competitors sell complicated product lines with only slight differences, Norton Security combines all of its consumer antivirus software into one full-featured unit. When put through its paces by the respected independent lab AV-Test, Norton tested among the best. It provides some of the best security across the board of any antivirus software for Mac and is the winner of the Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.
In December of 2016, AV-Test measured the detection rates and computer resource impact of 12 Mac antivirus programs. One portion of the detection test examined how well the applications intercepted Mac malware samples during scanning routines, and another portion measured how well the programs’ background modes detected the copying of infected files from one folder to another. It also measured how much the security software affected computer performance. Norton successfully detected 96.8 percent of the malware it was exposed to, placing it among the best Mac antivirus security programs.
AV-Test measured the software's effect on computer resources by first establishing baseline performance. To do so, it copied data on its test Mac without any antivirus software installed. The lab then copied the same data with the security program installed to measure the lag time it created. Norton’s security software only slowed the computer by two seconds, which is the best of all the Mac antivirus software in our review.
The same independent lab ran Norton and other programs through tests to see how well they detected Windows malware. Even though you use a Mac, you should consider buying a program that recognizes these viruses so you don't send infected files to your friends and associates who use Windows machines. While Norton excels at detecting Mac malware, it isn’t as capable at detecting Windows threats on Mac machines. When it published its evaluations for Mac antivirus, AV-Test called out products that recognized an average or above-average number of Windows viruses, and Norton Security did not make the list.
Detection & Removal Tools
Norton Security Standard comes with a single license that protects either a Mac or PC computer. You can also protect mobile devices using this software, but you have to purchase a license for each device separately.
This Mac antivirus detects and blocks ransomware, which is a powerful type of malware that takes your computer system hostage and requires you pay the creator to release control back to you. Norton Security also scans your email and USB ports to ensure ransomware and other virus threats are blocked at every point of entry. In addition, this software helps maintain your privacy and protects you from phishing attempts.
Help & Support
Even the best Mac antivirus software sometimes allows a threat to get through. Norton includes a 100-percent virus protection guarantee. Most top antivirus software publishers charge for malware removal if their customer support staff gets involved. Norton does it for free. The company pledges to refund your purchase price if the program fails to remove infections from your computer.
You manage all of your protected computers, smartphones and tablets from a single online account, even if you have licenses covering a combination of Apple and Windows devices. You can add new devices or move protections to others in your account. The subscription includes 24/7 customer support by telephone or online chat.
You can use Norton Security software to protect your Mac and PC computers as well as mobile devices, though you have to pay extra for each additional license. This program protects your computer against malware and phishing sites. Norton tested well in AV-Test's evaluation, though it had difficulty detecting Windows threats on Mac devices. Its features are useful, and the company’s support options are excellent. The software’s comprehensive feature package and impressive test results make it one of the best antivirus programs for Mac computers.