11 Replies Latest reply: Jan 17, 2013 12:30 PM by MacMagnus
MacMagnus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



This may be the wrong place ot ask this question, but I coundn't find any better.


I'm wondering if the internet security program Intego Internet Security Barrier X6 works well with OS X's built-in firewall...


I also wonder if it is recommended/neccesarly to use such software on a mac - but I guess there have become a lot of mac-user these days, that means more viruses/threaths.


And, at last, I also wonder if other products than Intego's are "better"; such software as Norton and Kaspersky.



  • 1. Re: Intego Internet Security Barrier X6 and OS X's firewall
    johnl927 Level 3 Level 3 (565 points)

    Dont bother with Software firewall on a Mac, there are ways around it!  If you have a hardware firewall then were talking.  Other than that you really dont need internet security on your Mac, but if you feel that you do, I would go with Kaspersky

  • 2. Re: Intego Internet Security Barrier X6 and OS X's firewall
    Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (41,525 points)

    I would not use Kaspersky. Read http://www.reedcorner.net/mac-av-detection-rates/



  • 3. Re: Intego Internet Security Barrier X6 and OS X's firewall
    johnl927 Level 3 Level 3 (565 points)

    What would you use Allan if you had to choose one?

  • 4. Re: Intego Internet Security Barrier X6 and OS X's firewall
    Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (41,525 points)

    None. All third party firewall software is garbage. If you are using a Mac where no hardware firewall is available then use the builtin one provided by Apple.



  • 5. Re: Intego Internet Security Barrier X6 and OS X's firewall
    johnl927 Level 3 Level 3 (565 points)

    That's what I said! and I agree, but the user insist on a recommendation.

  • 6. Re: Intego Internet Security Barrier X6 and OS X's firewall
    MacMagnus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    So the build in firewall is good enough (or better than third party products)?


    What about virus protection programs?

  • 7. Re: Intego Internet Security Barrier X6 and OS X's firewall
    Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (41,525 points)

    Since there are no virus on the Mac, why do you need software to protect you from nothing?



  • 8. Re: Intego Internet Security Barrier X6 and OS X's firewall
    macjack Level 9 Level 9 (50,510 points)

    All AV programs will at best cause a hit to your performance. Mac has it's own built-in protection called X-protect that works seamlessly in the background and get daily updates to its definitions.


    EDIT: As Allan says, there are no known viruses that can infect a Mac.

  • 9. Re: Intego Internet Security Barrier X6 and OS X's firewall
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (117,905 points)

    1. This comment applies to malicious software ("malware") that's installed unwittingly by the victim of a network attack. It does not apply to software, such as keystroke loggers, that may be installed deliberately by an intruder who has hands-on access to the victim's computer. That threat is in a different category, and there's no easy way to defend against it. If you have reason to suspect that you're the target of such an attack, you need expert help.

    2. All versions of OS X since 10.6.7 have been able to detect known Mac malware in downloaded files, and to block insecure web plugins. This feature is transparent to the user, but internally Apple calls it "XProtect." The malware recognition database is automatically updated once a day; however, you shouldn't rely on it, because the attackers are always at least a day ahead of the defenders.
    The following caveats apply to XProtect:
    • It can be bypassed by some third-party networking software, such as BitTorrent clients and Java applets (see below.)
    • It only applies to software downloaded from the network. Software installed from a CD or other media is not checked.
    3. Starting with OS X 10.7.5, there has been another layer of built-in malware protection, designated "Gatekeeper" by Apple. By default, applications and Installer packages downloaded from the network will only run if they're digitally signed by a developer with a certificate issued by Apple. Software certified in this way hasn't actually been tested by Apple (unless it comes from the Mac App Store), but you can be reasonably sure that it hasn't been modified by anyone other than the developer. His identity is known to Apple, so he could be held legally responsible if he distributed malware. For most practical purposes, applications recognized by Gatekeeper as signed can be considered safe.
    Gatekeeper has, however, the same limitations as XProtect, and in addition the following:
    • It can easily be disabled or overridden by the user.
    • A malware attacker could get control of a code-signing certificate under false pretenses, or could find some other way to evade Apple's controls.
    For more information about Gatekeeper, see this Apple Support article.
    4. Beyond XProtect and Gatekeeper, there’s no benefit, in most cases, from any other automated protection against malware. The first and best line of defense is always your own intelligence. All known malware circulating on the Internet that affects a fully-updated installation of OS X 10.6 or later takes the form of so-called "trojan horses," which can only have an effect if the victim is duped into running them. The threat therefore amounts to a battle of wits between you and the malware attacker. If you're smarter than he thinks you are, you'll win.
    That means, in practice, that you never use software that comes from an untrustworthy source. How do you know whether a source is trustworthy?
    • Any website that prompts you to install a “codec,” “plug-in,” "player," "archive extractor," or “certificate” that comes from that same site, or an unknown one, is untrustworthy.
    • A web operator who tells you that you have a “virus,” or that anything else is wrong with your computer, or that you have won a prize in a contest you never entered, is trying to commit a crime with you as the victim. (Some reputable websites did legitimately warn users who were infected with the "DNSChanger" malware. That exception to this rule no longer applies.)
    • Pirated copies or "cracks" of commercial software, no matter where they come from, are unsafe.
    • Software of any kind downloaded from a BitTorrent or from a Usenet binary newsgroup is unsafe.
    • Software with a corporate brand, such as Adobe Flash Player, must be downloaded directly from the developer’s website. If it comes from any other source, it's unsafe.
    5. Java on the Web (not to be confused with JavaScript, to which it's not related, despite the similarity of the names) is a weak point in the security of any system. Java is, among other things, a platform for running complex applications in a web page, on the client. That was never a good idea, and Java's developers have had a lot of trouble implementing it without also creating a portal for malware to enter. Past Java exploits are the closest thing there has ever been to a Windows-style "virus" affecting OS X. Merely loading a page with malicious Java content could be harmful. Fortunately, Java on the Web is mostly extinct. Only a few outmoded sites still use it. Try to hasten the process of extinction by avoiding those sites, if you have a choice.
    Java is not included in OS X 10.7 and later. A separate Java installer is distributed by Apple, and another one by Oracle (the developer of Java.) Don't use either one unless you need it. Most people don't. If Java is installed, disable it — not JavaScript — in your browsers. In Safari, this is done by unchecking the box marked Enable Java in the Security tab of the preferences dialog.
    Regardless of version, experience has shown that Java on the Web can't be trusted. If you must use a Java applet for a specific task, enable Java only when needed for the task and disable it immediately when done. Close all other browser windows and tabs, and don't visit any other sites while Java is active. Never enable any version of Java on a public web page that carries third-party advertising. Use it, if at all, only on well-known, password-protected, secure business or government websites without ads. In Safari 6 or later, you'll see a lock icon in the address bar with the abbreviation "https" when visiting a secure site.

