Since 1997, Intego has been one of the best antivirus software for macOS. While most antivirus providers focus on the Windows operating system, Intego Antivirus was designed primarily for Apple’s desktop operating system. However, support for Windows devices recently followed in 2021, in the form of Intego Antivirus for Windows.
But just how good is Intego Antivirus? In this article, we’ll answer these questions, and we’ll also take an in-depth look at Intego’s features, benefits, drawbacks, and more across both Mac and Windows devices. We tested it on a MacBook Air, and here are the scores for our Intego Antivirus review:
Intego Antivirus Short Review
|Comes with a built-in firewall for Mac||Doesn’t offer secure browsing protection|
|Real-time virus scanning||Features are split into different apps|
|Capable of detecting Windows and Linux malware||VPN subscription sold separately|
|Offers a free 7-day trial period|
There’s a reason that Intego Antivirus has been around for more than two decades. With an extensive and well-developed range of features and tools, plus performance that isn’t CPU-heavy, your device will be well-protected.
If you’ve been on the fence wondering if you need an antivirus for Mac — the answer is yes, by the way — Intego Antivirus is relatively affordable and one of the best antivirus solutions for macOS users.
However, Windows enthusiasts may want to hold off a while longer and instead look for the best antivirus software for Windows PCs. As Intego Antivirus for Windows is still relatively new to the scene, this package is a little lighter on features compared to its Mac counterparts.
Visit Intego with the button below for a closer look at this popular antivirus for Mac. Alternatively, keep reading for a deep dive into Intego’s features and how they measure up.
Intego Antivirus Specifications and Subscriptions
Intego’s “Best Seller” and frequently touted package is the Mac Premium Bundle X9 subscription. As you’ll see from the table below, this does appear to offer the most feature-rich experience.
When it came to writing our Intego Antivirus review, we opted for this bundle so that we could give every feature and application a test drive. You’ll find a comparison of Intego’s packages below.
|Feature||Mac Internet Security X9||Mac Premium Bundle X9||ContentBarrier Secure X9||Mac Washing Machine Secure X9||Intego Antivirus for Windows|
|Pricing||From $39.99 (first year)||From $69.99 (first year)||From $59.99 (first year)||From $55.99 (first year)||From $29.99 (first year)|
|Smart & Fast VPN*||✖||✖||✖||✖||✖|
|Adult Content Blocker||✖||✔||✔||✖||✖|
|Browser History Logs||✖||✔||✔||✖||✖|
|Download Link||Get Mac Internet Securty X9||Get Mac Premium Bundle X9||Get ContentBarrier Secure X9||Get Mac Washing Machine Secure X9||Get Antivirus for Windows|
* Sold separately
Security: Can Intego Antivirus Be Trusted?
With any antivirus, it’s important to assess the level of security offered and whether there are any red flags. In the case of Intego, we’re impressed by the level of protection offered and the lack of any glaring security flaws:
- Intego Antivirus’ malware scanner, VirusBarrier, is easy to use and offers both on-demand and scheduled virus scans. It’s not resource-intensive, so it won’t slow down your device, and it’s very much capable of detecting malware, spyware, adware, and other malicious tools on your system.
- Intego Antivirus doesn’t offer much in the way of secure browsing protection. The Safe Browsing feature only checks to ensure that your browsers are using their anti-phishing features. This works with most popular browsers, but you should know that it doesn’t support Microsoft Edge.
- To date, we were unable to uncover any security breaches relating to Intego Antivirus. Such security incidents are typically reported widely across the internet, so this is a good sign.
Security testing: How does Intego Antivirus measure up?
Intego’s malware scanner is known as VirusBarrier, and it’s easy to get along with. The user interface has been optimized well. Through this control panel, you’ve got access to an ad-hoc antivirus scanner, scheduled virus scans, targeted malware removal, and real-time antivirus controls.
In June 2021, A-V Test gave Intego a perfect score for “Protection,” “Performance,” and “Usability.” In fact, in the preceding five years, that score hasn’t changed very much at all. Scoring 6 points across the board, this puts it on par with other well-known providers. But how does that translate to protection for your device? Let’s take a look at some of Intego’s antivirus features in more detail.
Real-time threat protection
VirusBarrier offers both ad-hoc virus scanning and scheduled scans. When you initiate a scan yourself, you can choose to run a “Quick Scan” or “Full Scan,” with the latter supposedly being best-suited to periods of low device activity. That said, Intego doesn’t place any real strain on your computer, as our scan results will attest further down in this article.
Once you’ve initiated your first scan, you’ll likely notice things speed up next time around. Once a file has been scanned, deemed safe, and cached, the Intego Antivirus will pass over it in subsequent scans. However, if you find yourself strapped for time, there’s good news: you can schedule scans with Intego Antivirus.
