The last time we looked at Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac, we had concerns. We found some protection issues that were later improved, but we were not impressed with the interface. However, that was more than two years ago, and moving into 2021, Bitdefender is a completely different animal.
The interface has been completely refurbished, and it may be left soon as the current version on the Mac is a bit behind the look of the Windows counterpart. In any case, the basic structure is the same as the one we have on Windows, and the new look is far better than what Bitdefender for Mac presented last time we looked.
Malicious software that blocks performance
More important than appearance, however, is how Bitdefender performs. During our spot tests, Bitdefender had no problems detecting and deleting malicious software after it was retrieved from a ZIP file. There were a few instances where extra files were left over including some DMG files; but when we tried to install these, they were either empty shells or Bitdefender immediately deleted them.
Bitdefender also did well with third-party testing. The weakest score was on AV-Test during the test in June 2020 for the detection of widespread and widespread malicious software. During that test with 83 samples, Bitdefender received 98.8 percent against the industry average of 100 percent.
Bitdefender did better on AV Comparatives’ latest Mac damage test released in June 2020. In that test, Bitdefender received 100 percent for detecting malicious software from Macs, potentially unwanted programs, and Windows Malware – and prevented Macs from becoming carriers and infect Microsoft computers. Bitdefender was just one of three suites with perfect ratings that included Avast and AVG. Kaspersky also had first-class protection for malware, but stumbled a bit on the PUA test. AV Comparatives’ test included 207 Mac malware samples, 400 PUA samples, and 500 Windows malware samples.
Protection is generally good, although the AV test result was weak considering that the norm is a perfect score. Nevertheless, the weaker score did not prevent AV-Test from giving Bitdefender full points in its total score.
The point is that Bitdefender’s protection is solid and works very well.
An improved interface
Anyone who has seen Bitdefender on Windows will immediately recognize the interface. The left rail contains four menu items included Dashboard, Protection, Privacy, and Alerts. This area also has a color coded system at the top. The usual green to say that you are safe and red when there is concern.
The dashboard has a top area dedicated to Autopilot, Bitdefender’s recommendation tool that gives you advice on the condition of your Mac’s security. This may include recommendations for performing a full scan or enabling web protection in your browsers.
Below are five tiles, including two scan options (fast and system), how much time is left in your subscription, turn the safe files ransomware feature on or off, and the Safari browser protection feature (other browsers are also covered, but we did not install them on the Mac test).
This area is primarily a quick way to control all the key features of the suite and perform critical actions.
The Protection the site offers an option for custom scans, and it also displays a list of quarantined files and any files or folders you have added as exceptions during the scan. This section also allows you to quickly install the TrafficLight Malware Blocker and the Safe Files and Time Machine Protection (ransomware) features.
Finally we have Privacy section with anti-tracker for browsers and access to VPN. Bitdefender subscribers get VPN access depending on the subscription. An Antivirus for Mac subscription provides 200 megabytes per day, per device.
The rest of the software includes a notification area and Preferences the section where you can turn on or off some protection features, as well as specify what Bitdefender should do with infected files and suspicious objects. You can also turn off the special offers in the product Bitdefender can offer, as well as stop anonymous telemetry reports for the security package.
The bottom line
Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac costs $ 30 for a single year covering three devices. This is the introductory price with the standard rate of $ 60 per year. For multi-device coverage, Total Security covers up to five devices for an introductory rate of $ 45 per year and then $ 90 thereafter. Finally, Premium Security covers up to 10 devices and offers unlimited VPN traffic for $ 90 for the first year and then $ 150.
Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac is a nice program with excellent protection and some extra features. It does not have the number of extras we see in Bitdefender for Windows, such as vulnerability scanning and Safepay. Additionally, if you want Bitdefender’s cloud-based parental controls, you will need to upgrade to the Total Security suite. For $ 30 (followed by $ 60 the following year) it will still do the job at a great price.