How many stars would you give this? Out of 5?
- User Experience rating – 4.6
- Features rating – 4.8
- Pricing rating- 4
- Security rating- 4.5
- Support rating- 4.8
- Overall rating – 4.5
Bitdefender should be your go-to antivirus is you are looking for versatility, user-friendliness, and software that is multiplatform. It is reliable, performs well, and while a bit pricey, the features are worth it. Compared to market leaders such as Kaspersky and Norton, it is less impressive when tackling modern-day threats. It’s Mac and mobile apps are also quite limited as compared to what is offered on the Windows versions. Let’s dig in and explore in detail.
Bitdefender Antivirus is anti-malware and computer security software developed by a Romanian cybersecurity company going by the same name. Bitdefender antivirus has over 500 million users in over 150 countries worldwide.
Here is a review of what the software has to offer and how it compares to competitors in the market:
- Installation and setup
Installing Bitdefender is straightforward and quite easy. You choose your preferred package, choose a payment method and once the payment is processed you can download your installation file. Installation takes less than 10 minutes to complete, and creating an account takes about a minute. Product activation just requires the code you receive your email. Bitdefender starts working automatically and you do not have to manually set up anything for the antivirus to start detecting malware.
We recommend first getting the free trial version and paying for a package after the trial period.
- Bitdefender interface
Every single important feature is within reach, and it takes one-two clicks to activate/deactivate an option. There’s a green shield with a white mark in the middle of the Bitdefender central dashboard, which means the system is secure.
Bitdefender’s user interface is very friendly, and every important feature is easily accessible. From quick scans, SafePay, and the VPN that are on the main screen, it takes one or two clicks to activate other features which are on the left side in Protection, Privacy and Utility categories.
Bitdefender’s quick scans take about 2-3 minutes, while full scans take between 15-20 minutes. Consecutive scans take less time. In a passive performance loss test, Bitdefender slowed down devices by 15% which is better than Kaspersky’s 18%. A full scan resulted in an 18% drop in performance, which is not that bad.
Kaspersky, the market leader has over 50% device performance drop during a full scan, while McAfee’s has the lowest performance impact at 10%.
Strengths of Bitdefender Antivirus Software
- An array of features
- Easy to install and use
- Clean and modern user interface
- Accuracy in malware blocking
- Multi-layered and effective anti-ransomware
- Unlimited VPN use for premium programs
- Available for various platforms, Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
- Bitdefender Central Account which makes it convenient
- The convenience of managing one subscription with Bitdefender Central Account.
Weaknesses of Bitdefender Antivirus Software
- Performance impact slowing your device down
- Entry-level packages only available for Windows OS
- Quite pricey when compared to rivals
- No automation of the one-click optimizer
- Up to 48 hours response rate of 2nd level customer support
Features of Bitdefender Antivirus 2020
Bitdefender antivirus comes with an array of useful features such as a password manager, webcam protection, parental controls, VPN, and a firewall. Let us look at the features it has to offer:
- Malware protection
As one of the top-10 antiviruses, Bitdefender has a host of advanced antimalware protection techniques. To start with, it has a 24/7 scanner that looks for threats in the database. It is backed by a heuristic monitor, which detects behavior change to identify viruses and eliminate them.
A potential malicious file, it uploaded to Bitdefender servers, which serves over 500 million systems. An update of this malware is then sent to every single user of the software around the world. If you do not like the idea of sharing your data with a third-party app, you can turn it off on the dashboard.
Bitdefender also has a rescue environment that uses a hidden hard drive sector to do a full scan of the system without you being aware. This rescue environment should however only be used if you are not able to eliminate threats with offline and real-time modules.
- Phishing protection
Bitdefender will protect you from malicious links, fake websites, password theft, and other phishing attempts. Bitdefender has an Online Threat Protection (OTP) which relies on the blacklist database, as well as real-time analysis to detect attacks. Our tests showed that OTP can detect 99% of threats. When it comes to phishing protection, Bitdefender is almost at par with ESET, Kaspersky, and McAfee.
