Pros / Avast comes with a personal firewall that works in tandem with your operating system’s built-in firewall.
Cons / This program doesn’t include parental controls.
Verdict / Avast Security for Mac Premium does an excellent job protecting against Mac malware, and it’s decent at blocking Windows threats on Mac computers. Plus, it comes with some useful extra tools, like a VPN and a password manager.
Avast Security for Mac Premium is a step up from its Essential version, though both offer excellent internet security for your Mac desktops and laptops. The Premium solution, however, comes with a few extra tools like a VPN, system scanner and password manager. And while Avast Security Essential recognizes and blocks ransomware attacks, Avast Premium includes a special file guard that shields sensitive folders and data in case a ransomware threat does sneak in.
This Mac security program did an excellent job of protecting our computer from over 160 malware threats. When we instructed our computer to start unzipping our sample folder to let the infected files loose, Avast Security stopped and quarantined the entire zip folder before it had a chance to open. This is impressive since most of the Mac security programs we tested let each file open before inspecting and stopping any threats. Avast recognizes threats even when they are designed to look like legitimate files and programs.
Most of the Windows malware was also blocked by Avast Security for Mac. This means you don’t have to worry about passing along a threat to family or friends who use Windows computers. And the Mail Shield looks for threats in email messages, both incoming and outgoing, to ensure nothing dangerous is attached. It also scans mobile devices connected to your computer through a USB port for any threats. And it removes viruses from your tablet or phone when it finds them. This is a little different from true mobile protection that is typically a program downloaded to your device. But it is a good way to clear viruses off your cellphone.
When Avast finds a threat, it moves it to the Virus Chest, its fancy name for the quarantine folder. From here you can choose to restore the file or permanently delete it. If you leave the files alone long enough, Avast will eventually delete them for you. The files and tools in Avast aren’t difficult to find because Avast lays them out in a way that’s easy to see and navigate. The only reason we docked points for ease of use is because there are several functions that must be turned on or set up manually. These aren’t hard to do, just a little inconvenient, especially if you’re not real tech savvy.
Avast has safe browsing that helps recognize and stop threats coming in through the internet. When we first opened Avast, we were relieved to see that the Safari browser extension for this feature was already enabled. We did need to manually turn on the Chrome extension after installing it within the browser. As we tried to reach certain websites, Avast displayed a large warning message in the browser if it knew there were virus downloads or malicious links on the page. And when we used search engines, including Google, each search result had an icon noting any safety concerns.
This software comes with a personal firewall that works alongside the one built into your operating system. It monitors the home internet connection to see if anyone is piggybacking on your connection, which affects connection speed. We found that having a second layer of protection is helpful since no firewall is 100 percent effective all the time. And Avast is a pretty sharp tool that catches a lot of dangers that other programs don’t recognize.
The real complaint with Avast Security for Mac Premium is it lacks several protection tools that its Windows internet security products have. This includes parental controls and safe banking tools designed to protect personal information while you bank, shop and access accounts online. We were surprised that most Mac internet security solutions don’t include these features. However, there are a couple that do, so if you need these tools, check out Norton Security Standard or Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac.
Avast Security for Mac Premium is a decent antivirus program that detects both Mac and Windows internet threats. It scans mobile devices when connected to your computer through a USB port, and it warns you before you access malicious websites. The software doesn’t include parental controls or safe banking tools, but overall it is a great choice for protecting your Mac computer.