Bitdefender antivirus review 2024

9.4/10
Feature-rich antivirus for online security
Last updated Jul 2, 2024 at 6am ET

Bitdefender is often hailed as one of the best antiviruses out there. Feature-rich and affordable, its deserving of the praise it gets, catching and eliminating malware at a near perfect 100% rate.

Minimum Price:
$29.99 / year
Devices::
up to 5
Works with:
windows android macos ios
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Bitdefender has a long-standing reputation for being a reliable and comprehensive cybersecurity solution. More affordable and feature-packed than most of the competition, this tool takes care of all kinds of threats without using too many system resources.

Users can enhance their device security in several ways depending on the plan. There’s an antivirus, an anti-phishing tool, ransomware protection, a password manager, a firewall, a VPN, and a lot more. Of course, those needing solely real-time protection from malware and web attacks are welcome to utilize the free version.

But how good is Bitdefender? Is it an effective, one-in-all cybersecurity solution worth the money? And is the free version enough for basic antivirus needs?

We’re doing an in-depth Bitdefender review to answer all these questions and more. Our team looked at the available features, pricing options, and performance, and we’ll be sharing our findings with you. Read on to find out if Bitdefender is the right tool for you.

Bitdefender antivirus overview

⭐ Rating:9.4/10
💵Price:From $19.99/year
🥷Free version: Yes
✂️ Free trial:30 days
💳 Money-back guarantee:30 days
🖥️ Supported platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS
🎮 Number of devices protected:1–15
🦠 Real-time malware scans:Yes
🎯 Phishing protection:Yes
💥Firewall:
Yes

Visit Bitdefender

Is Bitdefender safe?

Yes, Bitdefender is a safe antivirus tool. It ranks among the top anti-malware applications and continually receives praise from independent assessment organizations like AV-Comparatives. As of March 2023, Bitdefender passed AV’s testing with flying colors yet again. It effectively blocked 99.94% malware samples, with only 6 false positives.

Bitdefender ranking by AV-Comparatives

We also performed thorough testing of our own and checked whether each scan type could detect and block our malware samples. Bitdefender proved to be highly efficient, catching and resolving 10/10 live malware, 10/10 controlled malware samples, and 14/15 malicious URLs with domain names and IPv4 combined.

Quick scanning took around ~4 minutes, while the System Scan lasted about 42 mins (scanned about 450K files and detected 100% of malicious samples).

Bitdefender security features

The free version of Bitdefender is just as robust as the premium one, as they both use the same malware database. But if you’re looking for more than just an antivirus, this cybersecurity tool seemingly has a solution for every need. Each subscription option is feature-rich, tackling different security risks.

Bitdefender’s features fall into three main categories: Protection, Security, and Utilities. Some of the more notable perks include but are not limited to:

Virus scanner

Bitdefender’s virus scanner is cloud-based, so it’s pretty lightweight. It combines a sizable malware directory with machine learning, which helps detect known and unknown threats alike. Be it viruses, worms, Trojans, ransomware, zero-day exploits, rootkits, or spyware, the scanner catches and quarantines all suspicious files and malicious software.

Bitdefender Antivirus scan

You can perform 4 types of scans:

  • Quick scan. It only scans device locations commonly targeted by viruses. It’s reasonably fast, usually taking less than 4 minutes. Just keep in mind that while it’s good for catching known malware, just like with other antivirus programs, zero-day threats will likely be left unnoticed by it.
  • System scan. Performs a whole system scan in under an hour, which is commendable. It reliably detected all malware samples planted on our virtual computer, earning it 100% effectiveness.
  • Vulnerability scan. It assesses your device’s security holes that could potentially be exploited by cybercriminals. The scan doesn’t last longer than 5 minutes and checks for outdated or vulnerable software, missing security patches, and unsafe system settings. After, Bitdefender offers solutions to strengthen your system.
  • Custom scan. It lets you pick which locations to scan for potential threats. Users can also schedule daily, weekly, and monthly scans or on startup.

