Whether you’re using the free or paid version, both the Bitdefender Antivirus Free and Premium use the same malware database to identify potential threats. So, whichever edition you pick, you’ll get the same excellent level of malware removal. However, there are additional subscription benefits to consider. In this guide, we’ll consider all the facts.
Some are worth a separate mention. Most people pick the Bitdefender Antivirus Plus package, as it currently offers the best feature-price ratio. So, in this Bitdefender review, I’ll go through their security features, pricing options, ease of use, apps, customer support experience, etc. More so, to help you decide whether this is your right antivirus.
Bitdefender is a frequent recipient of industry awards and is recognized as a leader in cybersecurity. More so, by independent testing organizations and industry analyst firms. That said, let’s learn more about why this Cybersecurity Application Software is worth your time and investment.
What Is Bitdefender Antivirus?
Bitdefender Antivirus is a well-known Cybersecurity Application Software that is loved by both individual users and business owners alike. This security tool often gets praised for its performance and efficient malware removal. It offers great real-time protection, includes lots of extra security features, and even has a built-in VPN. And the cherry on top?
It has a free version that does its job really well. While also, keeping in mind, its service offers multiple plans, and you can choose one according to your needs. Bitdefender Antivirus is calling their real-time monitoring Advanced Threat Defense. It uses heuristic methods to monitor all processes running on the device.
Each function is evaluated according to several criteria. The basis for ranking is made possible by one thing. Through the collaboration of Bitdefender’s Global Protective Network—one of the world’s largest security delivery infrastructures. Whilst, monitoring 500 million machines and extracting new malware models.
With the Global Protective Network, every process can be evaluated efficiently and accurately. In the end, it ensures that you have protection against very recent or poorly documented threats. Whenever a malicious process is blocked, you’ll be asked whether you want to allow it or put it in quarantine.
Why Should You Use Bitdefender Antivirus?
As of today, may it be technical specialists, team leaders, business architects, security experts, webmasters, and other nobles alike, they all must cover many areas. These individuals need to monitor, research and analyze threats as they occur, and protect enterprise networks.
While, at the same time, helping them scale operationally as they achieve higher business goals. But, most of all, security leaders need to be brilliant forecasters too. By constantly predicting shifts in a market that is growing in both complexity and vulnerability.
Unfortunately, as digital services become critical to business growth, ecosystems offer cybercriminals new opportunities to thrive. Cybercrime has grown in both volume and sophistication. The latest cyber-attack vectors target not only large enterprises but also third-party services and smaller, less-protected suppliers.
In fact, business growth and the complexity it brings are now two of security’s biggest challenges. The global expansion makes today’s business environments less centralized and more reliant on external actors. From Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers to cloud platforms and IoT devices. As well as a myriad of other useful, yet vulnerable, bits of infrastructure.
In the same fashion, by partnering with Bandura Cyber, its customers have access to a more integrated solution. Whilst, allowing them to protect their environment against general malware and sophisticated threats. The following feeds are available through the ThreatBlockr platform.
Consider the following:
- Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) IPs: A collection of IPs associated with highly targeted cyber-attacks
- Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) Domains: A collection of domains hosting Advanced Persistent Threats
- C2 IPs: A collection of IPs used as command-and-control servers by malware
- Malicious Domains: A collection of domain addresses associated with general malware activities
- Phishing Domains: A collection of domain addresses associated with phishing attacks
Based on internal analysis, comparing the Bitdefender Feeds with 18 other IP feeds that are offered on ThreatBlockr, the data showed very little overlap highlights of the incremental Bitdefender’s Advanced Threat Intelligence protection.
The first step in fighting an enemy is understanding it. It’s also the most important step, as way too many companies prefer to invest in damage control rather than prevention. Threat intelligence is like having an additional team of analysts, constantly showing your most vulnerable areas, and telling you when the next attack might occur.
On one side, its APT IP feed had an average overlap of 0.1%-0.2% and only had overlap with three out of the 18 feeds. On the other side, its C2 IP feed had an average overlap of 1%-2% with the other feeds. The analysis proves Bitdefender solution provides unique, first-hand data, providing extended visibility for security analysts.
Overall, one needs to see over the horizon and swiftly ingest new validated intelligence from security vendors. More so, with larger visibility and quick access to a larger pool of lab-consolidated threat information based on fresh IoCs and recent analysis. That’s where Bitdefender Central comes in.
Bitdefender Central | The One-Stop Security Center
As mentioned, the Bitdefender Antivirus provides Cybersecurity Solutions to all—home users or even business entities alike. Particularly, with leading security efficacy, performance, and ease of use to small and medium businesses, mid-market enterprises, and consumers.
