Here's our review of Bitdefender antivirus, giving you a comprehensive overview of its features, advantages and disadvantages, and giving you feedback on consumer reviews.
It's best for:
- Users looking for the ultimate antivirus solution at a reasonable price.
- Business owners and large corporations who value their security and privacy.
- Owners of personal computers running the Windows operating system.
Bitdefender Antivirus: Is Bitdefender effective?
In recent years, Bitdefender has become one of the leading antivirus products on the market and is now on par with Kaspersky. As independent third-party testing proves, this antivirus offers near-perfect protection against all kinds of malware and viruses.
Add to this a low system impact, affordable prices and excellent support, and you have a product that you can't afford to miss. Ease of use and generous free trials are also among its strengths.
If you're looking for basic, yet robust protection, Antivirus Plus is a good choice, while Internet Security offers parental controls and more advanced features.
Total Security is the company's ultimate offering and comes with an impressive set of additional features. Check the "Pack Features" section again to find the plan that best suits your needs and budget.
As the leading antivirus solution, Bitdefender is very popular among international users. The algorithms are powerful and protect your sensitive data from malware, ransom software and other viruses.
The price is also reasonable, and this is probably the main selling point of this product. The company is known and recognized all over the world; it has built its reputation over many years. If you are not really convinced - it may be useful to look at the list of antivirus companies (what is the best antivirus) and see that Bitdefender is among the best of them.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Kaspersky Lab could be a bigger name in the industry, but Bitdefender Antivirus is just as effective in fighting viruses. Independent third party companies always put it at the top of their lists. Currently, Bitdefender has about five million loyal users worldwide, so let's look at the pros and cons to see if Bitdefender products will melt your heart or not :
- Malware protection deserves our highest praise
- It's one of the fastest antivirus programs in the world.
- The system impact is light
- The online support is superb and can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Free trials are very generous
- This antivirus has many features that you won't find in most competitive products.
- If you're looking for even better protection, advanced security programs will ensure you're covered.
We don't like it:
- The standard Bitdefender only works on a personal computer with the Microsoft operating system; no offer for Mac, iOS or Android devices.
- The full scans are very complete, but they are quite slow (especially the first one).
- The price is a little high
- Bitdefender has many great features, including anti-fishing/fraud, autopilot, work/film/game modes, Wi-Fi SA (Security Advisor), online banking protection (that's great), secure browsing, etc.
- It is by far one of the most intuitive and simple antivirus software on the market.
- Impressive third party test results (only competed by Kaspersky)
- There is a 30-day free trial for most packages. Total Security offers a 90-day trial.
Reliability and safety
In the extensive tests conducted by our team of experts, Bitdefender easily eliminated 99 % of threats. Only McAfee (Total Protection) managed to achieve a perfect result of 100 %. AV-Test, a third party German company, also subjected the antivirus to a series of tests. Bitdefender detected 100 % of zero-day and generalized threats (both in Win 7 and 10). Bitdefender nevertheless flagged eight applications as potential threats; Kaspersky achieved the same result without any false accusations.
In actual tests conducted by AV-Comparatives (an Australian third party), this antivirus received a near perfect score of 99.8. Surprisingly, in tests by SE Labs (an English tester), Bitdefender ended up in seventh place (a total of 13 products were tested) with a total score of 96.
As for the impact on the system, it is very light, and although the software consumes a lot of RAM (up to 700MB), it does not put a strain on the operating system or the device, and you won't even feel it running in the background. There is virtually no impact on the CPU. Our experts took their time to determine the overall impact on the system. On an average computer, Bitdefender only slowed the device down by 8-10 %. For example, some products can have a negative impact of 50%.
This antivirus protection against malware is rock solid. Whenever Bitdefender finds suspicious files/codes, it instantly compares them to the database and at the same time continues to monitor their behavior. Any new and unknown code is sent directly to the dedicated servers for analysis. Throughout the day, the company updates the computers of more than 500 million users with new and improved signatures.
Even if you refuse to let the antivirus software collect data on your device, you will still get these updates. Safe Files has been specially designed to protect key documents on your device from any virus/malware attempting to infect them.
Protection against ransomware
Ransoms may not be as dangerous as they were two or three years ago, but they are still a significant threat. Fortunately, Bitdefender is fully capable of protecting your device against any ransom software. First, it blocks access to any infected URL; second, the antivirus detects malware by its signature. The Safe Files feature allows only the most trusted applications and software to access critical folders and files on your operating system.
There is also a behavioral monitor that detects and prevents all the latest ransom software from encrypting files on a user's device. Ransom Recovery, a brand new feature of Bitdefender 2020 products, backs up potentially targeted files and puts them back in place once the threats have been dealt with.
Bitdefender's phishing protection is also very impressive. Bitdefender's phishing protection is considered to be one of the best and is on a par with Kaspersky's. It failed to block several phishing sites in our tests, but this is not critical. Overall, it offers excellent protection against this type of threat.
Ease of use
The Bitdefender download procedure is very user-friendly and simple. Just follow the simple instructions, and the antivirus will be installed on your device within minutes. The green 'tick' on the dashboard means that you are well protected and that there is no immediate threat.
The brand's autopilot option is quite intriguing: If you turn it on, the antivirus will take control and switch from one mode to another to best suit the task at hand. When it is off, the user is free to choose between 5 modes: game, movie, work, Wi-Fi and battery.
The interface is very informative and easy to navigate. On the main screen, you will instantly see a series of recommendations to speed up the operating system's operation. Quick scans are also accessible with one click; the same goes for the VPN.
If you want to access Bitdefender's features like firewall, secure files, anti-spam and more, use the "Protection" menu on the left. The password manager, webcam protection and parental controls are all in the "Privacy" menu. Everything is easily accessible, and even a novice will be able to make sense of it all.
To get your device up and running faster and to set it up, go to "Utilities" - that's where you'll find one-click optimization, clean disk and other useful tools. For more advanced setup options, click on the "Settings" menu in the lower left corner. Most of the time, it's best to leave everything as is, unless you know what you're doing.
As with most other antivirus products, a quick scan is available on the dashboard. A full scan can be started in the "Privacy" menu. Scheduled scans are also available: tell the antivirus to run scans at night, on weekends or when you are away from home.
Bitdefender's fast scans take 7-8 seconds, which is very impressive, and the full analysis can take up to 1 hour and 30 minutes, but the more you analyze, the less time you need.
Note: Each time you plug in a USB stick (or any other external data source such as a CD or DVD) Bitdefender performs a quick scan on it.
There's even a vulnerability scanner (it checks the operating system for security flaws and updates). Here's what the Wi-Fi scanner does: when there are weaknesses in your network, such as weak encryption or basic passwords that are easy to crack, the scanner immediately notifies the user.