What are the best antivirus scans to run on mac book Pro

Posted on 2016-11-18
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have this macbook pro that I would like to run virus and malware scans on.  What is the best scans to use to do this with?
Question by:beemmer

Accepted Solution

Tim Lapin earned 252 total points
ID: 41893060

I don't know if there is one, single, best malware scanning program to use.  I can tell you that I have used both Sophos (both corporate and free single user versions) and AVAST (free version).

I think both of those choices are good ones, each with their good points and bad points.  Combine either one with EtreCheck to see what is running and/or installed on your system, you will have the makings of a fairly secure system.  Try them out and see which, if any, works for you.

Of course, none of the above will be perfect.  To gain complete awareness - and perhaps a sense of security - over your system, you will need to spend some time learning it.  Be aware of:
1)  what you've installed,
2)  where you surf and what your browser is doing i.e. are you being redirected to an unusual site?
3)  what might lurk in that email link dangling before you
4)  how your computer behaves normally i.e. does it seem slower than usual?  

and so on.

Expert Comment

by:Mumbai Tech
ID: 41893134
Symantec Norton Security for Mac is good.
LVL 28

Assisted Solution

jhyiesla earned 62 total points
ID: 41893188
I've tried several. I've used Sophos and that seemed to work pretty well. I've also tried a free one from WebRoot. I played with MacScan, but that only works when you scan  (no real time protection) and only looks for Mac viruses (at least the last time I looked at it). One that I use currently is VirusVarrier from Intgeo. It seems to work pretty well. I'm considering playing with the Kaspersky product since we use that at my work and it seem pretty good. I've looked at the Norton product, but at least the last time I looked at it, there was a premium price to pay for it that I wasn't willing to pay given the other options. I'm a big fan of Norton in the Windows world.
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LVL 88

Assisted Solution

rindi earned 62 total points
ID: 41893288
I'd suggest panda AV for MAC OSX. Certainly not any symantec crapware, though.
LVL 53

Assisted Solution

strung earned 62 total points
ID: 41893312
I would suggest you download and run the freeware MalWareBytes for Mac to get rid of malware:

Then download and run the free Avast: to check for viruses. Once the scan gives you a clean bill of health, I would uninstall it. I don't think you need to be constantly running intrusive anti-virus software. Just do a scan if you suspect a problem. The built-in Mac anti-virus security is good enough.
LVL 28

Assisted Solution

serialband earned 62 total points
ID: 41893688
I've tried several for the Mac, and the best one so far is ESET.  ESET does cost money.  The other free ones are ok, but Symantec is no go for me.  I keep a disk with viruses and ESET catches more of them than the rest.  It's also very low impact on the system, for normal users, compared to some of the others.  I've never experienced slow downs on the Mac while it runs.  You will notice it if you do run disk intensive processes, but only in terms of those processes taking longer to finish, not with desktop UI slowdowns.

You should also understand that Mac virus scanners still mainly scan for Windows viruses.  This keeps them from spreading to Windows users.  There aren't very many Mac viruses yet, but the number is growing.  They still don't really scan for rootkits or certain types of account infiltration that generally won't happen on Windows.  You need to run linux style rootkit scanners, if you don't know enough BSD/linux to scan for them yourself.

In the corporate world, you need multiple layers of protection, AV on the workstations, AV and spam blockers on Mail servers, AV on the file servers, firewalls with correct rule sets on all systems, and a hardware Firewall with virus detection and blocking at the gateway.  On desktops, you should probably install some kind of Adblocker and/or Popup blocker in all your browsers as a first line of defense.  Don't uninstall your AV once you're done.

Keep one AV installed at all times, but I would have multiple scanners, because they each have different virus signatures.  You just get more coverage with multiple scanners.  I've never liked symantec, especially back when I was required to support it years ago in the corporate world.  That's always due to corporate deals, not from IT recommendations.  They had always, very noticeably, slowed down the system back then.  I bypassed that and installed my own scanners on some of the systems and ran remote scans and that actually caught stuff Symantec didn't.  Not because symantec was necessarily bad at catching them, just that every AV firm has their own set of the newest virus signatures and they all need fine tuning as new viruses come out.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 41899356
I ran 3 different antivirus programs - Avast, Panda, and Sophos.  I ran sophos firs and it found 6 infections. Then I ran Avast and it found 69 infections. Last, I ran Panda and it found 3 more infections.  I did not run any others due to lack of time.  The Macbook seems to be running much smoother and faster now.

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