Having antivirus software is a must, considering all the threats internet holds these days. And with so many options in the market, it’s okay to get confused about what to choose.
In this article, to ease your selection process, we’re giving you our unbiased review on a popular consumer antivirus, Bitdefender.
Founded in 2021 by a Romanian cyber-security company, Bitdefender has gained a lot of popularity over the years. The software provides a five-product range from the free edition, Bitdefender Internet Security, Total Security & VPN Premium, Total Security, to Premium Security package. All these packages come with similar protection and offer the same malware detection technology.
- Uses less system resource to run.
- User-friendly UI, easy to use for beginners
- Higher detection rate of malware
- VPN Access requires separate package installation
- Free version of Bitdefender lacks some ransom protection
Bitdefender supports a wide range of operating systems and devices, but we are testing the Windows version only.
Download and Installation are pretty straightforward but a little time-consuming.
Within few clicks, the Bitdefender installs in the system with a prompt window giving tutorials on how to use the antivirus. After a regular wiz installation, you have to choose your preferred package, sign up/ sign in and you’re good to go.
The task manager shows the Bitdefender running 13 background processes and Windows services. A good system can handle the extra processes. But a system with weak processors like the Celeron or an older Pentium might run a bit too sluggish.
The antivirus has a low CPU usage in the background and draws a moderate amount of system power when scanning for threats. The antivirus is robust and constantly keeping in check for its services. It blocks off potentially unwanted applications and rootkits trying to run the system. It continually keeps the system and files in check and automatically protects files in case of a ransomware attack.
The higher packages allow the antivirus to check for any malicious activity on all the systems and the network. The dual-firewall system offers better protection against outside attacks. There is a router protection plan included in the antivirus but you are required to pay for the services. Yes, the Total Security package does provide the service. But if you have already purchased a plan for your router, you can always include the plan in the antivirus
Plus, the antivirus system has different profiles according to the use case. The inbuilt system profiles manage the workload of getting the best Windows experience. Bitdefender always finds new malware signatures and uploads the suspicious item to the online testing lab for analysis. The new malware signature then gets sent to all systems.
Performance and speed
Antivirus, without a doubt, will slow down your system. And Bitdefender is no exception. But if we compare the software to its competitor, there is a significant difference in performance.
We are showing a direct comparison of results of the Bitdefender antivirus with other industry-standard AVs. The table shows the detection rate of the malware-detection engine of the antiviruses.
Here we are looking at the specification released by the AV-Test Lab. The Germany-based AV-Test lab shows concrete testing of the antivirus and its effectiveness, giving you an early head start.
The testing was done on May-June 2020 by the Germany-based AV-Test lab. The Bitdefender’s malware engine detected 100% malware. The antivirus quickly picked the Zero-Day malware and Widespread malware. It easily passed the test without picking up any false positives.
But in the AV-Comparatives test done by the Austrian-based test lab, Bitdefender slacks behind. The antivirus lets few threats pass-through the system picking up a few false positives in the test. It scores 99.7% on the test which is still better. But the malware-detection on Trend Micro offers better detection with a score of 100% in all the tests. Needless to say, Bitdefender has an excellent malware detection engine.
And for VPN, Bitdefender uses Hotspot Shield’s server which is known for its fast speed. But you may experience some speed throttling depending on your location.
Additional feature and Interface
The Bitdefender antivirus comes with a modern and clean interface. Navigating through the UI is relatively easier with no messed up or cluttered UI elements. Bitdefender looks ahead with the Digital Identity Protection protecting the user from any data exposure and threads. The application taskbar lets you open the main program or update the software. But you need to enter the application to perform any task.
The file shredder is not a fancy application but helps to delete any files from the system permanently. It leaves no residue making it hard to revive using file restoration software. The OneClick optimizer comes in the clutch, speeding up the systems. It automatically closes unwanted services and clean junk from the system.
Bitdefender higher packages provide free VPN services for the system. But you are pegged to limited bandwidth capped at 500MB/s. Not the best VPN system but does the job for basic usage. Bitdefender paid programs comes with web-tracking services in the all the web browser.
But that is not the end for the VPN system; you are getting a bundle package with the antivirus. To unlock or get unlimited access, you must pay a separate subscription for the VPN package. That is quite a bummer when you are providing a paying option in the in-built VPN.
Privacy and Anti-Trackers
The antivirus installs all the plugins and Anti-tracker in all the web-browsers during installation. But these plugins are not available for Opera or Safari browser. The web-application protects the users from online attacks, data breaches, malicious sites, etc. The wallet application stores all the passwords for your essential website and auto-generates a strong password combination for increased security.
The Safepay application is the next best online banking protection. It offers a secure online connection, whether be on online banking or your online shopping sessions. The antivirus blocks the browser extension and prevents keyloggers to obtain passwords.
The higher-paid option comes with the best hardware-level protection. The Bitdefender application automatically denies access to the webcam and microphone. The user can handpick the application giving access to the webcam and microphone.
The parental controls add additional protection to your internet traffic safe and help children avoid malicious websites. It works seamlessly across all the platforms keeping you and your family safe.
There is a free alternative available, but it suffers from limitations on features and performance.
Bitdefender starts at around $24 / year on three devices for the first year. And if you still have a hard time making a decision, you can try the 30 days free trial option.
Bitdefender is robust and comes with top-of-line defense and malware detection engines. The antivirus misses to detect very few malicious files and threats, but the company is sure to update it in the future. The antivirus is on par with the top-of-the-line Kaspersky’s and Norton security solution.
The malware detection system is excellent against newer and older viruses and attacks. The antivirus has better protection from ransomware with its quick backup action. It has a complete set of security services with some additional applications as well. It doesn’t take up the many system resources balancing out the performance without compromising on its services.
The pricing on the packages is also relatively fair without leaving a lot behind the paywall. But the VPN is not the best with limited services. Not going to lie, but some free VPN provides way better services than the in-built VPN.
But all in all, the Bitdefender is one of the best antiviruses for Windows providing all-around performance. If you are looking to find a new antivirus for your system, Bit Defender gets our nod.