Norton AntiVirus for Mac? If you slum it with Windows, yeah; if you’re all-Mac, don’t bother

“If you use any version of Windows, an antivirus program is an absolute necessity to protect your computer. If you use a Macintosh, an antivirus program is an option. Although a handful of Macintosh viruses exist, the main purpose of any Macintosh antivirus program is to screen out Windows-specific viruses that you may accidentally pass on to Windows users. If you never share files with Windows users, you probably don’t need an antivirus program. If you regularly share files with Windows users, you may need an antivirus program like Norton AntiVirus for Mac,” MacNN reports.

“For $49.95, Norton AntiVirus works as advertised. The only trouble is justifying its cost to protect you against nearly non-existent threats. If you share files with Windows users, or regularly run Windows inside a virtual machine using Parallels or VMWare Fusion, the program can keep you from spreading malicious programs through any files you spread to others,” MacNN reports.

“If you’re strictly a Mac user who never shares files with Windows users, any antivirus program is basically unnecessary (for now). No matter how well-designed any Mac antivirus program may be, ultimately it’s more about guarding against Windows threats than anything specific. Norton AntiVirus for Mac may be good insurance, but for most people, it’s the type of insurance they won’t really need,” MacNN reports.

Full “first look” review along with screenshots here.

MacDailyNews Take: Good advice as usual from MacNN, but before you part with your $50, keep in mind Symantec’s mixed record when it comes to Macs, including a history of crying wolf about Mac OS X and viruses.


  1. I moved from a big US city to a small town in Ireland. It shocked me at first that the the locals didn’t lock their doors or barricade their windows, and they thought the notion of arming yourself was weird. But I’ve become used to it now. You see, if you live in a safe, civilized neighborhood, you don’t have to behave the same way as you do if you live in a crack quarter.

    My old friends think I’m nuts for living this way.

    I’m just sayin’

  2. I see no point in having stuff slowing down my computer, even supposedly to protect windows users. If they have virus protection they won’t get infected by what I pass on, and if they don’t, they’ll get infected anyway, if not by me, by someone else.

  3. I bought Norton 360 for a couple PC’s we still use. They are a few years old but still do the limited tasks they we have them for. I put Norton 360 on them and they became virtually unusable. I shut it off on one of them and had to completely remove it on the other as it was completely unresponsive.

    In Norton’s case the cure is worse than the disease.

  4. OK… Let me put in a plug here for
    VirusBarrier….it works (though it can be a bit annoying)…
    and gets rid of Word macro viruses which can and DO afflict Word on the Mac. It costs more but you are supporting a smaller company and not Symantec. If and when a viral threat for the Mac does arise…you’ll be much happier you either already have it (they update frequently) or that you at least have an alternative.

  5. I have to use a PC too, and we dumped Norton on the PC side. It was a complete memory hog and slowed down our PCs dramatically. (Best of luck uninstalling Norton if you have a PC – the removal steps are excrutiating, and doing so took me almost two hours. Go figure.) For our PCs, we installed NOD32 by ESET. Once we did, our PCs ran significantly faster. Plus, NOD32 is much less intrusive. Frankly, I would not recommend Norton for either PCs or Macs – there are much better alternatives out there.

    Personally, I am working on what I will call the Kramden Utilities just to keep Norton in line…

  6. I would never let Norton AntiVirus anywhere near any computer of mine. Not only is its main function largely irrelevant on the Mac, but Norton products specifically have a long-standing reputation for not always playing nice with Macs. Think: Nuked hard drives!

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.