Bitdefender’s virus scanner is one of the most effective in the market. And the fact the system doesn’t noticeably slow down whenever you’re performing a system-wide scan is a plus since most scanners tend to hog resources.

Real-time protection

Also known as Bitdefender Shield, this tool scans all freshly downloaded files, accessed files, and email messages for threats. Once such an offender is detected, it either gets deleted or placed in quarantine, where you can decide its fate. Furthermore, there’s an option to customize what gets scanned and what gets left alone:

  • Only applications – scans only accessed apps
  • Potentially unwanted applications – for unwanted applications, which usually come attached with free software, for example
  • Scripts – scans PowerShell scripts and office documents that might contain script-based malware
  • Network shares – for safely accessing remote networks
  • Archives – a slow and resource-heavy process that checks archives for infected files
  • Boot sectors – scans the boot sectors of your hard disk
  • Only new and modified files – for catching newly-infected files
  • Keyloggers – scans the system for keylogger apps

Users can also pick an early boot scan, which scans the system at startup once all the critical services are loaded.

Eliminate malware with Bitdefender

Web protection

Another neat perk is the Online Threat Prevention feature. It comprises several tools that scan your web traffic for any malicious content, such as infected URLs, suspicious websites, phishing links, etc.

Suppose the webpage matches any item of the regularly updated database of millions of blacklisted sites. In that case, Bitdefender blocks the page and displays a warning containing URL information, the detected threat, and such. And if a domain gets blocked erroneously, you can add this false positive to the exception’s list.

Bitdefender Online Threat Prevention

Besides URLs, Online Threat Prevention is capable of blocking online apps (games, tools, services) if they access harmful links or IP addresses. Of course, you can customize how Threat Prevention works as well. There’s an option to toggle:

  • Web attack prevention – checks the websites you visit for threats
  • Search Advisor – checks search results for dangerous websites
  • Encrypted web scan – checks whether the encrypted website you’re accessing is actually safe
  • Fraud protection – scans for fraudulent content
  • Phishing protection – scans for phishing behavior and content
  • Network threat prevention – prevents threats from taking advantage of your device’s vulnerabilities
  • Email protection – scans the content of incoming and outgoing emails for threats

Our team tested how Bitdefender’s web protection feature fares against infected downloads and malicious domains. We downloaded 12 malware files, and each case was caught instantly once we unzipped them. As for URL testing, 10 URLs containing malware and 5 malicious IPv4 URLs were used. Online Threat Prevention blocked access to 9/10 URLs and 5/5 IPv4 URLs. A really great result, to say the least.

But remember that, like every other antivirus software, Bitdefender can’t 100% prevent infected downloads. Compressed files are a hard nut to crack for many tools – only once you unzip them can the antivirus detect and eliminate the threat.

Firewall

A firewall is an essential security feature that prevents unauthorized access to your computer on local networks and the internet. A casual user might be content with Windows Defender doing the job, but Bitdefender offers its firewall solution for advanced users needing more customization options.

Bitdefender Firewall lets you manage which apps can access the internet and which cannot. The Application Access tab displays the last 15 applications that connected to the web, while the Rules tab shows all the rules created for particular apps. You can manually add, delete or edit app rules. And you’ll be instantly notified whenever a potentially malicious app is blocked from accessing the internet.

Bitdefender Firewall

Bitdefender assigns a network connection type to every detected network connection. And the firewall’s level of protection is changed accordingly to meet higher safety needs. The Network Adapters tab allows users to configure what settings should be applied for safe browsing, depending if you’re on Wi-Fi or Ethernet. The three options are:

  • Dynamic – the network type is automatically set based on the profile of the connected network, which is either Home/Office or Public
  • Home/Office – the network type will always be Home/Office, disregarding the profile of the connected network
  • Public – the network type will always be Public

Finally, there’s the Settings tab, which additionally includes:

  • Port scan protection, for detecting and blocking attempts to find out which PC ports are open
  • Alert mode, which shows a notification each time an app tries to connect to the web
  • Allow access to domain network, for allowing or denying access to resources defined by your domain controllers
  • Stealth Mode, which lets you choose whether your device is visible to other computers or not
  • Default application behavior, which lets the firewall apply automatic settings to applications that have no defined rules
  • Use passive detection mode, for DHCP device detection

Our testing has shown that Bitdefender Firewall is fairly robust, especially when you turn on some of the more restrictive features like Stealth Mode or Alert mode. We couldn’t detect our PC on the local network or see any of the service ports by using several online port scanners.

Password manager

Bitdefender’s password manager is a simple password management solution integrated with Windows and macOS applications. The password manager also has mobile apps for Android and iOS and browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. You can sync your data across all of them, and offline access lets you safely access login credentials whenever you need them.

Bitdefender password manager

It’s not as robust as getting a standalone password management solution. For example, there’s no 2FA, biometric logins, password sharing, and other useful features you’d find with other tools. But Bitdefender’s password manager isn’t bare-bones either, as it comes with the following:

  • Password wallet – here, you store all your passwords and manage which other devices they are synced with
  • Password generator – can generate passwords up to 32 characters long
  • Auto-save and auto-fill – automatically stores new passwords in the wallet and fills out the necessary details when logging in, filling out forms, making online payments, etc.
  • Password vault auditing – also known as Security Report, it does a password strength check and gives a report on which passwords are too old, weak, short, reused, leaked, and such

The password manager is great if you don’t want to spend time researching separate management solutions. But if functionality and password sharing are what you need, then are better options out there, like NordPass or Dashlane.

Anti-Theft

Currently available only on Windows and Android, Bitdefender’s Anti-Theft protection ensures you can locate your lost device, lock it, or, if need be, wipe all data on it. It’s a practical feature that helped us locate several of our “lost” phones and laptops with pinpoint accuracy.

Bitdefender Anti-Theft

It comes with several features:

  • Locate. Shows the location of your device on Google Maps. A minor caveat affects its accuracy, though – the device should be connected to the internet for the best results. If it’s not connected to Wi-Fi or wired LAN, then the IP address will be used, which is less accurate.
  • Lock. It lets you remotely lock your device so no one else can access it. After you retrieve it, you have to input the alphanumeric password provided by Anti-Theft.
  • Alert. When enabled, the device emits a loud blaring sound that makes it easier to locate your possessions.
  • Erase. This should only be used if you’re sure that your device is stolen and cannot be retrieved. The Erase function wipes all data on the device and, in the case of laptops, even the operating system.
  • Show IP. Displays the last known IP address of the device.

If you’re afraid of losing your device or it being stolen, then Bitdefender’s Anti-Theft solution is a solid measure for quenching those fears. Very few cybersecurity suites offer such tools. However, we’d like to see this feature implemented in the macOS and iOS apps.

Ransomware Remediation

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts files on your computer, and the only way to get access to them is by paying the cyber attacker the ransom. It can also affect networks and systems, sometimes rendering devices unusable until they’re decrypted.

Bitdefender offers a solution that can detect whenever a ransomware attack is happening and block it from encrypting your files. Then Ransomware Remediation automatically starts the file restoration process if any data is affected and notifies the user about the attack.

Bitdefender Ransomware Remediation

Furthermore, the feature backs up your files, such as documents, pictures, videos, music, etc. This way, you still retain access to basically everything stored on the PC, even if a ransomware attack occurs. However, when we ran some ransomware simulations, we noticed it didn’t restore 100% of the files correctly. But at least it immediately caught and remediated all instances of ransomware.

Secure Web Browser

Shopping and banking online have made many a life easier, but it does come with certain risks. It shouldn’t be surprising that hackers nowadays are targeting online transactions in hopes of making a profit. From phishing, man-in-the-browser, and Trojans to keyloggers and fraudulent websites, your payment information might fall into the wrong hands in many ways.

