Mac computers are less vulnerable to malware and viruses than Windows-based computers, but that doesn't mean you can be lax about security. Your computer can be infected if you run the Windows operating system on a Mac, and you could unwittingly pass malware along to your PC friends. Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac is one free solution that is recommended by experts. Reviewers like it because the free version is based on Sophos' paid enterprise-level software, and it scans for both Mac and Windows malware. The software is easy to install, and experts say it does a very good job of protecting against Internet threats. Unlike other free antivirus products, Sophos doesn't contain ads for the paid versions of the software. In addition, the interface fits in with the Mac aesthetic. The biggest downside is that Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac doesn't come with any sort of technical support; you're stuck with how-to videos or user forums if you run into problems. For PC computers, reviewers recommend Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012 (*Est. $25).
Mac antivirus software attracts fewer reviews than its PC-based counterparts. There are several hands-on reviews at Mac enthusiast sites such as SecureMac.com and CultofMac.com. The review at About.com is also helpful because the software is compared and rated against other programs, although many of those are obsolete.
SecureMac.com gives Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac a 5-out-of-5 rating. Israel Torres likes the various customization options and says the software is easy to install and effectively detects malware threats.
Review: Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition, Israel Torres, Nov. 8, 2010
Mary Landesman, the antivirus software guide at About.com, gives Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac a perfect 5-star rating. Landesman likes the various scan options, including automatic and on-demand scans. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition, Mary Landesman
3. Tech Talk
Philip Sellers says Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac meets all of his expectations. The interface fits in well with the Mac aesthetic, and installation is relatively easy. Overall, he says he "can't seem to find a downside."
Review: Sophos Introduces Free Antivirus for Mac, Philip Sellers, Nov. 2, 2010
Giles Turnbull, who tests Sophos Anti-Virus for CultofMac.com, says the software has no noticeable impact on his computer's performance and runs unobtrusively in the background. A full system scan takes roughly three hours.
Review: Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac [Review], Giles Turnbull, Nov. 10, 2010