Bitdefender VPN Review

8.2/10
Strong mid-range option
Last updated Dec 8, 2023 at 4pm ET

Bitdefender is a new rising star in the VPN industry. Rebuilding its product from the ground up, Bitdefender Premium VPN now offers industry-standard security, great speeds, and everything in between for a pocket-friendly price.

Minimum Price:
$3.33 / month
Apps available:
windows android macos ios
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Founded in Romania in 2001, Bitdefender is a well-known internet security software company with plenty of solid products in its arsenal. While their main focus is internet security packages, they have taken a step into new territory by introducing an independent and standalone Bitdefender VPN.

With a big comeback to the VPN market, Bitdefender Premium VPN is treading new ground, trying to up their game. While some time ago, you could’ve seen this product as another half-baked extra, Bitdefender VPN has evolved into a serious competitor to the best providers. Right now, it covers all essentials like industry-standard AES encryption, modern WireGuard protocol, and tons of extras you’d expect from a top-shelf VPN.

On the other hand, none is without sin, and Bitdefender VPN has some unmissable drawbacks. While this service is included in different Bitdefender products, only the Premium Security package doesn’t have a debilitating 200 MB/day bandwidth limit. On top of that, the claims of a strict no-logs policy do hide some caveats.

In this Bitdefender Premium VPN review, I will try to give insights into the most important aspects, including security, compatibility, price, and extra features. With that, I’ll answer the most burning questions like:

  • Is it safe to use?
  • How fast is it?
  • Can you use it for streaming and torrenting?

Continue reading for a more detailed look into Bitdefender VPN and see if it’s finally worth it in 2024.

Bitdefender VPN overview

🏆 Rating:⭐8.2/10
🖥️ Servers:4000+ servers in 50 countries
📺 Streaming:Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video US, Max, Disney+
🔛 Torrenting:Yes
❔ Support:24/7 live chat, phone line, email, FAQs
🛡️ Logs:No-logs policy
💵 Price:$3.33/month
🏷️ Coupons:Get Bitdefender Premium VPN 43% OFF
🆓 Free version or trial:7-day free trial

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Bitdefender VPN pros and cons

What our experts likeWhat our experts don’t like
✅ Speedy WireGuard connections
✅ Loads of server locations
✅ Affordable pricing
❌ Crippling limits with free plan
❌ Collects some data

Pricing and plans

As I mentioned earlier in this Bitdefender Premium VPN review, you can buy it separately or bundled-in with one of the online security suites. As such, you should be highly aware of the latter option since only the Premium Security package with an unlimited bandwidth version.

Now, if you’re going for the standalone VPN, there are only two Bitdefender VPN price options:

Bitdefender Premium VPN plans and prices

The Bitdefender VPN cost lands somewhere in the middle when compared to the industry’s average. But if we look at the bang-for-the-buck ratio, this service gives you an overall fair and solid deal through and through. However, it’s important to note that the yearly subscription deal is a first-time customer offer and will cost full price going forward.

The payment options include credit cards and PayPal. Depending on your location, the third option can be either cash at 7-Eleven/ACE (US), WebMoney (Russia), POLi (Australia), or wire transfer for any other country. This provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which should be enough to see if you really want to stay with this service down the line.

What’s more, you can choose a 7-day free trial that doesn’t require entering any payment details. A nice touch is that this way, you can try the complete Premium version in all its glory with all features and no data caps. And whether you go for a trial or a full subscription, both options come with 10 simultaneous connections in a single plan.

Get the best Bitdefender VPN deals

Performance: speed and servers

Bitdefender VPN has 4000+ servers in 50+ countries. While the quality of the servers is more important than the quantity, I find their spread to be quite solid. Even though some of the best VPNs provide almost twice the number of countries, Bitdefender’s server fleet stands as a pretty lucrative offer.

