Mac OS X malware is currently very thin on the ground, but a couple of in-the-wild Trojans have recently appeared. How long can it be before an OS X virus is released? Perhaps it's time to install some security software just in case and PC Tools' iAntiVirus is a good place to start.

Designed with ease of use in mind, it boasts a straightforward interface and is easy to install. On opening the app, you can scan your Mac for malware that's already present.

This scan is not exactly packed with options, offering a Quick Scan, which only looks at areas where malware is most likely to lurk, Normal Scan for a system-wide check, and a Custom Scan that lets you look at specific files and folders. Configurability is traded for simplicity.

Background scanning

The application runs in the background, checking for new infections on the fly, against a database of known threats that's regularly and automatically updated. It happily detected a Trojan we threw its way and quarantined the file inspection.

The free version for home and home office users is unrestricted, with the paid-for upgrade path adding telephone support only. Unfortunately, it's Intel and Leopard-only, so PPC users and those still using an older version of OS X are out of luck.

As it's dedicated to stopping Mac malware, iAntiVirus doesn't include Windows viruses in its database. This will come as both a blessing and a curse. Positively, it facilitates a very small footprint, occupying a mere 11.2MB of hard-drive space and using minimal system resources while running in the background, but it also means a Mac user could still pass a virus to Windows users via an infected file.

Consequently, iAntiVirus is not particularly recommended for users who share a lot of material with PCs, but for your home Mac, it's an excellent security solution.