You may not know too much about antivirus and still, remember that Bitdefender is one of the simplest. Based in Romania, the company has been protecting its users since 2001, discovering thousands of newer threats every day.
Bitdefender often praised for its performance and effective malware removal. If you want additional confirmation, it even ranks first on our best antivirus list.
However, you may still have questions about whether the service is worth it. During this Bitdefender review, I’ll go through their security measures, pricing options, simple use, applications, and customer support experience to help you decide if this is often the right tool for the job.
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS|
|Current deal:||Get Bitdefender, now 60% OFF!|
Pros & Cons
- Free version
- Best Malware Detection in School
- All editions have built-in VPN
- Flexibly adapts to your hardware specifications
- Builds on the global safety net
- Automatically install necessary system updates
- Solid tracking protection
- Customizable dashboard
- Many additional functions
- Multi-layered ransomware protection
- 30-day trials for all paid plans
- Customer service available in all editions
- Restrictive VPN capabilities
- macOS support only with paid plans
- The iOS app can be a bit lackluster
- Paid options are quite expensive
Is Bitdefender safe?
In case you were wondering, yes, Bitdefender is a safe anti-malware application. It’s actually at the top of the antivirus software planet. It even won the AV-Comparatives Product of the Year award four times in total, a very different antivirus program.
Awards aside, let’s take a look at Bitdefender’s latest virus detection rates. According to AV-Comparatives, Bitdefender blocked 100% of threats during the test period from September to October 2020. This included 0 day and 4-week old malware and viruses. It also got the top 6 points in terms of speed.
With results like these, you will ensure that Bitdefender is on the lookout for anything that may pose a threat to your device.
Whether you are using the free or paid version, Bitdefender uses an equivalent malware database to detect potential threats. So whichever edition you choose, you will get an excellent equivalent level of malware removal. However, there are additional subscription benefits to think about. Here are a few that deserve a separate mention.
Advance Threat Defense
Bitdefender is looking for its real-time monitoring Advanced Threat Defense. It uses heuristic methods to observe all the processes running on the device. Each function is evaluated according to several criteria. The classification idea is made possible by the collaboration of the Bitdefender Global Protection Network, one of the world’s largest security delivery infrastructures, which monitors 500 million machines and extracts new malware models.
With the Global Safety Net, all processes are often evaluated efficiently and accurately, ensuring that you simply have protection against very recent or poorly documented threats. Whenever a malicious process is blocked, you will be asked if you want to allow or quarantine it.
Ransom ware remediation
As you may have heard, ransomware can be a kind of malware that encrypts your files and asks for a ransom to decrypt them. It is a particularly dangerous threat if it bypasses your antivirus security undetected. In response, Bitdefender created its ransomware mitigation feature, which was previously called Safe Files.
It creates a backup of your files (such as documents, pictures, music, and videos) so that they are not affected only in case of a ransomware attack. Bitdefender also detects when ransomware is trying to encrypt files, blocking all malicious processes.
Although it is not always possible to get rid of the ransomware’s encryption, the encrypted files can always be replaced with the prepared backup. That way, you don’t have to worry about losing important documents or other confidential data.
Although this function sounds pretty neat, it is a bit more complicated than it sounds. This feature is designed to fit any mailbox, providing active protection for the entire email channel. To figure that out, use a whitelist, a heuristic filter, and learning modules.
For each email received, Bitdefender performs a heuristic analysis that investigates the message content, header, and metadata. It is done to look for specific tell-tale spam characteristics. You can even toggle blocks for emails encoded in Cyrillic or Asian characters.
The learning module works in conjunction with this filter, collecting statistical information on the frequency of genuine emails and spam messages. With proper adaptation, this module can detect spam messages faster than any trained cybersecurity expert.
The last of the triad is the one with the white list. It continually updates data on known spam domains and blocks them before they reach your inbox.