RegionCountries
The Americas5+
Europe15+
Africa, the Middle East, and Indialess than 5
Asia Pacific5+

The speed of Bitdefender Premium VPN is actually surprisingly good as well. After implementing the cutting-edge WireGuard tunneling protocol, it’s now almost on par with most top-line VPNs out there. Here are the results we got during our tests:

USA server
Download Speed378 Mbps
Upload Speed320 Mbps
UK server
Download Speed358 Mbps
Upload Speed303 Mbps
Germany server
Download Speed369 Mbps
Upload Speed300 Mbps

Remembering that back in the day, Bitdefender VPN only used Catapult Hydra protocol with some below-average speeds, these are some humongous improvements. Right now, it’s not even that far from our fastest VPN list contenders, but not quite there to make the cut. For example, pitting down Bitdefender against NordVPN, the latter still offers upwards of 20% higher speeds for essentially the same price.

Privacy and security: Is Bitdefender VPN safe to use?

Unlike most VPN services by antivirus providers, this one is nothing to scoff at when it comes to its security measures. As some of the most secure VPNs out there, Bitdefender VPN is equipped with:

After close inspection, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of various security measures you’d expect from a dedicated VPN provider. Of course, not everything is covered in rose petals, and missing obfuscation, RAM-only technology, and independent audit leaves a few thorns to be trimmed. By no means is that a deal breaker, but it just shows that Bitdefender Premium VPN still has some room to grow.

Browse safely with Bitdefender VPN

Encryption

Bitdefender VPN uses virtually unbreakable industry-standard AES-256 encryption to encode your traffic. This means that if any of your data gets into the hands of hackers or other bad actors, it will be an indecipherable gibberish. Furthermore, it’s fortified with SHA-256 hash and RSA algorithm for maximum bandwidth data protection.

Additionally, since the implementation of the WireGuard protocol, Bitdefender also employs ChaCha20 encryption.

Kill switch

While Bitdefender VPN includes a kill switch, it gave me some mixed feelings. On one hand, the feature is there, but the kill switch’s consistency left more to be desired.

To get some tangible results, we put the Bitdefender VPN’s kill switch through a couple of tests. While it didn’t respond when we blocked IPs, the traffic was still encrypted, making it hard to say how it would act in real use. When I shut down the VPN process, my connection wasn’t secure, but the app didn’t even notice.

The last thing to note is that Bitdefender VPN has a kill switch disabled by default so you should remember to toggle it yourself. Without it, your personal data may be exposed in case of a VPN failure. As such, if you’re dealing with highly sensitive data and trying to go for 100% privacy, this VPN might not top your list.

Tunneling protocols

Since the Bitdefender Premium VPN facelift, you get to choose from the following tunneling protocols:

  • WireGuard
  • Catapult Hydra
  • OpenVPN (TCP, UDP)
  • IPSec

While the first three options are legit, I would heavily advise against using IPSec. It’s considered to be already outdated, especially since the WireGuard protocol has become available.

Now that I mentioned WireGuard, Bitdefender finally joined the lineup of modern VPNs embracing this next-gen open-source protocol. With a lightweight codebase and advanced cryptography, WireGuard offers users a balance between top-notch security and minimal impact on connection speeds. Due to all the overboard advantages, WireGuard and its proprietary variants are also implemented with various top-grade VPN services like NordVPN or Surfshark.

The second best option comes in the form of Hydra protocol, developed by Hotspot Shield. While this proprietary tunneling protocol is more than decent in terms of security and speed, it’s nowhere near a powerhouse. Hydra was a primary protocol of Bitdefender Premium VPN for quite some time, but due to a better alternative out there, it’s now just an option.

OpenVPN, available in two versions, has established itself as a dependable and time-proven option. Its TCP variant prioritizes security and stability, while UDP offers better speeds. Unfortunately, when measured against WireGuard, OpenVPN is simply too slow and serves mostly as a fallback when WireGuard is not available.

DNS leak protection

Since masking your online alias is one of the base points your VPN should do, I ran a few leak tests with Bitdefender VPN on ipleak.net.

Bitdefender VPN IP leak test

The results were solid, and I experienced no noticeable IP or DNS leaks, but the story doesn’t end there. While the Windows version includes a full WebRTC and IPv6 leak protection package, other Bitdefender VPN versions are not so lucky. Hence, testing other platforms, I noticed that even though the IP was well hidden, the DNS was leaking pretty severely.

