Intego Antivirus for Mac review: Premium malware protection

(Image: © Briana Scroggins/ Future Plc)

iMore Verdict

$70Bottom line: Intego is a great antivirus program to protect against more than viruses. Its advanced tools also protect against hackers, ransomware and inappropriate content.


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    Excellent protection

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    Personal firewall

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    System cleaner

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    Parental controls


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    Multiple programs

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    Some advanced tools are missing

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    Doesn't recognize Windows malware

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Intego was designed specifically for Mac users, so it is at the top of my list for stopping malware on these devices. As I've tested Intego over the years, it has consistently scored high for malware protection. It is easy to install and because it is designed to look and work like other Mac applications and it's simple to figure out how to use. You can purchase Intego's basic antivirus program, Mac Internet Security, by itself. But I recommend getting the entire computer protection suite - Mac Premium Bundle. This has the virus protection component, but also includes a system cleaner, vulnerability scanner, parental controls, and a firewall.

What impresses me about Intego antivirus

Intego Dashboard Protected (Image credit: Nicole Johnston/iMore)

When I tested antivirus software on Mac computers, I attempted to download a compressed file with over 130 malware specifically designed to attack Mac devices. I then watched each program to learn how these threats are blocked, stopped, quarantined and scrubbed from the system. In all, Intego blocked 97 percent of these threats including spyware, worms, and Trojans. Five threats were able to sneak in disguised as legitimate Mac programs. However, when I performed a deep virus scan with Intego, these remaining threats were found and immediately quarantined. Overall, Intego does very well in recognizing and stopping malware before it infects your computer.

In addition to its VirusBarrier, Intego Premium Bundle comes with Washing Machine, NetBarrier and ContentBarrier. Each contain more security tools to add additional layers of protection around your entire system. You also get intego's Personal Backup to create a second set of files to keep safe in your cloud storage account, just in case you need to reboot your computer and reinstall important files and programs.

The Washing Machine program is a system and vulnerability scanner that searches through your computer and alerts you to any weak spots in your system. This includes outdated software and disabled security settings that make it easy for hackers and ransomware to sneak in. It also shows you the applications that you don't use very often, or at all, and how to remove them in order to help your system run faster and free up storage space.

The ContentBarrier program of Intego Mac Premium Bundle is the parental control portion. With this program, you can set time limits for when and how long your child can be online. You can also block inappropriate websites from being viewed. Through its Advanced settings, you can also block email, game servers and audio and video files from being accessed by your child, too.

ContentBarrier captures screenshots periodically so you can see exactly what they are seeing, including games they play or messages they are sending and receiving. It also captures keystrokes so you can see search terms they attempt to look up. These parental controls alert you when your child or someone they are chatting with uses a flagged word or phrase while chatting with each other. These phrases include, "don't tell," "home alone," or "trust me."

Another big tool included with Intego Premium is NetBarrier, the personal firewall that watches your Wi-Fi connection and the communications that passes between your computer and the internet. It works alongside the firewall that comes standard with your Mac operating system to give a second layer of protection. And you can set it to recognize when you are connected to your home, work or a public network and adjust the security level for each.

The down and dirty of Intego antivirus

Intego Program Bundle (Image credit: Nicole Johnston/iMore)

The Intego bundle is several separate programs that have to be downloaded individually before they can be set up and used. It's a pretty straightforward process, but it does take time for the entire internet security suite to be ready. You have the option to only install those programs you want and disregard the others, but overall it is simply easier to have one program to download with all the features and tools you need rather than several, broken up applications.

Another disappointment is the lack of safe browsing tools. Unlike other antivirus software that includes browser extensions, Intego simply lets you know if your browser's own security settings are on or off. There are a few other advanced security tools that are not included as well, including safe banking tools, password management, and a VPN. You would expect these from something called a "Mac Premium Bundle," but alas, they are MIA.

Finally, while Intego is really good at recognizing and stopping Mac threats, it doesn't recognize Windows threats very well. Windows malware won't affect your Mac devices. However, it is very easy to accidentally send a Windows threat on to a family member, friend, colleague, or partner through email or instant message. When I tested this feature, Intego didn't recognize or stop a single Windows threat.

Final thoughs on Intego Mac Premium Bundle

Intego Virus Detection

Intego Virus Detection (Image credit: Nicole Johnston/iMore)

Intego Mac Premium Bundle is still one of my top picks because of how well it stops Mac threats from infecting your computer. It includes several advanced security tools including a vulnerability scanner and system cleaner, a personal firewall and parental controls that keep children safe while online. Despite the downfalls of the program - missing security tools, and its ability to recognize and stop Windows malware - Intego Mac Premium Bundle is an excellent program for protecting your Mac.

Nicole Johnston

Nicole writes for multiple Future Publishing brands covering topics from antivirus to kitchen appliances to SAS. She has over 15 years of research and writing experience, including eight years of testing and reviewing consumer products. Nicole earned bachelor’s degrees in both English and Political Science with a focus on empirical research. In her spare time, Nicole serves on several school councils and volunteers for a local arts board.