If you’d rather hand the reins over to Intego and forget about running malware scans yourself, you can use the Scheduled Scans feature. The main user interface for this tool is relatively bare-bones, but you can opt to schedule scans on a daily or weekly basis, at a specified time of day.
However, click on Advanced, and you can choose to target specific folders. You can even scan individual files by selecting “Other.”
Scan iOS devices and external media
VirusBarrier will also let you run virus scans on any connected iOS devices or external media. This includes USB drives and external hard drives. Once you’ve connected them to your device, you can schedule a scan against that particular device.
Simply open the Scheduled Scans feature, then locate the device in the menu as shown in the above image.
While there’s a Safe Browsing option built into the VirusBarrier user interface, it’s more for informational purposes. You can click on “Check Now” to make sure that the internet browser software installed on your computer is being monitored.
As long as you see the green tick beside the browser, that means that VirusBarrier’s Safe Browsing mode is enabled for that browser. At present, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox are supported, but Edge is not.
That said, don’t be fooled by the green tick, as there’s a reason this interface contains very little information. Essentially, all VirusBarrier will do is make sure that your browsers are using their built-in anti-phishing tools.
In the user documentation, Intego states: “Proper browser settings can help prevent you from visiting fraudulent websites. VirusBarrier X9 can detect if your web browsers are running with Safe Browsing enabled and warn you if this feature is disabled.”
Safe Browsing mode doesn’t do anything else, which makes it feel like a somewhat unfinished feature. Compare this to, for example, Airo AV, another popular Mac antivirus that will block you from fraudulent or malicious websites. There’s always a possibility that the company may flesh this feature out in the future, but it has been around for some time already, so we wouldn’t hold our breath.
Quarantine and Trusted Files
Along the top of the user interface, you’ll find two tabs named Quarantine and Trusted Files. Quarantine is fairly self-explanatory; this is where potentially harmful files, such as those containing computer viruses, will be locked down and prevented from running on your device or from accessing the internet.
Intego will attempt to repair any files deemed harmful, but it can’t always do this successfully. If not, the file will be put into lockdown until you review it, at which point, you have the option to delete it entirely. Under Trusted Files, you can specify files that you’d prefer to exclude from future virus scans.
Intego NetBarrier X9
Accessed separately to VirusBarrier, Intego’s NetBarrier X9 is the built-in Intego firewall that’ll safeguard your network and connected devices from malware and other online threats. You can use this dashboard to allow or deny software applications from accessing the internet so that you have greater control over your network.
There’s also a feature that will help to keep you safe when using unsecured public Wi-Fi networks.
Intego ContentBarrier X9
Good news for parents: ContentBarrier gives you control over the online features and content accessible by youngsters. This parental control dashboard provides access to tools that can restrict web content and capture logs of messages.
There’s even a built-in keylogger if you want to know exactly what they’re up to on the internet. Included in the software is AI (artificial intelligence) that’ll skim your kids’ chat history to look for any instances of cyberbullying.
Intego Washing Machine X9
The Intego Washing Machine X9 feature is a Mac cleanup tool that can optimize your device’s performance by clearing out clutter. It’s not common to see this feature bundled in with antivirus software, but it’s a nifty tool that could speed up your CPU’s performance and better organize your files.
Privacy: How Does Intego Antivirus Manage Your Data?
Intego’s privacy left us feeling impressed overall. It’s not uncommon for even the biggest antivirus providers to have had a data breach in years gone by. However, Intego has been running for over two decades, and we’ve not caught wind of any security breaches. What’s more:
- Intego offers a VPN (Virtual Private Network) known as Privacy Protection. However, it’s an additional purchase rather than being included with the antivirus software. With this VPN, you’ll have greater anonymity and privacy online.
Below, you’ll find more information on Intego’s VPN, and we recommend giving it a quick read, particularly as this feature doesn’t come as standard.
Privacy Protection (VPN)
Intego Antivirus offers a VPN, aptly named Privacy Protection. Like any VPN, connecting to the internet with Privacy Protection affords you a greater degree of privacy and anonymity online. The bad news? Privacy Protection isn’t included in any of Intego’s packages, so you’ll have to subscribe to the service separately.
However, there’s also some good news. Privacy Protection isn’t some low-quality VPN that’s been tacked on as an added extra. The service is heavily influenced by and uses the same VPN servers as Private Internet Access (PIA), which is one of the best VPNs on the market.
This means you’ll benefit from many of the same features that PIA offers, including zero logging, VPN servers in more than 75 countries, and 256-bit AES encryption. You can check out our Private Internet Access review for more information on those.
While you’re able to opt-out of data collection for marketing purposes, you should bear in mind that your IP address and activity on Intego’s website will also be logged. You can, at least, hide your IP address with a VPN.