While also, guided by a vision to be the world’s most trusted cybersecurity solutions provider. With that in mind, it’s committed to defending organizations and individuals all around the globe. Specifically, against all cyberattacks, as well as transform and improve their digital experience.
For this reason, they also have Bitdefender Advanced Threat Intelligence which is now available through the ThreatBlockr Platform as well. Not forgetting, through Bitdefender Central, you can easily manage security for yourself and your family.
Or rather, log in (for existing customers). And then, you can go ahead to set up and manage Bitdefender BOX 2 in that case. As well as all the devices connected to your secure network. And, by so doing, you’ll stay up-to-date with your kids’ online activities. That said, below are the key features that you should know.
Business & Home-Based Security Service Products
In nutshell, Bitdefender offers support to many security services for Home Products, Business Products, and others. Thus, it constantly achieves the industry’s highest detection rates. Partially, due to the expertise of their laboratories and our global networks.
Bitdefender Threat Intelligence consolidates and curates very large quantities. Like those of Indicators of Compromise (IoCs) and Indicators of Behaviour (IoBs) in real-time from multiple sources too. Such as the Bitdefender Global Protective Network (GPN) as the main carrier. And, that protects hundreds of millions of worthwhile entities.
- industry and technology partnership ecosystems,
- web-crawling systems,
- email traps,
- APT monitoring,
Not to mention, they also allow for alliances with law-enforcement organizations for enriched context around IoCs.
Real-time IoCs are further correlated by 285 elite security researchers, threat hunters, and security analysts. And 400+ R&D employees are focused on cloud, emerging technologies, and machine learning. Perse, into actionable context for the prevalent threats, some unique or seen for the first time.
Learn In Detail:
- Support for Home Products
- Support for Business Products
- Gravityzone Cloud Control Center
- Partner Advantage Network Portal
In other words, Bitdefender service solutions and products provide intelligence regarding all general malware. As well as sophisticated threats as they emerge in the market. Special attention is paid to Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) and other related IoCs like domains, IPs, URLs, etc.
Antispam Ransomware Remediation Filter
As you may have heard, ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts your files and asks for a ransom to decrypt them. It’s an extremely dangerous threat if it passes your antivirus security undetected. As a solution, Bitdefender created its Ransomware mitigation feature, which was previously called Safe Files.
It creates a backup of your files (like documents, images, music, and videos) so that they wouldn’t be affected in case of a ransomware attack. Bitdefender also detects when ransomware is trying to encrypt files, blocking all malicious processes.
Even though it’s not always possible to remove the ransomware encryption, the encrypted files can always be replaced with the prepared backup. That way, you don’t have to worry about potentially losing important documents or other sensitive data.
Although this feature sounds quite self-explanatory, it’s a bit more complicated than it would seem. This feature is designed to work with any mailbox, providing active protection for the whole email channel. To achieve that, it uses a Whitelist, a heuristic filter, and learning modules.
Relevant Topic: Website Security | 6 Tips To Secure Your Website Business
For each received email, Bitdefender performs a heuristic analysis investigating the message contents, the header, and metadata. It’s done to find particular telltale spam characteristics. You can even toggle blocks for emails encoded in Cyrillic or Asian characters.
The learning module works in conjunction with this filter, gathering statistical information about 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 whitelister. It continually refreshes data about known spammer domains and blocks them before they get to your inbox.
Bitdefender Anti-Tracker SafePay Sandbox
Online shopping is not only a convenient way to get parcels shipped to your door. It’s also a window of opportunity for cybercriminals. For this reason, Bitdefender implemented a SafePay feature on its paid editions that aims to protect you when making online purchases.
It’s designed to work with banking and online shopping sites in mind, but any website can be opened via this browser. It creates a sandbox that acts separately from your other installed web browsers, making it unaffected by the malware that could be present on your regular browser.
It also adds a virtual keyboard so that your keystrokes couldn’t be registered by malware, and checks whether your connected wifi network is secure.
SafePay also offers some quality-of-life features, like integration with Bitdefender’s password manager, bookmarks, and tab view. With it, you can be calm that you’re visiting genuine websites which won’t steal your credit card information.
It’s no secret that most websites are tracking every click you make via third-party scripts, cookies, and other adtech marvels. Bitdefender Anti-Tracker is a solution available to premium users who want to stop excessive tracking carried out by web services.
Anti-tracker is an add-on that you can set up on Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. Once enabled, it will stop malicious scripts from harvesting your data when you’re surfing the web. Also, you can manage which tracking categories you would like to allow or disable.
