I am looking to get a mac and was wondering what antivirus/anti malware programs would be best to use to protect my computer?

I need it to:

  1. Be free, or very cheap (no more than than $15-20/month)
  2. Run on OS X Mavericks, Yosemite, as well as Windows (i don't want two different programs between my mac and windows computers)
  3. Take up minimal disk space and memory (since I will be using this computer for app development)
  4. Have minimal ads
  • @Computer_whiz123 Personally, based on my Windows experience, I find that Kaspersky is by far the most accurate (virus detection accuracy), which to me is the criteria #1. But unfortunately, it's too expensive given your requirements. kaspersky.com/Mac Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 3:39
  • What do you define as minimal disk space and memory?
    – aman207
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 4:58
  • Just as little as possible, like no more than 500mb Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 18:05

2 Answers 2


It depends on the features you want. If you just want software that scans on-demand, but nothing else, ClamXav is a great free app from the App Store, and its rating on the app store speaks for its efficiency and simplicity. Since it has no constantly-running processes to protect the computer, it takes up very little memory.

However, if you want antivirus software that actively scans open network connections, mail, and files accessed in the file system, I find Avast! free antivirus for Mac to work pretty well. The web shield, as it's called, can mess up programs that need to download files (like Dropbox, for instance), but it still can be used.

From my experience, you probably won't need software that can actively scan your system. ClamXAV usually works very well, but if you really feel the need for more powerful software, Avast! is a good way to go. However, whichever way to go, neither has any ads and both are completely free. They also don't create tons of annoying notifications.


In my personal experience with Windows, AVG is the best option in my opinion (although I personally haven't tested the Mac version). Never had any troubles with it and it has protected me from a few trojans.


  • Totally free for both Windows and Mac (although you can buy additional security options only in the Windows edition)
  • Can't say about the Mac version, but here are the Windows requirements. I have used this on my computer for Java development as well, and I have never had any issues with it. I also do some gaming and it has never affected my performance. I am running a single core, Pentium 4 3.5GHz, 2.5GB of RAM and have never had a loss in quality in what I am doing due to AVG waiting to detect a threat (of course you are going to expect some performance loss when you are running a scan)
  • They might display an ad every once in a while in the GUI but it never has pop up ads or anything annoying like that
  • Anti virus, spyware and malware protection (both real time and by scanning)
  • Pretty much every feature you would expect any anti virus would do (scheduling, automatic protection, notifications when a virus is detected, reporting, logs etc)
  • Mobile versions as well (so cross platform)

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