In terms of data sharing, Intego shares data with third parties only when necessary. For example, this includes sharing your payment information with payment processors so that your subscription can be charged. This is fairly standard stuff, and you’ll typically find the same to be true with other antivirus software.
The good news is that as yet, there have been no recorded privacy scandals around Intego and its services, at least, none that we could dig up after extensive research. This could be down to the fact that Macs are seen as highly secure and not susceptible to the same kind of malware as other operating systems.
Usability: How User-Friendly Is Intego Antivirus?
Intego Antivirus has an excellent UI, with the interface being simple to navigate. We were able to find our way around without much difficulty, particularly when wanting to run a malware scan or schedule a future scan.
- Overall, the user interface for Intego Antivirus is aesthetically pleasing, and each of the applications feels at home on a Mac or PC.
- We’d prefer to have everything in one place. Each of the Intego apps has to be accessed separately from an applications folder.
- Design is consistent across each of the applications, at least, and Intego’s VPN is themed on Private Internet Access software.
How do I install Intego Antivirus?
We set up Intego Antivirus on a Mac, and this process is just slightly more involved compared to the setup on Windows PCs. You’ll have to be sure to restart your system before you can start using great features like the VirusBarrier anti-malware scanner. Here’s a quick rundown of how to install Intego Antivirus on a Mac:
- First off, download Intego from the official website. While the software’s available on other software repositories, we recommend visiting the official website to ensure you download a safe, clean file that won’t contain malware.
- Choose the package you’re interested in — we used Mac Premium Bundle X9 — and click to purchase the software. The links in this article will snag you 50% off, though an Intego free trial is available.
- Follow the steps on-screen to review your purchase and check out with your payment information.
- Now, download the Intego software as instructed on-screen.
- Once your download is complete, you’ll find the installation file in your Downloads folder. You’ll need to run this file to install Intego onto your device.
- Now, the software should prompt you to restart your Mac to finish the installation. Until then, you won’t be able to use it.
- First-time setup on your device will vary based on your operating system. For example, on a Mac, you’ll have to allow specific applications through NetBarrier’s defenses to verify them as safe. Be sure to click “Yes” if you recognize the software or application and want to be able to use its online features.
- Now, you’re ready to use Intego. Bear in mind that when you’re using Intego on Mac, one of the drawbacks we’ve noted is that each central feature is a separate application. They’re all stored within a folder called “Intego” on Mac, which you can find by going to Finder > Applications.
Once you’ve installed Intego’s software, you’ll need to know where to find it. If you’re a Mac user, you’ll find all of their applications stored within a specific folder under Applications in the Finder app.
How easy is it to cancel Intego Antivirus?
Fortunately, if you’re not getting along with Intego Antivirus, it isn’t difficult to close off your subscription. Simply follow the steps below:
- First, open Intego’s Renewal page on their website (you’ll need your software’s serial number).
- In the box below “Renew Your Intego Software“, input your serial number and click Renew.
- Your subscription should be set to auto-renew by default. In this case, you’ll see a red error message with a blue link: click here. Click on this link to be sent an email containing a cancellation link.
- Simply click on the cancellation link in your email to close your subscription. You’ll still have access until your current, paid month expires.
Intego’s customer support
Intego’s customer support didn’t leave us feeling short-changed. You can get in touch with support through live chat, or you can submit a support request through Intego’s website for an email response.
There’s also an option to ask the community a question, and you’ll find comprehensive FAQs on the Intego website. Additionally, some users can get support over the phone, though you’ll have to live in the US, Australia, Europe, Africa, or Japan.
We reached out to Intego using the live chat feature on their website, just to get a feel for the process. After asking a question about Safe Browsing, we were immediately positioned first in the queue, and we received a response within a minute.
So, it seems as if Intego’s customer support team is likely to be fairly quick in offering help. It’s also worth noting that you can get support in English, French, or Japanese!
Speed and Performance: Will Intego Antivirus Slow Down My System?
While some antivirus software is unwieldy and can slow down your device, we didn’t find this to be the case with Intego. Whether you’re running a Quick Scan or Full Scan, we’ve found the software to be fairly lax on your computer’s resources:
- We tested both the Quick Scan and Full Scan features. Our Quick Scan analyzed more than 300,000 files in less than thirty seconds. However, the Full Scan took a little over one hour to sift through just under 2 million files (we should really clean up our Mac).
- As we’ll detail further down in the article, the Quick Scan was more system-intensive than the Full Scan, though neither slowed down our Mac to any great degree.
Below, we’re going to summarize how we came to the conclusion that Intego Antivirus won’t slow down your system. It’s a lightweight, powerful antivirus that’s perfect for protecting your Mac.
How long does a scan take?
