Like me, you probably never heard of Airo Antivirus or its developer AiroAV. The company started one year ago in 2019, and their vision is exclusively focused on macOS and first antivirus solution for the Mac desktop. Well they certainly changed the basic known applications into a modern interface.
Their offices are located in San Diego and Tel Aviv, where Airo aims to be the primary choice for Mac users looking to deal with and prevent Mac-specific malware.
AIRO ANTIVIRUS GOAL
A new brand faces stiff competition from all well-known developers like Bitdefender, Norton and Intego. You might ask yourself ‘why dive in a crowded pool’ and earn your place in the top. It must be their determination to provide users with the best possible antivirus application solely for Mac. So far Airo is doing very well, while the only known internet-testing facility to look at Airo is AV-Test. In December 2019, AV-Test gave Airo a 100 percent rating based on its detection of widespread and prevalent malware test, which had 145 samples.
That’s a great result for a new and first rolled out release of Airo Antivirus. AV-Test also ran Airo Antivirus up against more than 71,000 legitimate software samples to check any flags as malware, and passed.
Airo being focused on the Mac native engine doesn’t detect Windows malware. Being a pure Mac application (engine), Airo might become a Windows virus carrier. In order to tackle this weakness AiroAV uses the scan-engine of Bitdefender beside their own engine for Mac malware. To test the capabilities of AiroAV ourselves we used the EICAR zip file containing all known viruses and malware. The result was 100% detection and NO errors whatsoever.
AI TECHNOLOGY claim
SETUP & INTERFACE
After downloading the install.dmg the setup involves no extra reboot in order to activate files. Its a just a no-brainer really. In contrast to other av-applications, Airo is not located on the dock, but with a dropdown from the menu bar. This shows Airo is integrating the antivirus in your Mac’s system rather then a stand alone solution. It now is easier to check/activate or use your virusscanner, it also gives you the option the open Airo as a window (standalone).
From the menubar the dropdown interface provides an overview of options and information.
The quick scan button (pictured left) is clearly present . Just lower shows the last scan: time, and the last time: updated.
Somewhat less profound ‘Scan options’ is situated right from Last scan. These scan options are sufficient although scheduling is absent !
Towards the bottom of the panel are icons for Status, Threats (Airo’s history section), Settings, and Account.
The Settings section provides options for scanning files in real time, blocking adware, scareware, and suspicious files, and cloud protection.
Cloud Protection is not activated by default, as this might need sharing metadata from files on your computer to cloud.
Furthermore you can also turn on an option under Settings > Scanning options to scan external connected drives and other devices connected to your Mac.
The option to skip certain file types, is available for users to exclude for instance .jpg files from scanning to save on scan time overall.
Airo Antivirus for Mac also offers free browser extensions for Chrome as well as Safari. These extensions protect your browsing against malware, adware, scareware, spyware, and “suspicious” files. Anti-Phishing protection works well and is readily available but not quite at the top standard Airo wants it to be. Support states that the anti-phishing capability detection is improved on-going and up to the desired highest level through new updates. So Airo ( like all) is perfecting its application and extensions for future updates.
Phishing can be tested at this location https://www.amtso.org/feature-settings-check-phishing-page/
Still I can’t tell for sure how evolved phishing detection really is.
SETTINGS of AIRO
Below some images of Airo’s settings.
Scheduling of Airo Antivirus is somewhat different to all other antivirus applications. Having NO scheduling setting or button, users might think the scheduling is absent altogether in Airo antivirus. Support solved the scheduling remark for me:
If you are referring to scheduled scans, Airo does daily and weekly scans to make sure the computer stays clean and safe to use.
Airo support team
Support is important for any application as users always need some help getting their problem or question solved. Airo we found, has limited support which is a bit of let down.
BOOTTIME SCAN & REGISTRATION
Some viruses and other threats are very sophisticated. Some viruses , even after delete, as soon as your operating system becomes active, duplicate themselves. A true boottime scan is not available right now. To register your subscription, you need to create an account. To verify the account an email is sent to
to user, it does take a while before the to be checked email arrives in your inbox. As a result ( I kept clicking, and nothing appeared ) you may end up with several late reactions from its server. Something that should be fixed, as it should not be difficult to have a fast server and algorithm running.
SERVICE & PRICING
AiroAV support is not available 24h, but response time is about 24 ~ 48 hours or at times none! Airo antivirus is fairly high priced, although their AV-scores are excellent, but is without any bonus frills like firewall, VPN, or such.
Being a newcomer in the antivirus segment, the Airo Antivirus application is very good. It’s really easy to understand, and scores top marks on detection tests. System impact is low, and scanning is fast. It’s also easy to access options for a full scan or to scan a specific folder. At the moment, scheduling is implemented in the app itself, running daily and one a week. Personally I would also like to see the ability to drag-and-drop files for scanning or right-click scan activation, and a top notch support.
Pricing of Airo Antivirus is fair and gives you protection for 5 Mac’s. Top marks on detection and system impact should be more then enough for any buyer to consider this truly Mac antivirus application. It really only gets better in future releases.