Though some people still view an idea of using antivirus software with some skepticism, experience has shown that in the modern context anti-malware products are an absolute must. Modern cyber threats are too sophisticated and diverse, and software that is built into the operating system often doesn’t cope with them. Meanwhile, good third-party antivirus solutions provide a lot of tools for the ultimate protection. A good example is Bitdefender antivirus – flexible, powerful, and reliable. Keep on reading a comprehensive Bitdefender free review to find more reasons to download Bitdefender.
Bitdefender antivirus is a full-featured and anti-malware product. Though some options are available only in premium packs, even its basic free version does a good job. Here are the main facts about the software that are usually mentioned in expert Bitdefender reviews.
- Real-time antivirus/anti-malware protection
- Ransomware protection
- Free antivirus available, including a free Bitdefender Android app
- Anti-fishing, anti-fraud, anti-spam protection
- Safe banking and safe browsing features
- Several modes (game, work, movie) available.
In this Bitdefender review, we are going to cover the capabilities and features of the software and single out its advantages and disadvantages as against other similar products.
Bitdefender is not a new player in the arena of antivirus solutions. The company was established over 15 years ago in 2001. Its headquarters is located in Romania, the European country, which is known as a place where a lot of major software developers reside. As of today, the company has a reputation of a reliable provider of high-quality antivirus software. Its products are available in 150 countries of the world. In most Bitdefender reviews, it ranks among top-5 developers of anti-malware solutions.
Bitdefender: Best for Windows OS
Like many other antivirus solutions, the premium plan from Bitdefender is a cross-platform product compatible with Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android. However, its entry-level versions are for Windows only. There is also a free Bitdefender for Android, but it is just a bare antivirus without any extra tools included. It makes the product the best choice for Windows OS. If you don’t use other types of devices actively or don’t need antivirus software for them, then Bitdefender Windows 10 is for you. If you need a good affordable solution for multiple platforms, you’d better opt for something else. For example, Avast vs Bitdefender is more flexible in this regard.
Pros and Cons
We’ve studied dozens of user reviews and expert opinions before writing this article. Also, we’ve tested the software by ourselves in the conditions as close to real as possible. Based on the results, we’ve managed to figure out the following pros and cons of the product.
- A minimal impact on the system
- Full-featured software
- Scores very high in independent performance tests
- A built-in anti-ransomware feature
- An excellent Internet security option
- It is affordable
- A free Bitdefender Android app available.
- Basic versions are for Windows only.
- The free Android app has limited capabilities.
- Scanning could be a bit faster
In general, it is a great product for Windows computers that ensures a decent level of protection and numerous extra features. However, it lacks the flexibility of some other providers that offer a better compatibility with multiple platforms.
Reliability and Security
The main characteristic of any antivirus software is its effectiveness in terms of fighting different types of malware and viruses. Of course, we can’t but cover this question in our Bitdefender review. According to the results published by independent testing labs, the overall performance of the products is very close to being perfect. Thus, AV-Comparatives lab has awarded it with the Advanced+ status, which is the highest possible result. Bitdefender vs Avast and other top-rated antivirus solutions, managed to detect 100% of potential threats, including the 0-day ones and demonstrated the minimal rate of false positives.
Another large lab, AV-TEST, awarded 17.5 points out of the 18 possible to the software. That said, both Protection and Performance were estimated at 6 points, and 5.5 points were awarded for the usability. But usability to some extent is a matter of taste, so we don’t make much of it. The similar results have been received by other well-known labs, such as SE Labs and MRG-Effitas.
In order to be substantive, we tested the software in different modes by ourselves. As it had to be expected, the results were impressive. The defender responded to potential threats instantly – literally, in a fraction of a second. During tests, it didn’t miss a single threat – either known or zero-day one. The same can be said about phishing and potentially unsafe/fraudulent pages that are blocked in almost 100% of cases.
As for the ransomware protection feature, which is really great for a mid-priced AV product, its mechanism of action is rather interesting and seems to be quite effective. Essentially, it is almost impossible to ensure 100% guarantee of ransomware protection, as malware of this type becomes smarter day after day. What the defender does is copying and hiding the needed files or documents. In case of a ransomware attack happens and your computer is infected, these files will stay preserved and protected, and you will be able to access them.
Ease of Use
Usability is an important characteristic of any software and one more aspect that we are going to touch upon in our Bitdefender review. In general, in terms of the ease of use, it is on a par with most of its counterparts. To start utilizing the product you need to have an account on the official site, i.e. to create your personal Bitdefender login and a password. The next thing you need to do is to upgrade your browser to the latest version, otherwise, you won’t be able to activate your copy.
After all the preparatory work is done, just visit the provider’s website, choose the plan that suits you best, pay for your purchase and start Bitdefender download process. It takes a couple of minutes, and you can launch scanning right during the downloading. Wait for the app to be installed, activate it and start using. The interface of the app itself is genuinely intuitive, with a nice black & white design, large readable buttons and convenient sliders for the features activating/deactivating.
A smart solution that needs to be mentioned separately is availability of seven modes. The choice of the mode depends on your current activity – working, gaming, watching movies, or the circumstances (such as a low battery). The settings for each mode can be configured manually, which adds flexibility.
As we have mentioned in the Bitdefender review previously, this is a full-featured product. But the particular set of features depends on the package chosen. Let’s review the currently available options briefly.
- A free antivirus. Apart from the entry-level protection from viruses, the free edition includes the Bitdefender threat scanner feature that allows detecting some advanced forms of malware, anti-phishing protection, and the web-filter for safe browsing. For more details read a full Bitdefender free review.
- Bitdefender antivirus plus (the current price is $19.99). On the top of free features, this package offers proprietary ransomware protection feature, Wi-Fi security and search advisor, password manager, secure online banking, a file shredder, a feature of vulnerability scanning, and a new feature called “Safe Files”. The latter one protects selected files from unauthorized access.
- Bitdefender Total Security (the current price is $44.99). This is the premium pack that includes 5 licenses for multiple devices and offers a range of extra features. They are the parental control feature, a proprietary firewall, webcam protection, a feature of files encryption and an anti-theft feature. It goes without saying that the pack includes the full range of Bitdefender internet security solutions.
- Bitdefender mobile security features are available to everyone who buys the Total Security pack. Users of smartphones can take advantage of such features as app lock, account protection, parental control, and the anti-theft feature.
Also, there are business solutions offered by the provider, but we won’t cover them in this article. You may search for dedicated business Bitdefender reviews if you want to. But we don’t have a shade of a doubt that they are as great as the basic plans.
Support and Customer Service
The last thing we are going to say about in our Bitdefender review is customer support. Apart from an informative blog and the FAQ section, the provider offers live support via a chat (to registered users only), e-mail, or by phone. Chances are you won’t need it too often, as all the necessary information is presented on the website, and the software itself is extremely simple to use.
Bitdefender is a truly award-winning antivirus software. It scores very high in all lab tests. That said, it has plenty of useful features that provide the strongest protection from almost all types of cyber threats. Taking into account its quite reasonable price, we definitely recommend the product to everyone who is looking for an affordable and reliable protection in 2018.