Bitdefender Safepay

For this reason, Bitdefender includes SafePay, a protected browser designed specifically for securing online transactions. It’s independent of other browsers, and technically you can surf the web on it but don’t expect to be streaming HD videos on it. As for features, SafePay:

  • Includes a built-in screenshot blocker to prevent any attempts to snapshot your screen
  • Prevents keystroke logging by using a virtual keyboard
  • Protects your login credentials by integrating the Password Manager feature
  • Comes with a built-in VPN that automatically turns on if you’re connected to an unsecured public Wi-Fi network
  • Supports bookmarks for easier website navigation
  • Detects fraudulent websites

System optimization

Bitdefender offers OneClick Optimizer for those who want to free up space on their computer without manually going through everything themselves. It’s a solid solution for speeding up your system by getting rid of junk files that are just slowing down your device. The Optimizer tackles:

  • Old installation files
  • Registries and broken registry items
  • Outdated drives
  • Temporary system files
  • Windows junk files
  • Empty files
  • Privacy issues

The scan doesn’t take longer than a few minutes to complete and sorts the findings into three categories – Disk Cleanup, Registry Cleanup, and Privacy Cleanup. You also have the option to review the issues before deleting them permanently.

BItdefender OneClick Optimizer

After ~3 months of usage, OneClick Optimizer detected 17K junk files, 15 registry issues, 99 privacy issues, and 4.40 GB potential space to clean. Still, compared to competitors like Avira, this tool is quite limited in terms of what it can do. For example, Avira includes a driver updater, battery usage manager, game booster, and much more.

But for what it does and how quickly the Optimizer cleans up junk files, it achieves what it promises.

Bitdefender VPN

Bitdefender also comes with a free VPN. The cost-free version has a 200 MB daily limit and only 1 server location available, which is automatically chosen by the app.

Though when it comes to security, it includes all the necessary VPN features – AES-256 encryption, IP & DNS leak protection, and a reliable kill switch that hasn’t failed our testing once. And since it’s powered by Hotspot Shield, the only available tunneling protocol is Hydra Catapult which facilitates stable connectivity.

Bitdefender VPN

Those wishing for more functionality can upgrade to Bitdefender Premium VPN for $2.50/month with the annual plans. There’s plenty to like about the paid version, too. Subscribers benefit from:

  • 10 simultaneous connections with unlimited bandwidth
  • A server network spanning 4000+ servers in 50+ countries
  • Compatibility with Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android
  • A built-in ad blocker and anti-tracking measures
  • Split tunneling

While it’s a solid choice if you need a VPN solely for encryption, there are better alternatives with feature-rich toolkits. And we found issues with Bitdefender Premium VPN’s spotty privacy policy, which hasn’t been audited by an independent third party.

Furthermore, the service claims that it unblocks popular streaming services, but we couldn’t get a hold of anything else apart from Netflix US. And although Hydra Catapult is a reliable tunneling protocol, we noticed a drastic decline both in downloading and uploading speeds. If fast speeds and superb performance are your priority, NordVPN is the better option.

Bitdefender additional features

We’ve just scratched the surface of all the features Bitdefender packs into its premium subscriptions. The service aims to be an all-in-one security suite for homes and businesses alike, and the versatile toolkit perfectly reflects that. Additional perks include:

Antispam

This cloud-based filter tackles unsolicited emails, a growing issue for both companies and individuals. Designed to work with all kinds of mailboxes, you can effectively filter out spam on a multitude of mail clients, even Microsoft Outlook. The Bitdefender Antispam filter combines three tools to recognize and block spam – heuristic filtering, learning modules, and whitelisting.

Bitdefender Antispam

Each email you receive gets scanned and sent to the cloud for analysis (no personally identifiable information is transmitted). Here, the system checks such data as the sender IP address, message fingerprints, statistical metrics about the email body, HTML content, attachments, and even zipped archives. Everything needs to be checked for known spam characteristics.

Then the learning module aggregates statistical data regarding the frequency of spam and proper emails. Once it adapts, together with the filter, the module can immediately detect incoming spam and tag it appropriately. Lastly, the Whitelister tool regularly refreshes data about known spam domains.