So, we’ve mentioned that you have two options when it comes to running a virus scan on your Mac. Whether you’re running an ad-hoc scan or scheduling one for later, you can choose from Quick Scan and Full Scan.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the time each scan will take can vary widely depending on a number of factors. For example:
- Your device’s hard drive, CPU performance, and RAM (computer memory)
- The number of files stored on your computer
- The type of files being scanned
- Any custom settings and preferences you’ve set up in VirusBarrier
Here’s a little more information on that last point. In VirusBarrier’s settings, you’ve got a number of options that you can configure, including Low Priority, Archived Files, Selective Scans, and Windows Malware. Depending on your setup, these options can have a measurable impact on your scan speed.
Any antivirus software will use some of your device’s resources, which can inevitably slow down your computer. While Intego has a minimal impact on system performance, if you’re encountering problems, you can enable Low Priority mode.
With this setting enabled, the software will minimize its use of system resources to prevent the slowing of other apps and activities.
In most cases, most antivirus software won’t scan archived files. However, Intego’s set up to do this by default. By disabling this setting, you can speed up your scan by reducing the number of targeted files.
This one is available on Mac, despite the fact that Windows-specific malware can’t hurt you when you’re running with macOS. However, you could still be harboring nasty, malicious files that are detrimental to Windows computers.
You could even send them to your friends and family, or share them via torrent websites without realizing it! But if you’re not in the habit of file sharing, disabling this option could speed up your scans.
One of the great things about Intego is its ability to scan external iOS devices and hard drives. Of course, this will increase the amount of time that a scan takes. If you’re in the habit of leaving other devices connected, but you don’t want to slow things down, you can selectively scan each device in isolation.
To do so, simply click on the menu beside the drive on your VirusBarrier’s main control panel, then select Scan. Bear in mind that this menu will only be visible if you have external devices hooked up.
How does Intego Antivirus impact my CPU?
If you’re worried about an antivirus slowing down your computer, we’ve got good news for you. Through testing, we didn’t see any significant impact on our device’s performance when using Intego.
We tested this software on a Mac, so your results may vary on a Windows PC or on Macs with different specifications. For reference, this review was written using a MacBook Air (13-inch, 2017) with a 1.8 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 processor, and 8 GB 1600 Mhz DDR3 onboard RAM (computer memory).
First, we looked at VirusBarrier’s use of CPU as a percentage when idle; this varied between around 0.3-0.8% of total CPU power.
Next, we looked at the CPU usage again while VirusBarrier was doing its thing, both for the Full Scan and Quick Scan features:
- When running a Quick Scan, CPU usage rose as high as 8.8%, though it typically hovered at around 3.3-5.3%.
- When running a Full Scan, CPU usage rose to a maximum of around 5.8%, though it typically hovered at around 2.7-3%.
These results are interesting, as it suggests that the Quick Scan, however short-lived, is a little tougher on your system resources.
That said, we’re sure you’ll agree that this antivirus software should go unnoticed in the background, even when running a scan. However, it’s still better than other antivirus providers, like Surfshark One.
Final Verdict: Is Intego Antivirus a Good Virus Scanner?
After spending some time with Intego, we can conclude that it’s a robust antivirus with minimal privacy concerns. And while the features feel a bit all over the place, what with their separate apps, it’s a reliable cybersecurity tool that can help to protect your device.
That said, this is our general feeling toward the Mac version. If you’re a Windows user, we recommend looking elsewhere, to providers such as Avira, Bitdefender, and AVG. That’s not to say that Intego is a poor choice for antivirus on Windows PCs; it’s just too new to the scene to compete with the big players in the Windows antivirus world.
If you want quick answers to some of the most pressing questions about Intego, check out our FAQ section below.
From thorough testing, we can conclude that Intego is a good antivirus. Whether you’re running a Quick Scan or Full Scan, our testing has revealed good results that won’t impact your system performance.
There’s also a built-in firewall and VPN, though the latter needs a separate subscription. Our full Intego review has more information.
Intego does not slow down your Mac at all. During our time testing Intego, we found that CPU usage rarely rose above 5%. You’ll find more information on VirusBarrier’s scans and their performance in our full Intego review.
Yes, you do need an antivirus for Mac. Mac devices are susceptible to all kinds of viruses now, including malicious files like ransomware. You might want to consider installing a reputable antivirus program like Intego Antivirus for Mac to protect your device.
In our Intego Antivirus review, we tested the Mac Premium Bundle X9, which comes in at $69.99 annually and includes all features.
However, you can also pay around $39.99 annually for the VirusBarrier antivirus and a built-in firewall. The Windows version costs around $29.99 annually, though it’s lighter on features and relatively new.
Disabling the Intego antivirus software is very easy. You’ll just need to open the main dashboard of the software and then choose the functionalities you want to disable: real-time protection, web shield, or the prevention engine.
However, we don’t recommend you disable Intego’s functionalities if you’re using it. It leaves your computer more vulnerable.