Online shopping isn’t just a convenient way because packages are delivered to your doorstep. It is also a window of opportunity for cybercriminals. For this reason, Bitdefender implemented a SafePay feature in its paid editions that aim to protect you when shopping online.
It is designed to be listed with online shopping and banking sites in mind, but any website is often opened through this browser. Creates a sandbox that acts separately from your other installed web browsers, so it is not affected by the malware that would be present in your regular browser. It also adds a virtual keyboard so your keystrokes can’t be logged by malware and checks if your connected Wi-Fi network is secure.
SafePay also offers some quality-of-life features, such as Bitdefender’s password manager, bookmarks, and tab view integration. With it, you will have the peace of mind that you are visiting genuine websites that will not steal your master card information.
It’s no secret that most websites track every click you create through third-party scripts, cookies, and other marvels of ad technology. Bitdefender Anti-Tracker can be an available solution for premium users who want to avoid excessive tracking managed by web services.
Anti-tracker is a plugin that you can simply find in Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. Once enabled, it will prevent malicious scripts from collecting your data when you browse online. Also, you will manage which tracking categories you want to allow or disable. For example, you may be comfortable with website analytics but with ads or social media tracking. will customize this plugin in a way that works for you and significantly reduces the loading time of all websites.
Although the feature is called Webcam Filter, it is often only partially accurate. This is often because you ensure that there is no unauthorized access to your camera and microphone. While it’s fairly easy to tape the top of the built-in webcam, it’s much more difficult to mute the mic, which could be just as dangerous.
The webcam filter will notify you whenever a replacement app tries to access your built-in camera or microphone. There are only a couple of apps for video calling, which makes any other permission a potential threat. With the Webcam Filter enabled, it will make sure your device is not spying on you via video or audio. Unfortunately, the feature is only available to paid users.
One of the key differences compared to other antivirus service providers is that Bitdefender offers the VPN an application neighborhood. this is usually quite generous because some antiviruses charge an additional fee for their VPNs or add them as additional products when purchasing the more expensive packages.
Bitdefender developers are not trying to reinvent the wheel with this feature. They have partnered with Hotspot Shield, a respected VPN service provider. Bitdefender even has a kill switch, which can disable your internet traffic if your connection to the VPN servers is interrupted. It will also set the app to automatically connect once you switch to a public Wi-Fi network or when a P2P app is opened. Also, the VPN is often used on as many devices as your AV plan covers simultaneously, and if you’re wondering, it unblocks US Netflix.
That being said, Hotspot Shield is based in the USA, one of the smallest locations that respect privacy. By law, they are required to keep the records of their users. In turn, if you want to opt-out of the sale of your data, you should try to do it manually from the website of Aura (the parent company of Hotspot Shield). Therefore, the particular privacy benefits could also be questionable.
The feature itself is somewhat restrictive. You get a 200MB daily limit, which may not be enough for normal browsing, let alone Netflix streaming. Also, you are limited to the automatic location selection. Regardless, if you want privacy to skyrocket briefly, this VPN will do the trick. Note that there is also a separate Premium VPN version that removes data limits and can be installed separately. However, it is a totally independent product.
Apart from all the necessary security measures, Bitdefender also offers many additional functions that can be incredibly useful to you. Let’s take a look at the least of them below.
Sometimes you just can’t allow any disturbance. Unfortunately, most antiviruses ignore this need completely. You’ve probably heard legends about how an annoying pop-up interrupted presentations and killed someone during a ranked online match. Bitdefender developers understand that sometimes you don’t want to completely disable antivirus, you just need some privacy. For that, there are profiles, presets that adapt to the conditions in which you find yourself.
You can configure them automatically or allow an application to detect which processes are running. depending on what you are doing, there are several modes:
Work Profile – Adjust your email settings and limit background scans to lessen the impact on the system
Movie Profile – Snooze notifications and alerts so you can watch a movie without jumpscares antivirus update
Gaming Profile – Limits background monitoring, so system impact is minimal.
