By | 22.08.2019

Bitdefender 2019 Antivirus Software: Superior Protection, Low Performance Impact

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Why is Bitdefender better than AVG? Unlike AVG that always ask you to purchase the full version with the anonying pop-up, Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition comes with no nagging commercials. Their award-winning protection against existing or new e-threats is proven. Quick to install and light on computer resources. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is blazing fast, free to use, and loaded only with the bare-bones protection features that every computer needs.
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BitDefender Antivirus Plus

No Yes Like many antivirus software makers, Bitdefender has several Windows products that add more features and services as prices go up. At the base is Bitdefender’s bare-bones Antivirus Free Edition , which delivers excellent malware protection but not much more. You can find discounts if you shop around. Antivirus Plus is the sweet spot in the Bitdefender lineup, with features mostly unavailable in comparably priced rival products, including a hardened browser, a password manager and a file shredder.

Antivirus Plus also blocks key files from being changed and quickly copies targeted files if it detects a ransomware attack. Antivirus Plus is the sweet spot in Bitdefender’s lineup, with features mostly unavailable in rival products, including a hardened browser, password manager and file shredder. It adds webcam protection, file encryption, parental controls and a two-way firewall. Bitdefender’s iOS apps are free in the App Store. It adds system-optimization tools and features to help find a lost or stolen laptop.

As with all of the other products mentioned here, you can often find it deeply discounted online. Until recently, the Family Pack came with an unlimited number of licenses, and it’s possible that Bitdefender won’t enforce the limits if you install its software on more than 15 devices. All of these products support Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 , 8. But Bitdefender Internet Security for XP and Vista, a specialty version for legacy operating systems, has been discontinued.

Antivirus Protection Bitdefender’s malware protection is threefold. A file-scanning engine compares suspect code to known malware signatures, while a heuristic monitor watches file behavior and inspects code. Anything new and suspicious goes up to the company’s servers for analysis, and resulting signatures get pushed out several times daily to its million users.

User browsing history and other recent activities are collected with suspicious files, but you can opt out of this data collection while still receiving malware-signature updates. You can turn off Bitdefender’s security modules individually, although it’s usually better to just let the software’s Autopilot feature manage things. There are Game, Movie and Work modes to automatically disable active scans or notifications. The Windows, Desktop, Documents, Music, Video and Pictures directories are protected by default, but you’ll have to manually designate additional folders.

If you plug in a USB flash drive, Bitdefender will automatically scan it. To scan any file or folder on the computer, right-click in Windows Explorer; you can also “shred” or encrypt the item. Scans can be set to automatically run nightly, weekly or monthly, or just when you’re not using the machine. If you get a bad infection that bogs down your computer, Bitdefender’s Rescue Environment can help. Just go to the link in the interface, and click to reboot the system into a specialized version of Linux.

The program does the rest. Antivirus Performance All of the Bitdefender Windows antivirus products have the same underlying anti-malware technology, which is among the best in the business.

The core protection is identical in all of them. In our own tests, conducted from February through June , Bitdefender Antivirus Plus found 99 percent of all malware. Bitdefender found and deleted all malware, but failed to block some phishing websites. A couple of sites harboring malware were also left unblocked, even as the malware they tried to deliver was stopped.

Yet Bitdefender caught many threats that the web browsers’ security settings failed to recognize. In two rounds of tests conducted by German independent lab AV-TEST in the first half of , Bitdefender Internet Security almost always detected percent of previously unseen “zero-day” malware and known “widespread” malware across the board on Windows Its only shortfall was a Bitdefender flagged four false positives, or harmless pieces of software mistakenly seen as malicious, from January through April In five monthly rounds of “real-world” malware-detection tests conducted by Austrian lab AV-Comparatives from July to November , Bitdefender averaged a Trend Micro detected percent of malware in all five months, but it also got nearly four dozen false positives.

That was in tests conducted in the first half of ; Bitdefender has not participated in SE Labs’ evaluations since June It also merely neutralized, rather than completely blocked, several pieces of malware. To the average user, neither factor would have much impact, but high-profile espionage targets such as government officials or dissidents might take pause.

Security and Privacy Features All Bitdefender paid products come with a generous set of extra features, including anti-phishing protection, multilayer ransomware defense and the new VPN client software, which is provided by Hotspot Shield. There’s also the password manager, which works with the company’s Wallet browser extensions for Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. The Safepay hardened browser creates HTTPS connections, has an on-screen keyboard, and blocks add-ons and screenshots.

Last but not least, there’s a vulnerability scanner that checks your system for flaws and missing software updates, and a Wi-Fi network scanner that examines your home network for weak encryption and weak passwords. Bitdefender’s antivirus products don’t install browser-security add-ons.

