- Intuitive user interfaces
- Ease of access from menu bar
- Powerful parental control software
- Multifaceted Mac optimizer
- Outstanding pricing policy
- 30-day free trial
- Overcomplicated installation process
- Lackluster firewall and backup features
- Limited live customer support
To this day many people believe that a Mac cannot be infected at all. However, this cannot be further from the truth; regardless of the platform and the device’s nature, anything that connects to the internet or has an external port can fall victim to cyber attacks. Intego, a company based in Washington, realized this early on and has been providing various Mac security solutions ever since. Although each product has its own merits, purchasing them together as part of the Intego Mac Security Bundle X9 provides the best experience. However, having all five of its Mac security apps – including bespoke parental controls and multifaceted optimization functions – is actually just the beginning. Each program included in the bundle comes with a straightforward interface and various options with which it’s possible to increase your Mac’s overall security without breaking a sweat. But the real icing on the cake is that Intego Mac Security Bundle X9 has an outstanding pricing policy that offers many discount options – including Intego’s and Best Reviews’ joint offer – as well as a 30-day free trial.
Although all five of Intego’s solutions serve different purposes – namely virus protection, parental control, network security, Mac optimization, and backup – they actually have a lot in common. For starters, they are connected through an additional tool called NetUpdate through which each software can be properly and easily updated alongside the antivirus definitions and the parental control filters. Additionally, each app has been designed with a simple and straightforward interface and a built-in quick guide that explains the most important features in an understandable fashion. Interestingly, there is no need to include each of the programs’ icons on the desktop or the Dock since they can also be launched by clicking on Intego’s rook icon on the menu bar and selecting the necessary app in the drop-down menu.
Unfortunately, this smoothness isn’t present when it comes to the installation of Intego Mac Premium Bundle X9. Although entering the license once is enough to activate all five apps, they need to be deauthorized to use them elsewhere. However, it’s the installation itself that’s really baffling. Asking first-time Intego users to restart the Mac is understandable, but requiring the original installer file package to delete the programs is pretty unusual, especially knowing that these installers almost immediately end up discarded after serving their purpose.
Compared to similar solutions intended for use on Macs, Intego’s VirusBarrier is a bit primitive. Don’t get us wrong, it’s perfectly suitable for everyday use, particularly when its real-time scanning is turned on, but feature-wise it’s a bit underwhelming. For instance, it doesn’t matter if a quick or a deep scan is chosen, the same scan settings are used. It’s worth adding, however, that there is the option to initiate targeted scans, but to do this you need to create a scheduled scan in the scheduler’s advanced view. This view also reveals that scans can be scheduled on a monthly basis, too, whereas the basic view only informs users about the daily and weekly scanning options.
Despite these hiccups, Intego’s VirusBarrier performs well when it comes to protecting Macs. In fact, this protection is available for flash drives, iOS devices, and external HDDs as well, provided that they are connected to a computer with VirusBarrier on it. Still, the software is at its best when it is dealing with cyber attacks against Macs, proven by the fact that every time we tried to ‘infect’ our test MacBook with the EICAR malware files, VirusBarrier busted them immediately. However, it’s highly recommended to add cloud storage folders to the list of trusted files before scans are commenced, otherwise the app takes a look into those folders as well and this may result in a lengthier scanning process or, even worse, an increase in CPU usage.
Despite the fact that NetBarrier is offered in each of Intego’s products – suggesting that the company prides itself on this particular function – it is actually nothing more than a standard firewall tailored to do what it was intended for and nothing more. In fact, there isn’t much to do with the app aside from being able to choose between a home, work, or public hotspot profile, blocking or allowing connections, and determining which apps should have access to the internet. Granted, limiting the set of features to nothing more than this may suggest a primitive app, but for the average user this is definitely enough.
