Shortly before the new year, Intego’s popular anti-virus offering for OS X received an update in the form of VirusBarrier X6, which builds on X5 with new features and a lower price point of £39.95 (ex. VAT) with a standard license that covers two Macs, not just one, so for instance you could protect your MacBook Pro and Mac Mini on one subscription.
If you’ve never heard of Intego’s anti-virus (after all, if Apple had their way, everyone would think that getting a virus on a Mac is impossible, although some people think Windows is Virus Proof too!) then you’ll also be interested to know that it can also detect Windows malware in addition to OS X, so if you have a boot camp partition setup, you needn’t worry about any viruses on Windows either!
I personally have never had an anti-virus on any Mac I’ve owned, so I was definitely curious to see if I had anything nasty hiding out on my hard drive that had escaped my attention – coming from years of Windows use before using OS X, it’s certainly a strange feeling not worrying about an anti-virus, but I definitely feel more secure knowing that I’m protected even though it didn’t find any malware when I left it scanning. The scan took around two hours to complete and was very thorough, which was re-assuring.
VirusBarrier X6 protects against all known Mac viruses, malware, has a two-way firewall and features web threat and phishing protection. If you’ve previously used Intego VirusBarrier, you may appreciate the new interface that comes with the new version, although there are some drawbacks including a new price model that Intego have introduced with X6.
When I first ran VirusBarrier, I noticed that there was a notice in the corner of the main window telling me that my subscription “ends in 12 months”, which was different from the notice in X5 which says “your filter subscription”. This got me curious, and I found out that after 12 months of buying the license, you then have to re-buy the program for another 12 months, or else you won’t be protected at all!
There are similar models in the Windows anti-malware market, but the majority of these programs at least maintain some form of protection after your subscription period expires. When you “buy” VirusBarrier X6, you will have no protection whatsoever if you don’t renew (isn’t this key to ‘owning’ something?) which is definitely a major stumbling block as far as I’m concerned, as I feel that if you spend £40 on a product, you expect for it to have some functionality once your subscription ends – I’d understand if you just stopped receiving updates after 12 months, as this is an ongoing cost for Intego, but I still feel that you should still be protected on some level, even if you aren’t safe from the latest threats…
Marketing and subscription model aside (as most people will simply re-new their subscriptions on an annual basis anyway), I must say that VirusBarrier X6 is still the best anti-virus option out there for OS X. The new user interface is incredibly simple and intuitive when navigating, even for first time users; definitely an improvement over the X5 interface, which took me much longer to get used to than X6.
If you’re looking for an anti-virus for OS X, you should definitely consider VirusBarrier X6, as there are threats out there, however small when compared to the number of viruses plaguing Windows machines. Intego VirusBarrier X6 is available for £47.78 incl. VAT from the Intego website or slightly cheaper from Amazon, remember the standard license can be used to protect two Macs.