avast! Free AntiVirus for Mac OS X released

Seeing a potentially growing market for security products for the Mac operating system, Avast has decided to released a free version of antivirus for Mac.

In view of its growing popularity, Mac has been in the news recently for the growing number of scareware and malware attacks that its users have faced. Sophos already provides a free antivirus for Mac, and it is now theĀ  turn of avast! to do so. The release of this free version appears to have been therefore well-timed.

The current popularity of Apple products also makes them more interesting for the bad guys so we thought it would be good to prepare for the battle sooner rather than later. We’re kicking off with three shields and an on-demand scan. The Web Shield together with the Mail Shield will check the vast majority of incoming data from the Internet. avast! Free Antivirus for Mac is also equipped with a File Shield, which scans all programs stored and executed from your hard drive. Everything is packed in a brand new GUI and is now available as a public beta.


  • Mail Shield: The Mail Shield monitors and filters all POP3 and IMAP traffic coming from mail servers on the internet. It does not prevent saving of infected files (doing so could lead to irreversible data loss), it just detects them. The File Shield prevents any infected attachments from causing harm to your system.
  • On-demand scanning: It’s possible to scan the whole file system, network volumes or a mounted removable volume. You can also run a custom scan. Scan reports are automatically archived and are accessible from the GUI at anytime.
  • File Shield: The File Shield scans the binaries of started applications and all files at the time they are modified.
  • Web Shield: The Web Shield monitors and filters all HTTP traffic coming from web sites on the Internet. Connections from your web browser are redirected to the Web Shield module. The Web Shield in turn connects to the requested web server and while downloading the content, it simultaneously scans it for viruses and Trojans. Only clean data is delivered to the browser, all malware is stopped before it gets saved on your Mac.
  • Automatic updates: The scanning engine is automatically updated with our regular VPS database updates.
  • On-screen alerts: Alert messages are displayed on-screen whenever a threat is detected.

Its uninstall does not happen very smoothly it seems, so do read this forum thread for further details, before you decide to download avast! Free AntiVirus for Mac.

Also check out Avira Free antivirus for Mac and Sophos free antivirus for Mac.