ContentBarrier, Intego’s parental control tool, requires more input from users due to its vast list of settings, but it’s thankfully just as straightforward as other Intego products. For starters, the software can only be accessed after providing a password, whether that is the system password or something completely different. Parents have two options when it comes to the settings, either they can use the clever setup assistant – which contains four default protection levels – or configure everything manually. The latter option is a bit better, providing parents with options such as taking screenshots at preset intervals, blocking certain websites and applications, permitting children from connecting to game servers, or determining access hours.
However, the AntiPredator feature is really worth emphasizing, because not only is it capable of monitoring emails and chat messages for suspicious phrases – even in different languages – but it can also immediately alert parents of predatory attempts via email.
Although it’s pretty obvious that the main profile of Intego’s bundle is protecting Macs and their users from any kind of harm, the company has managed to sneak in two additional but otherwise useful tools. One of them is the appropriately named Washing Machine, which is actually three solutions in one; in addition to being a Mac optimizer it also acts as a duplicate remover and a desktop organizer. This organizational tool is by far the most interesting since it provides a convenient solution for users to declutter the desktop and Dock. The main optimization features are also pretty decent, offering options similar to those of traditional Mac optimizers to quickly rid the Mac of junk. However, note that during cleanup all apps beside Washing Machine have to be shut down, otherwise the process is interrupted.
The other feature is a tool called Personal Backup, which isn’t that different from other online backup services. All the common features are present, such as backing up folders, creating a bootable disk for emergency purposes, and keeping the backed-up files constantly synced, with the only notable exception being the lack of an option to save backups to external or internal disk drives.
At first Intego Mac Premium Bundle X9’s base price of $84.99 per year for one Mac may seem quite expensive, but when compared to the total of all five products in the bundle – which would be $129.97 per year if purchased separately – it’s undoubtedly the best offer of the company. But this is just the beginning, as Intego rewards our readers with an additional discount of up to 40%, which immediately drops the base price to just $59.99 per year.
Additionally, users can save 8% by paying $109.99 for a two-year subscription, but it’s actually by extending the protection to more devices that results in the biggest discounts. In that regard, three Macs can use the same license for one or two years for either $74.99 or $139.99 respectively – saving 58% – whereas paying $89.99 (one year) or $159.99 (two years) allows the use of Intego’s bundle on five devices alongside a sweet 70% discount. However, regardless of whether you intend to buy the apps together or separately, all of them come with a 30-day free trial with no limitations in their features.
Interestingly, Intego customers can purchase add-ons with their software, too. For $15 more they can protect an additional Windows computer, while having the Intego bundle in CD form – for security purposes, mind you – raises the total by $9.99.
Though there is no problem with the 24/7 customer service in terms of quantity and quality, it’s obvious that Intego is a bit too confident in its users. This could explain why the only way to directly contact the company is via a request form, which is a bit of a shame considering that Intego’s staff is more than capable of providing quality service, as evidenced by the response we received a mere five minutes after sending it.
Still, this preference of the company is understandable, because its on-demand support options are superb. Not only are there separate user manuals and FAQs for all five Intego apps, but there is also a separate page called Apple Resource Center where information like a glossary of internet security terms and advice for new Mac users are shared. Additionally, there is a company blog, though it’s mostly a compilation of more lighthearted stories and news.
Intego’s Mac Premium Bundle X9 may not be the flawless and powerful knight in shining armor, but it’s definitely on par with other, better-known solutions. Granted, the installation process isn’t as slick as it could be and some features aren’t as well realized as other providers, especially when it comes to the variety of antivirus scans or the Mac optimizer’s inability to run alongside other apps.
Thankfully, the simplified user interface of all five apps easily compensates for these weaknesses, turning Mac security from a hassle into a breeze. This straightforwardness is also present in the ContentBarrier parental control software, which is by far the best of the bunch thanks to its clever tools for protecting children from various forms of cyber attacks. But if none of these are convincing enough, the outstanding value for money combined with various discount options and the generous 30-day free trial definitely make Intego’s Mac security bundle a considerable choice.
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