Good / BitDefender has taken special care to craft a unique interface that is not only intuitive, but it’s also easy to use and packed full of features integrated within the client.
Bad / BitDefender has standard pricing and scan times.
Verdict / Bitdefender combines a killer interface with a ton of integrated features that are super useful and easy to use. Performance isn’t ever an issue, and scans are efficient and powerful. If you need an antivirus solution that has it all, Bitdefender could be your solution.
Bitdefender is a Romanian internet security with over 500 million homes active (as of 2014). In 2016, Bitdefender branched out their antivirus program to include new capabilities that we go over in this review (performance optimization, virtual wallet, etc.is).
Bitdefender offers a TON of packages, but for keeping things simple and more useful (a lot of these packages are very specific like mobile only), we are only going to cover three. If you want a full list of every sort of deal they offer, check them out here.
The three basic yearly packages you can buy are Total Protection Bitdefender BOX, Total Security Multi-Device 2016, and Internet Security 2016. The BOX package is $99 on sale, the Total Security Multi-Device 2016 is $49.95 on sale, and the Internet Security 2016 is $51.97 on sale. Internet Security is the base package.
The main differences between the various packages are that the Bitdefender BOX ships out with hardware that you set up like a router. With BOX, all of your internet passes through the BOX.
Each package comes with core essentials including intelligent antivirus, anti-ransomware, free online support, safe browsing, the speed up device feature, parental control, and firewall.
With the BOX package, you get additional iOS protection, privacy protection from data sets, protection for all IoT (like a smart light) devices, Network Vulnerability Assessment (BOX scans your network and finds vulnerabilities or possible attacks), and Remote Device Management (so you can manage your home devices, set data roaming, remotely install updates, and locate host devices). The BOX package is a complete protection for your entire house–even if it’s an overzealous one.
Multi-Device Package + Internet Security Package
For some reason, as of the time of this review, the Internet Security 2016 has a smaller sale making it slightly more expensive than the more secure Total Security Multi-device package. This Multi-device package includes Mac protection and Android protection while the Internet Security Package does not.
Overall, Bitdefender has decent middle-of-the-line packages. They don’t have any crazy good deals, but things aren’t too pricey either.
The best deal if you don’t need mobile protection is the internet security package, but if you do need mobile protection for iOS and Android–check out the Total Security Multi-Device package.
If you’re completely paranoid and want to secure everything from your toaster to your smart lights–get the Bitdefender box package.
Interface / usability
Bitdefender has a sleek dark background with bold green lettering and white icons. Some tabs are filled out in blue making them easy to find.
The main interface works with tiles that you click on which visible icons, and you can access more features through the module type interface.
One module gives you tiles, and the other gives you a list of features under icons organized by headers in three tabs. The organization works very well since the main module provides quick use features and the secondary module provides more specific uses like full system scans or the ability to use the other tools available.
On the main screen, the tiles always rotate based on which features and processes you are using, which makes it easy to find what you use the most.
Individual processes work well, and it’s easy to stop, pause, and complete scans. I also really liked how a lot of the extra features that Bitdefender advertises as compelling features–are included inside the app–not held separately through other apps/services that requires additional downloads or payments (I’m looking at you Avast!).
You can find file shredder, safepay, parental advisory, file encryption, and the password manager inside the privacy tab and each process is super easy to use. The tools tab gives you a bit more options (ha ha– a bit, get it?).
The Startup Optimizer is neat since you can delay processes on startup, so your initial boot time is quicker. OneClick Optimizer works like a basic cookie/clutter cleaner, but it works fairly well and is very fast.
Lastly, Bitdefender is very easy to find and startup. The program keeps a small little orb that lets you quickly update the app as well as launch it. The orb also shows you current processes like if a scan is ongoing. Sometimes antivirus programs almost seem like they are hiding so you can close them down, but Bitdefender doesn’t feel that way.
Overall, Bitdefender’s design and interface are a lesson on how accessible and fun a boring program like antivirus can strive to be. The module interface, tiles, and smart, adaptable organization make some other antivirus programs look like a disaster in comparison.
Extra Security Features
If you don’t have a separate Password manager, Bitdefender offers one that is decent. You start off by clicking on the Password Manager in the app and then it gives you the ability to install it as an extension to integrate with your browser. The actual layout of it in the app is good since it organizes them separately letting you store passwords like Wi-Fi networks.
Also, you can create multiple wallets, use it on multiple devices as well (sync across device feature) and search through your wallets you find accounts. Setting it up is super easy since it natively finds all your passwords in your browser.
Overall, if you need a password manager and an antivirus client both, this one should suit your needs.
Startup Optimizer is an awesome tool from Bitdefender that makes it so your computer can start faster. It works by either halting some programs or better yet–delaying them.
So maybe there’s a program you need on your computer to be active, but you don’t need it right on startup–like Skype, or some other similar program.
Bitdefender makes this tool stand out with a great interface–like the rest of the app. You can see how long each program takes to start and even your total boot time.
OneClick Optimizer works like a simple file cleaner getting rid of extra files like cookies or stuff in your trash. Deleting things is very quick, and the interface shows you what you can clean–which is a nice touch.
Bitdefender breaks things down into each section like “Disk Cleanup”, “Registry Cleanup”, and “Privacy Cleanup”.
This feature might sound simple, but I’ve tested cleaners embedded into other antivirus programs that have screwed up favicons and other settings in my browser.
The File Shredder feature lets you get rid of files permanently. It’s very easy to use since you just find a file on your computer and run it through the process. It takes a little while, but the result is airtight if you need to get rid of a file permanently.
Have a file you want to be protected? File encryption is a neat feature included within that lets you secure and encrypt a file with a password. There’re a few settings to play around with like where you want it, how big you want it, and what you want it named. Simple but effective if you need this sort of thing.
Summary of features:
Overall the extra features of Bitdefender are all polished and work well. I liked how they weren’t lazy and included the features within the base install.
It’s great to have all of these features available in one app when you might need to have several services paid yearly separately (password manager, tool to clean computer, etc.).
Performance & System Impact
Bitdefender performs very well. You can expect amazingly fast quick scans. Mine only took around 1 minute and 10 seconds with very little resource use (2-5% CPU use and 130-200 Mb ram use).
Full System scan
However, while the quick scan was certainly quick, the system scan took awhile at 2 hours and 11 minutes. Despite that, my computer was still usable since Bitdefender is fairly good at conserving resources during the scan. The system scan took around 10% average CPU use with around the same amount of ram as the quick scan (200 Mb).
Bitdefender has excellent performance for an antivirus program. It doesn’t hog resources while scanning so you can still function with your computer. Navigating the program is also extremely quick and useful tools and security features as listed above can increase system startup and performance.
BitDefender Review Conclusion
BitDefender combines some killer features and an innovative interface with some truly powerful security. Sure you might experience some slowdown during scans, and it might take away some system resources, but the experience will be quite good compared to some other competitors that we’ve reviewed so far.