Anti-Tracker

User trackers deployed by websites are another growing problem for people wanting more privacy online. Be it scripts, cookies, or other tracking tools, there’s an abundance of ways to collect information about your browsing behavior, which can later be used for targeted advertising.

Bitdefender Anti-tracker

Well, Bitdefender lets you put a stop to that with the Anti-Tracker feature. It comes in a browser add-on form and is available on Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and Internet Explorer. The tracker blocker detects and disables 5 types of web trackers:

  • Essential. These are used to monitor critical website functionalities.
  • Site Analytics. These gather data about how the website is being used, i.e., what pages a visitor is accessing.
  • Customer Interaction. Assesses how visitors interact with widgets, like buttons, pop-ups, chat windows, etc.
  • Advertising. Analyzes overall website traffic, including visitor behavior and traffic patterns.
  • Social Media. Monitors user engagement with social media platforms.

You can manage these tracking categories however you see fit. There’s also an option to pause user tracker blocking on the website you’re currently visiting.

Microphone Monitor & Webcam Protection

If you’re wary about your device or cyber criminals spying on you, then you can enable Bitdefender’s Video & Audio Protection. You’re instantly notified anytime a website or an application tries to gain access to your microphone or camera. Select either Allow or Deny access, and the tool will remember that.

Bitdefender Video & Audio Protection

Users are free to customize their permissions list. You can set up some apps and websites to always have access to these devices or completely block everything from using your microphone and camera. And if you don’t want a particular page to have free reign over your microphone, simply delete it from the access list, and that’s it.

Profiles

Whenever you’re working or engaging in data-intensive activities, like gaming, there’s a need for increased system responsiveness. Sometimes you have to lessen your power consumption by temporarily disabling unnecessary operations, especially if you’re relying solely on your laptop’s battery. And Bitdefender understands that.

Bitdefender Profiles

For this reason, Profiles exist – these are settings presets that help your device adapt to different activities. Bitdefender comes with 5 distinct Profile modes:

  • Work. Adjusts email settings and reduces background scans.
  • Movie. Minimizes background processes and postpones pop-ups and notifications to stop interruptions.
  • Game. Optimizes your device’s performance for smooth gameplay and postpones notifications.
  • Public Wi-Fi. Enables full Bitdefender protection to prevent unauthorized parties from gaining access to your device via unsecured networks.
  • Battery Mode. Stops background monitoring to conserve battery life.

While you can switch between profiles manually, the automatic switching option changes them whenever you launch a particular app. When we launched the Netflix app, it switched to Movie mode (and there were indeed no interruptions), then we opened Adobe Photoshop, and it immediately set the profile to Work mode. And once we got a system notification that our laptop’s battery was running low, Bitdefender enabled Battery Mode.

Parental Control

Bitdefender also takes into consideration the online safety of children. Parental Control lets parents:

  • filter out inappropriate content
  • limit screen time
  • check their child’s location
  • see what applications and programs are being used
  • access the child’s latest phone contacts

You have to create a separate Child Profile for this and assign it to your kid’s device. It’s available on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, albeit not all features can be found on every operating system unanimously. For example, Child Location is limited to Android and iOS devices, while screen time and inappropriate content filtering are unavailable on iOS.

Whenever your child tries to access blocked content, enters restricted areas, communicates with unknown phone numbers, or tries to remove the Parental Control app, you’ll be notified about it. And a detailed summary of the kid’s online activity can be delivered via email either daily, weekly, or monthly.

Identity Theft Protection

Available solely in the US, Bitdefender’s Identity Theft Protection services monitor your identity, privacy, and credit status for potential identity theft. It scans thousands of websites, including the Dark Web, black market chat rooms, blogs, etc., and data breaches for traces of your personal information. And if it finds a positive, you’re alerted about it.

But that’s just a fraction of what Identity Theft Protection entails. It also encompasses Secure Social Security number tracking for any traces of theft, social media monitoring for impersonators, medical ID fraud detection, and early fraud detection in case your identity is used without your knowledge.

