Bitdefender Review

Bitdefender is much more than an effective antivirus, as it provides users with a slew of useful cybersecurity tools that provide all-round protection

Updated: March 25,2022

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Welcome to our  Bitdefender review. Today we’ll be looking at one of the popular antivirus and anti-phishing solutions on the market. From protection against viruses, ransomware, and phishing attacks to providing a secure environment for online financial transactions, Bitdefender is a veritable Swiss army knife of online threat prevention. With competitive pricing and the best real-time threat detection available on the market, Bitdefender is a benchmark product in many ways.

Bitdefender
Bitdefender
5
VISIT SITE
Price Range:
$39.98 - $89.99/year
AVAILABLE ON:
iOS
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Mac
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Chrome
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Android
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Windows
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KEY FEATURES:
  • Class-leading scores in independent antivirus lab tests
  • Comprehensive coverage for all devices and most operating systems
  • Advanced ransomware protection
  • Secure online payments
  • Excellent VPN solution
pros thumb up Pros
  • Industry-leading virus detection rates
  • Competitive pricing
  • Fantastic customer support
pros thumb down Cons
  • VPN bandwidth is limited unless a premium subscription is purchased
  • No Linux app available

Company History and Reputation

Before we review Bitdefender, let’s take a quick look at how one of the world’s best antivirus software solutions came to be. Bitdefender was founded in 2001 by CEO Florin Talpes in Bucharest, Romania. It was developed from an antivirus solution called Softwin AVX (AntiVirus eXpert), dating way back to the pre-Internet days of the early 1990s. Today’s name came after a rebrand in 2001.

BD is one of those antivirus solutions that has provided internet security and virus protection through the early days of malware and hacking attacks. As they evolved, so did Bitdefender. Once a basic antivirus solution, it now has 440 patents covering advanced specializations in malware, online phishing attacks, ransomware protection, and several other sophisticated anti-threat systems.

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The numerous glowing Bitdefender Antivirus reviews on the Internet are no coincidence: BD maintains its status as a global leader in cybersecurity through exhaustive work. The software uncovers up to 400 new threats a minute and performs around 30 billion threat inquiries a day. No new malware cases, variations, mutations, attacks, or advanced intrusion methods go undetected.

This extreme commitment enables the company to stay two steps ahead of the hackers,  with proactive threat detection and advanced tools for blocking real-time malware attacks.

Bitdefender ratings speak for themselves. With overwhelmingly positive online reviews, an A+ on its Better Business Bureau profile, and more than 150 global brands under its exclusive protection, Bitdefender has a lot to boast about.  Despite that, the company knows that complacency is a death sentence in this business.

The latest threats, security updates, and news are regularly chronicled in Bitdefender Labs, one of the most comprehensive internet security software resources on the web. With tools, studies, reports, and a live threat map, it’s a veritable repository of malware knowledge and Bitdefender’s greatest tool in the battle against the ever-evolving

Bitdefender Pricing and Features

Bitdefender has one of the largest ecosystems in the world of anti-malware solutions.  To keep things simple for the end-user, the company splits its products into the Home and Business categories, with Home also being suitable for small/home office security needs. Let’s take a look at the pricing of each product and briefly talk about what they have to offer.

Bitdefender Home

Bitdefender’s Home products are available in PC, Mac, Android, and IOS versions. Both individual platform licenses and all-in-one multi-platform packages are available for purchase.

Bitdefender Total Security

When searching for information about Bitdefender, most people will first search for a Bitdefender Total Security review. Total Security is the recommended all-in-one package for most people (barring those that need an unlimited VPN for torrenting or gaming). It covers five devices, and the first year will set you back $39.98, while subsequent years will cost $89.99 each.

The plan comes with a complete set of antivirus and anti-phishing tools, vulnerability and ransomware protection, an advanced firewall, a secure payments interface, parental controls, and a 200 MB/day/device VPN solution.

Bitdefender-total-security-review

Bitdefender Premium Security

This is BD’s premium home package deal. It can cover up to ten devices and includes everything in the Total Security package plus an unlimited VPN for people that want to surf the net anonymously without worrying about data caps. It is currently discounted to $64.99 for the first year and $149.99 after that.

Bitdefender BOX

Our Bitdefender Box review will be brief: it is the company’s only physical product and an all-in-one Wi-Fi home security tool covering all wireless devices in a home network for complete protection. It comes with a pre-installed Total Security package and includes a VPN solution. It’s a subscription-based service that costs $99 per year to renew.