- Firewall web protection
Bitdefender’s firewall automatically works 24/7 to block all incoming threats when you are online. It detects unsafe apps and blocks them too. The firewall has a Network Threat Prevention (NTP) module which works together with an OTP as an advanced firewall.
While a firewall is a nice addon but not a very essential feature of antivirus, Bitdefender’s firewall only has a 45% success rate as compared to Norton’s 85% detection rate.
- Spam filter
This is a basic automatic feature that filters malicious emails and attachments from your mailbox. While basic, the feature is impressive and detected more than 90% of the planted samples, and only had only 1% of false positives. This feature works 24/7 and you can create blacklists and whitelists on it.
- Bitdefender webcam protection and microphone filter
Bitdefender’s Webcam protection feature determines what apps can access the webcam and which ones cannot. When an app that is not allowed to use the webcam attempts to, you get alerts, and you can act on it. The module can block specific apps, browsers, and even turn off the webcam completely.
The microphone filter works the same way. It however has a lower level of control, and you cannot do much beyond the alerts. It is still a commendable feature as most rivals do not have it.
- Parental controls
Bitdefender’s Parental Control has a decent line-up of features that helps you control what your child is watching online. It allows you to restrict app usage, block websites, set time limits, and turn off devices. The Android Bitdefender version even allows parents to monitor SMS and calls on their children’s phones, as well as blocking calls.
Parental Controls on the premium version also comes with address request, cyberbullying detection, and other extra functionalities.
- Password manager
Bitdefender comes with a password wallet that stores passwords, sensitive data, logins, credit card credentials, and secure notes. This password manager allows synching of passwords enabling easier logins of different devices. However, the wallet has remained limited as it does not support 2-factor authentications, lacks automatic password updates, and a secure way to share logins. It is not impressive when compared to the best password managers in the market.
- Bitdefender VPN
While you cannot compare the Bitdefender VPN to CyberGhost or ExpressVPN, it is decent considering its part of an antivirus suite. You can stream, torrent, and unblock geo-restricted content. The premium version of Bitdefender allows unlimited VPN usage, while other packages are limited to 200mb per day.
- Anti-tracking features
This is a browser extension available on Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Firefox. This module blocks every tracker it detects on browsers by default. It shows you the number of trackers blocked on the top right corner. If you want some trackers to enable, you can change this in the settings.
- Safe files – Ransomware protection
Safe Files is Bitdefender’s ransomware protection feature that prevents unauthorized modification of vulnerable apps, data, and folders. You can handpick additional locations to be protected. You get alerts when a malicious program tries to modify apps, files, or folders.
Safe Files is supported by Ransomware Remediation, a new backup feature that automatically backups important files that are likely to be attacked.
However, Safe Files was unable to detect Petya and other threats, and it is not as good as the Trend Micro Module.
- Bitdefender safepay – Online banking protection
SafePay is Bitdefender’s very secure desktop that launches automatically when you log in to a banking site. This feature protects financial information in an era where financial fraud is rife. This desktop is remote and has a virtual keyboard that cannot be accessed by keyloggers and keystroke stealing malware. It is recommended that you use this feature together with a VPN for enhanced protection.
Bitdefender Lab Tests
If you are looking for flawless protection against modern malware, Bitdefender is a reliable option but lags competitors such as Kaspersky, Norton, and Trend Micro. The most recent AV-Test evaluation shows that it detected 100% of prevalent and widespread malware, but only 98.8% of zero-day attacks.
In the AV-Comparatives test, the antivirus detected and eliminated 99.99% of malicious samples that were planted. This is remarkably close to Kaspersky’s 100% and better than Trend Micro’s and Norton’s 99.6%.
These lab results show that while Bitdefender is a top-10 antivirus, it is not the best in the market.