Financial protection is also ensured with credit report monitoring and instant credit inquiry alerts. You can even explore how different financial decisions may impact your credit score. Or simply keep track of how your financial decisions affect your credit score month-by-month.

And if you become a victim of identity theft, experts are available 24/7 to assist with identity restoration by doing all the heavy lifting. Bitdefender even lets you remove your name from the most frequently used marketing databases, like BeenVerified and White Pages, for better personal information protection.

It’s a powerful Identity Theft solution that few other services could rival. Just by going with the Standard plan, you’re safeguarded by a $1M insurance policy. And Bitdefender is able to keep track of a lot of personally identifiable information (PII), such as SSNs, emails, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and more.

Other perks worth mentioning

Some other tidbits you might find handy include:

  • File Shredder. Permanently deletes selected files from your system, leaving no traces of them behind. After that, you can’t recover them.
  • Wi-Fi Security Advisor. Checks your Wi-Fi networks for vulnerabilities and potential threats.

Bitdefender plans and pricing

Bitdefender offers a variety of subscriptions for different needs. If you’re looking solely for home use, there are 7 plans to consider: Free, Antivirus Plus, Internet Security, Total Security, Family Pack, Small Office Security, and Ultimate Security. Naturally, each comes with a different set of perks and appropriate price tags.

SpecificationsFreeAntivirus PlusInternet SecurityTotal SecurityFamily PackSmall Office SecurityUltimate Security
Price$19.99/year$19.99/year$35.99/year$54.99/year$99.98/year$79.99/year
Number of devices covered1135151010
PlatformsWindows, macOS, AndroidWindowsWindowsWindows, macOS, Android, iOSWindows, macOS, Android, iOSWindows, macOS, Android, iOSWindows, macOS, Android, iOS
Antivirus✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes
Real-time protection✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes
Web attack prevention✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes
Multi-Layer Ransomware Protection❌No✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes
Bitdefender VPN❌No✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes
Password Manager❌No✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes
Anti-Phishing & Anti-Fraud
❌No✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes
Anti-tracker
❌No❌No✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes
Privacy Firewall
❌No❌No✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes
Anti-Theft
❌No❌No❌No✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes
Full Identity Theft Protection
❌No❌No❌No❌No❌No❌No✅Yes
Identity Theft Insurance
❌No❌No❌No❌No❌No❌No✅Yes

Those in need solely of an antivirus will find the free version more than suitable. But if such additional features like a VPN, a password manager, ransomware protection, and anti-phishing seem useful, then jumping to the Antivirus Plus plan is definitely worth it.

Of course, the Total Security and Family Pack plans offer the best price-to-value ratio. Both are available on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android and essentially come with the same features. The only difference between them is the number of devices you can secure – Total Security allows only 5, while the Family Pack expands it to 15.

Bitdefender includes security packages for businesses and enterprises as well. GravityZone Business Security package offers layered protection for endpoints, ransomware prevention & mitigation, a network attack defense, and web-based security, all controllable via a single integrated management console.

You can try a plan that interests you the most with the 30-day free trial. And there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee beside it, meaning you won’t be suffering any monetary losses if you decide to cancel.

Get Bitdefender today

Bitdefender free version

Bitdefender offers a free antivirus for Windows, macOS, and Android devices. It comes with the most basic toolkit and none of the perks we covered before, but it’s excellent at what it does. A virus scanner, real-time protection, and web attack prevention are included.

During testing, it showed the same level of effectiveness at catching malicious software (and zero-day threats!) as the premium version of Bitdefender. And the scans didn’t eat up too many resources, letting us use the computer without noticeable sluggishness.

However, that’s all that you get. Going premium is the only option here if you want some of the nicer features, like a password manager, VPN, or a firewall. Not only will you have access to more tools for keeping yourself safe online, but you’ll also be able to protect multiple devices.

Ease of use and setup

Bitdefender didn’t take longer than 10 minutes to install, and the whole process was fairly easy. Once everything was up and running, we were greeted with the main dashboard. The design is simple yet highly intuitive, so we had no trouble navigating the app and locating everything we needed.