Public Wi-Fi Profile: Activate Full Network Protection to protect yourself from insecure public networks.
Battery Mode Profile – Turn off background monitoring to conserve system resources and extend battery life.
If you use automatic switching, these modes are activated automatically once you start a specific application. for example, suppose you start an executable game file. in that case, Bitdefender will know that it is a game and will limit the consumption of system resources. If you receive a warning from Windows about low battery life, the device will automatically activate the battery mode profile.
While some services still require manual input for each of those modes, it is good to make sure that Bitdefender is about to strike a balance between its tasks and protection.
Instead of developing a separate project, Bitdefender integrates its password manager into most panels. you will use it for credit cards, credentials, and other confidential information. If you are using Bitdefender on multiple devices, you will appreciate the ability to sync the password on all of them. It’s not as secure, nor is it as secure as a fanatic third-party password manager would be. Still, it is an excellent addition to the suite.
If you’re going to sell a second-hand device, the file shredder might come in handy too. Even if you have deleted your files, some can still be recovered. So if you have some private videos or document copies that you just want to create to make sure they are permanently gone, you should use Bitdefender’s File Shredder.
Not only does it delete the files from the drive, but it also overwrites the information using a special algorithm that makes the files impossible to recover. You will then sell the drive to someone else, making sure that no one will use the information against you.
Bitdefender can also protect your device not only from viruses but also from unwanted content. Works on all supported platforms: Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS. There could also be some differences from platform to platform when it comes to the ratio that will control the devices.
On Windows, macOS, and Android, you are ready to select categories of websites that you simply want to control, check what proportion of screen time your child spends on the precise device and when. However, on mobile, it even allows access to phone contacts and device location.
The only caveat was that uninstalling the application on macOS turned out to be quite frustrating, as it is only possible to try through the BitDefender uninstall the application.
Free, Antivirus Plus, Internet Security, and Total Security are the four editions of Bitdefender. Although Bitdefender’s premium packages are pricey, it tries its utmost to offer you a taste of what you’ll get.
Bitdefender not only has a free version, but it also has a 30-day trial that doesn’t need you to submit any payment information. In the antiviral business, this is generally fairly generous. If you choose one of the premium plans, auto-renew is enabled by default, so if you’re not sure you want to keep it, turn it off.
|Bitdefender Free||Real-Time Protection, Advanced Threat Defense, Web Attack Prevention, Anti-Phishing, Anti-Fraud, Bitdefender Photon, Global Protection Network||$0.00|
|Antivirus Plus||Network Threat Prevention, ransomware protection, vulnerability assessment, ransom environment, SafePay browser, password manager, VPN, file shredder||$19.99|
|Internet Security||Real-time Protection, Privacy Firewall, Parental Control, Webcam and Microphone Protection, Ransomware Protection, VPN||$24.99|
|Total Security||webcams and microphones, parental control, privacy firewall, performance optimization tool, anti-theft tool||$39.98|
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
With the free edition of Bitdefender, you get:
- Real-time data protection
- Advanced Threat Defense (including ransomware protections)
- Web attack prevention
- Antiphishing and antifraud
- Bitdefender Photon (ensures that the antivirus adapts to the capabilities of your device)
- Global protection network
This is a fairly comprehensive anti-malware protection suite with nice additional features. In fact, Bitdefender Free Edition is like the paid versions of some others. That said, they are also leaving a lot out, including network threat protection, usage profiles, a VPN, a password manager, and much more.
Generally, when we talk about paid versions of Bitdefender, the concept of a paywall does not apply here. Much of what is available in the free version is paid for with additional subscription benefits. The service is also not hostile to your payment plans. you will have the Antivirus Plus plan for $ 19.99 during the primary year, then it will be $ 39.99. So it is not the most cost-effective, but it can be used on up to 3 devices and it features a great list of features.