Jurisdiction

Bitdefender Premium VPN is a subsidiary of Bitdefender SRL – a long-time player in the cyber security field, which is based in Romania. Romania has a very privacy-friendly policy with no local data retention laws. On top of that, Romania doesn’t belong to any international intelligence associations, such as The Eyes Alliance.

However, there’s also an entry in the Bitdefender VPN FAQ that is at least a little worrying. Bitdefender’s privacy policy states that your personal data can be shared with authorities, partners, and subsidiaries. It’s fairly common among other VPN providers but not quite what you’d want if you’re all about maximum privacy.

No-logs policy

Digging through their data collection practices, I found that Bitdefender Premium VPN collects all the basics, like your name, email, and payment credentials, which is a standard industry practice. However, this company also collects “randomly generated or hashed user and device IDs, IP addresses and randomly generated tokens to establish VPN connection.” That is quite a far cry from something you’d expect from any high-caliber VPN provider.

Yet, my main concern lies in the absence of an independent third-party audit verifying their no-logs policy. Such audits are less of a rule and more like an applaudable practice for transparency. Doing so would align its standards more closely with top VPNs like ExpressVPN and NordVPN, both of which have completed multiple audits to ensure their credibility.

Other Bitdefender Premium VPN features

Along with fairly solid security, Bitdefender VPN packs a lot more technical and convenience features:

While the list might look bleak compared to some of the industry leaders, it’s actually impressive for a VPN offered by an antivirus company. As a matter of fact, Bitdefender Premium VPN has a couple of really strong aces up its sleeves, so let’s take a proper look at them.

Auto-connect

One of the Bitdefender VPN standout features is its highly customizable auto-connect implementation. Unlike the barebones version you’d find on most VPNs, Bitdefender allows you to set custom triggers for automatic connection in specific scenarios, like connecting to public networks. Additionally, its P2P app detection feature proactively launches Bitdefender VPN when background torrenting apps start, ensuring automatic security for torrent users.

Bitdefender VPN Auto-Connect settings

Moreover, Bitdefender offers extensive control by allowing toggling for specific apps, domains, or website categories you choose. This feature enables automatic VPN activation upon accessing specific sites, such as social networks or payment services, which are more sensitive online activities. Right now, this version of Bitdefender’s auto-connect is only available to Windows users, with support for other platforms on the horizon.

Ad blocker

Firstly, it incorporates a system-wide ad blocker, eliminating malicious ads, banners, pop-ups, and video ads across all supported platforms. It’s mainly useful for reducing the risks of malware threats, conserving bandwidth, and sparing users from intrusive and bothersome ads. The adblocker also includes a whitelisting option to allow ads from specific sources, which is indeed a nice touch.

Bitdefender VPN Ad Blocker

Secondly, Bitdefender VPN introduces a system-wide anti-tracker tool, preventing advertisers from gathering and piling up your online activity data. Fortunately, this tracker remover is also available across Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices.

Split tunneling

This feature allows users to selectively exclude specific websites or apps from its VPN connection. While split tunneling is almost a standard in all best VPNs, it’s an uncommon feature among other antivirus-based VPNs in Bitdefender’s category.

Bitdefender VPN Split tunneling settings

At least in my tests, the split tunneling in Bitdefender VPN worked without any noticeable hitches. In fact, it works not only with your chosen apps or browser but even with specific websites if you wish to go into such details. It’s featured in every version of the app, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, which is not always the case with other VPNs out there.

Double-hop

Double-hop is a fresh addition to Bitdefender VPN arsenal that offers an extra layer of security by encrypting connections through two VPN servers instead of one. This makes it harder for anyone to trace your IP address, although for a little cost of your speed. Right now, it’s available only on iOS and Android apps and with support for Windows and macOS right around the corner.

Bitdefender VPN Double-Hop

Now, what sets Bitdefender’s Double-hop from all other VPNs, is that you get to choose both the first and the second server yourself. This is extremely rare, with even the best VPNs on the market skipping out on this level of customizability. However, every user of this feature should be mindful of their picks, as opting for servers far away from each other will demolish your connection speeds.

