Bitdefender Internet Security 2014 provides silent and hassle-free protection of premium quality.
Rating charts of the industry’s best Internet security software are only complete with Bitdefender’s solution represented, otherwise an inalienable component is unjustifiably torn off to ruin the true concept of the competition. A little over a decade of the Company’s malware combating endeavors is not the longest we’ve seen, but the achievements and the recognition gained are more than commendable.
Bitdefender Internet Security 2014 is a cyber monster-truck on a digital highway crammed up with challenges, threats and dangers. Sticking to the slogan ‘AWAKE’, meaning that it’s constantly on the lookout for menaces, it was made to literally smash viruses you stumble upon, and provide all-embracing protection against the online side of cybercrime: phishing scams, spam, hacker attacks, social networking fraud, and more of the unfortunate facets of the present-day worldwide web. Even more, the software accommodates tools to remotely handle unauthorized physical access to all the other devices protected by Bitdefender; provides secure browsing environment for financial transactions; includes extensively customizable parental control; delivers a rigid two-way Firewall; enables shredding sensitive files beyond recovery; and allows tuning your machine’s performance to ensure silent security without lags.
The solution being reviewed uses an antivirus technology recognized as #1 by AV-TEST for 2011 and 2012. Bitdefender is also the owner of AV-Comparatives Advanced+ award in multiple lab tests. More distinctions include PC Mag’s Editor’s Choice, VB100, and positive mentions in numerous reviews, including ours.
For those hesitating to pay the relatively high price of $69.95 right away (1-year license for up to 3 computers), Bitdefender provides the option of installing free trial to check out the effectiveness of the product, with subsequent opportunity to upgrade to the full version if desired. The stub installer you initially download is there to make sure you are getting the latest build available and the whole process runs smooth. Setup went hassle-free and implied a minimum of action on our end. Once installed, Bitdefender Internet Security 2014 works in the Autopilot mode, which means you won’t have to do any excessive configuring or decision-making as the software does it all for you.
At this point, you can explore the Security Widget providing quick access to a few essentials of protection, such as events, antivirus settings, firewall configuration; and allowing you to drag-and-drop individual files you want scanned. While some users’ feedback about this desktop widget is not too favorable, underscoring its large size and clumsiness, we find it quite handy and really informative. We only wish it provided a shortcut to the program’s main pane, which it doesn’t. However, Bitdefender’s system tray icon will do the trick and open up the GUI.
Even a quick glance at the interface suffices to realize that it’s clean and easy to understand. The large buttons linking to the primary features are convenient and perfectly accord with Windows 8 style, being particularly good for touch screens, too. Appropriate user awareness is contributed by the prominent security status bar on the top, with colors varying for different levels of protection. The main screen’s top section is also occupied by Events, Settings, and Autopilot components. Next to the window minimizing and closing buttons is MyBitdefender option which provides access to your account settings, the dashboard, and parental control features. The main menu is composed of the following sections: Antivirus, Privacy, Firewall, Tune-Up, Antispam, Safebox, Update, SafeGo, and FileEncryption, each opening up into a more detailed page for customization and task assigning.
With the default settings unaltered, Bitdefender’s impact on system productivity turned out somewhat tangible – not that the PC was freezing or performing generally slow, but CPU consumption would hump over 90% once in a while during scan or update tasks, and Windows boot times increased substantially. This issue is partially bypassable when Scan Dispatcher comes into play, or can be addressed through the use of Tune-Up feature which optimizes overall PC productivity. We found scanning with Bitdefender not to be lengthy for an application as powerful as that. On the other hand though, cleanup of an infected computer is typically a time-consuming process. In general, the usability benchmark is fairly good: setup causes no trouble, the interface is wonderfully balanced and comprehensive, and system performance is affected within reasonable bounds – though the latter is perhaps the weakest link here.
The toolkit hard-coded into Bitdefender Internet Security 2014 covers all facets you might possibly need protected when performing routine activities, and actually provides even more than that. You additionally get far-reaching privacy and social networking protection, as well as reliable defense when visiting e-commerce websites. Plus, the suite offers some options for improving the way your computer operates by delivering a number of performance enhancement opportunities.
In terms of protection, Bitdefender is in close competition with the industry’s flagship suites, which is certainly not by chance. Not only is it equipped with one of the most complete feature sets across the board, the software is also extremely reliable when it comes to actually detecting and eliminating the bad stuff. This has been verified by multiple labs whose reputation is out of the question.
Based on the recent lab test by the German AV-TEST IT-Security Institute, Bitdefender Internet Security 2014 scores 6 out of the total 6 points by both protection and repair. This means you can fully rely on this utility for guarding your PC from 0-day malware attacks, relatively new threats that emerged in the last couple of months, and widespread viruses, including rootkits and stealth malware. Given such stunning results, it would perhaps be fair to assume that there might be a side effect – false positives. Surprisingly, that’s not the case at all though: Bitdefender’s false alerts rate is below the industry average.
In AV-Comparatives’ latest malware removal test, the software got 94 points out of 100, gaining the Advanced+ rating, which we already mentioned in this review. Furthermore, Bitdefender didn’t fail to pass a single VB100 certification since 2010. Therefore, no doubt this suite will match and probably exceed your expectations while guarding you from viruses, spyware, spam, and identity theft attempts.
Bitdefender help is wonderfully structured and organized. It has it all: the FAQs, online knowledgebase, comprehensive User’s Guide, the Forum, online chat, and worldwide telephone support. Frankly, with the abundance of self-help options and their immaculate informative value, the need to reach customer service agents directly is not a likely probability here. And yet, live support is responsive and professional. All in all, we really admire the help emphasis and effort Bitdefender makes.