Bitdefender for Mac Pro Full Version Free Download {UPDATED} 2022

Bitdefender for Mac Pro Full Version Free Download {UPDATED} 2022

But not every Mac user has caught on that they, too, need antivirus protection. When you go seeking antivirus protection for your Mac, consider relying on a company that’s made its mark in the Windows arena, like Bitdefender. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac doesn’t bring along the cornucopia of bonus features that its Windows equivalent does, but unlike many macOS-focused competitors it goes well beyond basic antivirus. Among other things, it comes with VPN protection, online tracker blocking, and ransomware protection.

Right from the start, it’s clear that Bitdefender for Mac   brings more than the minimum antivirus protection to your Mac. Be sure to accept the installer’s offer to enable ransomware remediation (more about that later) and to protect Time Machine backups against tampering. Once the product itself is installed, you’ll also want to enable the Traffic Light browser extension, which identifies dangerous links in search results, and the Anti-tracker feature, which prevents advertisers from profiling you on the web.

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The macOS product’s main window almost precisely duplicates that of Bitdefender Antivirus Plus on Windows, except there’s no option to change out the buttons. The pages reached by clicking Protection and Privacy in the left-rail menu are less busy than in the Windows edition, though, and the Utility menu choice is absent. On the Protection page, you can launch a quick, full, or custom scan, check quarantine, and manage browser extensions. The Privacy page is fully devoted to Bitdefender VPN (more about the VPN later) and Anti-tracker.

As with the Windows product, Bitdefender on the Mac defaults to running in Autopilot mode, making all necessary security decisions without hassling the user with questions. Also as on Windows, AutoPilot goes beyond merely making decisions. It uses a panel in the main window for recommendations designed to make sure you take advantage of all the available features.

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Pricing and OS Support

For $39.99 per year, you can install bitdefender macos catalina on a single Mac; raising that to $59.99 extends protection to two more systems. ESET and Kaspersky precisely match this pricing scheme. Webroot is similar, but you get three licenses for for less—just $49.99. McAfee AntiVirus Plus (for Mac) also costs $59.99 per year, but that subscription includes protection for every macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS device you own.

Avast, Avira, AVG, and Sophos Home Free (for Mac) are totally free, which is handy if you didn’t budget for Mac antivirus. At the other end of the price spectrum, Intego lists for $99.99 per year to protect three Macs. That sounds high, but it’s more of a security suite than a mere antivirus. Norton is also a suite, including a no-limits VPN, which makes its price ($99.99 per year for five licenses) seem more reasonable.

If your Mac is brand-new, it has the very latest and greatest operating system. Even if it’s just new-ish, you’ve probably kept up with upgrades. But if you’re running an older version, your need for antivirus is even greater. Like Malwarebytes and Panda, bitdefender for mac os works on anything from Yosemite (version 10.10 of the OS) to the current edition. Others require a more recent version. With Clario and Kaspersky, you need at least Sierra (10.12). Avira, Norton, and Trend Micro want High Sierra (10.13) or newer.

Excellent Lab Test Scores

We have an elaborate set of hand-coded tools, developed over a period of years, that help in our hands-on Windows antivirus testing. On a Mac, those tools do exactly nothing. Oh, we can run a few tests manually, but for the most part we rely on reports from the major labs. Four of the labs we follow report on Windows antivirus products, just two on Mac products.

Both the testing labs that we follow for macOS antivirus include Bitdefender in their testing reports, and both give it their top scores. Like most products in the latest test by AV-Comparatives, Bitdefender achieved 100 percent success protecting against Mac-specific malware.

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Because it’s possible for a Mac to act as a carrier for malware that attacks Windows, the researchers also check how well each antivirus detects Windows threats. Bitdefender also managed 100 percent in this test, as did several other products.

Just as with Windows antivirus products, the experts at AV-Test Institute rate products on protection, performance, and usability, assigning up to six points in each category. Bitdefender aced all three tests for a perfect score of 18 points. Most of the rest also took 18 points, with a couple at 17.5.

Windows Malware Protection

ESET, Intego Mac Internet Security X9, Trend Micro, and a few others include an automatic scheduler for regular scans. Bitdefender omits this feature, because its real-time protection should catch any new malware before a scheduled scan could. That does mean that it’s important to run a full System Scan as soon as you’ve installed the product, to make sure nothing infected your Mac while it was unprotected.