Testing the feature was really simple, and the results were as solid as they get with no IP leakage in sight.

App Traffic Optimizer

This exclusive Bitdefender VPN feature is quite a game changer when it comes to controlling your online experience on Windows or macOS devices. App Traffic Optimizer allows you to prioritize up to three specific apps for maximum bandwidth and speed.

During my tests, it didn’t make much difference when running just a couple of browser windows. However, it’s quite handy if you tend to push your bandwidth to the limits, perfect for reducing buffering while streaming or lowering lag while gaming.

Enhance daily browsing with Bitdefender

Is Bitdefender VPN good for streaming?

Remembering a quite shaky Bitdefender VPN reputation for bypassing geo-blocks in the past, I went into the streaming tests with pretty low expectations. Then, picture my face when I got the following results.

Streaming serviceStatus
Netflix US✅ Yes
Other Netflix librariesSome
BBC iPlayer✅ Yes
Hulu✅ Yes
Amazon Prime Video✅ Yes (US)
Disney+✅ Yes
Max✅ Yes

Credit where credit’s due, Bitdefender Premium VPN truly upped their game when it comes to unlocking all most popular streaming services worldwide. That was a bit of a surprise, given that this provider was so limited in many other ways back in the day.

Unfortunately, it isn’t quite enough to put Bitdefender VPN in the same basket with other top streaming VPNs. While accessing Disney+, Max, and Hulu was a relative success, paths to other international libraries aside from the US on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video lead nowhere. The speeds are definitely good enough for HD quality and may even deal with UHD (4K) streams, but that depends mostly on how fast your internet connection is.

Bitdefender VPN with Netflix US

Since Bitdefender Premium VPN doesn’t support routers nor does it offer Smart DNS, you won’t be able to connect it with game consoles or non-Android smart TVs. Streaming fans will also miss support for other platforms, such as Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick, since it’s not available through Amazon Appstore. Kodi and Roku users should probably look elsewhere as well.

Overall, Bitdefender VPN is a decent option for streaming if you’re already using it for any other reason. On the other hand, if your main mission is accessing region-exclusive content, I would avoid this service and opt for any of the best streaming VPNs.

Stream anything with Bitdefender VPN

Bitdefender Premium VPN for torrenting

As Bitdefender VPN uses solid tunneling protocols and offers industry-standard encryption methods, it is likely to be safe for use when torrenting. My main concern is their privacy policy, discussed in detail earlier, which reveals quite extensive logging. Thus I wouldn’t use Bitdefender VPN in any country where P2P activities are illegal.

While running a quick test, I can confidently say the VPN did its job well, and I didn’t experience any noticeable speed loss. Hence, your download speeds will be mostly affected by your baseline internet connection. However, Bitdefender VPN doesn’t support port forwarding, so if you want to boost your speeds or need to seed before downloading, this can become a problem.

For those willing to use Bitdefender Premium VPN for torrenting, I have two pieces of advice. One, you should not forget to turn on the kill switch, which is disabled by default. Two, use the auto-connect to launch the VPN together with the P2P client automatically.

And for those looking for top-notch service, I recommend taking a look at our best VPNs for torrenting.

Remain anonymous with Bitdefender VPN

Does Bitdefender Premium VPN support my device?

When it comes to using Bitdefender VPN on different devices, it supports all 4 main platforms:

There’s no option to configure it on routers or other devices manually. Browser extensions are unavailable as well. Therefore, you can easily conclude that Bitdefender VPN device support is quite mediocre. However, I can say each of the existing applications is easy to navigate and has both modern and intuitive theme that is simple to work with. So, let’s take a look at all platforms.

Desktop: Windows

The Windows version brings almost all key features: a kill switch, split tunneling, upgraded auto-connect, and App Optimizer, with only double-hop missing from the picture. A particular nitpick is that the Windows app is the only one not yet equipped with WireGuard, which, according to Bitdefender, will be implemented soon.

Bitdefender VPN Windows user interface

In the recent revamp, Bitdefender Premium VPN for Windows underwent a complete makeover. Instead of a small, cramped window, it now features a dynamic map interface with all key functions just a click away. Unfortunately, I was a tad bit disappointed that the map is not interactive, and you still have to pick servers from a simple list.