Bitdefender Antivirus Packages and Pricing
Bitdefender offers different pricing points on Windows, Mac, IOS, and Android. It also has a Bitdefender business suite. Let us look at their various packages and the features they come with.
- Bitdefender For Windows
The lineup of Bitdefender’s Windows protection now has five versions: Antivirus Plus 2020, Internet Security 2020, Total Security 2020, Small Office Security, and Premium Security.
- Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 is the most basic version that offers malware detection as well as fraud protection. It starts at € 59.99/year and supports up to 3 PC devices.
- The Internet Security 2020 package starts at €59.99/year for 1device and €89.99 for 10 devices. It offers more advanced security than Antivirus Plus. Features include parental controls, smart firewall, file encryption, spam protection, and webcam protection. It is also exclusive to Windows PC and supports up to 3 devices.
- Total Security 2020 is a multiplatform feature that starts at €44.99/ year for 5 devices and €99.99/year for 10 devices. It comes with advanced malware protection, parental controls, anti-fraud, anti-phishing, VPN, firewall, and minimal impact on your devices’ performance.
- Small Office Security starts at €149.99/year for 10 devices. It is designed for small businesses and has advanced features that guarantee protection, privacy, and optimum performance.
- Premium Security starts at €149.99 for 10 devices. It is a multiplatform package that has the highest level of malware protection, minimal system impact, and offers priority customer service help to its subscribers.
- Bitdefender Mac Version
For Mac Users, there are three Bitdefender packages available. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac is the same price as Antivirus Plus for Windows and is exclusive to the macOS.
The other two packages are the multiplatform Total Security and Premium Security. While they cost the same as in Windows OS, they are not as packed with features. It lacks extras such as webcam/mic protection, OneClick Optimizer, Photon, social network protection, and more.
- Bitdefender Mobile Version
Bitdefender offers three choices for mobile devices: the multiplatform Premium Security package, Mobile Security for Android, and Mobile Security for iOS.
The Premium Security package costs the same as for other platforms and supports up to 10 devices at $149.99
Bitdefender for Android supports devices with Android 4.1 and higher and costs only $29.99 /year. The iOS version costs the same, but their features are different.
- Mobile Security for Android offers remote location, secure VPN with 200MB daily limit(upgradable), account privacy, low battery impact, web protection, and autopilot feature.
- Mobile Security for iOS offers web protection, limited but upgradable VPN, account breach check, and iPad support.
- Multiplatform Version
This suite features Premium Security, Total Security, Small Office Security, Family Pack 2020, and the Bitdefender Box. The first three are priced the same and are available across platforms. However, features vary, with the Windows apps getting the bulk of features.
- The Family Pack 2020 package protects up to 15 devices, comes with parental controls and comprehensive 24/7 support. It costs $119.99/year.
- The Bitdefender Box package protects an unlimited number of devices across platforms, both at home and on the go. It costs €199.99/year and offers Bitdefender Total Security, BOX Network Security Hub, Remote Device management and Install & Setup Service ($39.90 value), and other advanced features.
Bitdefender Customer Support
Regardless of the package you have, Bitdefender offers free 24.7 customer support for its customers. Support is available via email, phone support, and an online chat form. It takes less than 24 hours for agents to get back to you, and in the worst-case scenario, 48 hours. The average time is 15 hours.
Premium Security subscribers however have an advantage as they are guaranteed priority support within an hour or two.
Bitdefender also has an extensive FAQ section on its official website where you can refer for quick help with questions. It has full guides on installation and use, a forum, and videos explaining how to use most features. Overall, Bitdefender’s customer support is above average.
Bitdefender ranks as one of the top-ten antivirus software in the market. It is available across platforms, Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, with several packages available. It comes with an array of security and protection features, some of the basic, and others advanced. It is reliable, performs well, and while a bit pricey, the features are worth it. However, compared to market leaders such as Kaspersky and Norton, it is less impressive when it comes to tackling modern-day threats.