PC Tools iAntiVirus - Mac review

3.5 out of 5
£0

For

Free, simple to use, works in the background

Against

Doesn't work on older Macs, only scans for Mac threats rather than PC ones as well

One of the pleasing things about using a Mac is that you can still gloat at your friends about how the Mac OS is virus free. So should you really download iAntiVirus from PC Tools to protect your computer from a threat that doesn't exist? We took a closer look.

"There is no point locking the stable door once the horse has bolted" must be a key phrase at PC Tools, the makers of iAntiVirus. Why? Well because currently while there is the odd bit of malware floating around for the Mac, there isn't actually a known virus, so having a virus software package installed and scanning daily is like waiting for the disaster to happen - or perhaps even wanting it to happen.

Of course most of us have home insurance in case someone breaks into our house, so getting past the "should you or shouldn't you", what's iAntiVirus actually like? Well, it's pretty simple.

Installing the application, which takes around 11MB of your hard drive, is incredibly easy. The software runs in the background with the only tale tell sign being yet another logo on your menu bar at the top of the screen and since installing and running iAntiVirus we haven't seen any noticeable drop in system performance.

The icon on the menu bar is your gateway to your "security needs" and the menu gives you a quick easy on/off toggle option as well as your scanning preferences. With only a handful of dangers to look out for (really, the list of known threats isn't that big) there aren't many options: Quick scan, Normal scan, and Custom scan.

Quick scan, as the name suggests, gets the software to give your computer a quick once over in places where it would expect infections to occur if said infections are playing by the rules. Normal scan takes longer, but scans your entire computer, while custom allows you to choose which folders you want to scan including external drives.

Either way all the processes are pretty quick - it took the software just over 30 minutes on the Quick scan to scan our computer (around 125GB of data) - and surprise, surprise, it found zero threats.

Dangerous looking files found are quarantined so you can view and restore items in the case of a false positive, but chances are you are unlikely to see this area of the software anytime soon.

Any catches? Well the software currently only searches for Mac-based threats so that still leaves you the ability to catch and pass on PC-based infections, but hey -that doesn't affect you does it?

The software is also only Leopard and Intel capable, meaning those on an older PPC system won't be able to feel the protective love.

Verdict

The great PC Tools iAntiVirus is a free application that offers a basic package to try and protect you against nasty threats from the outside world.

There is a paid for option should you wish to upgrade, however that option adds nothing to the software package. What it does give you is telephone support for you to presumably phone someone in the middle of the night and talk about your day.

While Mac users enjoy sitting on their high horses sprouting off about how they are threat free, we never like to say never here at Pocket-lint.

That's not to say that you should finish reading this, hop over to the PC Tools website and download the software double quick, but those who like to be safe might like to do so.

With a zero cost, all you are paying for is your time to download and install. If you are one of those internet types that likes to download things that you perhaps shouldn't, then maybe this could give you some protection.