Overall Score 85%

Bitdefender Box
Bitdefender Antivirus Software

The Case for Bitdefender

  • In business 14 years (2001)
  • Average virus protection
  • Modern, easy-to-use interface
  • Low resource usage. Won't slow down your PC
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Made in Romania
  • Indian-based phone tech support
$59.95
$24.99
(1-PC / 1-Year)
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by Josh Christofferson, Co-Editor
Virus, Spyware, & Malware Protection: 90%

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus had a lot of trouble protecting our testing PCs from virus and other malware infections.

First, we heavily infected our testing PCs with our latest batch of malware, including viruses, spyware, adware, trojans, and the like. Next, we unleashed Bitdefender Antivirus to see how well it would do.

During the first scan, Bitdefender was unable to remove most of the infections. At one point, I was forced to reboot to continue. That helped a lot, but Bitdefender should have been able to handle this malware better. Inc the end, 84% of malware samples were removed.

  • Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
    Bitdefender Box
  • SCORE: 85%
    Original:
    $59.95
    Discount:
    $24.99
Next, using a different freshly installed Windows 10 test OS, we put a fully-updated copy of Bitdefender Antivirus onto the machine, and attempted to install a batch of malware samples to see if Bitdefender could block and prevent the viruses.

We were surprised that only half of the malware threats were clearly blocked and removed. Of the remainder about 40% didn't appear to get through, but at least 10% got through, unfortunately.

Last, we tested Bitdefender's antiphishing where it did quite well, successfully block known phishing sites about 90% of the time.


Resource Usage: 96%

Bitdefender did well in our system impact tests. When running a full-system scan, Bitdefender only tied up about 7% of our PC with no significant impact when performing common PC tasks like downloading or web surfing, even with multiple tabs and multiple windows open.

Initial boot-up time slowed Windows from fully booting up by about 19 seconds, which is less than ideal but not a huge issue for most people.

When running idly in the background Bitdefender Antivirus showed no noticeable impact on overall system performance.

It's clear Bitdefender has put a lot of effort into this part of the software. It shows.


User Interface: 89%

Click images to enlarge

Bitdefender's user interface is little changed since last year's version, which is great for those already familiar with how it works. It's mostly easy to use, but could use some improvements.

Our biggest complaint, as we have with other competitors, too, is that the text is very small and difficult to read in places even though there's plenty of space for bigger, easier-to-read text. The same goes for some of the little blue buttons in the interface. (C'mon, guys, crank the size up!)

The other thing we're not keen on is the navigation is often too simplistic. Rather than having a simple lefthand navigation with easily accessible options, each section makes you feel a little lost when you need to navigate elsewhere in the software.

All in all, it's not our favorite, but it's an average user interface that's easy enough to use.


Technical Support: 75%

Bitdefender's technical support continues to be a problem for us again this year.

Within the interface is a small link that offers you a choice to contact them or search their support page for help.

And this, this is where the trouble begins. The "contact" form only collects data on your system, then sends that off (you hope) for them to try to assess the problems. The problem is, there's no expectation of what's next or when.

Your only option is to wait for them to contact you after that. There's no further contact option at this stage.

Their searchable knowledgebase will answer most questions, but if you need to speak to a real person, it's difficult to connect with them.

If you're willing to hunt for it, Bitdefender has an email form, but you'll need to provide your license key as proof you're a paying customer (ridiculous) before you can even access it. And there's no indication when (or even if) someone will get back to you.

The real problem with this is that some viruses reboot your computer non-stop, making it impossible to extract your license key. In which case, you're just out of luck.

If these options aren't adequate for you, there are some very small buttons on the page for phone or chat options. As with most everything else Bitdefender has done with support, this isn't easy either: the buttons are small and easily missed.

If you do get infected with a virus, and Bitdefender Antivirus can't get rid of it automatically, their "advanced" support is available, for a (hefty) fee: $99. Fees like this are too high, especially when other companies like VIPRE and ESET do this for free and offer easy-to-reach support.

At this point, it's no surprise if you come to the same conclusion we did: that Bitdefender doesn't really want to talk to its customers.


Conclusion - Overall Score: 85%

  • Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
    Bitdefender Box
  • SCORE: 85%
    Original:
    $59.95
    Discount:
    $24.99
  • Average antivirus protection
  • Excellent resource usage
  • Very difficult support options
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Bitdefender has slid up and down the ranks over the years, but in the past couple of years it winds up somewhere in the middle. This year is no different.

The biggest concern we had is with its mediocre antivirus protection. Considering how harshly we test each antivirus software, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus only scored average points when compared to its competitors. Not bad, not great. And, especially not great compared side-by-side with its competitors.

On the plus side, Bitdefender Antivirus has one of the lightest running antivirus software we've tested this year with very minimal system performance impact.

And of course, Bitdefender's technical support remains unnecessarily cumbersome, frustrating at times, and expensive if you need advanced support.

Overall, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus ends up being just an average antivirus software.


Software Version 2016
Supported Operating System (OS) Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7
Minimum RAM Required 1 GB
Minimum Space Required 1 GB
Required Processor Speed 1.6 GHz
Money-back Guarantee 30 Days
Software Manufacturer BitDefender
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