    Follow these guidelines, and you’ll be as safe from malware as you can reasonably be.

    6. Never install any commercial "anti-virus" or "Internet security" products for the Mac, as they all do more harm than good, if they do any good at all. If you need to be able to detect Windows malware in your files, use the free software ClamXav — nothing else.
    Why shouldn't you use commercial "anti-virus" products?
    • Their design is predicated on the nonexistent threat that malware may be injected at any time, anywhere in the file system. Malware is downloaded from the network; it doesn't materialize from nowhere.
    • In order to meet that nonexistent threat, the software modifies or duplicates low-level functions of the operating system, which is a waste of resources and a common cause of instability, bugs, and poor performance.
    • By modifying the operating system, the software itself may create weaknesses that could be exploited by malware attackers.
    7. ClamXav doesn't have these drawbacks. That doesn't mean it's entirely safe. It may report email messages that have "phishing" links in the body, or Windows malware in attachments, as infected files, and offer to delete or move them. Doing so will corrupt the Mail database. The messages should be deleted from within the Mail application.
    ClamXav is not needed, and should not be relied upon, for protection against OS X malware. It's useful only for detecting Windows malware. Windows malware can't harm you directly (unless, of course, you use Windows.) Just don't pass it on to anyone else.
    A Windows malware attachment in email is usually easy to recognize. The file name will often be targeted at people who aren't very bright; for example:
    ClamXav may be able to tell you which particular virus or trojan it is, but do you care? In practice, there's seldom a reason to use ClamXav unless a network administrator requires you to run an anti-virus application.
    8. The greatest harm done by anti-virus software, in my opinion, is in its effect on human behavior. It does little or nothing to protect people from emerging threats, but they get a false sense of security from it, and then they may behave in ways that expose them to higher risk. Nothing can lessen the need for safe computing practices.
    9. It seems to be a common belief that the built-in Application Firewall acts as a barrier to infection, or prevents malware from functioning. It does neither. It blocks inbound connections to certain network services you're running, such as file sharing. It's disabled by default and you should leave it that way if you're behind a router on a private home or office network. Activate it only when you're on an untrusted network, for instance a public Wi-Fi hotspot, where you don't want to provide services. Disable any services you don't use in the Sharing preference pane. All are disabled by default.

  • 10. Re: Intego Internet Security Barrier X6 and OS X's firewall
    thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (27,925 points)

    So the build in firewall is good enough (or better than third party products)?


    Certainly. Your Mac actually has not one but two firewalls built-in, and if one doesn't suit you you can learn to use the other. Of course, firewalls on a Mac are rather unimportant anyway. See Do I need a firewall?.


    What about virus protection programs?


    Also unnecessary at this time. There is malware out there for Macs, but if you keep your system and all third-party software updated and keep Java disabled in your web browser, you're completely safe from all of it right now. Of course, there can still be reasons why you might want to run anti-virus software. For more information, including recommendations if you choose to use anti-virus software, see my Mac Malware Guide.

  • 11. Re: Intego Internet Security Barrier X6 and OS X's firewall
    MacMagnus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks all!


    It seems that I'm pretty protected after all, then.