The web protections are built right into the antivirus software and stay in the background until there’s a threat. You can go ahead and download the free Traffic Light extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari to label search results, but Traffic Light’s other protections will be redundant. Bitdefender’s Autopilot has managed all this activity for several years. In the lineup, Autopilot steps out from the background and advises the user when he or she needs to take extra steps to protect system security, such as by activating the built-in password manager.

Bitdefender Internet Security and Total Security add a two-way firewall to supersede Microsoft’s built-in one, webcam protection that notifies you when an application tries to use the camera and file encryption. The parental controls included with Internet Security and Total Security block specific applications and objectionable websites, schedule kids’ online access and show how often each application is used.

Total Security’s exclusive features include optimization tools that shaved 0. There’s also Bitdefender’s Network Threat Prevention feature, which blocks botnet-related websites and brute-force attacks. Should your PC or Windows tablet get lost or stolen, Total Security’s anti-theft protection just might help.

You can see the device’s location and IP address of the computer, and can even remotely disable the device. To check the program’s impact, we used our custom benchmark test, which matches 20, names and 20, addresses in an OpenOffice spreadsheet. Before we installed Total Security, it took our OpenOffice performance benchmark 6 minutes and 53 seconds to complete.

This rose to 7: This passive performance hit of 8 percent is slightly higher than Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition’s 5-percent decline, but such a small slowdown would be hard to notice.

Bitdefender’s Quick Scan, which examines only the files the program deems most susceptible to infection, took a lightning-fast 7. We were pleasantly surprised by the speed of the initial system scan, which, at 1 hour, 28 minutes and 47 seconds, was quicker than in previous editions of Bitdefender.

Average full-scan times declined to 32 minutes and 8 seconds after the program trained itself which files to skip. The number of files examined dropped from 2,, to , We’re happy to report that such thoroughness did not come at the cost of performance. During a full system scan, the OpenOffice task took 8 minutes and 2 seconds to complete — 8 percent longer than without an active scan and 17 percent longer than with no third-party antivirus software installed.

That’s not bad at all; some antivirus scans slow down systems by more than 50 percent. During a Quick Scan, the OpenOffice task took 7 minutes and 25 seconds to complete, which is virtually identical to Bitdefender’s background performance impact.

Interface Bitdefender’s look and feel have evolved for , allowing a huge degree of customization and squeezing in more information while looking less cluttered. The dashboard on the interface’s front page displays a shield with a green check mark when everything is safe and sound. It changes to a red “X” otherwise. You can add an extra module in about 15 seconds. Bitdefender’s look and feel have evolved for , allowing a huge degree of customization and squeezing in more information while looking less cluttered.

There are also links for Notifications, My Account and Support. The Settings section is where you make Bitdefender act exactly the way you want it to. You can change passwords, tweak Bitdefender’s Security Widget, use a proxy server or adjust the frequency of update checks.

Hover over the Task Tray icon, and it will say whether you’re protected. Give it a right click, and it can update the software, see the virus-definition details or open the Bitdefender Security Widget. Bitdefender Central remains one of the best antivirus online security accounts. It shows each system you’ve got covered, your parental-control information and when your subscription expires.

The bottom of the screen links directly to Bitdefender tech support. You’ll need to decide if you want to send Bitdefender system reports, and then verify your email address and enter your product code.

The installation process took about 8 minutes, a short time considering all the individual modules involved.

You can also peruse forums and FAQs, which include how-to videos and answers to the day’s pressing security questions. Bottom Line Bitdefender’s Windows antivirus lineup offers just about everything you need to protect your computers, including protection from ransomware and all sorts of online threats, plus file shredding and encryption, parental controls and a variety of ways to speed up your PC.

None of its activities slowed down our computer noticeably. Kaspersky offers even better malware protection with slightly more system impact, and we recommend Kaspersky’s Total Security and Internet Security products. But Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is still the best option for anyone who wants lots of user-friendly features at a low price. Likewise, Bitdefender’s Family Pack is a great deal if you have more devices to protect than you can count. Tom’s Guide Today’s best Bitdefender deals?

Today’s best Bitdefender 2019 deals

No Yes Like many antivirus software makers, Bitdefender has several Windows products that add more features and services as prices go up. At the base is Bitdefender’s bare-bones Antivirus Free Edition , which delivers excellent malware protection but not much more. You can find discounts if you shop around. Antivirus Plus is the sweet spot in the Bitdefender lineup, with features mostly unavailable in comparably priced rival products, including a hardened browser, a password manager and a file shredder.

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