Mac Antivirus Comparison 2013 | Dave May Photography
I’ve been getting more suspicious emails late and so I’ve started looking around at all the antivirus solutions available for Mac. Intego’s Virus Barrier 6, Virus Barrier 2013, Avast!, Sophos, and ClamXav are all generally well-regarded. Sophos seems to have the greatest impact on my old 2008 Mac Book Pro with OS 10.8.2. Of the remaining, only Avast! and Intego appear to have email scanning built-in. Unfortunately the new Virus Barrier 2013 didn’t appear to be catching viral mails coming through that Avast! would flag – even specifically scanning the mail directories. Virus Barrier 6 I’ve generally been impressed by in the past, but it’s a little heavy on this old computer. It’s worth noting that I’m only getting Windows-based viruses so far.
Avast! mail shield is rather difficult to set up and doesn’t appear to work correctly with some of my mail configurations. This means that effectively I have to rely on the various applications’ active threat detection, which should work except that there seem to be quirks and warning when doing so with email. ClamXav specifically mentions needing to remove messages by hand and then closing and reopening the Mail application rather than allowing it to auto quarantine which seems a bit ridiculous to me. Avast! dosn’t seem to give me any options upon threat detection which again means dealing with them by hand.
I’ve finally headed to the Avast forums in search of their latest beta just in case they’re were working on something. There have been complaints ongoing for some time about configuring their mail shield to work with SSL mail connections. It appears that the beta could be the solution I need, so I’ve cleared everything and installed it.
Upon opening the beta it appeared to have few options which seems like a good sign oddly. All the protections indicate they are actively working correctly. I have run into some issues with the web shield interfering with dropbox however which means adding a list of their servers to the exclusion list. I can see that there has been mail shield activity though I’m not sure how to determine what account it’s working for. Avast shield statistics indicates that 31 messages have been scanned last night which seems like a good indication that my primary accounts of concern are being properly handled.
Other Avast benefits are the Growl style notifications and being the quickest to update definitions. I would be willing to pay money for an Antivirus that has frequently updated virus definitions for both Windows and Mac while keeping email scanning simple. I haven’t had an infection or warning since installing the beta, but given my past experience with Avast I’m not taking that as a bad sign. It’s hard to be the Avast beta especially since their only Mac option is free.
I’ve had a chance to do a little more testing with the latest build of Avast! since I started writing this post, and it is in-fact scanning incoming email and marking the headers.