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Bitdefender Antivirus Review

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Joseph Steinberg

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    Bitdefender

    Our Verdict

    Bitdefender is hands down one of the best antivirus suites in today’s market. Not only is it jam-packed with features, it actually works exceptionally well against major ransomware threats. It includes just about everything you need to keep malware and viruses out of your Windows system.

    Double these features with a straightforward UI, economically priced plans, awesome customer service, and amazing performance and Bitdefender is worth every penny. It runs on a strong algorithm and protects sensitive data from any threats.

    Pros:

    • Multi-layered malware protection, easy configuration, and a hardened browser tackle security from multiple angles
    • It is extremely lightweight and thus features low system usage
    • There are multiple options to choose from including a 30-day trial along with 24/7 customer service
    • The Firewall offers individual app permission
    • A modern and clean interface makes it easy to deploy out of the box

    Cons

    • Accompanying VPN only offers the most basic functionalities
    • The One-Click Optimizer is missing some helpful automation features

    See It at Bitdefender

    Bitdefender Total Security Overview

    Bitdefender is revered as one of the best antiviruses, and the protection it provides for over 500 million devices across 150 countries offers a lot of advanced features that guarantee real-time security around the clock. One of the best things that set Bitdefender apart from the league of other antivirus options is its system usage. It provides essential real-time protection without eating up your device’s RAM or storage.

    With Bitdefender, you gain access to innovative technology that detects and prevents even the latest threats. In addition, the antivirus suite features an intuitive and sleek user interface that you can configure as per your needs. Accordingly, it has received the “Outstanding Product” award from AV-Comparatives and is a masterpiece when it comes to protection, performance, and privacy.

    How to Setup and Uninstall Bitdefender

    It is rather straightforward to download and install Bitdefender. Just follow the steps listed below:

    1.       Choose the Bitdefender Total Security 2020 plan
    2.       Visit Bitdefender Central and sign-in or create an account
    3.       Go to My Devices, then click on Install Protection

    Install Bitdefender

    4.       You’ll see a window Protect Your Devices > click Protect this Device to install Bitdefender on the device (select the device owner from the list)
    5.       Once the download is completed, run the installer
    6.       When the setup wizard appears, select the preferred language and click on Install to confirm
    7.       Once the installation is completed, click on the Get Started window to verify if your subscription is activated
    8.       Click Finish to access the user interface.

    Uninstalling Bitdefender is easy. Here’s how you can do it:

    1. Open the Control Panel
    2. Go to Programs > select Bitdefender > click Uninstall
    3. Restart your device if not done automatically

    uninstall

    Features

    Bitdefender antivirus is suited for everyone. Even the base-plan has some advanced features that aren’t provided by other software. It has been topping AV Test’s rating list for a long time now. The advanced algorithms help detect, prevent, and remove even the latest threats and malware.

    One of our favorite features is the option to configure Bitdefender security levels based on our activity. Moreover, Bitdefender and Kaspersky Internet Security ($59.95 at Kaspersky) were the only brands to score 6 out of 6 in the Protection Tests organized by AV-Tests.

    General

    Money-back GuaranteeYes, up to 30 days from the date of purchase
    Free VersionYes
    PlatformWindows, MacOS, Android, iOS
    Parental ControlsYes
    Email ProtectionYes
    ChatYes
    VPN ServiceYes
    Smartphone OptimizerNo
    USB Virus ScansYes
    Automated Virus ScansYes
    Game ModeYes
    Safe BrowserYes
    Passive ModeYes

    Threat Protection

    Anti-SpywareYes
    Anti-WormYes
    Anti-TrojanYes
    Anti-RootkitYes
    Anti-PhishingYes
    Anti-SpamYes
    Adware PreventionYes

    Scanning

    With Bitdefender’s automatic scanning you can gladly say goodbye to the manual scans that need to be performed using existing programs. As a matter of fact, the core of the software is its powerful scanning mechanism.  After successful installation, it keeps scanning your device in real-time against the constantly updated list of security threats. You can get access to this powerful feature in the Free version as well.

    We like the freedom of choosing between a full scan and quick scan. Plus, there is a vulnerability checker to review and remove both OS and network connection vulnerabilities.

