It’s important to know how many computer resources your antivirus program consumes. The most effective software will have a little impact on the performance of your computer but still offer excellent protection against viruses and malware.

Most antivirus software companies publish extensive tests in PDF format. The reports offer a brief overview of the security as well as the performance and usability of each suite. They also include comprehensive graphs and charts which show the results of specific tests. The percentage of malware that is real-world and references set exposures that the program blocks, neutralizes or compromises, as well as the number of false positives detections of malicious programs, are the most important numbers to look out for.

In AV-Comparatives‘ testing in June 2023, Avast Free Antivirus for Mac had the highest rate of success in blocking Mac malware and PUAs (potentially unwanted applications) and the second highest score for Windows virus detection. It also scored well in the passive, full-scan and quick-scan categories.

Bitdefender Total Security was the most innocuous paid program, followed by Kaspersky Total Security, and ESET Security Cloud Free. It was the slowest on both quick-scans as well as full-scans. The slight background impact could be due to the fact that it doesn’t run by default on Windows 10 and 11, like its competitors do.

Intego had the lowest impact on system performance for background and full scans, however, it managed to identify every single piece of malware. It’s a rare business that concentrates solely on Macs which makes it an important addition to any security arsenal.