Free Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac: 'Frankly there's no reason not to try it'

Filed Under: Apple, Malware

Do you have a Mac at home? Do you run anti-virus on it?

Although there is much less malware in existence for Mac OS X than there is for Windows, that's no reason to put your head in the sand and think that there are no Mac threats out there.

Especially when you remember that there are free anti-virus products available for Mac home users to download. :)

Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition

But you shouldn't just take our word for it.

Macworld's Editor's ChoiceMacworld UK has published a review of Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition.

We know that some Mac users are nervous that an anti-virus might bog down their computer and make it sluggish. Well, Macworld's views on that issue might be of interest to the skeptics:

"Frankly, there's no reason not to try it as it provides precisely the protection a home user needs without the added bells and whistles that often serve to slow down your system. It's simple to install and use and needs just a few megabytes of disk space. Running quietly in the background, it's hard to tell that the software is active at all, aside from a small icon in your menu bar."

The Macworld review awarded Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition its highest accolade of "Editor's Choice" and concluded:

"Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition is full-featured, flexible and completely free. That's hard to beat."

MacFormat issue 231In more good news, Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition has also been named one of the best 30 free Mac programs to download, according to the latest issue of MacFormat magazine:

"The unobtrusive software works quietly in the background using very little memory protecting you from viruses, Trojans and worms. There are none of the annoying popups we've come to accept from security software and you can customise how and when the app scans your system for maximum subtlety."

When you consider the number of great free Mac apps out there - and the skepticism amongst some Mac users regarding the malware threat on their platform - it's a fantastic accolade to be listed in the top 30 programs!

GizmodoFinally, just earlier today, Gizmodo Australia published a short piece about Sophos's free anti-virus product for Mac users:

"On the upside, Sophos has released a free Mac antivirus program that's both unobtrusive and not much of a resource hog either. Given that it's free, it sure as hell couldn't hurt to use it.."

It sure wouldn't.

So, come on Mac home users - you have beautiful computers, don't you want to keep them in top condition? We're offering you a free anti-virus for your Macs - what have you got to lose? :)

DownloadFree Anti-Virus for Mac
Download Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition

If you're still unconvinced, check out this short history of Mac malware, ranging from 1982 to the present day.

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15 Responses to Free Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac: 'Frankly there's no reason not to try it'

  1. It's true: I hardly notice it, unless it's updating. Or detecting a virus (I keep some .exe's around just for fun, in my public folder :) )

  2. Matt · 1639 days ago

    It's brilliant, unless you're running FIleVault, in which case it's likely to prevent you from logging-in:

  3. s31064 · 1529 days ago

    Forget those Mac elitists! What about a free version for the real world (Windows users)!

  4. Gator Bob · 1500 days ago

    Does Sophos work OK with Lion? The current 2011 Norton AV for Mac will NOT work with Lion.

  5. keith thompson · 1499 days ago

    does the software work with the snow leopard os?

  6. Free The Go · 1462 days ago

    When will the free version for Windows be released?

  7. steve · 1383 days ago

    will this detect exe viruses and protect possibly my parallels emulations as well?

  8. brandon · 1302 days ago

    this sophos runs in the background and clocks my cpu to 100%. which is destroying my computer. your software is either malfunctioning or someone is circulating malware with your name on it. im not the only one whos experienced this.

  9. Helena · 1238 days ago

    Quick question, must the application be on (in the dock) for it to be working or is it always running in the background? I have the live protection turned on as well. But when I close out the application I am left wondering if the AV is still working.


    • It's always running in the backgroundp. You should see the shield with the "S" in the menu bar at the top of your screen. You don't need to have it running in the dock.

  10. gmd · 972 days ago

    If you upgrade to Lion (10.8.2) uninstall sophos anti virus! I suffered the spinning ball of death whenever I was trying to start applications (average start time increased to 50 seconds) after upgrading to Lion. After rebuilding the software (nuke & pave) and reinstalling the OS I still had the problem until I uninstalled sophos anti virus. So unless you want your computer running as slowly as a micros*t machine uninstall this useless product!

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley