A Mac Operating System has plenty of useful applications built right into it (like telnet, ssh, tftp, ftp) but depending on your use, the list below could really add value especially if you’re into privacy and security.
Myth: Macs don’t require an antivirus.
Truth: Most viruses are created to target the bulk of the users who are on Windows. But the list below has some very effective and light weight free apps that will help defend agains and clean your Mac. They all come with a paid version, but for most users, the free version should suffice.
Great for detecting suspicious files on your Mac.
Free virus scanner for your Mac.
Another free and decent virus scanner for the Mac.
My choice for storing, sorting and managing all your passwords. You can keep notes in it as well, access it anywhere from any device. Don’t forget to enable multi-factor authentication for added security. You can use the web version and browser extensions are the most useful. The $10/year premium version also has a built-in authenticator !
My “previous” choice for a password manager. Still a great option. But I prefer BitWarden as it’s open-source, simpler, cheaper (if going for premium). If you’re on it already, great, otherwise you can also export the database and import to any other password manager.
This is a great little app that will monitor which application tries to access your camera or microphone and informs you for explicit permission first. No need for those camera stickers anymore! MicroSnitch is similar.
This neat little app will intercept all outbound traffic from your mac and inform you where your computer is trying to reach. You will be surprised how many places it tries to go without your knowledge. It can be annoying in the beginning to Accept or Deny all the requests it makes, but once you’ve gone through the most common requests you see value out of it. This one is definitely for the privacy conscious and network freaks out there.
Easy to use VPN with a free option!
The only limitation in the free version is 15GB of data per month, but I’ve never hit that limit as I only use it as a secondary options or when I’m outside my network or on my mobile device.
From the makers of Proton Mail, Proton VPN is the very rare VPN provider that is not only free but also zero knowledge. They do not hold your connection logs and are based out of Switzerland. They are outside of the US and EU jurisdiction and are not part of their surveillance network. Hence an FBI subpoena provides them with no data!
Unlike other browsers, Brave was created with privacy in mind. It does not sell or share your data with anyone (unlike Chrome, Safari, IE). It is also private and fast! It is based on chrome.
This is probably the most popular alternate for most default browsers. With loads of extensions and frequent updates, this is the #1 choice for most people in the privacy and security sector.
Great to uninstall stubborn software, clean browsers, registries, startup items and other junk in your system.
For FTP access. If you’re into web development and need file system access to a remote web server, this is a great app. It even accesses cloud storage (Google Drive, Amazon S3, DropBox, OneDrive).
A text editor on steroids. Nice color coding, side-by-side compare features, syntax highlight and advanced search options. Brackets and Atom are other alternatives.
Another great text editor, specifically for coders as it has some great syntax highlighting. It also has a live edit view for html pages.
If you’re managing or logging into remote windows machines, then this is your best option. It saves your previous sessions in screenshot thumbnails and saves login credentials for quick connections.
Excellent for zipping files with a password or with other extensions (7z, tar, gzip). The built-in “compress” function in the Mac doesn’t have any advanced options.
Problem: The built-in TimeMachine is sufficient in most cases but doesn’t provide much granularity. Sometimes I just want to backup certain personal folders onto an external HDD. iDrive does a good job at that BUT it encrypts the files which can only be “restored” through the same app. I just want it to sync to an external Hard Drive for offline storage and viewing.
Unlike other free storage providers (Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, DropBox, Box), Mega.nz is a “ZERO Knowledge Provider”. This means they don’t store any information about you, not even your password. If you lose it, your data is gone. You cannot request a password reset as they don’t even store your keys! It’s all encrypted. So you have to download and backup your key in case you forget your password. I would rather trust my data with a zero knowledge provider than with someone who scrapes through my private stuff to sell my data to advertisers. 50 GB is also pretty generous for their free tier.