Intego Virusbarrier Scanner Review

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  1. Virusbarrier Mac
  2. Intego For Ipad

For our Intego review, we also tested the Windows version. It’s a simple, average antivirus scanner. It doesn’t act as anti-phishing protection or password manager and lacks features like parental controls, firewall, and device optimization tools. VirusBarrier is Intego’s acclaimed antivirus software. It benefits from constant updates, a user-friendly interface, and an exhaustive library of known threats. The program can detect infected files, discover threats, prevent infection, as well as isolate, quarantine, and delete malicious programs. Made by the Mac security experts at Intego, VirusBarrier Scanner is a free anti-virus and malware removal tool for iMac, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iMac Pro. Choose between ‘Maximum Protection’ to easily scan all files which belong to you, or ‘Essential Protection’ to scan locations where malware is commonly found. VirusBarrier removed from App Store. Published March 10th, 2014 at 8:24 AM EDT, modified March 10th, 2014 at 8:24 AM EDT. Intego’s VirusBarrier Express has been my favorite malware scanner for manual scans for some time. Note: If you have already tried to manually uninstall portions of Intego software this may lead to a partial uninstall (even if you used Finder or Spotlight search to locate Intego files). In this case, you will need reinstall the software first before proceeding to a clean and complete uninstall.

At a Glance

Expert’s Rating


  • Nonstandard user interface
  • Pricey

Our Verdict

VirusBarrier X5 (version 10.5.2) bills itself as simple, fast, and nonintrusive, and it certainly lives up that billing, with the notable exception of the program’s nonstandard interface. But VirusBarrier’s speed more than makes up for all its shortcomings. This antivirus program scans files very quickly and, perhaps more important, with very little impact on your Mac’s resources.VirusBarrier has two ways of scanning your Mac: real-time and manual. The real-time scanner constantly scans your Mac’s files in the background, but it didn’t slow down my test Mac (a 2.16GHz Intel Core Duo MacBook Pro) in the slightest. The manual scan is a little more resource intensive, but I hardly noticed it running while I went about my business.

Installing VirusBarrier and its companion program, Netupdate, is simple enough. Intego recommends that you install Netupdate first, which ensures that all Intego applications and virus definitions are up-to-date. Once you restart your Mac, you’ll notice two things: a menu-bar item and the VirusBarrier X5 icon in the Dock. Both are useful additions, but it would be nice to have the option to omit them during the initial install.

Nonstandard interface

After launching VirusBarrier X5, you’re greeted with a rather odd item called the Orb, which Intego has tweaked in this version: it’s a little larger than it was in version 4 (), and it’s flanked by six spherical instrument panels and a large Scan button. It is unlike any interface I have ever seen in a Mac program. The interface may look alien, but it’s very easy to use. You can see at a glance how much of your Mac’s processing power VirusBarrier is using, what mode it is in, the number of scheduled scans you have programmed, and more. (VirusBarrier has three modes: Interactive, in which you decide what to do with suspect files; Repair, which automatically tries to repair virus-laden files; and, new in X5, Put In Quarantine Zone, which moves those naughty files to a restricted area where they can’t be opened or activated). Along with the revamped interface, VirusBarrier X5 adds the ability to schedule multiple scans at one time, enables Trusted Zones (locations on your Mac that it excludes from automatic scanning), and lets you opt to not scan your Mac for Windows viruses.

VirusBarrier performed well. It found all the test viruses on my Mac, including some Windows-only viruses; logged everything; and dealt with the test viruses quickly and appropriately.

Every VirusBarrier X5 license includes a one-year subscription to Intego’s virus update service, though you have to enter an e-mail address and create a password in NetUpdate before you can update your definitions.

Macworld’s buying advice

If you’re in the market for a fast-working antivirus program, VirusBarrier X5 (10.5.2) is the gold standard. It will protect your Mac without making your other work grind to a halt. Given that the upgrade price is only $25 more than renewing your virus-definition subscription, which you no doubt will have to do if you have an older version of the program, X5 is well worth the money. The Quarantine Zone offers an added layer of security that in itself is worth the upgrade.

[Scott McNulty is a full-time geek living in Philadelphia. He is the lead blogger at The Unofficial Apple Weblog and cohosts the cooking podcast Fork You.]

[Editor’s Note: This review was updated on 7/9/08 at 4:06 p.m. to remove the e-mail notification reference. VirusBarrier does not notify users of virus definition updates via e-mail.]

Intego’s VirusBarrier X4 may be pricier than its competition, but it’s worth it. For starters, it’s extremely easy to use. Installation is a couple of mouse clicks and a restart; after the NetUpdate program updates your virus definitions, you’re ready to go. And its interface is a model of OS X integration: It gives you a contextual menu in the Finder, a Dashboard widget to monitor the progress of scans, and it integrates nicely with iCal.

VBX4 is also the fastest scanner I tested, by far. It took just two minutes to scan a 900MB folder, and only 13 minutes to scan a 13GB folder filled with applications—about a quarter of the time Norton AntiVirus ( ) took. After the first scan, VBX4’s Turbo mode makes subsequent scans much faster—it only needs to scan modified files.

And after that first scan, you can forget about VBX4: It works in the background, watching all file activity for signs of trouble. In my testing, this background monitoring had no noticeable impact on my daily use of a PowerBook G4. According to Activity Monitor, its processes used essentially no CPU power, with only occasional, temporary spikes when a file was scanned. You can also schedule scans, scan files and folders via drag and drop, view logs, and create extra-secure (as well as insecure) zones via VBX4’s interface.

VirusBarrier also knows what it’s looking for: It caught everything we threw at it, including Word and Excel macro viruses, with the exception of a couple of Windows viruses. VBX4 offers daily, weekly, or monthly virus definition updates. After installation, make sure you run NetUpdate immediately to check for any updates to the program or its definitions. I only wish it provided some information about the malware it finds; Norton AntiVirus offers much more extensive reporting.

I experienced only one minor quirk during testing. During one scan, VBX4’s interface locked me out (I couldn’t set Preferences); I was able to access those same features through a Menubar icon.

Macworld’s buying advice

Intego Virusbarrier Scanner Review

Virusbarrier Mac

Intego’s VirusBarrier X4 will do a great job of protecting your machine from malware and Trojans. While it’s the most expensive antivirus app I tested, it’s also the fastest and easy to use—making Mac protection practically painless.

[Macworld Senior Editor Rob Griffiths]

Intego For Ipad

Though the VirusBarrier interface is far from standard, it works quite well.