4 Replies Latest reply: Feb 16, 2008 5:07 PM by krwest
krwest Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
New to the world of Mac. Just purchased MacBook Pro notebook. Will be using for basic personal use (internet browsing, sending and receiving e-mails, MySpace activity, and using Final Cut Express for creating videos). Do I need to purchase and install third party antivirus and firewall software? I see some information in the discussion forum that this is not really necessary with Mac/Leopard OS X.

Also tried to search Apple site to see if Apple "recommended" certain antivirus software, but could not find anything specific in that regard.

If antivirus software is recommended for use, would like to hear what other users recommend for purchase. Thanks

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • 1. Re: Do I need antivirus and firewall software for my MacBook Pro?
    nerowolfe Level 6 Level 6 (13,070 points)
    krwest wrote:
    New to the world of Mac. Just purchased MacBook Pro notebook. Will be using for basic personal use (internet browsing, sending and receiving e-mails, MySpace activity, and using Final Cut Express for creating videos). Do I need to purchase and install third party antivirus and firewall software? I see some information in the discussion forum that this is not really necessary with Mac/Leopard OS X.

    Also tried to search Apple site to see if Apple "recommended" certain antivirus software, but could not find anything specific in that regard.

    If antivirus software is recommended for use, would like to hear what other users recommend for purchase. Thanks


    Hi and welcome to the Apple boards.
    You really don't need any AV software - at least yet. Most users have none and have no problem with viruses.
    Leopard has a firewall built into it which is reasonably effective. There are also online tools for tinkering with it if you are interested. One such freebie is called Wateroof. You can google for it.
  • 2. Re: Do I need antivirus and firewall software for my MacBook Pro?
    Espen S. Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    Krwest

    Welcome to the world of Mac - I hope you will like it here

    I came from the Windows world some years ago and have never regretted the switch - on the contrary. I love the ease of use, stability and security of OS X.

    There are a lot of opinions regarding whether you should use antivirus and/or third party firewall on a Mac.
    I was used to having all the security I could, so to speak, on my Windows machines, and with good reason - my antivirus program stopped "nasties" on more than one occasion.
    With OS X I have never quite felt the need to install antivirus. One reason for this is that there are very few, if any, viruses or other "nasties" in the wild for OS X. Another is that OS X works differently from Windows and is less vulnerable (but not invulnerable!).
    Regarding firewall, I have found OS X own firewall to be sufficient since I also have a router with built in firewall on my network.

    That said, there are those who suggest that we should install an antivirus program if most of those we communicate with run Windows. This is in order to avoid unintentionally spreading viruses to them, viruses that may not affect us but might affect a Windows machine.
    In addition, OS X in not invulnerable, and there are those who think Apple might be more open to peoples interest in writing "nasties" for OS X if the market shares increase enough. Then again - it is all speculation and no one knows what the future brings.

    I am very security conscious, but would tend to agree with those who suggest that a third party firewall and an antivirus program is not strictly necessary.

    Should you still want to have added security, I would suggest antivirus and stick to OS X own firewall.
    Two excellent antivirus programs for OS X are ClamAVX (free) and Intego VirusBarrier X5 (pay) (Intego also has firewall and anti-spam solutions). They put little strain on the computer and are considered among the best.

    http://www.clamxav.com/
    http://www.intego.com/

    All the best,
    Espen
  • 3. Re: Do I need antivirus and firewall software for my MacBook Pro?
    krwest Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you for taking the time to reply to my question. It is certainly a surprise to me to learn that with OS X, antivirus software, etc. is not necessary. I have not heard this attribute being advertised or promoted by Mac - seems like it is a real plus over Windows software. Thanks again.
  • 4. Re: Do I need antivirus and firewall software for my MacBook Pro?
    krwest Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you VERY much for your detailed response to my question - the information you provided will be very useful to me. I really appreciated your recognizing and addressing the AV software concerns as they relate to the Windows world, being a previous Windows user AND your recognizing the concerns one may have as to interactions with other Windows users as well. Will probably try the ClamAVX download as you suggested. It just seems strange that I have never heard Mac advertising or promoting the fact that OS X has its own firewall and that its operating system offers more stability and security and has the added benefit of not needing AV software protection. In addition, the sales people I talked to certainly did not provide any information to me about these benefits of the OS X software.

    I definitely will need to take some of the free classes my Apple retailer offers and get a book or two to read (probably one of the Mac for Dummies books would be appropriate).

    I used to have a Mac G4, but I only used it for doing video editing and production with Final Cut Pro software on it. I used a PC with Windows for all my internet and word processing work, so I never had to learn much about the Mac operating systems.

    Anyway, thanks again for your help, I believe I will enjoy the world of Mac. I see you are from Norway, that is exciting - it must be a very beautiful and interesting place to live.