A full scan with Bitdefender took 35 minutes, a bit faster than the average time among current Mac products. Running a quick scan, which looks for active malware and checks system areas typically used by malware, took just half a minute. Norton’s quick scan also took 30 seconds, and Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus (for Mac) finished in 15 seconds.

All the products we’ve reviewed recently promise that they’ll detect and remove Windows malware too, so your Mac doesn’t become a Typhoid Mary. When we opened a folder containing our Windows malware samples, Bitdefender immediately started eliminating them. Counting the survivors, we found that the antivirus had dealt with 85 percent of the samples. That’s pretty good, but F-Secure Safe (for Mac) terminated 91 percent of the samples, ESET Cyber Security (for Mac) managed 93 percent, and Webroot swept the field, with 100 percent detection.

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Superb Phishing Protection

Viruses, Trojans, and other malware are necessarily locked to a specific operating system. As noted, Windows malware won’t run on a Mac, and the reverse is also true. Phishing websites, by contrast, are completely platform-agnostic. It doesn’t matter if you’re browsing on a Mac, a game console, or an internet-connected accordion. If you log into, say, a fake PayPal website, you’ve given away your credentials to the fraudsters. Yes, these fakes get blacklisted and terminated quickly, but the fraudsters just pop up with new ones.

To test how well an antivirus utility protects against phishing, we start by collecting the newest phishing URLs we can find on the web, with an eye to ones that haven’t made it onto blacklists. We use a hand-coded test utility to simultaneously launch each URL in Chrome, Edge, and Firefox, relying on each browser’s built-in fraud protection. We use the same utility when testing a browser protected by a Windows antivirus. As for testing Mac products, well, just as Windows malware runs only on Windows, so does our utility. On the Mac our testing involves a lot of fancy cut-and-paste button-mashing between the list of phishing URLs and the browser’s Address bar.

We tested this product simultaneously with Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, and the two products turned in exactly the same score, 99 percent detected. In our collection of macOS antivirus tools, only Kaspersky and Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac have done better. On the Mac, as on Windows, they detected and blocked 100 percent of the phishing URLs we threw at them.

Traffic Light and Web Protection

If you try to navigate to a fake or dangerous site, bitdefender for mac vs total security Web Protection steers you back to safety. As the test results above show, this protection is quite effective.

The Traffic Light browser extension (for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari) adds another layer of protection. It marks up search results, using green and red icons to identify safe and dangerous links. If you stay away from red-light links, you should be safe.

Clicking the red icon opens a page with detailed information about why the link is dangerous. You get a laundry list of reasons, with relevant icons highlighted. In most cases it’s phishing or malware. But other reasons include Facebook scams, sending unsolicited email, and piracy.

Effective Anti-Tracker

Every time you visit a web page, the site gets a boatload of information about you. It’s not just the page itself that gets this data-dump. Any ads or third-party components on the page get your info too. Advertisers and other trackers make use of this data to track your habits on the web, creating a profile that they can use to target you, or sell to others. Web standards bodies have defined a Do Not Track header that your browser can send to say, “No tracking, please.” And trackers routinely ignore this header, because it’s just a request.

Like Traffic Light, Bitdefender’s Anti-tracker browser extension supports Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. When you visit a site that contains ad trackers, site analytics trackers, or other trackers, Bitdefender puts the number of trackers on the extension’s toolbar icon. By default, its active Do Not Track system blocks them all. You can click for a summary by category, which includes an estimate of the page load time saved. You can disable blocking of specific categories, too. You’ll find similar Do Not Track functionality in a variety of security tools including Abine Blur, Avast Premium Security (for Mac), and Kaspersky Internet Security.

Bitdefender VPN

Bitdefender’s many layers of antivirus, web, and network protection keep your devices and their data safe. However, when you connect to the internet your data in transit could be at risk. To ensure privacy for your data, you need a VPN (virtual private network). When you connect using a VPN, nobody, not even the owner of the shady Wi-Fi network you’re using, can access your network traffic, and you’ll be harder to track as you move across the web.

Pricing for Premium

Bitdefender VPN isn’t available as a standalone product. Even the feature-complete Premium VPN requires that you’re already running a Bitdefender antivirus or security suite. This VPN is a rebranded version of the Hotspot Shield VPN service. Bitdefender uses Hotspot Shield’s servers and services, but your information is secure with Bitdefender. Hotspot Shield cannot see your online activities and only receives a Bitdefender identifier.

