Avast Security for Mac: Review 2020

Avast Antivirus for Mac.

Over the last decade, macOS has turned from an expert-oriented platform to a wildly popular operating system. While it’s still not as wide-spread as Windows, in 2020, macOS is more vulnerable to outside threats than ever before. Cybercriminals are creating malware that exploits this system’s weaknesses and steals sensitive data.

Ransomware, spyware, and phishing can be an even bigger headache for a regular user. The good news is – many leading antivirus solutions can protect your Mac computer from all kinds of attacks. Today, we’ll take a close look at Avast Security. It’s one of the best offers on the market and will be money well spent. We’ll start with the pros, and then talk about malware protection, scanning, pricing, and more.

Pros and Cons of Avast Security for Mac

Avast Security for Mac Core Shields.


  • Highly rated by leading third-party lab testers
  • Excellent anti-phishing protection
  • Useful browser extension
  • Includes a network security scanner
  • Below-average system impact
  • User-friendly, easy to navigate
  • Email scanning


  • The free edition doesn’t protect against ransomware
  • You need to install the browser extension manually

Malware Protection for Mac

Avast Malware Protection for Mac.

Avast Online Security for Mac uses signature-based detection algorithms to battle Mac-exclusive malware. The built-in AI system, in turn, works as an extra layer of defense. It applies data collected from user devices to learn of new threats. In the most recent AV-Comparatives test, Avast detected and eliminated 100% of the planted malicious samples. In the AV-Test evaluation, it achieved a 17.5/18 score, with perfect results in Protection and Usability. 

Overall, Avast performed strongly against all modern-day threats and earned a place among the most reliable software for macOS. It’s also important to note that while Windows-specific Trojans and viruses are harmless for the macOS, they can be transferred from a Mac to a Windows PC. So, we also ran several Windows malware tests, and the antivirus achieved the same impressive results.

Antivirus Scanning for Mac by Avast

Avast Security for Mac Scanning options.

Avast Antivirus Deep Scan

And now that we’ve familiarize ourselves with Avast’s performance in real-world tests let’s take a quick look at the available scans. The software includes several scan types to choose from, and the deep (full) scan took only 20 minutes to complete. Compared to most rivaling products, this is a rather impressive performance (it usually takes antivirus programs 40-50 minutes to do this).

Strangely enough, quick scans aren’t available. However, since the full examination takes 20 minutes, there’s no real need in a quick scan. If you want to check removable volumes (like a USB Flash drive), you’ll have to launch a specific scan from the dashboard. It only took the engine a couple of minutes to inspect our thumb drive full of malicious samples. The scan detected 85% of the threats, which is a fairly decent result.

Manual scans are also available: you can select the files/folders that need to be checked, and the program will do the rest. Last but not least, Avast allows setting up scheduled scans. For example, you can command it to check the system on a specific day and even start the computer when it’s turned off and start a full check.

Avast Network Security Scan

Avast Network Security Scan for Mac.

The built-in Wi-Fi inspector is another feature that deserves our attention. You can launch it from the main dashboard. In contrast to the deep and scheduled scans, it doesn’t detect and/or eliminate malware or other types of threats. Instead, it finds every single gadget connected to your network and points you to any security flaws it finds.

Once the inspection is done, you’ll be presented with a full list of devices connected to the network. Sometimes, you’ll see something unreadable like “unknown55191201b632”; thankfully, the Wi-Fi inspector displays its vendor name, IP, and Mac address. This is one of those non-essential security features that give you more control and peace of mind. The scanner works fast and doesn’t have a significant impact on system resources.

Avast Online Security for Mac

Online Security is the company’s phishing protection module, a browser extension for Chrome. It is also compatible with Firefox but can’t be downloaded from Mozilla. Here’s how phishing works: once a website is taken down, a new one emerges, and the cycle continues. This is why it’s important to check your anti-phishing module’s effectiveness against sites that haven’t yet been analyzed and identified as malicious.

That’s what we did for the sake of our review, and Online Security did a decent job of detecting frauds that weren’t in any blacklists yet. Every time it blocks a fraudulent website, the user gets a pop-up message. Sometimes, you’ll also see “this website is unsafe”. We compared the results of Avast’s extension to default browser anti-protection modules and were impressed by the difference (97% detection rate with and 81% without Online Security).

Avast Free Antivirus for Mac

Avast Free Antivirus for Mac.

As we already mentioned, Avast Security for Mac free is a rather generous and feature-packed antivirus. It includes real-time protection against malware, ransomware, and anti-phishing module, and Wi-Fi security alerts, among other things. Compared to similar free macOS antivirus products, this software is equally reliable, user-friendly, low-impact, and feature-packed.

A quick note: Avast free isn’t available to business owners – only for noncommercial use. The same is true for many free solutions, by the way.

Pricing of Avast Internet Security for Mac

If you want to commit to the Premium edition, here are the prices:

  • Protection for one device: $69.99/year
  • Protection for ten devices: $89.99/year

This isn’t a Mac-exclusive package, meaning the ten-device subscription can be used to cover Windows, iOS, and Android-run devices.

Final Thoughts

Summing up, we want to say, once again, that Avast Security is an excellent Mac antivirus. It comes with a generous free edition that is very well capable of protecting you from online threats. For Wi-Fi alerts and anti-ransomware protection, you’ll have to upgrade to the Premium edition, which is a bit too expensive.

But, overall, this software is a safe bet for any macOS user looking for a reliable antivirus solution. The network scanner, anti-phishing module, and Chrome extension will make sure to keep hackers and their malicious code at bay. We recommend Avast Security for Mac free as a starting point. If you like what you see, you might want to upgrade to Premium. If not, you’ll still be well-protected.