    AV-Comparatives recent Real-World Protection test awarded Bitdefender as ADVANCED+ because of the near-perfect protection rate of 99.8% and just 2 false positives. Norton Security ($19.99 at Norton), a neck-to-neck competitor, also scored 99.8% but with 32 false positives.

    We loved Bitdefender Total Security antivirus scans, but it can be a bit of disappointment if you have a lot of password-protected files/folders on your system.

    Pricing

    PlanPriceNumber of DevicesTop Features
    Bitdefender Total Security 2020$39.99 yearly5 devicesReal-time data protection, Advanced Threat Defense, One-click optimizer
    Bitdefender Internet Security 2020$34.99 Yearly3 devicesParental Control, Multi-layer ransomware protection, multiple modes, Global protective network
    Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020$24.99 Yearly3 devicesAnti-tracker, Wi-Fi security advisor, vulnerability assessment

    Discount

    On top of next-gen cybersecurity, tools are the well-priced relative to the industry range, Bitdefender also presents handsome discounts and offers for all of their plans.

    The Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 original price $59.99 per year for 3 devices. However, you can get it at $24.99 for the first year.

    Similarly, the Bitdefender Internet Security 2020 is priced at $79.99 per year for 3 devices, but you can get it for $34.99 for the 1st year.

    Bitdefender Total Security 2020 for 5 devices at $39.99 for the 1st year instead of $89.99 per year.

    See It at Bitdefender

    Privacy and Security

    Privacy

    Even the basic Bitdefender plan offers malware detection and deletion features alongside a password manager, Wi-Fi network scanner, file shredder, a dedicated web browser and extensions, the newest Anti-Tracker web-privacy, two-way firewall, screening, webcam and microphone protection, as well as fraud and phishing protection.

    Thanks to the multi-layered security and encryption, your device is safe from threats, no matter what you browse or download. You can even tweak browser settings to ensure that your online browsing activity isn’t being tracked.

    Additionally, Bitdefender Safepay protects your online transactions by eliminating fear keyloggers and other phishing attempts. Plus, you get a File Encryption tool that allows you to place your secret files in a vault and encrypt them.

    Security

    Bitdefender has already won numerous accolades from independent labs and has equally surpassed our expectations on every test we performed. It offers a 360-degree security structure which includes dozens of features.

    Some of the outstanding features for enhanced security include a spam filter, file encryption, fully customizable firewall, banking and multi-layered ransomware protection, password manager, a hardened browser, cross-platform parental control system, and a VPN. To top it all, you also get system-tune up and anti-theft features.

    With such a huge array of top-notch security features, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is one of our preferred choices to protect devices across various platforms.

    Performance and Protection

    Beyond the features that make it a top antivirus contender, Bitdefender is very light on the system. It doesn’t overuse the system memory and you can barely notice it running continuously in the background. The impact on the CPU is low to minimal as well. Independent test results showed that while other antiviruses slow the system down by 50%, Bitdefender slows the device by a mere 8-10%.  

    They scored 6/6 (an ADVANCED+ rating) with a low-impact score of 6.7 on the Performance Test results from AV-Comparatives, while close competitor Avira Antivirus Pro ($35.99 at Avira), scored a relatively high 15.6.  Discover how It performs in protection categories by reading on:

    Malware Protection

    Bitdefender’s malware protection is top-notch. The company keeps updating its huge list of potential threats continuously. Whenever it finds a new threat, it instantly matches them with the database for further action. In addition, Bitdefender AI keeps monitoring the files for any inconsistent behavior. With this real-time update and security, you can rest assured of locating and immediately removing all kinds of malware from the system.

    You are safe

    Ransomware Detection

    Ransomware might not be as dangerous as it was a couple of years back, but it is still threatening. Thanks to the advanced features and frequent updates, Bitdefender is positioned to take care of your device by defending against ransomware.

    One of the best things is that the ransomware mode works in real-time, blocking access to all infected URLs by detecting the underlying malware using its signature.

    The Safe files feature limits access of apps and software to the folders and files in your device.

    Ransomware Detection

    Phishing Detection

    Bitdefender’s protection against phishing attacks is also quite sturdy and impressive. A series of multiple tests by independent labs concluded that Bitdefender’s anti-phishing feature is among the best, and actually gives Kaspersky a run for their money.