In addition to the free features, Antivirus Plus includes:
- Network threat prevention
- Protection against multi-layered ransomware
- Vulnerability assessment
- Rescue environment
- The dedicated SafePay browser
- Password manager
- File shredder
This version of Bitdefender will even adjust your notifications and pop-ups if it determines that you are working or playing games. In short, this usually offers excellent value for money.
Bitdefender Internet Security
Bitdefender Internet Security is the version you would like if your main concern is online security. This subscription costs from $ 24.99 / year for one device; however, you will choose various subscription options that cover up to 10 devices at that time.
So this version includes:
- Real-time protection against spyware, adware, and malware
- Privacy firewall
- Parental controls
- Webcam and microphone protection
- Protection against ransomware
- Secure VPN (200MB / day per device)
Basically, it is everything you would like for safe browsing.
For those who want absolutely everything, there is a complete security edition. It’s the most expensive edition, though the one with the longest list of subscription benefits, including a 5-device limit.
Feature-wise, you get vastly expanded Antivirus Plus deals. This is what Bitdefender Total Protection adds to the package:
- Webcam and microphone protection
- Parental control
- Privacy firewall
- Performance optimization tool
- Anti-theft (and anti-lost) tool
Additionally, Total Security is the only option that provides advanced protection for macOS, Android, or iOS devices. For Mac, it adds a machine protection feature against ransomware, Bitdefender Android protects your WearOn connected smartwatch, and that’s just some of them. iOS is the only version of Bitdefender that feels like it’s missing a touch.
Naturally, all those nice things come at a price. Bitdefender Total Security costs $ 39.98 for the primary year, then it is $ 89.99 / year. Bitdefender does not have rock-bottom prices or the ability to use the service on the best number of devices. However, what strikes the house is the number and quality of the features.
Which Bitdefender plans to choose?
If you don’t need too many additional features, the free version of Bitdefender is sufficient. In fact, it’s so good that it could rival some paid antivirus providers. It is available for Windows, macOS, and Android, and therefore the malware scanning capabilities are like the paid editions.
However, you might consider getting the web security suite if you want more features to protect your life online. This version adds a firewall, Parental Control function, ransomware protection, as well as webcam and microphone protection.
Now if you are split between Antivirus Plus and Total Security, this is the main difference. Total Security offers all the Bitdefender functions, while Antivirus Plus lacks a firewall, device optimizer, and therefore parental controls.
Also, Total Security is the only version that supports all operating systems. Internet Security and Antivirus Plus only work on Windows.
Ease of use
The Bitdefender setup is one of the longest I’ve had to endure. First, the installation files are 400 MB. That’s a substantial amount when other solutions are installed for a few seconds. With Bitdefender, it takes a while.
However, there is a condition. If you have vowed to ignore everything Bitdefender has to offer, there is a lighter version of its free edition. Just run malware analysis, and that’s it.
Most people, however, will devour the default suite. It groups function into 3 categories: Protection, Privacy, and Utilities. There is also a dashboard that offers quick actions and shows your status, settings, and notifications tab.
- The Protection tab is dedicated almost exclusively to items related to most antivirus tools. There are real-time protection settings, firewall monitoring, ransomware countermeasures, and more.
- Privacy deals with methods to remain anonymous and safe when browsing online, like SafePay browser, VPN, password manager, and parental controls.
- Utilities are for file shredder, profile management, and optimization tools.
Bitdefender is easy to navigate shortly after installation is complete.
Your operating system can determine your Bitdefender impression. The discrepancies between the Android and iOS versions are quite large.
The iOS version is pretty mediocre. It offers protection against fraudulent websites, a VPN capped at 200MB each day and a private data leak check. So you get haveibeenpwned.com, a VPN that should be sufficient for a few pages, and browser protection during a single application. Not worth it.
That said, Apple maintains a decent check on the App Store and therefore no antivirus solutions are used.
