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It had a nearly invisible impact on system performance, and it caught all malware. Avast Free Mac Security is our favorite free option, as it provided nearly perfect malware protection and an easy-to-use interface with an imperceptible performance hit. You do need an antivirus program on your Mac.
Avast Security Essential Review
As is the case with most free software, it does an OK job and — like popular free-to-play games — aims to pull money from your pockets after it’s installed. The one major perk of Avast Free Mac Security is that it can identify attacks in your email inbox, a feature that we’d like to see in all Mac antivirus services.
At the end of the day, though, Avast’s Mac malware protection rate isn’t quite as good as its competitors’, which is the most important part of antivirus software. Nonetheless, we think it’s the top free option among the best Mac antivirus software.
Antivirus protection Avast Free Mac Security keeps Macs free of malware using traditional signature-based detection by unpacking Mac-specific file formats and scanning them for malicious content. It also uses its artificial-intelligence system to apply lessons from its user base to train its software. It performs system protection scanning in the background, permits both on-demand and scheduled scans, and can scan your router to protect you against DNS hijacking and other threats.
Antivirus detection Avast Free Mac Security’s on-demand malware-scanning engine has a mixed record in recent lab tests. Image credit: Best Antivirus Software and Apps Image credit: Future Of all the Mac antivirus programs we tested, Avast Free Mac Security was the only one that flagged items already on our system as threats. Specifically, it found three email messages in my old, inactive, Outlook database that contained links to phishing websites. Security and privacy features Avast Free Mac Security includes Avast’s Online Security browser extension, which automatically installs itself in Chrome unless you opt out, while Firefox provides a confirmation prompt to make sure you approve the extension.
The Avast extension appears as a button that is green when you’re safe and red if a site is potentially harmful. Similar flags will appear next to search results.
Future If you’re wary of sites that monitor your actions, the Avast browser extension also displays a counter badge that tallies the number of activity trackers found in a website and provides an additional option to block social network-based tracking. Future Avast monitors your computer and its network connections in the background, scans new files upon installation and lets you schedule scans. However, Avast Free Mac Security doesn’t have any of the extra features offered by paid competitors, such as parental controls, a VPN service, firewalls or webcam blockers.
Performance and system impact Avast Free Mac Security had a moderate impact on system performance, which we assessed by running our custom Excel VLOOKUP benchmark test, which matches 60, names and addresses on a spreadsheet. Our test machine was a MacBook Air with a 1. This is overall great news for Mac users: Most of the time, you’ll never notice that you’ve got antivirus software running. Future You would be more likely to notice the slowdowns created by Avast’s active scans.
During full-system scans, the VLOOKUP test finished in an average of 4 minutes and 59 seconds, resulting in a big performance dip of 37 percent. Avast’s full-scan completion time, which took an hour and 11 minutes on average, was on the longer end of scores but was not the longest we found — Sophos’ 2-hour-andminute time was the longest.
Malwarebytes for Mac Premium ‘s full scan took a miraculous 16 seconds, while Bitdefender closed its full scan in 4: Kaspersky Interface Avast Free Mac Security may not be the prettiest antivirus app, but it provides a number of functions and options. Its main window shows users a Protected status, as scans are enabled by default.
All other features, including on-demand scans, are located in a menu bar on the left. Future Avast’s main window presents users with their status — Protected or otherwise — and a “Run scan” button that pushes you to Avast Cleanup Pro. Best Free Antivirus Software After you click that Run scan button once, it changes to an Upgrade button for Avast Security Pro, which features anti-ransomware protections and Wi-Fi and network scanning.
To avoid further confusion, click on Scans in the left-hand menu, which opens that section as well as other sections of the app, such as Reports, Virus Chest, Shields and Preferences.
Future In Scan, you can select from a number of different types, such as scans of custom directories, scans of removable volumes and scans of your home network. Avast also includes scheduled scans, an increasingly rare option these days. Future You’ll find database updates and analyses of scans performed on your system in Avast’s Reports.
Avast places files it flags as malicious into the Virus Chest quarantine section, where you can delete or restore them if you think Avast is mistaken. Future Open the Shields section to see real-time analysis of scanned files. Annoyingly, if the file directory is especially long, Avast won’t give you the full directory, so you can’t go look up the offending file for yourself.
You may not need to, but we’d prefer to have the option. Future In the Preferences tab, you’ll find options to change the frequency of notifications, system updates and scans.
Here, you can also disable hard-drive, email and web protection, although Avast wisely makes you enter your system password first. Additionally, you can disable Avast’s menu-bar icon from this window it’s under Miscellaneous. Future If you create an account with Avast, you can check the status of any systems you’ve logged into in the Account tab as well as at my.
Avast’s menu-bar button provides links to open the main interface window, see current activity and application information, and review previous notifications.
Thankfully, you won’t have to go through download. After you click through the end-user-license agreements, the installer will download more files and install Avast. Future No restart is required, and the whole process took about 2 minutes for me, which felt about normal. Here, you can find a FAQ, ask for help in the forums and call a customer-support line that will provide free advice for installing, configuring, updating and removing Avast. Bottom line Avast’s email scanning gives it an edge over competing Mac antivirus products.
It needs such an advantage when the rest of its package is such a mixed bag. Not only does Avast’s software continually push you to spend money on additional services unlikely if you’ve already chosen to use free antivirus software , but its malware detection rates aren’t great overall. If you’d rather not pay, then Avast is the best free option, but only because Sophos Home, which has a more full-featured free tier, has undetermined malware-protection abilities on Macs.
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Applies to Avast Security Pro for Mac (show details) Before you begin the installation, ensure that all other programs and internet browsers are closed, and any. Applies to Avast Security for Mac, Avast Premium Security for Mac (show details) the installation, ensure all other programs and internet browsers are closed. That means Avast tied with Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac and Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac on the AV-Comparatives test (both hit %).
Avast Free Mac Security: Best Free Option
As is the case with most free software, it does an OK job and — like popular free-to-play games — aims to pull money from your pockets after it’s installed. The one major perk of Avast Free Mac Security is that it can identify attacks in your email inbox, a feature that we’d like to see in all Mac antivirus services. At the end of the day, though, Avast’s Mac malware protection rate isn’t quite as good as its competitors’, which is the most important part of antivirus software.
Latest Security Alerts and Threats
Image 8 of 9 Image 9 of 9 Avast Security for Mac detected percent of the Mac malware threats we used in our lab tests, earning it a place as one of the best Mac antivirus programs. This is impressive since most Mac antivirus software we tested stopped each individual file either during or right after they downloaded and only after the zip file was opened.
Watch: Avast Mac Security Review – Pros, Cons and Verdict | Top Ten Reviews
Avast Mac Security – Antivirus app with on-demand scanning. the vast majority of incoming data from the Internet, while File Shield. Bottom Line: Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac excels in . Avast Security (for Mac), AVG AntiVirus for Mac, Avira Free Antivirus for Mac, and. Applies to Avast Security Pro for Mac (show details) Before you begin the installation, ensure that all other programs and internet browsers are closed, and any.