On installation, you get a seven-day trial of the premium service. After that, it switches to the limited free mode unless you pay for a Premium subscription. The free version of Bitdefender’s VPN restricts your use to 200MB per day. That’s more generous than TunnelBear VPN’s free version, which offers only 500MB per month. The free version also limits which VPN servers you can access. At the other extreme, the free version of ProtonVPN doesn’t impose any data limits.

If you decide to upgrade to the Premium edition of the Bitdefender VPN, you get access to all available VPN servers, with no data cap. An annual subscription costs $39.99 per year, or you can pay $6.99 per month. That’s a remarkably low monthly cost, comparable to very affordable Mullvad VPN, which costs €5 or $5.87 per month. It’s also notably less expensive than Hotspot Shield itself, which costs $12.99 per month.

The average price per month for a PCMag top-rated VPN service is about $10.14. Bitdefender is a little more than half the price of NordVPN and only a dollar or so more than Mullvad. A typical standalone VPN allows use on a specific number of devices, most commonly five. With Bitdefender, you get to use as many devices as you have licenses for the underlying antivirus or suite. The price of the Premium VPN doesn’t change.

Simple User Interface

The Bitdefender VPN is very simple: a slender grey rectangle with a large, blue button to connect the VPN. You change the VPN server from the pull-down menu, although you can only select the country to which you will connect. Other services, like NordVPN, let you select the specific server in a given country, and even tell you what kind of load that server is experiencing. Bitdefender is more of a set-it-and-forget-it affair. That said, it has only a few options. You can turn notifications on or off, configure the VPN to connect automatically on unsafe (read: unsecured) Wi-Fi networks, and have it launch on Windows startup. The Windows edition includes a Kill Switch option that cuts off unsecured Internet connectivity if the VPN connection drops; that’s not present for Mac users.

The VPN under macOS is virtually identical to its Windows counterpart. There are a few settings missing on the Mac, but most (other than the missing Kill Switch) are inconsequential. For example, the Windows edition offers Dark mode and a choice of language.

The stripped-down nature of Bitdefender VPN Premium is understandable when you consider that it’s being sold as an add-on to Bitdefender antivirus products. In fact, you cannot use Bitdefender VPN Premium as a standalone product—it must be installed alongside a Bitdefender antivirus or suite product.

Other VPN services, like TorGuard VPN, have a host of add-on options, like dedicated IP address and access to a 10GB network. NordVPN and ProtonVPN let you connect to the Tor anonymization network through their clients. Several VPN services also offer servers designed for specific activities, like P2P file sharing. The Bitdefender VPN doesn’t have have special servers for P2P, but you can set it to automatically kick in when a P2P app is active.

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Streaming services such as Netflix don’t get along with VPNs, because a VPN user can spoof device location to get around location-based content limitations. Bitdefender takes an unusual approach. According to our company contact, it can “fully support Netflix US for unrestricted access to local content.” If your account is US-based, you should be able to stream from a US-based server wherever you are. In truth, we had no trouble viewing The Umbrella Academy even when connected through a server in Brazil, but Bitdefender doesn’t promise that will work. Netflix is very active about blocking VPNs, but VPNs are active in trying to keep their customers streaming happily. It’s a bit of a cat-and-mouse game.

None of the documentation we found on the bitdefender for mac best buy VPN outlined how many servers are available, but we’ve been told it’s the same as those available with the first-party Hotspot Shield client. Hotspot Shield has 1,800 servers in about 80 countries. That’s a strong showing, beating out much of the VPN small fry.

Server locations matter, partly because more locations means more options for spoofing your own location, but mostly because a closer server will usually yield better speed and lower latency. CyberGhost, for example, is available in 90 countries, and ExpressVPN covers an impressive 94 countries.

You won’t find an option to change the protocol used by the Bitdefender VPN client to create its encrypted tunnel. That’s because Bitdefender always uses Hotspot Shield’s Catapult Hydra protocol. We prefer OpenVPN, which has the advantage of being open-source and picked over for potential vulnerabilities, but Catapult Hydra is allegedly faster. WireGuard is a new VPN technology and the open-source heir apparent to OpenVPN. A few VPNs have moved over to WireGuard, and we expect many more to follow next year.