Bitdefender Small Office Security

Business-level protection for small office and home office set-ups that offers easy cloud management of up to 20 protected devices. Features such as safe online banking, data breach protection, 500 MBs of VPN per month, and 24/7 customer support can be yours for just $49.99 (5 devices), $79.99 (10 devices), or $124.99 (20 devices) during your first year of subscription.

Bitdefender Internet Security

Next up in our Bitdefender review, let’s talk about the Internet Security package. This plan focuses on Internet threats, specifically on PC. In addition to complete Windows antivirus coverage, it Includes a Bitdefender VPN, anti-phishing protection, and Bitdefender Safepay for your browsing privacy and secure online banking needs.

Bitdefender also ensures that hackers cannot access your web camera or microphone, so you’re safe from being filmed without your knowledge.  It will currently set you back $24..99 per device during your first year. After that, the price rises to $59.99, with discounts per device if you choose to protect 3, 5, or 10 devices.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

A detailed Bitdefender Antivirus review outside the scope of this article, so here’s the gist of it:  this is a lightweight antivirus version of Bitdefender Internet Security for essential Windows malware protection. It covers one to ten devices against viruses, ransomware, phishing, and online fraud while offering 200 MB of VPN access per day.

Bitdefender Family Pack

If you’re looking for the best computer security suite for home use, this plan has you covered. Complete family network protection for up to 15 devices per household currently starts at $49.99 per year during your first year of subscription. It includes everything we’ve talked about in other packages, plus advanced parental controls for keeping an eye on what your kids are doing on the Internet. Just be careful with renewals,  as subsequent years will cost $119.99 each.

Mobile Security for Android and iOS

Our  Bitdefender mobile review can be summed up in one sentence: if you’re looking for an antivirus for Android or iOS devices, Bitdefender is a top-tier pick. The two apps differ slightly, but both combine secure VPN access with multiple advanced anti-malware tools, and both cost just $14..99 per device per month.

Additional Services

Extra add-on features are sold separately for other specific types of protection based on your usage and activities. Options include Digital Identity Protection, Premium VPN, Computer Tune-Up, Home Network support, and more.

Business Solutions

These products are all offered separately and come as standalone solutions with advanced protection features tailored for high-end business use. This section of our Bitdefender review will briefly walk you through the pricing scheme of the most popular solutions while briefly mentioning others that are also available. Bear in mind that the prices given on the site are usually only available during your first year of subscription.

GravityZone Elite

GZ Elite is the world’s most powerful attack prevention program. Advanced endpoint protection with behavior risk analytics and an attack forensics platform, combined with state-of-the-art reporting features and SIEM integration, currently starts at $286.99 for your first subscription year.

At this level, Bitdefender’s antivirus and malware protection is available for five devices, two servers, and up to eight mailboxes. The system scales with the number of protected devices and caps out at 100 devices, 35 servers, and 150 mailboxes, which will set you back $4063.49 during the first year of your subscription.

GravityZone Ultra

Need even better protection? GZ Ultra contains integrated human and endpoint risk analytics, combined with even more advanced detection and response systems. Get in touch with Bitdefender for your 90-day free trial.

Managed Detection and Response

This service comprehensive 24 x 7 x 365 coverage, active prevention, and malware detection through outsourced services, plus an advanced Bitdefender firewall. Staffed and managed by top global threat intelligence experts to help ensure clean and safe digital environments.

Endpoint Detection and Response

Keeps deceptive and difficult to detect threats barricaded away. Features advanced tools that detect early signs of suspicious online behavior while offering real-time threat visualization for effective mapping and management of your network. Get in touch with Bitdefender to get a quote and try a free one-month trial.

GravityZone Business Security

The stripped-down version of the Advanced Business Security package still comes with all the ransomware protection and network attack defense tools most businesses will need. It can support anywhere from ten to 100 devices, and prices start at $258.99 for your first subscription year.

GravityZone Advanced Business Security

Provides total business-level Bitdefender antivirus and malware coverage for all devices, servers, and computers in your network. It can handle anywhere from five to 100 different devices from one central hub. With support for up to 30 servers, it can protect companies ranging from small business ventures to large corporations.

Prices start at an introductory rate of  $202.99 for five devices and two servers, going all the way up to $3023.99 for 100 devices and 30 servers. After the first year, the price rises to the $289..99 – $4319.99 range for the rest of your subscription plan.