For example, you might be OK with website analytics but against ads or social media tracking. You can customize this add-on in a way that works for you, and it quite significantly reduces the load time of all websites.
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Although the feature is called Webcam Filter, this is only partially accurate. This is because it makes sure that there is no unauthorized access to your camera and microphone. Even though it’s pretty easy to stick duct tape on top of your built-in webcam, it’s much harder to silence the microphone, which could be just as dangerous.
Webcam Filter will notify you each time a new app tries to access your built-in camera or microphone. There’s only a handful of apps for video calls, making every other permission a potential threat. With Webcam Filter enabled, you can be sure that your device won’t spy on you via video or audio. Sadly, the feature is only available for paying users.
Bitdefender VPN Security Application
One of the key differences compared to many other antivirus service providers is that Bitdefender offers a Virtual Private Network (VPN) as part of the app. This is really generous!
Simply, because some antiviruses charge an additional fee for their VPNs in use. Or rather, they add them as additional products when buying the most expensive packages. However, you can also buy the VPN separately—this would cost you $6.99 per month when buying the monthly subscription.
Or rather, $2.49 per month when getting a yearly plan. Bitdefender Premium VPN is quite a good tool. It offers 1300 servers in more than 48 countries and unblocks Netflix US as well as a few other streaming services. The VPN also has a kill switch too! And, as such, it will disable your Internet traffic if your connection to the VPN servers is disrupted.
You can also set the app to auto-connect when you switch to a public wifi network or when you visit specific websites. In addition, it equally offers split tunneling. That allows you to exclude the websites of your choice from the VPN traffic. However, the feature itself is quite restrictive.
Other Additional Cybersecurity Features To Know
Important to realize, if you purchase the cheaper plans of Bitdefender antivirus, you’ll get only 200 MB of data per day. However, if you buy the VPN separately, you’ll get unlimited data.
Keep in mind that Bitdefender VPN offers only one tunneling protocol, and it’s Catapult Hydra by Hotspot Shield. Bitdefender’s setup is one of the longest that I’ve ever had to endure. First of all, the installation files are 400 MB. That’s a considerable amount when other solutions install in a couple of seconds.
With Bitdefender, it takes some time. There is a catch, however! If you’ve committed to ignoring everything else Bitdefender has to offer, there’s a lighter version of their free edition. It only performs malware scans, and that’s about it. Most people, however, will pick up the default suite. It groups feature in 3 categories.
There’s also a Dashboard that provides quick actions and displays your status, Settings, and Notifications tab.
- The Protection tab is almost exclusively dedicated to the things associated with most antivirus tools. There are real-time protection settings, firewall monitoring, ransomware countermeasures, and more.
- Privacy deals with methods to stay anonymous and secure when surfing online, like the SafePay browser, VPN, password manager, and parental controls.
- Utilities are for optimization tools, profile management, and file shredder.
Bitdefender is easy to navigate shortly after completing the installation. To find out more, read the in-depth Bitdefender VPN review in detail. And now, aside from all the necessary security features, Bitdefender also offers lots of extra features that you might find incredibly useful. Let’s take a look at all of them below.
Sometimes, you simply can’t allow any disturbances. Unfortunately, most antiviruses disregard this need entirely. You’ve probably heard legends about how an annoying pop-up interrupted presentations. And even got someone killed in a ranked online match. Bitdefender developers understand all that.
They understand that sometimes you don’t want to entirely disable the antivirus—you may just need some privacy. For that, there are profiles—settings preset that adapt to the conditions you’re in. You can set them up automatically or allow an app to detect what processes are running. According to what you’re doing, there are several modes:
- Work Mode Profile:– adjusts your email settings and limits background scans to minimize the impact on the system
- Movie Mode Profile:– postpones notifications and alerts so you can watch a movie without jumpscares
- Game Mode Profile:– limits background monitoring so the impact on the system is minimal
- Public WiFi Profile:– turns on full network protection to make you safe from insecure public networks
- Battery Mode Profile:– disables background monitoring to conserve system resources, saving battery life
On one hand, if you’re using automatic switching, these modes are triggered automatically when you launch a particular app. For example, suppose you launch an executable game file. In that case, Bitdefender will know that it’s a game and limit the consumption of system resources.
On the other hand, if you get a Windows warning about low battery life, the device will automatically engage the battery mode profile. While some services still require manual input for each of these modes, it’s nice to see that Bitdefender is set to find a balance between your tasks and antivirus protection.
