Which anti virus is the best for Mac and Windows (I'm using both). I know the list of malware and virus removal tools is long (Avast, Sophos, AiroAV, Norton, Mcafee, Bit Defender, etc., etc).

  • What is your budget?
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Nov 28, 2019 at 6:53

1 Answer 1


Little known fact: Most antiviral software doesn’t have signatures or algorithms that will detect macOS malware. They generally rely on the built-in XProtect feature of the OS.

Antivirus software on Macs exists primarily to slow the spread of Windows-based malware. There is little-to-no benefit for the Mac users and the downside is the destabilization of the OS and slower disk/network access.

If you aren’t using pirated software, visiting questionable web sites or purposely disabling security features/making unwise decisions, get Sophos or Trend Micro or any major player for your Windows boxes.

Another fact: Most antivirus software generate their signature databases from 3-4 common virus signature repositories. ClamAV is just as likely to detect a given virus as Ultra Military Grade Commandant Krav Maga Defender. There’s some variation in the ability to detect suspicious behavior and some claim to run AI, but that’s mostly hogwash. Use Windows Defender plus ClamAV and call it a day.

Social engineering, porn and pirated software is how you catch malware nowadays, plus the occasional zero-day.

I’ve been running a fleet of Macs since Snow Leopard without an anti-virus. Every 6 months, all the machines get scanned for viruses with Sophos, ClamAV and Carbon Black Defense, before being wiped, getting the latest OS image and returned to their users. No malware found in more than a decade. If you’re running a Unix/Linux variant, casual hackers aren’t that big a problem. If a nation-state wants your data, you won’t block them with a $29 software solution.

The real danger is not having rotating off-site backups or not confirming that you can actually restore from your backups. Drives fail/computers die...much more often than a reasonably sophisticated user catches malware.

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