Free AVG AntiVirus Comes to Apple Macs

By now, the notion that Macs are free of malware is recognized as an outdated false sense of security. As Apple's computers get more popular with consumers, so they do with miscreants. There are a few anti-virus/anti-malware options for Macs, such as the free Sophos Antivirus for Mac, and today Apple users got another option to the best Mac antivirus software lineup.

AVG Technologies announced that its AVG AntiVirus software, long considered among the best free antivirus products for Windows PCs, finally made the jump to Mac computers today (Dec. 12). 

The new software, simply called AVG AntiVirus for Mac, is compatible with both the latest Mavericks (OS X 10.9) operating system and its predecessor Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8). Mavericks is a free upgrade for OS X Leopard (10.6.8), Lion (10.7) or Mountain Lion. AVG has stated that it has 172 million active users of its PC AntiVirus software.

Among AVG AntiVirus for Mac's main features such as auto updates real time scanning is a potentially handy one that lets users scan individual files or folders by simply dragging and dropping them onto an icon. 

The prospects for AVG's Mac product are good, if its PC performance is any guide. In July 2013 tests of the PC version, independent lab AV-Test found that it caught 98.9 percent of 1,972 malware samples that had emerged in the preceding four weeks. 

All anti-virus software tends to do well on such tests, however. The average detection rate for all programs AV-Test evaluated was 95.2, and AV-Test ranked AVG's malware detection at 5 points out of a possible 6. 

AV-Test also reported that the PC app had no significant impact on system performance and battery life, earning 6 out of 6. Of course, it remains to be seen how well AVG AntiVirus for Mac will do. 

This isn’t AVG's first Mac app. In November, it launched Cleaner, a hard drive cleanup program. The company also offers PrivacyFix, a browser plugin which is also compatible with Macs, that lets you adjust privacy settings on sites you visit, such as Facebook and Google, and also see which sites are tracking you, with the option of disabling them.

For malware protection on other platforms, check out our pages on the best antivirus software and the best Android antivirus apps.

Follow Kevin Ohannessian at @khohannessian and on Google+. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.

Kelly Ohannessian is a freelance writer and editor. With more than 15 years of experience, she works with a focus on covering the creative aspects of the gaming industry. Her articles have appeared on Medium, Fast Company, Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Gamespot, and many more. Currently, she works as a manager at Brooklyn Game Lab.

  • COLGeek
    Yay for Mac users?
  • apone
    @ COLGeek

    - Yes definitely "Yay" for mac users as they need all the protection they can get considering the average Mac user can't be bothered to learn a thing or two about common sense computing and how not to get a virus or malware (which is probably one of the reasons they switched to a Mac, because of the classic assumption that Macs are impervious).
  • Camikazi
    @apone As much as I love to make fun of Macolites, from what I have seen the average PC user isn't all that good at learning simple ways to avoid viruses either. Don't get me wrong, I oppose most all things Apple and probably always will.
  • Wolfshadw
    Been using Free AVG for a few years now. Anyone notice they just started adding upgrade pop-ups to their software?
  • leandrodafontoura
    Actually, there is a study that states that Mac users are smarter then PC users. Google this.

    Coincidentally, My PC, this one of the photo, crashed last week, had to start from scratch again. I even believe it was because of a virus, even tough I had AVG Free. I never had a Windows machine wich didnt go total failure at one point. Never had any sort of problems with Macs. OS X rules.
  • jankeke

    My neighbour's cousin's grand-mother's mortal enemy's dog thinks your friend's sister-in-law is an internet whore.
  • billybobser
    "Actually, there is a study that states that Mac users are smarter then PC users. Google this. "

    Nicely worded, I'm guessing you are the exception that proves the rule?
  • ap3x
    Actually, any release of Anti Virus for OSX is a good thing. The comment about Mac use not being bothered to learn how now to get a virus is a little biased because if you look at the vast majority of Mac and PC users you will notice that most are not technical and really just use their computers to do some pretty basic things.

    In terms of people moving to Mac because it is supposedly "impervious". That is a bit misleading as well. It is not impervious, that would be a false statement but it is far less targeted and there is far less confirmed virus and malware on the platform. If you do the research on google for confirmed viruses on OSX you will find that their is actually only 2-3 of them. Malware however there are over 20 now but compare those numbers to it's Windows counterpart and you can see how people can have a sense of security with OSX even though in it's default configuration it is not any more secure than Windows.

    There are allot better Free AV solutions out their then AVG for OSX those. Sophos has a much better solution, is extremely lightweight and has smaller more frequent updates throughout the day rather than doing larger batch updates less frequently.
  • dextermat
    Well if you like scareware, falsepositive, popups and computer slowdown: yay for macs indeed
  • keither5150

    You are not really smarter because you bought a Mac. Please install spellcheck on your mac. If English is your 3rd or 4th language, then you ( not than) have an excuse.

    Funny thing about this article and many articles in the past. Macs market share has stayed pretty constant at 5-7% Even during the Vista years, they only managed to gain a point. Apple continues to market to the ignorant and elitists. I realize that the ignorant population is far greater than 5-7%..... The ignorant usually asks someone who they feel is more knowledgeable on the subject.

    Smart people back up their computers. Mac or PC, they back them up.