Rather than developing a standalone project, Bitdefender integrates its password manager into the main dashboard. You can use it for credit cards, credentials, and other sensitive data.
If you’re using Bitdefender on multiple devices, you’ll appreciate the ability to sync the password across all of them. It’s not as safe, nor is it as secure as a dedicated third-party password manager would be. Still, it’s a great addition.
If you’re planning to sell a used device, the File shredder may be useful. Even though you’ve deleted your files, some can still be recovered. So, if you have some private videos or document copies that you want to make sure are gone for good, you should use Bitdefender’s File Shredder.
It doesn’t just delete the driver files, it overwrites the data using a special algorithm that makes the file’s recovery impossible. So, you can sell the hard drive to someone else, being sure that no one uses the data against you.
Bitdefender can also protect your device not only from viruses but from unwanted content as well. It works across all supported platforms: Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS. There may be some differences from platform to platform when it concerns how much you can control the devices.
On Windows, macOS, and Android, you’ll be able to select website categories that you want to block, and check how much screen time your child spends on the specific device and when. However, on mobile, it even allows access to the phone contacts and the device’s location.
The only caveat was that uninstalling the app on macOS proved to be quite a headscratcher, as it’s only possible to do it via BitDefender’s Uninstaller app.
Bitdefender Mobile Apps
Eventually, your operating system can determine your impression of Bitdefender. But, the discrepancies between Android and iOS versions are pretty big. Whereby, the iOS version of Bitdefender Mobile Security is fairly lackluster. It offers protection against various key elements.
Such as fraudulent websites, a VPN with a cap of 200 MB a day, and a personal data leak check. So, you’re getting haveibeenpwned.com, a VPN that should be enough for a couple of pages. As well as browser protection in a single app. It’s not worth your time.
With that said, Apple keeps a tight grip on the App Store and thus there’s little need for antivirus solutions. The situation is entirely different when we’re talking about the Android version. Right off the bat, you’re greeted with their Dashboard, Malware scanner, Web Protection, VPN, and a More tab.
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The interface closely mirrors the desktop version. Bitdefender for Android has Autopilot recommendations that advise you on how to be safer when using your phone. The Autopilot feature also scans all your new apps for potential threats. Additionally, there’s a Malware Scanner and a separate Web Protection toggle.
That you can open it on your current browser. On top of that, there are some unexpected features like the App Lock, Anti-Theft, and Share protection. It’s one of the best antivirus suites for mobile devices I’ve seen.
At the same time, Android’s anti-theft is managed through Bitdefender’s website. The system isn’t foolproof, and your location might be spoofed if you’re using a VPN. However, from there, you can launch remote system scans, lock the device or completely wipe it.
We should keep in mind that Apple does a lot of malware protection for you. Android is a looser system, and potentially opens up more points for attack.
How Are Bitdefender Antivirus Pricing Plans Like?
Bitdefender comes in four editions: Free, Antivirus Plus, Internet Security, and Total Security. Although the premium packages are somewhat pricy, Bitdefender does everything to give you a taste of what you’re getting.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
Not only does Bitdefender have a free version, but the paid offers also come with a 30-day trial that doesn’t require you to enter any financial details. This is quite generous on the antivirus market.
|Bitdefender Free||Real-time protection, Advanced Threat Defense, Web attack prevention, Anti-Phishing, Anti-Fraud, Bitdefender Photon, Global Protective Network||$0.00|
|Antivirus Plus||Network Threat Prevention, Ransomware Protection, Vulnerability Assessment, Rescue Environment, SafePay browser, Password Manager, VPN, File Shredder||$23.99|
|Internet Security||Real-time protection, Privacy Firewall, Parental Control, Webcam and microphone protection, Ransomware protection, VPN||$32.00|
|Total Security||Webcam and microphone protection, Parental Control, Privacy Firewall, Performance optimization tool, Anti-Theft tool||$36.00|
|Family Pack||Everything included in the Total Security plan + protection for up to 15 devices||$49.99|
With Bitdefender’s Free Edition, you will get:
- Real-Time Data Protection
- Advanced Threat Defense (including ransomware safeguards)
- Web attack prevention
- Anti-Phishing and Anti-Fraud
- Bitdefender Photon (ensures the antivirus adapts to the capabilities of your device)
- Global Protective Network
This is quite a comprehensive anti-malware protection suite with nice bonus features. As a matter of fact, the Bitdefender Free Edition is comparable to the paid versions of some others. With that said, they do leave a lot out as well, including network threat protection, usage profiles, a VPN, a password manager, and much more.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus Edition
Generally, when we’re talking about paid versions of Bitdefender, the concept of a paywall doesn’t apply here. Much of what’s available in the free version is also paid with additional subscription benefits. The service isn’t hostile with their payment plans, either. You can have a Bitdefender Antivirus Plus plan for $23.99 for the first year, and then it’s $59.99.