GravityZone Security for Virtualized Environments

This is an add-on BitDefender service pack covering cloud-based environments and data centers.  You’ll need to get in touch with Bitdefender to find out more about pricing or give it a spin using BD’s free trial.

Other Tools

To conclude this part of our Bitdefender review, we’ll mention a couple more business tools. GravityZone Email and Cloud Managed Service Provided Security focus on email and cloud MSP security, while Security for Amazon Web Services (AWS) handles secure payments and other e-commerce related features on Amazon’s cloud infrastructure. To get a quote or try out trial versions of these tools, get in touch with Bitdefender’s customer support staff through their site.

Bitdefender Total Security – Scanning Results

Having covered the main Bitdefender features and pricing, let’s talk about how well Bitdefender performs in real-life scenarios. For the purposes of this review, we put the Total Security software through both antivirus and vulnerability tests.

A Full System Scan goes deep into system files, hidden folders, and all operational items where attacking malware may hide before replicating or destroying crucial system files. The Vulnerability Scan exposes unseen activities in the background that are potential dangers to your system.

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The software is thorough. That means that while  Bitdefender’s rating as a top-tier malware detection tool is well deserved, it is not the fastest solution out there. A  full system scan was completed in 39:49 seconds. Considering the scan was performed on a mini-PC with 8.00 GB of RAM and 75.3 GB of data, the results are about average.

If speed is nothing to write home about, Bitdefender’s log report is one of the most detailed ones in the industry. Bitdefender reviews everything in great detail: all activities, system file types, and system folder items are accounted for within the report.

Independent experts from AV-TEST concluded that during March and April of 2021, Bitdefender didn’t miss a single piece of malware during their scanning tests. The software only had three false warnings about legitimate software while performing detailed system scans during those two months.

Usability and Platform Support

Bitdefender is easy to use and doesn’t eat up a lot of RAM or resources. It stays error-free and freeze-free during deep system scans. If we compare Bitdefender vs. Avast or similar AV solutions, it is generally less resource-intensive, especially during passive operation.

However, be mindful of running deep system scans while also performing graphics-intensive projects or having many tabs open in Chrome. Adjust accordingly to avoid possible freezes and memory errors, as there are instances of documented BSOD events even on mid-range PCs.

Bitdefender’s Antivirus Plus solution is tailor-made for Windows PCs, but the company has dedicated anti-malware apps for Mac and the mobile operating systems as well. There are no apps for Linux, but Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools and Mail Security are both compatible with the open-source operating system.

Bitdefender Mobile Security is available for both iOS and Android. Both mobile apps are essentially stripped-down versions of the desktop software with some unique smartphone-friendly features, such as anti-theft and share protection and the ability to lock down specific apps as a form of parental control or sensitive data protection.

The apps are just as efficient as their desktop and web-based counterparts, only hogging system resources heavily during deep scans.  Reporting features are also excellent, although not as in-depth as you’d find on the desktop app.

Customer Support

No matter how well you design your app, customers will find ways to break it. Having a good customer support team on hand to help out in those situations is crucial for maintaining a good relationship with your customers. Luckily, the people at Bitdefender realize this, offering fantastic 24/7 support through email, phone, and live chat.

There is even a large and active public forum called the Bitdefender Expert Community. Along with the company’s vast knowledge base, it can provide answers to almost any question that you could possibly have.

Bitdefender’s Competitors

Despite generally glowing reviews, Bitdefender faces stiff competition from many excellent anti-malware solutions on the market. Competitors such as Malwarebytes are more flexible, while Avast provides an unlimited VPN for less money. Still, none really offer Bitdefender’s impeccable track record regarding early threat detection and prevention. It’s also difficult to match the quality of the customer support provided by Bitdefender, although several competitors also feature 24/7 support through multiple channels.

How Does Bitdefender Compare to Other Antivirus Solutions?
Bitdefender Review Logo
Bitdefender
$39.98 - $89.99/year
Free Version:
Yes
Aplication:
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Avast Antivirus Review Logo
Avast
$0 - $79.99/year
Free Version:
Yes
Aplication:
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Norton Antivirus Review Logo
Norton Antivirus
$14.99-$299.88/year
Free Version:
No
Aplication:
ios icon android icon windows icon

We’ve run a couple of tests between Bitdefender, Avast, and Norton to see if these other popular apps can stand up to the high bar set by Bitdefender. Here is how they stack up in comparison.

