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It is crucial to know the amount of computer resources your antivirus program will consume. The best software is one that has only a minimal impact on system performance while providing superior security against viruses and malware.

The most reputable antivirus software companies have extensive test programs that are widely published in PDF format for download. The reports provide at-a-glance assessments of protection, performance and usability of each suite, as well as detailed charts and graphs showing the results of specific test elements. The percentage of malware that is real-world and exposures to reference sets that the program blocks, neutralizes or compromises, along with the amount of false positives that are detected of benign programs, are important figures to look out for.

In the tests conducted by AV-Comparatives in June 2023, Avast Free Antivirus for Mac was the most successful in achieving the highest rates of success in blocking Mac malware and PUAs (potentially unwanted programs) 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 and was followed by Kaspersky Total Security and ESET Security Cloud Free. It was slowest for both full-scans as well a quick-scan. The program’s low background impact could be due to the fact that it does not have a default installation on Windows 10 or 11, as most of its competitors.

Intego X10 had the smallest overall system impact on the background and full scan yet it was able to catch every single piece of malware tested. It’s a rare business that only focuses on Macs and is an important addition to any security arsenal.