Bitdefender Total Security
POWERFUL PROTECTION AND LOTS OF FEATURES, BUT PROTECTION LAGS BEHIND THIS YEAR’S LEADERS
This year, Bitdefender Total Security put in a good showing, with a total accuracy rating of 96%, putting it in the same league as AVG AntiVirus Free. Drilling down into the results reveals the full picture behind this quality score.
Bitdefender managed a protection accuracy rating of 91%. It blocked 94 threats, defended against ve further threats and allowed a single bit of malware through. That makes the overall protection better than AVG, which also let one bit of malware through, but only managed a complete block on 85 bits of damaging software.
Bitdefender has several packages available. Internet Security costs $59.99 and supports up to three Windows PCs, but has the most basic protection. Pay an extra ten dollars and you get Bitdefender Total Security, which we think is the best-value product. Here, you get support for up to ve devices (Android, macOS and Windows), and more advanced protection. At the top end is the Family Pack, which costs $79.99. This gives you unlimited devices, so could be good for large households.
The clean interface makes it easy to access all of Bitdefender Total Security’s features. With the Vulnerability Scan, you get a quick security health-check, with Bitdefender looking for critical Windows and application updates, checking your Windows account’s password security, and even scanning your router to make sure that it’s not weak. This scan works well and gives you a quick overview, highlighting the simple things that you can change.
Remember, hackers usually go for the easiest route in, so xing the simple issues can really boost your security. Think of it this way: if you had the world’s most expensive lock put on your front door, but routinely left your windows open, your house would soon be robbed.
There’s also a built-in VPN, although you only get 200MB of data per day, which isn’t going to go very far. You can buy a subscription instead, but you’re probably better off going with a dedicated VPN service instead.
Ransomware protection is presented as a simple on/off switch, with Bitdefender looking for suspicious activity and protecting your les. However, you can boost protection with Safe Files, which lets you set the folders that you want to protect from corruption and harmful manipulation. By default, your Documents, Photos and Video folders are kept safe, with untrusted applications prevented from making any changes.
Under Privacy, there’s the SafePay option, which res up a hardened browser, so you can pay safely without worrying about your details being stolen. Bitdefender will warn you when you come across fraudulent pages.
Physical security is taken care of with the Anti-theft monitoring system. It tracks your device’s location, based on its internet connection. So a stolen computer that’s connected to a foreign network should dial home and let you know where it is.
Startup and OneClick Optimizers are there to help boost your PC’s performance. These aren’t the kinds of tools that we use often, and we prefer a manual cleanup to really get our PC back to its best shape. Likewise, the Disk Cleanup tool could be useful, but you can get free tools that show you this, such as the excellent WinDirStat.
Security software can get in the way of everyday tasks, so Bitdefender Total Security has multiple pro les that let you choose what you want to stop, such as background tasks, Windows updates and popup messages. Pro les are there for work, lms and games, and you can set a list of applications for each that triggers each mode.
With this level of protection, existing Bitdefender users can rest easy knowing that their computers are safe. However, if you’re coming up for renewal or want to move up to paidfor software from free protection, Kaspersky Security Cloud is a better choice.