Just because you have a Mac doesn’t mean you should dismiss anti-virus software.

It’s only a matter of time before the popularity of the mac platform means it gains more attention from the Virus writing community (aka scumbags). However, Apple computers are not immune to viruses. They are technically possible, just very rare due to the smaller user base and also due to the limitations of virus creation software (which is usually windows based). Even Apple themselves recommend running ‘several’ anti-virus programs just in case. A sort of “belts and braces” approach.

With that in mind, let’s look at one of the major leaders in Mac anti-virus market, VirusBarrier X6.

Features

  • Two-way firewall: VirusBarrier X6 now includes a powerful two-way firewall, extending the program’s protection beyond detecting and eradicating malware. This firewall offers preset configurations, for most users, and customizable, rule-based settings for advanced users, to protect Macs from dangerous network traffic.
  • Antivandal and web threat protection: VirusBarrier X6 protects users from intrusions, attacks and booby-trapped web pages. A full range of features is included to protect against the many new types of threats facing Internet users.
  • Dynamic Code Monitoring: Intego’s new technology detects suspicious actions carried out by applications that may be malicious, and detects malware by examining its code as it acts in real time.
  • Phishing protection: Mac users are protected from phishing web sites that try to trick them into entering personal information, such as a credit card number or a password, on a site that looks exactly like a valid web site.
  • New types of malware detected: VirusBarrier X6 detects a wide range of new types of malware, such as scareware (software that tries to trick users into thinking their Mac is infected, in order to get them to pay for software), spyware (including commercial software used as keyloggers or monitoring tools), hacking tools, dialers (software that initiates phone calls to premium-rate phone numbers), proof-of-concept malware (software designed to show how to exploit a vulnerability, which is not circulating “in the wild”), and more.
  • Fine-tuned scanning and security policies: choose from a number of detailed options to determine exactly what is scanned and when, and the type of threats that VirusBarrier X6 scans for. There are also basic settings for users who don’t need such detailed options.
  • Performance control: users can choose a level of CPU time to be allocated to background scans, in order to optimize CPU and disk priorities for malware scans.
  • 64-bit software: all of Intego’s software is now provided with 64-bit code, fully compatible with Snow Leopard, and ready for the future.

As you can see, VirusBarrier is pretty feature rich for protecting you and your mac. VirusBarrier even scans files for accompanying windows viruses so you will not be passing these onto to vulnerable colleagues or pals.

Let’s give it a practical run through.

Install and Set-up

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The VirusBarrier start-up launcher.

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The install process on some virus programs is like having your teeth pulled out. Not so in VirusBarrier, VB will lead you through set-up, explaining what each feature does and spilling the beans on what could be thought of as serious jargon.

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Part way through the set-up assistant, which is painless and speedy.

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Do take the time to read these tips, because they help you fully understand the program and what it can offer for you.

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You can chose between 3 strength levels, Basic, Default and Strong that offer varying states of protection.

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Upon first boot-up, VB needs to update.

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And here we have the control center of VirusBarrier. This overview offers up a Quick Scan option, scan related information as well as round-ups of network traffic goings on.

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A scan in progress.

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The Quarantined file view

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VirusBarrier offers the ability to Schedule scans which is very handy

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Scan settings allow you to specify options and what VB considers a virus or should check.

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You can even set the system to scan across user accounts or onto iPod / iPhone devices.

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This traffic overview is very handy for monitoring your network traffic.

Conclusion

To conclude, VirusBarrier is a great program. It’s well priced, feature packed and very easy to use. Unlike every other anti-virus program I’ve used, VirusBarrier never gets into your way. It never compromises your user experience. It never slows down your Mac. This is a truly brilliant offering, and VB can be purchased from Intego on a subscription basis, the standard license (£47.78) will cover 2 macs as standard and lasts 12 months.