Many reviewers and journalists are running out of ways to say how good Bitdefender has consistently been over the past several years.
Nonetheless, hose looking for a review not following this trend need to look elsewhere, as despite how critical this publication becomes, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is still a great product with only minor complaints.
In total, Bitdefender offers three paid subscription models that can protect Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Antivirus Plus is the entry-level option, but that should not discourage buyers from thinking they are getting an entry-level product.
Works with: Windows
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license. 30 day free trial available.
The one possible downside for those looking to defend devices with different operating systems is that Total Security, the company's flagship product, is the only choice. Meanwhile, Antivirus Plus is only available for Windows. As will be seen, there is very little to fault regarding features and overall performance that should dissuade potential buyers.
Staring at approximately 30 USD, Antivirus Plus comes with three licenses that can be used across devices. Additionally, licenses can also be purchased if you need them, and the prices are competitive.
Up to 10 licenses can be bought, and Bitdefender offers two- and three-year subscription plans with significant discounts. A quick visit to their website will present all options available to customers logically without some of the ordinary purchase gotchas some online retailers are known for.
Some of the additional features bundled with Antivirus Plus include a file shredder, social media protections, a vulnerability scanner, and safe banking tools.
There is also access to a VPN limited to 200MB per day. Some may feel that this is a ploy to get you to buy full access, but the fact that a VPN is included at this price point is worth mentioning.
Installation and Appearance
The installation process is speedy and, for the most automatic. After following a few simple prompts and clicks, the package is installed. There is little setup on the end user's part, as most import protection components are enabled by default. This will add several new processes to Windows Task Manager, but ,this should not result in any performance dips for the most part.
One thing to note is that once installed, Bitdefender will perform a full system scan; this can take an hour to complete. The industry standard does seem to be 20 minutes for an initial scan. This might be one of those minor complaints alluded to above. Fortunately, subsequent scans only take a fraction of the time needed for the initial scan.
As for the user interface, simplicity is the keyword. The dashboard is laid out intuitively, with the most essential tools displayed front and center. This includes scan options and VPN access.
Finding additional functions isn't hard using the sidebar with icon navigation buttons. Some tools are displayed but only available for the higher pair tiers. These have locked icons showing the user that they do not have this feature without having to menu dive.
Overall, the user experience is as polished as one would hope. It still provides enough configuration options for more advanced users while striking that delicate balance of still being easy to use for those who want to set and forget.
An important part of choosing an antivirus product that is often overlooked is what independent labs have scored the product. For that reason, this publication usually covers these tests in a hopefully easier-to-follow way, as the testing methodologies can sometimes be a tad vague. Concerning Bitdefender, three independent labs and their results were used.
The first is AV-Comparatives, with Bitdefender receiving the highest award in the three major tests. Those are the Real World Protection Test, which runs from July to October 2023, the latest Performance Test, and the latest Malware Protection Test. In all three, Bitdefender achieved the Advanced+ rating, the highest lab award.
The next lab this publication follows is AV-TEST. They divide their test into three parameters, namely protection, performance, and usability, with several metrics being tracked in each division. The product is then scored out of six.
Bitdefender achieved top marks in protection, performance, and usability. This round of perfect scores was achieved in both the September and October tests. The perfect scores meant that Bitdefender received the lab's Top Product Award.
The last lab to look at is SE Labs, with the previous tests on Bitdefender occurring in the first quarter of 2023. While not the latest round of tests, conclusions as to Bitdefender's quality can be gleaned.
The lab has testing methodologies that are separated into three separate groups. Those are Protection Accuracy Rating and Legitimate Accuracy Rating, combined to give a Total Accuracy Rating.
Bitdefender scored 100% in both the Protection Accuracy and Legitimate Accuracy ratings, giving the product a combined Total Accuracy rating of 100%. This perfect score meant that Bitdefender was awarded SE Labs's AAA Award, the highest it awards for consumer-grade endpoint protection.
In summary, it is safe to say that when an independent lab has evaluated Bitdefender, the scores given are perfect, or at the very least as close to perfect as possible.
Antivirus Plus has several notable features that would fill an article by itself. What follows is a brief rundown on notable features, often working in the background, but prove to be excellent tools in preventing your computer from being compromised by hackers.
Antivirus Plus comes with a complete array of security tools to keep you and your internet activities safe. The software's web protection module features an excellent malicious link blocker and anti-phishing comparison. When tested by AV-Comparatives, it blocked 96% of malicious threats, a significant improvement over the last such test Bitdefender participated in.
Along with the above-mentioned protection, Antivirus Plus also includes a password manager called Wallet. The feature is able to store credit card details, wireless network passwords, application logins and license keys, email server credentials and details, and assorted personal information.
Further, Wallet can create multiple password databases and sync them across all your Bitdefender-equipped devices.
No matter how advanced the threat protection offered by a product is, if you don't update software and hardware, you are vulnerable to attack via vulnerabilities discovered in said hardware or software.
Bitdefender's vulnerability scanner checks your system for missing application updates and critical Windows patches. It will also check for weak Windows account passwords and simple Wi-Fi network issues and include more checks for altered and poorly configured system settings. All of these are favored methods of compromise for certain threat actors.
As with our last review, Antivirus Plus still includes a limited VPN of 200MB daily. This limits its use to only the most sensitive operations where an extra layer of security is required, like online banking.
Users can purchase the premium VPN Bitdefender offers at approximately an extra 7 USD per month. The limited VPN is nice to have as a last resort. However, it can be considered one of those minor complaints alluded to.
It is hard to fault Bitdefender Antivirus Plus; it does what is said on the tin and more. In the software's primary role as an antivirus, independent lab results show it is always a worthy contender for the crown of best in class.
The additional features and web protections are also good and require little in any of the setups. In fact, the entire package requires little setup and still protects the end user.
The initial scan is dreadfully slow compared to its competitors, but understandable. The limited VPN could be scrapped and not reduce the value offered by the product.
Appearance of Bitdefender Antivirus Plus: