Intego Antivirus review: Comprehensive protection for Mac users

Intego Antivirus offers comprehensive protection for Mac users. This review examines its features, performance, and value to help you decide if it's right for you.

May 30, 2024 - 16:32
May 30, 2024 - 16:33
Intego Antivirus review: Comprehensive protection for Mac users
Intego Antivirus

Our Verdict

Our Verdict

Intego Antivirus is a security software designed specifically for Mac computers. It provides protection against malware, viruses, spyware, and other threats that can affect macOS systems. Intego offers various features such as real-time scanning, automatic updates, and scheduled scans to keep your Mac safe from online threats.

like Pros

  • Outstanding macOS support
  • Extensive parental control features
  • Individualized firewall protection
  • Top-notch performance in malware tests

dislike Cons

  • Expensive
  • Exclusive to macOS
  • VPN must be purchased separately
  • Lacks anti-fraud, anti-phishing, or anti-spam features
star star star star star
Our ratings take into account a product's cost, features, ease of use, customer service and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Starting price




Free plan

Yes, but only VirusScanner offers a free trial. The others are 14-day trials.

Intego antivirus is highly rated on Trustpilot, scoring 4.8 out of 5, making it a leading option for Mac users. It provides a range of features such as scanning, parental controls, backup, optimization, a firewall, and an optional VPN add-on, which can be purchased separately. While these features offer robust protection, Intego comes at a premium price point. Some users may find this cost unjustified, especially since it lacks common features like anti-fraud, anti-phishing, and anti-spam, which are typically included in other competing products.

It's crucial to have a reliable antivirus to safeguard against computer viruses and cybercrime. However, the decision on whether Intego is suitable for your needs requires a closer examination of its capabilities, which we'll explore further to help you make an informed choice.

Who would benefit most from using Intego?

Intego is specifically designed for Mac users and their families, particularly those in need of parental controls. The software's parental control features are tailored to Mac users, making it an excellent choice for this demographic. These controls empower parents to protect their children online while allowing them to customize access to the internet based on age.

Intego's ContentBarrier feature enables parents to block inappropriate content, create individual user profiles, monitor online chats, and set time limits. This comprehensive solution is included in Intego's Mac Premium bundles, starting at $39.99/year for a first-year subscription and increasing for 2-year subscriptions. Overall, Intego offers a user-friendly and effective solution for Mac users and families seeking robust parental controls.

Intego features

Intego is a reputable and effective antivirus solution, but like any software, it has its strengths and weaknesses. Here's a brief overview of its key features:

What Intego excels at:

  • Strong performance in anti-malware tests
  • Offers both manual and scheduled malware scans
  • Includes the user-friendly NetBarrier Firewall with inbound and outbound protection
  • Provides parental controls for content filtering and chat monitoring
  • Offers personal backup for important files
  • Features a Mac-specific device optimizer called Mac Washing Machine

Where Intego falls short:

  • Real-time scanning is only available in higher-tier packages
  • Lacks a dedicated anti-phishing feature
  • Does not integrate with email services for anti-spam protection
  • VirusBarrier Scanner requires manual initiation for malware scans
  • No anti-fraud functionality

Let's explore each of these features in more detail.

Malware and antivirus scan

VirusBarrier serves as Intego's malware removal tool, available either as a standalone free tool or as part of Intego's paid packages. It functions like a health checkup tool for your Mac, scanning for viruses and malware with several useful features:

  • Manual scans: Initiate a scan anytime by clicking "Start Scan" to check accessible files on your Mac.
  • Drag and drop scanning: Simply drag a file onto VirusBarrier Scanner to scan it for potential threats.
  • File menu scanning: Launch scans from the File menu, selecting "Scan" to choose what to scan, similar to manual scans.
  • Scheduled daily scans: Set up automatic scans at specified times for "Maximum Protection" or "Essential Protection," or disable them entirely.
  • Quarantine: Detected threats are isolated in a Quarantine zone where they can't harm your Mac. You can choose to "Restore & Repair," "Delete," or leave them in Quarantine.
  • Updating malware definitions: VirusBarrier Scanner checks for updates to stay current with the latest threats.
  • Scan preferences: Customize VirusBarrier Scanner's behavior in the Preferences.
  • Trusted files: Add safe files, folders, or volumes to a "Trusted Files" list to skip scanning, saving time.
  • Uninstall: If you upgrade to VirusBarrier X9, uninstall VirusBarrier Scanner by moving it to the Trash.

Compatible with macOS 10.12 or later, VirusBarrier Scanner worked flawlessly in our tests, making it a recommended choice for Mac users. However, note that it doesn't provide real-time scanning, so you'll need to manually initiate scans or set up scheduled scans. For real-time protection, consider upgrading to Mac Internet Security X9.

Phishing protection

We were intrigued by Intego's assertion of providing anti-phishing functionality. However, after verifying this with their customer support, it was confirmed that Intego does not include a dedicated anti-phishing feature. Instead, Intego blocks harmful files that may result from phishing attempts. Additionally, Intego does not offer anti-spam protection due to its lack of direct integration with email services.

NetBarrier Firewall

Intego refers to its firewall as NetBarrier, which functions as a dual shield for your Mac. It provides protection against incoming threats and monitors your apps' online activities. 

  • Incoming Protection: Functions as a barrier against external threats like malware, spyware, adware, and ransomware.
  • Outgoing Protection: Monitors your apps' online activities and intervenes if any app attempts to send or receive suspicious information, prompting you to take action.

NetBarrier offers customization options, allowing you to specify which apps can access the internet and control their online activities. You can also prevent specific apps from connecting to the internet altogether. Additionally, NetBarrier features real-time popups that notify you whenever an app attempts to establish a network connection.

NetBarrier is included in all of Intego’s Mac bundles and is compatible with macOS 10.12 or later. Its straightforward setup process is another advantage.

ContentBarrier parental controls

Intego’s ContentBarrier provides extensive support for parents seeking to ensure their children's safety online. It helps by blocking inappropriate websites, monitoring chats for potential predators, and more.

Here's a breakdown of its features:

  • It blocks specific websites and words to prevent access to unwanted content.
  • It allows for profile customization, enabling personalized rules for each family member.
  • It monitors chats and emails alerts if it detects unsafe content.
  • It keeps a record of visited websites, chat conversations, and keystrokes.
  • It controls which apps can access the internet.
  • It blocks spam, inappropriate emails, violent gaming content, streaming services, and file sharing.
  • It can monitor and record activity without blocking it.
  • It sends activity reports via email detailing blocked content.

It's important to note that Intego's ContentBarrier does not include anti-fraud features. If you require anti-fraud protection, consider supplementing it with another tool.

Bonus features

Intego provides several additional features that are not commonly found in other antivirus software.

Mac Washing Machine

Mac Washing Machine acts as a digital cleaner for Mac computers. It scans your system for redundant files, such as duplicates and old items, and deletes them. This process enhances your Mac's speed and frees up space for essential files. Moreover, it assists in organizing your desktop and files efficiently, enabling quick access to necessary items. Mac Washing Machine is compatible with Mac computers running macOS 10.12 or later.

Personal Backup

Mac Washing Machine acts as a digital cleaner for Mac computers. It scans your system for redundant files, such as duplicates and old items, and deletes them. This process enhances your Mac's speed and frees up space for essential files. Moreover, it assists in organizing your desktop and files efficiently, enabling quick access to necessary items. Mac Washing Machine is compatible with Mac computers running macOS 10.12 or later.

Intego Personal Backup serves as a safeguard for your Mac's data. It duplicates vital files and system data onto external devices such as hard drives, USB drives, or network storage. Additionally, it facilitates data synchronization between two Macs and enables the backup of your Mac's operating system. Restoring files is a straightforward process, mirroring the ease of backing them up. Whether you prefer simple backups with minimal effort or more complex tasks with advanced options, Intego Personal Backup ensures the safety of your data. This software is compatible with Macs running macOS 10.12 or later.

Intego Privacy Protection VPN (Exclusive to Premium Bundle X9)

In the absence of a virtual private network (VPN), your internet service provider (ISP) can track your online activities. Intego Privacy Protection VPN conceals your IP address, safeguarding your online privacy, particularly when using public Wi-Fi or accessing geo-restricted content. It offers fast and secure browsing through a large network of over 35,000 servers in 83 countries. This VPN is compatible with macOS High Sierra (10.13) or later and Windows 8.1 or 10 (32 or 64 bit). It is important to note that Intego Privacy Protection VPN is exclusively available in the Premium Bundle X9.

Intego test results

We assess antivirus software using the EICAR (European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research) method, which involves using specific files and tools to test the software's effectiveness in protecting your computer. This simulated test ensures that the software can safeguard your computer from potential threats.

Intego successfully passed two out of three EICAR tests. It only failed the phishing test because it does not provide phishing protection, making it impossible to conduct this specific test.

Intego alternatives

Interested in exploring other options? Here are three alternatives that we've personally tested and evaluated:

  • Norton 360: Compatible with Windows 7 and later, Android, macOS, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, Norton 360 offers customer support through a Help Center, social media, chatbots, and 24/7 phone assistance. The Norton AntiVirus plan starts at $29.99/year for one device (first year only). During our test on a MacBook Air with Norton 360 on Big Sur 11.3, we experienced smooth performance with quick scans and no malware detected, although the results display could be improved.
  • Avast: Avast provides free antivirus software for macOS, PC, Android, and iOS, with paid plans starting at $35.88/year (first year only). It offers ransomware and phishing protection but lacks parental controls, anti-fraud protection, or a password manager. Avast is compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, and includes features such as a Windows firewall, Stay Safe Virus Guarantee, remote help, Wi-Fi alerts, and a secure browser. Our test on a MacBook Air with Big Sur 11.3 revealed an easy installation process and smooth performance.
  • CleanMyMac X: CleanMyMac X serves as a viable alternative to Intego for macOS users, offering malware removal, optimization, and cleaning tools. Priced at $34.95/year for a single Mac, it also provides a free trial lasting one week. Customer support is available through the MacPaw website, offering a knowledge base and 24/7 live chat. CleanMyMac X enhances device speed without causing lag, provides quick scans, and features an intuitive interface.

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