Average Impact on Connection Speeds

A major concern with using a VPN is it impact on your internet connection speeds. Using the Ookla speed test tool, we find a percent change between speed test results with the VPN and without the VPN. (Note that Ookla Speedtest is owned by j2 Global, the parent company of PCMag’s publisher, Ziff Davis.) Our testing was carried out early this year in our New York office. That office is not currently accessible, so we can’t make a direct comparison with Bitdefender’s results. But given that Bitdefender uses Hotspot Shield’s infrastructure, it’s reasonable to guess it would test about the same. In any case, your results will differ depending on your location and connection.

As you can see in the chart below, Hotspot Shield did extremely well in our speed tests. It put the least drag on download speed of any recent product, and also increased latency by the least amount. Surfshark VPN beat out all comers with its near-nonexistent drag on upload speed, but Hotspot Shield’s effect on uploads is well below the median.

It’s important to remember that variations in network traffic can affect speed test results. The fastest VPN today may not be fastest tomorrow; the fastest VPN in New York may not be the fastest VPN in Portland. These comparisons can give an idea of which VPN will put the least friction into your connection, but we don’t recommend choosing a VPN on speed alone.

If you’re already paying for Bitdefender and are looking for a no-frills VPN service at a bargain basement price, Bitdefender VPN Premium fits the bill. If you’re looking for more features, such as Tor-over-VPN, multi-hop connections, and so on, we recommend looking at ProtonVPN. Mullvad is slightly cheaper, and TunnelBear VPN significantly friendlier. All three of these products have received the coveted PCMag Editors’ Choice award for their individual excellence.

You might also consider Norton 360 Deluxe (for Mac) if you want powerful security that includes VPN protection. At $99.99 per year for five cross-platform licenses, it looks more expensive than Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, which charges $69.99 for the same number. However, with Norton you get a full-featured VPN at no extra charge. Norton is a full security suite, with firewall, parental control, hosted storage for your online backups, and more.

Ransomware Protection Keeps Files Safe

Ransomware is a growing threat, and ransomware protection is showing up in more and more security products. Some add a monitoring layer that looks for behavior that suggests encrypting ransomware. Others, Bitdefender included, balk ransomware activity by limiting access to files in the folders typically affected by ransomware.

A ransomware attack doesn’t aim to disable your computer. The perpetrators know you’ll need a working computer if you decide to pay up. Ransomware usually attacks documents, images, and other personal files, working in the background until its dirty deeds are done. Bitdefender’s Safe Files feature defaults to protecting your Desktop, Documents, Downloads, and Pictures folder. You can add any other folders in which you routinely keep important documents. In particular, you’ll want to add that same set of folders for any other users of the Mac.

Known and trusted applications can access your files just as they always would, but when an unknown program attempts to create or modify files in a protected folder, Safe Files prevents the change and pops up a warning. If you recognize the program, if it’s something you’re actively using, you can add it to the trusted list. If not, let Bitdefender keep blocking the attack.

Previous editions of Bitdefender’s Windows antivirus included an equivalent Safe Files feature, and we verified that it worked correctly using some hand-coded tools. We don’t have similar tools for the Mac in our bag of tricks, but we have no doubt the feature works in just the same way. Note that Bitdefender has removed Safe Files from the Windows edition, because that editions expanded Ransomware Remediation makes it unnecessary.

Savvy Mac users know that Time Machine keeps regular backups, theoretically allowing recovery from ransomware. Your files got encrypted by ransomware? Just restore from backup! But since the Time Machine backup drive is often left connected to the Mac, there’s a possibility that backups could be compromised by a ransomware attack. Just as it prevents unauthorized access to your documents, Bitdefender also protects your Time Machine files.

A Superlative Mac Protector

Bitdefender has long been a famous name in the world of Windows security software, and Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac carries on that tradition. Two labs certified its protection with their best scores. In our own hands-on test of antiphishing prowess, Bitdefender beat almost all Mac-based competitors. It also protects your files and backups against ransomware.

This tool doesn’t have the colossal collection of security bonus features found in its Windows equivalent, but it brings more to the table than most of its macOS competitors. Bitdefender is an Editors’ Choice for Mac antivirus. With scores nearly as good as Bitdefender’s and even more features, Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac is also an Editors’ Choice, as is Norton 360 Deluxe (for Mac).

Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac


  • Top ratings from two independent testing labs
  • Protects files and backups from ransomware
  • Near-perfect score in our antiphishing test


  • Full access to VPN features requires separate subscription


Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac gets top marks from the independent labs and in our own hands-on testing. With its handy Autopilot mode, you can set it, forget it, and have confidence that your Mac is protected against malware.

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