Bitdefender dashboard

The dashboard contains quick actions (like Quick Scan, VPN, SafePay, etc.), and you can customize them to your liking. It also displays your current status and gives recommendations on what features should be enabled for a higher level of protection.

The left sidebar contains the features grouped into 3 categories. By clicking on Protection, Privacy, or Utilities, you’ll access all tools that Bitdefender offers (available with your plan, of course).

  • The Protection tab includes web protection, vulnerability scans, the firewall, Ransomware Remediation, and the Antispam tool. You can customize them, but they are great as they are out-of-the-box.
  • The Privacy tab includes Safepay, the VPN, the password manager, camera & microphone protection, the anti-tracker feature, and parental controls.
  • The Utilities tab includes OneClick Optimizer, Profiles, the file shredder, and Anti-Theft protection.

Finally, there are the Notifications and Settings tabs. The former is self-explanatory, while the latter lets you tweak Bitdefender’s update settings, change the app to dark mode, enable a proxy server, or even set a password to restrict access to the app’s settings.

Bitdefender Settings

We particularly enjoyed the Autopilot mode, which you can enable via Settings by ticking the Recommendation Notifications option. It eliminates the hassle of trying to juggle security concerns yourself – Bitdefender applies the optimal security configuration itself. It takes care of scans, software updates, malware, and phishing quietly in the background without bothering you.

Another neat perk that you won’t find with such competitors as TotalAV is the remote scan option. Via the Bitdefender Central website, you can remotely scan any device in your subscription.

Overall, we found Bitdefender’s desktop apps to be very user-friendly. Even beginners won’t be overwhelmed with all the features since they’re neatly categorized and have concise explanations of what they do.

Mobile applications

Bitdefender also offers mobile apps, but they are only available to subscribers of Total Security, Family Pack, Small Office Security, and Ultimate Security packages. You can also get standalone packages for Android and iOS devices.

Bitdefender mobile apps

It’s hard not to notice the apparent difference in the functionality of mobile applications. If you’re an Android user, you’ll enjoy a feature-rich experience, but if you’re an iPhone owner, don’t expect more than just the basic features.

Android

Bitdefender’s Android app is intuitive and packed with perks, ensuring you’re protected from multiple threats. The design is, naturally, different from the desktop client, but it doesn’t take much time to get used to it.

Understandably, the security suite doesn’t include everything you’d find on the PC app. However, there are still plenty of tools you can use, such as:

  • An antivirus scanner for catching malware
  • Web protection for preventing you from visiting shady websites
  • Anti-theft for locating your lost phone or locking it so that no one else can access it
  • A VPN that comes with an ad & tracker blocker but has a 200 MB/day limit
  • Scam alert for protecting you from fraudulent links
  • Data breach monitoring that alerts you in case your email appears in a data breach or information is found on the Dark Web
  • App lock for limiting access to selected applications
  • Autopilot, which gives security recommendations and scans freshly-installed apps for threats

iOS

Compared to what you’re getting on the Android app, the iOS client is pretty disappointing. Even TotalAV and Norton manage to pack in more features than what Bitdefender currently offers. iPhone users benefit only from the following:

  • Web protection to prevent you from visiting malicious websites
  • Data breach monitoring for checking if your account details got leaked in a data breach
  • VPN that comes with a 200 MB/day data cap and, unlike the Android version, doesn’t include an ad & tracker blocker

How to install Bitdefender on your device?

  1. Head over to Bitdefender’s official website and pick a plan that suits your needs the best
  2. Fill out the required information and activate your license
  3. Download the application and install it on your device
  4. Boot up the app and press “Start Using Bitdefender
  5. Enable the security features you want and perform your first scan

Download Bitdefender

How we tested Bitdefender?

Besides checking testing data of independent, reputable sources (like AV-Comparatives), we tested Bitdefender’s capabilities ourselves. Our research team downloaded the antivirus on different devices – Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android – to ascertain the functionality of each OS client and to note the discrepancies in terms of ease of use and features. Then it was time for hands-on testing.

