Clario offers full antivirus protection with ad blocking, VPN, and data breach monitoring.
By Lance Whitney
At a glance
Comprehensive and user-friendly security in a single package
Step-by-step setup and help easily available
Software can sometimes be slow when open
Clario for the Mac packs a healthy amount of security into one package, offering malware protection, a VPN, ad blocking, and data breach monitoring. The software guides you through its setup and use and offers help if you get into trouble. Whether you’re a novice or advanced user, Clario is an effective and supportive security program.
Price When Reviewed
$107.88 a year (currently $50.00 a year); $4.17 a month for a year or $8.99 billed monthly)
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Clario 1.5 for the Mac bills itself as an antivirus product, but it offers much more beyond basic protection. In addition to both real-time and on-demand malware scanning, the software kicks in ad blocking to clobber popup advertisements and website trackers. A VPN provides a secure tunnel to encrypt your internet connection. A data breach monitor will alert you if your email is caught and potentially exposed in a cyberattack. Plus, the company throws in 24/7 live security support chatting if you ever need a helping hand.
Like most security products, Clario uses a subscription model for payment with two different pricing plans, both of which cover three different devices. Right now Clario has 54% off the usual price of $107.88 / £107.88 a year, so you can pay $50.00 / £50.00 a year (billed at $4.17 / £4.17 a month). If you prefer not to sign up for the whole year you can pay $8.99 / £8.99 a month. The three devices included in the plan can include a combination of Macs and iOS or Android devices. And you can try before you buy with a free and fully functional 7-day trial.
Setting up Clario 1.5 on a Mac is quick and painless. Just download and install the program from the Clario website. After installation, you’re prompted to create an account with Clario or sign into an existing one. The software pops up to explain the features in the product, including the 7-day trial. The program then takes you through the setup process, helping you configure all the key features.
As the first step, you can add your email address to the data breach feature to receive an alert if one of your website accounts is ever detected in a website breach. Second, you’re asked if you want to enable the VPN. As the third step, you’re able to install browser extensions for Safari and Chrome to block popup ads and trackers as well as flag suspicious websites. Finally, you’re asked if you’d like to install the Clario mobile app on your iOS/iPadOS or Android device. Following the setup, Clario deposits you at the dashboard with a notice that you’re fully protected.
I like the way Clario walks you through the entire setup process so you can evaluate the different options and determine which ones you want to enable. This is a welcome change from many products that just dump you into their interface without helping you configure and use the software properly.
With the dashboard on display, you can review all the features as organized into three categories. The Browsing category shows the status of the malicious website and ad blocking as well as the VPN. Select the website and ad blocking to confirm that it’s enabled and view any content already blocked.
Next, the category for Identity monitors your online accounts for breaches, malicious apps that try to steal and compromise your personal data, and suspicious websites that attempt to hijack data filled out in a form. Drilling down through the specific features here tells you if your email address has been caught in any breaches and whether any malicious websites or apps have been discovered.
The Network category lets you view and control the VPN and indicates whether third-party websites are prevented from tracking the sites you visit. The VPN will automatically kick in if Clario detects you using an unprotected network, however, you can manually turn it on for added protection on any network.
Return to the Dashboard to get an overall picture of your security status. Here, you can trigger a quick virus scan, which is actually quite thorough. On my Mac, Clario detected and quarantined the EICAR test file, which is used to check the effectiveness of antivirus programs. In an evaluation from March 2021, AV-Test gave Clario top marks for protection and usability but a low grade for performance. A December 2020 test awarded Clario the highest marks in all three categories.
As you review the different features, Clario offers help along the way. Certain links take you to informative articles and advice on specific areas of security. You can also easily open up a chat session with a Clario support rep if you have any questions or run into any trouble.
The only downside I encountered was in performance. When I was reviewing and tweaking the different features, the program was sometimes slow and would hamper system performance. But with the software fully configured and running in the background, performance was fine. Overall, Clario is an effective and user-friendly security product well worth a spot on your Mac.