Bitdefender vs Avast

Antivirus test results have shown us that both Avast and Bitdefender provide excellent levels of protection and performance from computer viruses. However, Bitdefender does have more tools on offer, which gives it a slight advantage over Avast.

Regarding malware protection, Bitdefender has robust network safety tools included in all packages. On the other hand, Avast performs more periodic threat scans, which can be both good and bad, depending on your usage preferences. Only the paid versions of the program include advanced network protection tools, though.

As we ran tests to review the Bitdefender security scans, we noticed that it does slower background scans than Avast. A scan of a small SSD drive took up to two hours. Avast has faster scans which are more system taxing. However, Avast’s firewall functionality is rather basic compared to Bitdefender. Sure, it will block connections as it should, but it won’t show a list of blocked connections for easy reference, as Bitdefender does.

Regarding additional features, Bitdefender has more of them to offer on its Windows app. Avast does have more substantial offerings for Mac computers. All the essential protection tools are available on both apps, like Wi-Fi network security, ransomware protection, and anti-theft mechanisms.

Our Windows Bitdefender review should also mention some unusual but useful features that pull BD ahead of Avast, at least when using it on Microsoft’s popular operating system. One of them is the Rescue Environment that removes malware while the computer is rebooting. You also have support for an email filter, parental controls, and a password manager that is strangely missing from Avast.

Performance-wise, both apps have some problems. Bitdefender had better performance results, but it took up significantly more space than Avast. Avast performed noticeably worse, slowing the entire system down. In the end, Bitdefender wins for being less of a system hog and giving users more features.

Bitdefender vs. Norton

On general antivirus tests, both Bitdefender and Norton performed admirably. We noticed that Bitdefender only had four false positives, while Norton tanked with 22 false-positive results.  Both apps have extensive threat databases. The only difference is that Bitdefender is using a behavioral AI which has superior threat identifying capabilities.

Both apps have excellent scanning tools, each with a unique advantage. Norton 360 has more tweaking options, with a selection to reduce scan patterns and focus on a specific threat. Bitdefender has more scanning types where you can focus on scanning for possible vulnerabilities and getting feedback info.

As seen in the Bitdefender review, virus scanning and detection are not a problem for this app. Where it trails behind a bit is with the firewall, which does have plenty of customizable options. However, Norton 360 has a Smart Firewall with an intrusion prevention system that checks all data packages and prevents online attacks immediately.

Recent Bitdefender Upgrades

Bitdefender provides regular updates and improvements for all its products. The latest feature set is called Advanced Threat Control. With it, you can use several advanced detection heuristics to deal with the latest advances in malware and proactively fight computer threats before they have a chance to cause damage.

GravityZone also evolved a lot with recent additions. We noticed throughout our Bitdefender review that customer satisfaction is the company’s highest priority. From now on, you can see the usernames of all active users currently logged to an endpoint.

New user data has networks, reports, and policies pages. With these options,  security analysts can reach out to the user by utilizing their username in the network or check for connections between GravityZone events and specific users.

The malware section got an addition that allows for exporting reports to PDF via the malware status option. The HyperDetect feature got a new upgrade by showing the exact name of the file hash and the discovered threat. Lastly, the BD app received support for the Turkish language.

Final Thoughts

As one of the top antivirus software suites available on the market, Bitdefender is an industry leader in early malware detection and malicious attack protection. Strengths include unmatched real-time threat defense and a fantastic customer support team, along with simple, intuitive, and unobtrusive apps for all major operating systems on the market. The main downsides to Bitdefender are that it doesn’t have a dedicated Linux client and that unlimited VPN allocation significantly raises the subscription price. These are, in our opinion, minor inconveniences compared to the world-class anti-malware protection on offer.

FAQ
Is Bitdefender a good antivirus?

Bitdefender is one of the best internet security suites when you lay out all its features. The sheer number of advanced technologies involved, especially for business use, maintains its leadership status even amidst heavy competition from the likes of Malwarebytes, Avast, and Kaspersky.

What is better than Bitdefender?

This depends on how you define “better.” Regarding anti-malware protection, one could argue that only select AV solutions such as McAfee even match, much less exceed Bitdefender. On the other hand, there are cheaper options that offer very similar performance. There are also more flexible solutions for advanced users.

Is Bitdefender better than McAfee?

You should consider your needs and budget. Most reviews of Bitdefender seem to think that it is, but that often comes down to better usability and being less of a system resource hog. In terms of its malware detection engine, McAfee performs even better than Bitdefender in AV-TEST scenarios.