Overall Score 91%
Bitdefender Box

Bitdefender Security Software Review

The Case for Bitdefender

  • Same virus protection as Bitdefender Antivirus plus extra security
  • 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
(1-PC / 1-Year)
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by Josh Christofferson, Co-Editor
Virus, Spyware, & Malware Protection: 91%

While BitDefender didn't do as poorly as some of its competitors, there were still significant issues in both real-time protection and malware clean-up.

First, we infected our testing computers with a host of malware samples ranging from trojans, to adware, to rogueware, then set Bitdefender loose to see how well it could find and remove them.

Bitdefender Internet Security had a hard time scanning and removing some of the malware on the first scan. In multiple instances with different OSes and different test PCs, we were forced to reboot which helped remove most of the threats, but there were still obvious malware samples running on each of the test systems.

  • Bitdefender Internet Security
    Bitdefender Box
  • SCORE: 91%
Next we activated on a fresh, fully updated version of Bitdefender on our test PCs, then tried to install our malware samples to see how well it would prevent, block, or delete the virus or other malware.

Bitdefender neutralized about 50% of the threats before we could install them, and blocked about 40% from doing any damage, but roughly 10% of the malware threats still got through Bitdefender's defenses.

There was also a lot of clutter throughout the system indicating Bitdefender couldn't completely remove all traces of the malware it neutralized.

With the samples we used this year, we recorded no instances where the remaining threat fragments were still "armed" and able to rebuild themselves, so in that respect, even though there might have been some remaining chunks, they were harmless even if it was annoying that they hadn't been removed automatically.

Also on the plus side, Bitdefender did well in the antiphishing department, scoring a solid 90% success rate at blocking phishing sites.

Firewall Protection: 76%

A firewall is your first line of defense against new threats trying to infiltrate your PC. Think of it like a moat around our PCs that makes it so there's only one way in or out.

The firewall in Bitdefender Internet Security scored a fairly good 76% here with the majority of our exploit and hack attempts correctly blocked.

Unfortunately, it has very limited functionality, which means it's not a great choice for people who need more precise control of their firewall settings, as some gamers, VPN users and others might.

Resource Usage: 95%

Bitdefender Internet Security did well in our system impact tests. During a full system scan, Bitdefender only drained the CPUs on our test PCs by 7%, making it nearly unnoticeable while we performed basic tasks at the same time.

However, Bitdefender significantly slowed down Windows boot-time by 18 seconds&mdashnot a serious impact, but significant if you're someone who needs to reboot your PC frequently.

There was no significant system drag during idle, real-time protection even with multiple web browsers and several tabs open.

User Interface: 89%

Click images to enlarge

Bitdefender's user interface hasn't changed much since last year's version. If you're a current Bitdefender user, this is good because there's no learning curve.

For the most part, it's easy enough to use, but still needs improvement.

For one thing, the text is very small, making it difficult to read in some sections. What makes this an especially perplexing choice by Bitdefender is that there's plenty of room on each screen to have larger, more legible text.

The other part that needs improvement is Bitdefender's user interface navigation. The front screen is easy and intuitive, but when clicking deeper into each section, your only option to get out of that screen is to click the "back" button.

In other words, it's impossible to jump directly to a new section if you need to. Instead, you're forced to go all the way back to where you started to find the settings you need. Irritating and clunky.

Overall, the user interface is clean, modern, and mostly intuitive despite the much needed improvements noted above.

Technical Support: 75%

Despite our (many) years of calling attention to its deficiencies here, Bitdefender's technical support remains a problem again this year.

This year, there is a small link in the interface that opens a choice to contact them or to try to locate your own answer online.

The contact form is really just there to collect data and sends it to them.

Unfortunately, what you're supposed to expect at this point—or when—is unclear. Your only choice is to wait for Bitdefender to get back to you. There's no phone number at this stage.

On the plus side, they have a comprehensive searchable knowledgebase that answers most questions, but if you need to speak to a someone, that's another story.

You can send them an email via another contact form, but you'll need your license key to prove you're a customer, and there's zero indication as to if or when someone will get back to you.

The worse part of this design is that some viruses by design reboot your computer non-stop, thus it becomes impossible to extract your license key to even get the key to get help.

As a last-ditch option, there are some teensy buttons buried on the Bitdefender support page that have phone or chat options. Suffice it so say though, many people won't even see the tiny buttons even when they're looking for them.

As for actually getting help with removing a virus that Bitdefender is unable to on its own, you can pay a Bitdefender technician $99 for help removing it. This fee is high, and especially when you consider three companies offer this service for free with their software (VIPRE, ESET and Avira.)

The bottom line is: it seems to us that Bitdefender does everything they can to avoid talking to you.

Conclusion - Overall Score: 91%

  • Bitdefender Internet Security
    Bitdefender Box
  • SCORE: 91%
  • Average virus protection
  • Average technical support
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Bitdefender has been a solid contender over the years with average virus and malware protection and a lightweight footprint. Both good qualities, but they could do much better in the protection department. With mediocre results, there are far better Internet Security Suites to consider.

Tech support continues to be a an issue, but each year they seem to make a few improvements. That's progress at least.

And with a sleek but imperfect user interface, Bitdefender Internet Security comes up squarely in the middle of our reviews this year.
Software Version 2019
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
Click images to enlarge
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