Bitdefender is a respected name in computer security, and so it was with great interest that we loaded up the company’s latest Internet Security package, after it had plopped through our letterbox for review.
Installation (under Windows Vista) was a simple and straightforward affair, as you’d expect. We’ve not used a Bitdefender security program for a couple of years now, so the interface was new to us – fortunately, it was equally simple and straightforward.
The main window allows you to switch off the firewall, auto-scanning, antiphishing and automatic updating at the click of a button. There’s also a drop-down menu for scanning, allowing access to a quick, full or custom scan. More advanced options are hidden away in a settings menu, and you also get a circular gadget bar overview that highlights important messages from the program (when an update fails, or a virus/vulnerability is found).
Using the settings menu, it’s possible to fine tune anti-virus shield settings (level of “aggression,” exclusions and so forth), and you can also tinker with firewall, privacy and proxy settings.
We ran a scan with Bitdefender on both our main desktop PC, and our notebook (incidentally, the program has a laptop mode to help save your device’s battery). Before installing Bitdefender, we had run a scan using Avast and AVG on the desktop and laptop respectively.
With the notebook, Bitdefender found 2 trojans that AVG hadn’t. With our desktop, Avast had kept it clean, and Bitdefender didn’t find anything save a few tracking cookies. One point to note, though, is that the scanner was a fair bit slower than either AVG or Avast’s free solutions. Still, you don’t mind that lack of speed when it finds malware that other programs missed.
So, we found this security suite to be thorough – as do professional virus testing labs. When it comes to the reports these laboratories release from time to time, Bitdefender is normally well up there in the rankings alongside the likes of Kaspersky – and that’s a good sign.
The latest report from AV-Test ranked Bitdefender with a 6 out of 6 for protection, 5.5 out of 6 for repair (how well it deals with malware once found), and 5 out of 6 for usability. In AV-Comparatives’ latest real-world protection test, Bitdefender secured an Advanced+ rating, the top one, alongside the likes of Kaspersky and G DATA.
In short, with Bitdefender on your machine, you’re pretty much guaranteed peace of mind when it comes to online security. We also found the program to have a minimal impact on system resources, which is always a boon, too.
Really, the only slight downside is that we found scan times to be on the slow side – but as we mentioned already, you don’t really mind that when you know a thorough job is being carried out.
The icing on this particularly security bun is the price – while the RRP might be £40 for a 1 PC license, you can actually pick this up for £15-£20 on Amazon currently. At that sort of money, it’s a definite bargain for those who want to push their security to a further level above that offered by free solutions.
Do, of course, bear in mind that no security program should ever replace your common sense, and sense of caution, when you’re online.