Our specialists prepared a virtual Windows 11 environment and malware samples that were used to check Bitdefender’s effectiveness. The malicious samples included but were not limited to:

  • zero-day threats,
  • ransomware,
  • adware,
  • keyloggers,
  • malicious URLs with malware,
  • encrypted .zip files with malware,
  • and more.

The team performed all scans available with Bitdefender. And the results were exceptional, apart from one instance of the antivirus failing to detect malware hidden in a .zip file. We expected this to happen as compressed files are notoriously hard to parse for viruses.

Customer support

SpecificationsBitdefender antivirus customer support
24/7 live chat✅Yes
Phone line✅Yes
Email✅Yes
Knowledgebase✅Yes
Community support✅Yes

Whether you’re using the free Bitdefender antivirus or opted for a premium plan, customer support will help solve your issues, be it day or night. Best of all, there are multiple avenues you can try. You can pick an option you feel most comfortable with, from live chat and an email ticket to a phone line available across 18 countries, plus a worldwide number.

Our main target was the live chat, and we got a hold of a support agent in just a few minutes. They were polite and knowledgeable, quickly answering both general and technical questions. Email support took a longer time to respond, which isn’t surprising, but you can expect an answer within 24 hours, which is still pretty good.

Lastly, you can also check the extensive knowledgebase for FAQs, how-to guides, explanations of what each feature does, etc. Then there’s the Bitdefender Expert Community, which is pretty active. Here, you can pose questions to experts from around the world and explore the vast number of topics tackling various Bitdefender topics.

Bitdefender review – final verdict

Bitdefender is regarded as one of the best antiviruses on the market, and after testing it, we see why. It comes with loads of security features, covering a wide range of potential threats, and it effectively catches and isolates malware with an almost perfect 100% detection rate. Plus, it offers security solutions across multiple popular platforms – Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.

The free Bitdefender version is a robust malware removal tool, perfect if you don’t need anything else besides real-time protection and a virus scanner. But for considerably affordable pricing, you can opt for premium subscriptions that include plenty of perks for overall device safety. We’re talking about a secure web browser, password manager, VPN, firewall, antispam & anti-tracker protection, anti-theft tool, and so much more.

Being feature-packed doesn’t make Bitdefender confusing to navigate. The applications are intuitive and of simplistic design, with the features neatly grouped into 3 clear categories. Furthermore, each tool has an explanation of what it does, so you won’t be enabling features blindly. However, we must note that the iOS app needs improvement in terms of functionality.

Overall, Bitdefender is a robust, highly-affordable antivirus offering something for casual and tech-savvy users alike. And with a month-long testing period, there’s plenty of time to see whether it meets your needs to a T. The 30-day money-back guarantee protects all premium subscription plans, so you won’t lose any money if you decide to cancel.

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FAQ

Is Bitdefender a trusted antivirus?

Yes, Bitdefender is a safe and trusted antivirus. The company is highly-respected, with a spotless reputation, and the products it offers were independently tested and found to be effective. Whether you’re using the free or premium versions, Bitdefender antivirus has a 100% malware detection rate.

Who owns Bitdefender?

SOFTWIN is the parent organization of Bitdefender. The company itself was founded in 2001 in Bucharest, Romania. It offers a wide range of cybersecurity products for homes and businesses alike.

Bitdefender or Kaspersky: which is better?

Bitdefender is better than Kaspersky for being more feature-packed, offering cheaper plans, and consuming fewer resources. Furthermore, we wouldn’t recommend using Kaspersky for its Russian ties and collaboration with the country’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

How good is Bitdefender?

Bitdefender is one of the best antiviruses out there. It detects and quarantines malware at a nearly 100% rate. Furthermore, if you opt for a subscription, you also benefit from additional security features, depending on the plan.

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Bitdefender Antivirus review
Bitdefender Antivirus
9.4 / 10
Apps available:
windows android macos ios
Visit Bitdefender