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Desktop: macOS

The story takes an unfortunate turn when you compare the macOS version with the Windows app. Although the user interface is nearly identical to the other desktop counterpart, the Bitdefender VPN macOS app is lacking quite a few features. In this case, you still get the kill switch and all the security components but completely miss out on split tunneling and the full auto-connect feature.

Bitdefender VPN macOS user interface

One notable benefit Mac owners get to flaunt over Windows users is the WireGuard tunneling protocol, which is a pretty big deal. So, weighing both desktop versions together, it’s pretty obvious both have their pros and cons, but, in my opinion, neither truly has the upper hand.

Mobile: iOS

VPNs on iOS are often the most lackluster versions due to strict Apple policies, resulting in subpar virtual private network experiences. Surprisingly, Bitdefender VPN is an outlier and even includes an auto-connect feature, albeit only for unsecured networks. Additionally, the iOS version has both a kill switch and split tunneling feature, an extremely rare sight among dedicated iOS VPN apps.

Bitdefender VPN iOS user interface

Visually, the iOS app takes a lot after its desktop brothers with the same well-crafted user experience. Despite Apple’s constraints, Bitdefender Premium VPN for iOS is a serious competitor to the best iOS VPNs.

Protect your iOS device with Bitdefender VPN

Mobile: Android

Bitdefender VPN on Android easily blends in with essentially the same UI found on other desktop and mobile versions. And, just like the iOS equivalent, the Android app offers the advanced double-hop feature not found on any of the desktop renditions.

Bitdefender VPN Android user interface

While Android users also get the full split tunneling function, the praised auto-connect feature is somewhat trimmed up. Sweetening the deal, the Android version actually offers a unique feature to block local network traffic, making you invisible on your current network.

Customer support: live chat, phone line, email, and more

Bitdefender has one of the best customer support services among all VPNs. Your options include:

Customer support optionAvailability
24/7 live chat✅Yes
24/7 phone line✅Yes
Email tickets✅Yes
Forum✅Yes
Knowledgebase✅Yes

That’s a benefit of being a client for one of the best-known online security companies. The resources in Bitdefender’s possession allow it to offer a 24/7 phone line for English speakers. There’s also a working hours shift in main markets, such as Brazil, Germany, France, Spain, and Japan, among others.

Bitdefender’s knowledgebase is neat and easy to navigate. It starts with the popular articles and includes the FAQ. In case you can’t find an answer there, head straight to the lively and well-structured forum. You can check out the popular tags, choose one of the six categories, or simply use search.

Bitdefender VPN live chat support screenshot

I’ve also tested the 24/7 live chat and was impressed by the politeness and quick replies. If I were a subscriber, this would probably be my favorite support option.

Does Bitdefender VPN work in China?

Sadly, the answer is no. While the company states that you can have full unrestricted access to content regardless of whether you’re in a country that practices internet censorship, they have decided to make it unavailable for use in China:

We want to offer our VPN service for everyone but unfortunately in some areas there are restrictions on the use of such a service. For your protection, we’ve restricted connectivity in these countries:

1. China: Use of a VPN is illegal in China. VPN providers can still operate if they obtain a license from the government, but the terms and conditions which they have to agree to simply defeat the whole purpose.

In fact, they list 7 other countries where the VPN service isn’t available, including Russia, Belarus, Iran, UAE, Turkey, Oman, and Iraq.

Alternative VPN options for Bitdefender Premium VPN

Although Bitdefender VPN is a really solid service for its price, those looking for an absolute peak VPN solution might find it underwhelming. For that reason, I gathered a few of the top-rated VPNs with the fastest speeds, industry-leading security measures, and fantastic value ratio. Here are the Top 3 noteworthy Bitdefender VPN alternatives:

  1. NordVPN. This is, without a doubt, the most versatile and reliable VPN service you can get for essentially the same price as Bitdefender VPN. In fact, it’s one of the top VPNs for streaming, torrenting, or gaming. NordVPN comes with best-in-class security measures, the fastest speeds, and an impressive feature pack unmatched by many.
  2. Surfshark. One of the sleekest and best-value providers offering unlimited simultaneous connections, strong encryption, and a built-in ad blocker. With a user-friendly interface and excellent streaming capabilities, it’s a versatile choice for any daily internet surfer.
  3. Proton VPN. Best known for its strong commitment to privacy and transparency, ProtonVPN offers high-end security features, including a strict no-logs policy and Swiss-based jurisdiction. Its robust encryption, secure servers, and open-source nature make it one of the best picks for netizens who value privacy and security above all.

