Intego VirusBarrier Scanner review

Macworld

At a glance

Expert’s Rating

Pros

Robust virus and malware scanning and removalClean interface, easy to customize scanning, targets, and trusted filesSimple approach and an excellent free option to expensive software suites

Cons

Minor UI quirks, non-resizable windowsOne malware infection was missed during the scan

Our Verdict

The free version of Intego’s antiviral software is simple and effective and even comes with tech support.

You can’t knock a free thing, especially when it works well and meets almost all of your needs. 

This is the core philosophy of Intego’s VirusBarrier, the free version of its antiviral software, and arguably the teaser that segues over to its more robust subscription-based products. Here, the developers sought to perform a few tasks well and for the most part have achieved this, VirusBarrier being a far simpler version of the veritable Swiss army knife of security software suites that have emerged on the market in recent years. 

If you’re looking for something simple and effective, you’ll find it here. Just download VirusBarrier Scanner from the App Store, grant it full access to your hard drive, and you’re ready to go. A simple interface lets you easily customize which areas of your hard drive are scanned, external hard drives and volumes can be dragged onto the window to be scanned, and a daily scan feature allows you to leave your Mac running for it to be scanned throughout the day.

Take a look at our round-up of the Best Antivirus Software for Mac, for more options.

Foundry

Like several applications that have come on the market recently, a Trusted Files menu allows you to configure which files are trusted and thus excluded from being scanned and quarantined. Once a scan is underway, it can readily sort through the files on your hard drive, and in my case, I was able to plow through the more than six million files on my M2 MacBook Pro in under 15 minutes. 

If this level of simplicity sounds like an advertisement or teaser for a more robust commercial product, it is, as the app offers easy access to upgrade to the Mac Premium Bundle X9 which is billed annually for $39.99/£23.99 for the first year’s subscription to cover a single Mac. Prices then scale upwards to offer coverage for additional years for additional devices on the subscription contract, the Premium Bundle X9 offering additional features such as real-time, system-wide protection, parental controls, and privacy controls. 

Where tech support is concerned, a good chat-based assistant can be found at support.intego.com, the assistant endeavors to figure out your software version, platform, and the issue at hand, and present you with support articles. If this proves insufficient, the queue is full, or nobody is on hand at Intego to chat, it’s easy enough to leave a detailed support ticket as to the problem you’re encountering, which is appreciated. Still, this is free tech support for a free product, and after reviewing applications where tech support from the developer was entirely absent or demanded a paid subscription, the chatbot and support ticket system were signs that there was someone at the other end who might be able to help you resolve your tech issue. 

As for the VirusBarrier Scanner’s overall efficacy, it got just about everything I threw at it, and after I deliberately infected my M2 MacBook Pro with some of the worst viruses and malware for the Mac I could find from recent years, a full scan pinned down and easily quarantined 27 infected files while missing the DazzleSpy backdoor software, which I then removed with a free copy of Malwarebytes. While 27 out of 28 isn’t bad by anyone’s definition, DazzleSpy was detected in the wild years ago, and one wonders why Intego hasn’t addressed this. 

Foundry

There are always a few foibles to nitpick, and the lack of a feature that shows how much time has elapsed since a scan began, a maximize window button or a resizable window seems odd, especially when the rest of the user interface is fresh, clean, and easy to work with. Still, the app ran well, never crashed during testing, and it’s simple enough to start a full disk scan, minimize VirusBarrier Scanner, and work with other apps on your Mac. 

Yes, detecting, quarantining, and removing 28 out of 28 malware samples would have been ideal, and a few UI quirks raise one’s eyebrow and make one wonder if a quick fix is en route via a software update. Still, VirusBarrier Scanner offers an excellent, reliable scanner for free, making it an excellent option and a worthy candidate for your attention and consideration. 

Foundry

What’s present here follows the idea of how the software industry should work in that even with its free product, Intego as a company offers something worthwhile, and draws potential customers in to see what else their subscription-based packages could offer. This is a matter of being intrigued by something good as opposed to being semi-coerced into buying a full software suite to attain the functionality one would hope for in the first place, something that speaks to the developer’s credit and is hopefully replicated by its competitors. 