The situation is completely different when we talk about the Android version. Right out of the box, they greet you with their Control Panel, Malware Scanner, Web Protection, VPN, and a More tab. The interface closely mirrors the desktop version.
Bitdefender for Android has autopilot recommendations advising you on ways to be more secure when using your phone, there is a malware scanner, a separate web protection toggle that you can simply open in your current browser. On top of that, there are some unexpected features like app lock, anti-theft, and sharing protection. It is one of the simplest mobile antivirus suites that I have seen.
The Android anti-theft system is managed through the Bitdefender website. The system is not foolproof and your location could be spoofed if you use a VPN. However, from there, it will initiate remote system scans, lock the device, or wipe it entirely.
We should just remember that Apple offers tons of malware protection for you. Android can be a more flexible system and potentially exposes more points of attack.
I had some questions about feature availability, so I decided to contact customer service via live chat. I didn’t wait too long before a support agent greeted me. They responded quickly to all my questions. the simplest thing is that Bitdefender doesn’t treat it as a premium feature because it isn’t. you will get help whether you are a free or paid user.
To make your work easier, Bitdefender also presents an extensive collection of FAQs, guides, and other information on the support website. So while you’re waiting in line, it wouldn’t hurt to see you there. possibly solve your problem before your turn comes.
If you prefer other methods, you will call them on the phone and contact them by email. Whichever way suits you best, there you have options. Customer support alone makes this service a mere recommendation.
In case you are not sure if you really want to urge Bitdefender and would like to combine it with other products of an equivalent type, take a look at our quick comparisons below.
It’s difficult to identify a clear victor between Bitdefender and Norton because they’re both excellent antivirus apps. They also include parental controls, a firewall, and a VPN, among other things.
If you need capabilities like cloud backup or dark web monitoring, Norton may be a better choice. Keep in mind, though, that Norton 360 costs more than Bitdefender.
Another good antimalware tool, Kaspersky is ideal for those who want the best possible level of security. During independent testing, it captured 100% of zero-day malware and 100% of widespread malware. in addition, it detects few or no false positives.
Comparing Bitdefender vs Kaspersky, I can see that Kaspersky is much more expensive than Bitdefender. However, you may prefer it if you want features like Safe Money and Privacy Protection.
McAfee Total protection
McAfee is one of the best-known names in the antivirus industry. It’s extremely easy to use, doesn’t use tons of system resources, and comes with some extra features like a password manager and VPN.
If you look at the differences between Bitdefender and McAfee, you may notice that McAfee offers features such as Vulnerability Scanner and WebAdvisor. However, the 2 applications are almost the same.
Is Bitdefender good, and should I get it?
If you’ve read this part to date, you probably recognize a thing or two about Bitdefender. While not perfect, Bitdefender is certainly good and values the investment. This is often an antivirus tool that doesn’t bombard you with bloatware during installation, nor does it add non-features to increase the number of features.
In essence, Bitdefender can be a top-notch malware removal tool, and thus the added benefits help elevate the service above the competition. If you are a Windows user, you will hardly find it better if you want to remain malware-free.
Is Bitdefender reliable?
Yes. Bitdefender may be a Romanian company that has been in business since 2001 and maintains a clean reputation. they don’t need to be involved in any large-scale user tracking scandal. To date, there is no reason to doubt the reliability of Bitdefender.
Which is better, Norton or Bitdefender?
Both services have different strengths. Although Norton has one of the simplest malware databases, Bitdefender is lighter and comes with a free version. Which one is the best for you depends entirely on your needs? Also, don’t miss out on seeing our Bitdefender vs Norton comparison.
Does Bitdefender have a VPN?
Yes. All editions of Bitdefender Antivirus include a VPN with 200MB per day. However, you will also buy the full version of Bitdefender VPN separately.
Is Bitdefender good for mobile devices?
Yes. Bitdefender can be a good antivirus solution for mobile devices. However, its Android version is way ahead of its iOS app, offering a lot more features.