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Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac Review

PROS / Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac detected 100 percent of the threats AV-Test used in its malware detection tests.

CONS / This Mac antivirus program isn’t compatible with Apple tablets and smartphones.

 VERDICT / Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac detects viruses and phishing threats with superb accuracy. Plus, it doesn’t have a significant impact on your computer’s speed.

Editor’s Note: Top Ten Reviews uses test results from the independent laboratory AV-Test as part of our review process for the best Mac antivirus software. AV-Test looks specifically at malware detection and loss of performance on Mac operating systems, and it performs these evaluations several times throughout the year. We use the most current AV-Test scores available at the time of our review. It is possible that new AV-Test scores will be released after our review goes live on our site. We will consider those scores during our next review of the best Mac antivirus software.

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Until somewhat recently, one of the advantages of owning a Mac is it was generally safe from malware and other threats without installing third-party antivirus software. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. As such, there is a growing market for Mac security software. Bitdefender is already one of the top-performing Windows virus scanners, and the company also publishes antivirus software for Mac. Our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner for Mac antivirus software is Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac because it detects malware incredibly well and does so without noticeably slowing down your computer.

  1. Mac malware detection test results from AV-Test, Dec 2016
    Higher is Better.
  2. 1 Bitdefender
  3. 96.8%
  4. 96.8%
  5. Category Average

Test Results

AV-Test, one of the most respected independent software test labs, published results from its most recent antivirus evaluations in December 2016. Its tests inspected how well 12 of the best antivirus software for Mac detect and block threats, as well as how much they slow down the computers they’re installed on. In the detection test, AV-Test exposed the applications to a wide variety of Mac and Windows malware threats, and Bitdefender was the only product that detected them 100 percent of the time.

Some of the best antivirus programs for Macs are good at detecting malware but at the cost of computer speed. AV-Test measured the affect each program had on its test computers by first copying data without any antivirus software installed to set a baseline. It repeated the same process after installing each Mac virus scanner. Bitdefender hardly slowed the system down at all – the computer only ran nine seconds slower with the software installed. While this isn’t the smallest performance loss of the programs we reviewed, it is significantly lower than the majority of Mac antivirus applications and not enough to create a significantly noticeable lag.

Detection & Removal Tools

Although the top priority when choosing a Mac virus scanner is finding one that is effective against malware, the next biggest consideration is protection features. Like most of the products in our review, Bitdefender detects Windows malware in addition to Mac malware, which means you are less likely to unknowingly infect your friend’s PC computers when you transfer files. It's important to scan emails for potential threats to further ensure you don't send an infected email to one of your friends who uses a Windows computer.

One of the most dangerous types malware threats is ransomware. Ransomware locks your computer system so you can’t access the internet, email, applications or files until you pay a fee to the virus creator. This fee can range from a couple hundred to several thousand dollars, and once paid, many creators skip with the money and don’t unlock your computer. Until 2016, ransomware was only a threat to PCs, but Mac ransomware is beginning to emerge. Bitdefender detects all manner of ransomware to ensure your system is safe and save you a lot of hassle, stress and money trying to remove it or cope with a threat creator on your own.

The word “malware” refers to a nasty group of threats that includes viruses, worms, keyloggers and rootkits. However, antiphishing tools are more important for Mac security than antimalware. Antiphishing features protect you from yourself – they keep you from sharing personal information the recipient could use to steal your identity. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac searches out any trackers installed on your machine and scans links you encounter on Facebook and Twitter. Another important feature tells you whether a webpage is safe or not. Bitdefender also scans emails and any external drives you attach to your Mac.

Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac comes with a single license. You can purchase additional licenses if you need more. Bitdefender doesn’t protect Apple mobile devices – its mobile protection features only work for Android phones and tablets.

Help & Support

Bitdefender has good online support resources and customer service. You can reach help 24/7 via email, a contact form, telephone or live chat, which is nice because problems don't always present themselves at convenient times. Only the top Mac antivirus programs have support that’s this available.

In the Bitdefender Resource Center, you will find several articles about internet security, including the latest malware threats and how to better protect yourself against hackers. You can also keep up with the latest trends and industry changes by following Bitdefender on Facebook or Twitter.


Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac performed exceptionally well in independent software tests. It is the best Mac antivirus software because of its ability to detect malware and its low impact on your computer’s performance. It also has excellent antiphishing features and comes with customer support that is rivaled by only a few other Mac virus scanners in our review.

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