Pros / Bitdefender recognizes, blocks and destroys malware created for both Mac and Windows operating systems.
Cons / This isn’t the easiest program to use.
Verdict / Bitdefender is one of the best Mac virus scanners we tested. It blocks viruses and phishing threats, plus helps you from accidentally sharing malware with friends’ Windows computers.
Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac found 99 percent of the malware we used when testing internet security software for Mac, and it automatically removed most of them. As each threat tried to download, Bitdefender displayed a message letting us know that it stopped the attack. Other independent test labs also gave Bitdefender high scores for malware protection.
There were a few infected files that Bitdefender didn’t know exactly how to handle. These were files that were made to look like legitimate programs, even in how they were named, that contained a virus deep within them. It recognized they were suspicious and tagged them so we could go in and decide what to do. This security software also left some infected files only partially dealt with – we had to go back in and tell the program to finish the job.
Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac requires a few more steps to set up than most security programs. Also, some functions can only be accessed from the online portal and not from the desktop dashboard. This is less convenient than having all settings, tools and functions together at your fingertips.
This security software did a decent job blocking Windows malware but wasn’t the best. There were a few malware downloads that Bitdefender didn’t stop, and a couple of dangerous websites it didn’t warn us about. It struggled a little to block Windows threats attempting to infiltrate through Safari, though it handled malicious files very well in Chrome. In both browsers Bitdefender marked search results so we could see if a page was safe to visit before clicking on it.
Another perk of Bitdefender we noticed during testing is it doesn’t create slowdown while running. Even during full system scans, Bitdefender didn’t cause sites to load or programs to download slower. And the scans themselves were really quick compared to other Mac internet security programs.
Bitdefender is missing a few important tools that other Mac internet security programs include, like a personal firewall, spam filters and a password manager. Other programs, including Norton Security Standard, have these, but it comes at a steeper price. Plus, you only get a single user license with Norton while Bitdefender gives you three. Bitdefender does have a vulnerability scanner, antiphishing tools and a VPN.
During our testing, we found it easy to set up security filters for each child we created a profile for. However, parental controls are not a feature Bitdefender lists for its Mac solutions. We reached out to Bitdefender’s support team and were told parental controls are not included with Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac, so it’s a mystery how we had access to them.
Bitdefender is our top pick for Mac internet security because it effectively detects and protects against Mac and Windows malware, includes a VPN, and comes with several user licenses at a decent price. It is a little difficult to use because some settings and tools can only be accessed from the online portal, and it’s missing some tools like a password manager and firewall. However, we recommend Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac as a good tool to protect your Apple computer.