VPN and web protection (Bitdefender antivirus) running simultaneously on Windows

Hope someone can help. I have a windows based desktop, an older Apple iPad and an Apple SE iPhone. All have Bitdefender and Bitdefender vpn.

I need clarification to understand exactly how Bitdefender and Bitdefender VPN operate together. I have a windows based desktop using Bitdefender and Bitdefender VPN. I recently experienced the VPN disconnect issue as noted here on forum. My question is: are both antivirus and vpn operating together in windows? Is my ip address hidden as well as my computer protected from virus, etc… simultaneously?

now….onto iOS devices. I understand that I can only use one (web protection) or the other (vpn) on my Apple devices.

  1. will this ever be resolved where I can use both simultaneously? Or is this just the way it is in iOS?
  2. if I’m browsing web and opening web sites like CNBC or daily wire, should I use mobile security or vpn?
  3. Do any other vpns (i.e. nord, etc…) work alongside (simultaneously) with Bitdefender mobile security?
  4. if I can use both in windows, I may get rid of iPad and buy a windows based tablet.

any other suggestions or comments of how to hide ip and stay protected welcome.

thanks for help

QA guy


  • Alexandru_BD
    Alexandru_BD admin
    edited July 2023

    Hello @QAGuy and welcome to the Community!

    I'll take these one at a time and do my best to provide clear answers.

    The antivirus and the VPN can work together on Windows and they serve different purposes. The antivirus will protect against malware and threats and the VPN will be your invisibility cloak online. There are many VPN benefits with a wide range of applicability:

    a.  First and foremost, there’s the privacy aspect – what you do online is for your eyes only.

    b.  Then, your traffic cannot be used against you. At the lesser end of the specter this means that you are harder to track and profile online, therefore your data/profile will be less appealing to companies trying to target you with their ads. At the opposite end of the specter the VPN shields you from targeted DDoS attacks.

    c.  There’s also a good chance you’ll find better prices to travel or accommodation. While you can’t expect to save hundreds of dollars on your flight, if you’re a frequent traveler and save 10/20 $ each flight you’ll cover the cost of your VPN in 2 trips.

    d.  It’s well known that most sports or movie streaming platforms have different content libraries depending on where you live. If you need to travel abroad and still be able to access your favorite shows, then you definitely need a VPN.

    e.  Some websites may offer their content only in certain regions, therefore you’ll need a VPN to simulate those locations.

    In regard to the iOS devices, please see my answers below:

    1. This is the current behavior for iOS where VPN and Web Protection can’t run simultaneously. However, this behavior is not a dysfunction. Web Protection and VPN are two features designed for separate purposes: the first keeps you safe while browsing while the latter aims to provide internet anonymity.
    2. If you are browsing websites known to be genuine and safe, it's not mandatory to use Web protection and you can use VPN instead should you wish to browse anonymously.
    3. Web Protection uses a built-in VPN to filter all Internet traffic by scanning the connections for malicious and fraudulent content intent. It also adds an encryption layer to prevent your data from being mishandled. It’s not just your browsing activity that gets protected. Any app on your iPhone or iPad that sends information over the Internet is prevented from misusing it. Unsafe connections are automatically blocked, and you are notified each time such an event occurs. Since Web Protection cannot be used at the same time with Bitdefender VPN, it also can't run simultaneously with other VPNs. This is also an iOS limitation, as you will notice that whenever Web Protection is enabled, the VPN symbol will appear on your device. So, it's basically using the VPN profile and two VPN profiles cannot run at the same time on iOS, if that makes sense.
    4. On Windows it is possible to install Total Security (or any other solution) + VPN which run simultaneously. If you plan to purchase a Windows tablet just make sure it doesn't have an ARM processor, as Bitdefender is not compatible with that.

    I would also recommend the Anti-tracker. The Bitdefender Anti-tracker extension is designed to increase your online privacy and reduce the time needed for websites to load, by hiding your activity from trackers. You can find out more information by clicking on the article below:

    I hope the information is helpful.



    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • It is very helpful!

    thank you Alex, much appreciated.


  • I can’t seem to determine if anti tracker is enabled on iPad and iPhone.

    can you provide detailed instructions please? I looked in Mobile Security and Central and can’t seem to find enable toggle

    I have it enabled on windows desktop via Bitdefender interface.

    thanks in advance

  • Alexandru_BD
    Alexandru_BD admin
    edited July 2023

    Hello @QAGuy,

    On your iOS device, bring up Bitdefender VPN and go to Settings -> Privacy -> Add blocker and Anti-Tracker and toggle the two features to the ON (blue) position. Then, once you enable the VPN and start browsing, you will see how many ads and trackers were blocked in the current session on your VPN Dashboard (swipe up for more info).

    These features are extremely useful because they stop the annoying ads "personalized" for you depending on your browsing activity and this way you also avoid tracking that leads to profiling.


    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Thanks again Alex!

    I seem to have already enabled both anti tracker and ad blocker.

    that said, I really wish I could use both anti virus and vpn simultaneously….as I’m sure everyone does..


  • Funkwillow
    Funkwillow Doctoral Student

    I'm new to the Bitdefender forum, and I apologize if I'm misunderstanding the issue.

    If I enable Bitdefender's "Web Protection" feature to handle my internet traffic, will it provide the same ad and track blocking capabilities as the regular Bitdefender VPN? I prefer the ad/trace blocking features of the regular VPN because the apps I use require a subscription to block ads, and the VPN allows me to use them as if I have a paid subscription. Am I going to lose this ability by switching the VPN to Web Protection?

    Any advice is much appreciated.


  • Alexandru_BD
    Alexandru_BD admin
    edited August 2023

    Hello @Funkwillow,

    Web Protection filters all Internet traffic by scanning the connections for malicious and fraudulent content intent. It offers real-time protection against all known online threats. Should you require adblock/anti-tracking capabilities, I would recommend the Bitdefender Anti-Tracker extension:

    The VPN allows you to connect to the Internet by means of an encrypted and secure tunnel to keep your personal data private and hide your IP address. It may also help display content that is normally restricted in specific areas.

    Switching from VPN to Web Protection means you will no longer use an encrypted connection that may also unlock geo-restricted content. The best practice when using the two features is to enable them according to your needs. If you wish to stay anonymous on the web and access content that might otherwise be restricted in your area, you can use the VPN. If you are navigating on some websites for the first time and you are unsure if they are secure enough, it's best to turn on Web Protection for peace of mind.


    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user