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When selecting an antivirus program, it’s important to understand how much of your computer’s resources the program will consume. The best antivirus programs will have a minimal impact on system performance, while still providing excellent protection against malware and viruses.

Most antivirus software companies publish comprehensive tests in PDF format. The reports contain quick-to-read ratings of protection, performance and usability for each suite, along with detailed graphs and charts illustrating the results of particular testing elements. Key figures to look out for include the percentage of real-world and reference set malware threats that are neutralised, blocked or weakened by the program and the number of false positive detections by benign software.

In AV-Comparatives‘ tests in June 2023, Avast Free Antivirus for Mac was the most successful in achieving the highest pass rates for blocking Mac malware and PUAs (potentially unwanted applications) and the second-highest score for Windows virus detection. It also scored highly in the passive, full-scan and quick-scan categories.

Among paid programs, Bitdefender Total Security had the least post-installation background systems impact being followed by Kaspersky Total Security and ESET Security Cloud Free. It was the slowest on both quick-scans as well as full-scans. Its minimal background impact might be due to the fact that the program does not run by default on Windows 10 and 11, like its competitors do.

Intego had the lowest impact on system performance for background scans and full scans, however, it was able to catch every bit of malware. It’s rare to find a company which solely focuses on Macs. This makes it an excellent option for any security arsenal.