Should you get Bitdefender Premium VPN?

Bitdefender VPN offers a spicy blend of both affordability and performance. It provides reliable and fast tunneling protocols (including WireGuard), essential features like a kill switch, split tunneling, and widely customizable options not found in most best-known VPN competitors. Remembering this is a product of an antivirus company, it’s seriously impressive no matter how you look at it.

However, even with great upgrades, Bitdefender Premium VPN still has room to improve. Notably, it lacks a proper third-party audit of the logging policy, provides appropriate leak protection only on Windows, and offers unpredictable geo-block dodging capabilities. At the moment, these drawbacks diminish any competitive edge Bitdefender VPN would have against any leading VPN services on the market.

Overall, Bitdefender Premium VPN showcases a noticeable effort to provide quality service, which I think is more than enough for any daily internet user. Of course, while suitable for many users’ basic needs, it may not fully satisfy those seeking a top-of-the-line VPN solution focused on security and performance. If you’re one of them, my best recommendation would be NordVPN, which delivers immensely higher value in the same price category.

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FAQ

Is Bitdefender a good VPN?

Bitdefender VPN is a safe and effective VPN suitable for any daily browsing needs. It uses AES 256-bit encryption, speedy WireGuard and Hydra protocols, and includes all essential features you’d expect from a premium-class VPN.

How do I use Bitdefender Premium VPN?

First, download the Bitdefender Premium VPN application. After the installation, simply open the app and look for the “locations” or “automatic” buttons on the bottom left corner of the screen. The first one lets you choose the server, while the latter connects to a server nearest to you.

Is VPN Free with Bitdefender?

Bitdefender VPN has a free version included in the Internet Security package. Unfortunately, it limits the use of the tool to only 200 MB/day. You can try out the Bitdefender Premium VPN version with no limits and all available features by taking advantage of the available 7-day free trial.

Is Bitdefender VPN good for torrenting?

You can use Bitdefender VPN for torrenting. It fully supports P2P sharing and is equipped with fast tunneling protocols along with a functional kill switch. However, it doesn’t offer port forwarding, which might be a deal breaker for some torrent power users.

 8.2 / 10
Total score
$3.33 / month
Minimum Price
6 comments
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  1. John September 1, 2021 at 12:18 am

    Bitdefender VPN keeps reinstalling itself after I’ve PERMANENTLY deleted it through its uninstaller. This is like malware! I’ve put in a ticket, but have read a lot of others are having this problem on a Mac.


  2. Alternates7766 June 1, 2019 at 5:22 am

    Many VPNs that work for torrenting do not work for Netflix which is a big issue. How can a VPN provider NOT focus on the other?


  3. Paul April 5, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    I think it’s a great idea for a security provider to have an add-on VPN service, but since I’m not purchasing their main product, I’m going to look into other VPNs.


  4. Edonah K February 28, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    Well I didn’t know Bitdefender had their own VPN, They’re quite good on the security side though, so it might be really interesting. It’s too bad the speeds are slow plus the fact that they don’t unblock Netflix. I think I’ll pass this one.


  5. r3al1ty February 2, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    This seems to be just an add on for their Security solution. Not a pure play VPN service. This will help you if you are already BitDefender user. But, buying a security software to use their VPN is a bit too much to ask for.


  6. Virginie Bordeleau January 27, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    If Bitdefender’s VPN matches the quality of their Internet security software, I’m willing to give it a try. I’ve used Bitdefender for years and I never had a problem keeping my data safe.

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Bitdefender VPN review
Bitdefender VPN
8.2 / 10
Apps available:
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