    The advanced-AI feature blocks thousands of phishing websites, and the list of suspected URLs gets updated regularly to keep your device safe. The Phishing protection module of Bitdefender is completely customizable, meaning you can whitelist websites and even guide the tool on what to scan.

    Block the page

    Spyware Detection

    All the advanced spyware detection features are included in all of Bitdefender’s modules. Whether you run a quick scan or a full-fledged device scan, It will run thorough searches to check for possible spyware within your system and the network.

    It features an advanced-AI tool to monitor and compare spyware in real-time, keeping your device safe round the clock. The monitor tracks behavior and quarantines threats as and when required. If it finds something new, it adds it to the database for further tracking and removal.

    Spyware Detection

    Firewall Protection

    There aren’t many antiviruses that offer the same level of firewall protection as Bitdefender. First of all, it is one of the few brands that come with a two-way firewall that is extremely customizable. It protects your device from unauthorized network activity and port scans while you can also create your own rules to block or allow network access to individual apps.

    With Bitdefender, you can get more user control and customized protection irrespective of the network you’re connected to.

    Firewall

    Lab Test Results

    We are more than happy with the tests we performed using Bitdefender. The latest release of Bitdefender Total Security 2020 boasts many improvements and a smoother user interface, not to mention the new anti-tracker browser extension and parental controls.

    Bitdefender scored 100 percent in AV-Test's extensive and prevalent malware test using approximately 2,500 samples. AV-Comparatives tested Bitdefender in its real-world security test, reporting that Bitdefender blocked 99.9% of attacks from 752 test cases. While it had a perfect score of 6 and an ADVANCED+ rating from AV-Test, Avast Free Antivirus was a little behind with a score of 5.5/6 despite this competitor providing exceptional support and nearly equivalent performance.

    To check the performance, we tested it on a Windows 10 PC (8 GB RAM, 64-bit) device. The installation took no time, and we were able to complete a full-device scan for the first time in under 20 minutes, which is really great when compared to some other antivirus software options. Also, we didn’t encounter any lag or system slowdown for any of the scans apart from the initial full scan.

    It was rated 8.3 by AV-Comparatives’ Performance Impact Test, wherein lower scores mean better performance. In the same test, McAfee Total Protection ($44.99 at McAfee)topped the charts with 7.5 while Trend Micro Maximum Security ($39.95 at Trend Micro) was rated at 13.7. Overall, Bitdefender delivers a power-packed security suite that uses less system memory.

    Ease of Use and Interface

    Honestly speaking, we haven’t seen a better user interface than Bitdefender’s lately. Although it is not much different than its 2019 interface, it displays a white checkmark on a green shield when there are no problems being detected. If you are a first-time user, you can make use of the tour they provide on your first installation to learn about the key areas of the user interface.

    You are Safe

    You get a straightforward dashboard with an easy navigation menu. With Quick Scans and the VPN just one click away, Total Security's beautifully designed dashboard gives you quick access to the features you'll need most often. A left sidebar organizes the other tools of Total Security into the areas of Protection, Privacy, and Utilities. You can tap any of the sub-menus to check the different functions they provide.
    If you don’t like the interface as it is, Bitdefender also allows you to customize the layout’s default features or add a new layout. Overall, it is a perfect balance of an easy and comfortable interface for beginners, as well as a highly configurable and controllable interface for experts.

    Customer Support

    They provide 24/7 access to Customer Care Representatives via phone calls, emails, and live chats. However, this is only available to customers using paid plans.  If you are seeking to solve potential problems on your own, you can find a lot of resources on their official website. They have a wide collection of articles written in simple language. Or, you can always head over to Bitdefender communities/forums for answers to most of your queries. You can even connect with them on social media platforms.

    Customer service has always been a priority for Bitdefender, and they ensure that each customer gets the most value out of their purchases. This is why you can rest assured to receive the first response within 24 hours of your email. However, for quicker responses, feel free to try their live chat feature.

    There’s just one drawback – most technical issues are routed to 2nd-level support who respond via emails which may result in slightly delayed responses. Yet, if you have a clean installation, you likely won’t need to reach out for technical help.