Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac review

The last time we looked at Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac we had concerns. We found some protection issues that were later ameliorated, but we weren’t impressed with the interface. That was more than two years ago, however, and moving into 2021 Bitdefender is an entirely different beast.

The interface has been totally overhauled, and it may be again soon as the current version on Mac is slightly behind the look of its Windows counterpart. Regardless, the basic structure is the same as what we have on Windows, and the new look is far better than what Bitdefender for Mac presented the last time we looked.

Malware blocking performance


Bitdefender for Mac’s primary dashboard.

More important than looks, however, is how Bitdefender performs. During our spot tests, Bitdefender had no trouble detecting and deleting malware after it was extracted from a ZIP file. There were a few instances where extra files were left over including some DMG files; but whenever we tried to install these they were either empty shells or Bitdefender immediately deleted them.

Bitdefender also did fine with third-party tests. Its weakest score was on AV-Test during its June 2020 test for the detection of widespread and prevalent malware. During that test with 83 samples Bitdefender scored 98.8 percent versus the industry average of 100 percent.

Bitdefender fared better on AV Comparatives’ most recent Mac malware test published in June 2020. In that test, Bitdefender scored 100 percent for detecting Mac malware, potentially unwanted programs, and Windows Malware—preventing Macs from becoming carriers and infecting Microsoftian machines. Bitdefender was only one of three suites with perfect marks that included Avast and AVG. Kaspersky also had top notch protection for malware, but stumbled slightly on the PUA test. AV Comparatives’ test included 207 Mac malware samples, 400 PUA samples, and 500 Windows malware samples.

Protection is good overall, though the AV-Test result was weak considering the norm is a perfect score. Still, that weaker score didn’t prevent AV-Test from giving Bitdefender full marks in its overall score.

The bottom line is that Bitdefender’s protection is solid and performs very well.

An improved interface

Anyone who’s seen Bitdefender on Windows will immediately recognize the interface. The left rail contains four menu items including Dashboard, Protection, Privacy, and Notifications. This area also has a color coded system at the top. The usual green to say you’re safe and red when there is a concern.

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