MacOS, Personal Software, Professional Software, Security Software and Services

​Macworld Macworld

At a glanceExpert’s Rating
ProsRobust virus and malware scanning and removalClean interface, easy to customize scanning, targets, and trusted filesSimple approach and an excellent free option to expensive software suitesConsMinor UI quirks, non-resizable windowsOne malware infection was missed during the scanOur VerdictThe free version of Intego’s antiviral software is simple and effective and even comes with tech support.

You can’t knock a free thing, especially when it works well and meets almost all of your needs. 

This is the core philosophy of Intego’s VirusBarrier, the free version of its antiviral software, and arguably the teaser that segues over to its more robust subscription-based products. Here, the developers sought to perform a few tasks well and for the most part have achieved this, VirusBarrier being a far simpler version of the veritable Swiss army knife of security software suites that have emerged on the market in recent years. 

If you’re looking for something simple and effective, you’ll find it here. Just download VirusBarrier Scanner from the App Store, grant it full access to your hard drive, and you’re ready to go. A simple interface lets you easily customize which areas of your hard drive are scanned, external hard drives and volumes can be dragged onto the window to be scanned, and a daily scan feature allows you to leave your Mac running for it to be scanned throughout the day.

Take a look at our round-up of the Best Antivirus Software for Mac, for more options.

Foundry

Like several applications that have come on the market recently, a Trusted Files menu allows you to configure which files are trusted and thus excluded from being scanned and quarantined. Once a scan is underway, it can readily sort through the files on your hard drive, and in my case, I was able to plow through the more than six million files on my M2 MacBook Pro in under 15 minutes. 

If this level of simplicity sounds like an advertisement or teaser for a more robust commercial product, it is, as the app offers easy access to upgrade to the Mac Premium Bundle X9 which is billed annually for $39.99/£23.99 for the first year’s subscription to cover a single Mac. Prices then scale upwards to offer coverage for additional years for additional devices on the subscription contract, the Premium Bundle X9 offering additional features such as real-time, system-wide protection, parental controls, and privacy controls. 

Where tech support is concerned, a good chat-based assistant can be found at support.intego.com, the assistant endeavors to figure out your software version, platform, and the issue at hand, and present you with support articles. If this proves insufficient, the queue is full, or nobody is on hand at Intego to chat, it’s easy enough to leave a detailed support ticket as to the problem you’re encountering, which is appreciated. Still, this is free tech support for a free product, and after reviewing applications where tech support from the developer was entirely absent or demanded a paid subscription, the chatbot and support ticket system were signs that there was someone at the other end who might be able to help you resolve your tech issue. 

As for the VirusBarrier Scanner’s overall efficacy, it got just about everything I threw at it, and after I deliberately infected my M2 MacBook Pro with some of the worst viruses and malware for the Mac I could find from recent years, a full scan pinned down and easily quarantined 27 infected files while missing the DazzleSpy backdoor software, which I then removed with a free copy of Malwarebytes. While 27 out of 28 isn’t bad by anyone’s definition, DazzleSpy was detected in the wild years ago, and one wonders why Intego hasn’t addressed this. 

Foundry

There are always a few foibles to nitpick, and the lack of a feature that shows how much time has elapsed since a scan began, a maximize window button or a resizable window seems odd, especially when the rest of the user interface is fresh, clean, and easy to work with. Still, the app ran well, never crashed during testing, and it’s simple enough to start a full disk scan, minimize VirusBarrier Scanner, and work with other apps on your Mac. 

Yes, detecting, quarantining, and removing 28 out of 28 malware samples would have been ideal, and a few UI quirks raise one’s eyebrow and make one wonder if a quick fix is en route via a software update. Still, VirusBarrier Scanner offers an excellent, reliable scanner for free, making it an excellent option and a worthy candidate for your attention and consideration. 

Foundry

What’s present here follows the idea of how the software industry should work in that even with its free product, Intego as a company offers something worthwhile, and draws potential customers in to see what else their subscription-based packages could offer. This is a matter of being intrigued by something good as opposed to being semi-coerced into buying a full software suite to attain the functionality one would hope for in the first place, something that speaks to the developer’s credit and is hopefully replicated by its competitors. 

MacOS, Personal Software, Professional Software, Security Software and Services 

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