Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac Review

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Jan 8, 2015
I'm surprised that the most effective AV software is rated lower than (slightly) less effective ones? Isn't effectiveness a primary goal here?

I have found Sophos, Avast, and BitDefender to all have good functionality, reasonable ease of usage, good integration with OS X, and good stability. However, I completely disagree with the test you used to determine how much each program affected performance. How can those numbers be applied & rationalized to a real-world application? The most recent AV Test publication found both Intego and Sophos to cause pretty significant slow downs. An excerpt from AV Test is, "BitDefender and Norman hardly slowed down the system at all." That statement was a major reason I opted to move to BitDefender.

Wouldn't how much a program impacts performance when running in the background be more important than when doing an active/full system scan? It seems 99.9% of the time the program would be operating in the background for real-time protection rather than performing an active scan, in which case how efficiently it ran in the background would be of great importance?

I agree that with reasonably good free AV programs available, the pricing makes purchasing an internal debate of pros vs. cons, but that really comes down to the individual user. I do believe that OS X will be increasingly targeted, and that thirty bucks (sale price) is a relatively small figure compared to potential damage that malicious software can cause...having been in that situation before, my preference is to have the product that has been found to be 100% effective and the product that is the most effective is arguably the best product to have.

Normally I agree with your positions but based on the effectiveness, stability, integration, & efficiency of BitDefender for Mac, I have to disagree with this review, especially in regards to how each program impacts system performance.


Feb 6, 2015
I have tried a few antivirus products before finding my current one such as these : Norman, E-trust, Panda, Trend Micro, McAfee, F-Secure, Inoculate, Dr-Web (free), Clam-Av(free), Microsoft SE (free), AVG (Full & Free), Bit Defender (Trial), Bull Dog (Trial) & Norton's Professional Edition just to name the ones that still come to mind..

All of these worked to a degree, but I still had mixed problems especially the computer slowing down drastically, at first I thought Norton's could not be beaten, but then I tried Trend Micro which left it for dead as far as slowing the computer down.

After all these I finally found Avast 4 Free, which saved me from a format after Norton's found nothing causing my computer to slow etc, Avast found what Norton's did not and I have been using it since and now use the full version.

I think anyone wanting an antivirus program they can trust should at least get Avast free or full version. I not saying it's perfect, no antivirus is, what I am saying is, it's the best choice available for now.

Paul Wagenseil

Senior Editor
Apr 11, 2014
I'm surprised that the most effective AV software is rated lower than (slightly) less effective ones? Isn't effectiveness a primary goal here?
Avira Free Antivirus for Mac was the most effective product we evaluated, and it's our Editor's Choice. Bitdefender makes excellent Windows AV software, and so does Kaspersky, but neither did as well against Mac malware.


Aug 14, 2015

There's bound to be bias in any benchmark or study. The problem is that viruses, worms, trojans, root-kits, and other "malware" continually evolve -- whether this evolution is positive or negative is debatable. Suppose, for example, that you wrote a new virus; this virus is purely to test the bounds of intellectual curiosity and isn't meant in any way to be distributed. The question, thus, becomes whether or not some AV suite will be able to detect it. Sometimes, this may be the case. Other times, they won't. You can test this out yourself, but I'd advise against it.
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