So, it’s not the cheapest, but it’s usable on up to three devices and has a huge list of features. Aside from the free features, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus includes:
- File Shredder
- Password Manager
- Rescue Environment
- Vulnerability Assessment
- Network Threat Prevention
- Virtual Private Network (VPN)
- Multi-Layered Ransomware Protection
- The dedicated SafePay browser
This version of Bitdefender will even adjust its notifications and pop-ups if it determines that you’re working or gaming. In short, this is great value for money.
Bitdefender Antivirus Internet Security
Bitdefender Internet Security is the version you need if your main concern is security online. This subscription costs $32.00/year for one device – however, you can pick multiple subscription options which cover up to ten devices at a time. So, this version includes:
- Privacy firewall
- Parental controls
- Ransomware protection
- Webcam and microphone protection
- Real-time protection from spyware, adware, malware
- Secure VPN (200 MB/day per device)
Basically, it has everything you need for safe browsing.
Bitdefender Antivirus Total Security
For those who want absolutely everything, there’s a Bitdefender Total Security edition. It’s the most expensive edition, albeit the one with the longest list of subscription benefits, including a 5-device limit.
Feature-wise, you get greatly expanded Bitdefender Antivirus Plus offerings. Here’s what Bitdefender Total Protection adds to the package:
- Webcam and microphone protection
- Parental Control
- Privacy Firewall
- Performance optimization tool
- Anti-Theft (and anti-loss) tool
Total Security is also the only option that offers advanced protection for macOS, Android, or iOS devices. For Mac, it adds the Time Machine Protection feature against ransomware, Bitdefender Android protects your connected smartwatch with WearOn, and that’s just some of it. iOS is the only Bitdefender version that feels a bit lacking.
Naturally, all of these nice things come at a price. Bitdefender Total Security is $36.00 for the first year, and then it’s $89.99/yr. Bitdefender has neither the lowest prices nor the possibility to use the service on the highest number of devices. However, where it hits the home run is the number and quality of features.
Bitdefender Antivirus Family Pack
Bitdefender’s Family Pack is less of a plan and more of their Total Plan that can be shared between 15 users. Each of them will have an individual account with their profile or settings.
You’re getting 15 accounts for $49.99 for the first year. This provides a pretty good value, especially considering that their Internet Security costs $34.99 and only covers three devices. You should keep in mind that this is a special price, and the deal is only valid for the first year. Afterward, the price does increase.
So, Which Pricing Plan Should You Choose?
If you don’t need too many extra features, Bitdefender’s free version is more than enough. In fact, it’s so good it could rival some paid-only antivirus providers. It’s available for Windows, macOS, and Android, and the malware scanning capabilities are identical to the paid editions.
However, you might consider getting the Internet Security suite if you want more features targeted toward protecting your life online. This version adds a firewall, Parental Control feature, ransomware protection, as well as webcam and microphone protection.
Now, if you’re torn between Antivirus Plus and Total Security, here is the main difference. Total Security offers all the features of Bitdefender, while Antivirus Plus lacks a firewall, a device optimizer, and a parental controls feature.
Also, Total Security is the only version that supports all operating systems. Internet Security and Antivirus Plus work only on Windows.
Awards aside, let’s take a look at the most recent Bitdefender virus detection rates. According to AV-Test, Bitdefender blocked 100% of threats during the testing period of October 2021. This included both 0-day and 4-week-old malware and viruses. It also scored a maximum of 6 points in terms of speed.
Thus, making Bitdefender a cybersecurity leader. Whilst, delivering best-in-class threat prevention, detection, and response solutions worldwide. Also, bear in mind, the very first step in fighting an enemy is understanding it. It’s also the most important step, as way too many companies prefer to invest otherwise.
For instance, they highly invest in damage control rather than prevention. Threat intelligence is like having an additional team of analysts, constantly showing your most vulnerable areas. And then, telling you when the next attack might occur. Whatever the reason, this is why you need Bitdefender.
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Also, Learn More About:
- The Integration Between Bandera Cyber And Bitdefender In Detail
- How Bitdefender Threat Intelligence Works In Detail
That’s it. All you need to know before investing in the Bitdefender Antivirus and other Antimalware Application Tools as well. So, what’s your take on this? Whether you’re just getting setting or are a customer, you can share your experiences with us in our comments sections.
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