BitDefender Total Security 2019 Review

Protect yourself & stop worrying about security

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EXCELLENT

BitDefender is, easily, the best antivirus of the year. It has perfect protection and performance scores, and offers a free VPN. It’s a winner.

 

Refund Policy: 30 days
Customer Support: 24/7 Free
Protected Devices: 1 – 5
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Smart Home

The Good

  • The best protection from malware: BitDefender has perfect scores in the protection tests by the independent test labs.
  • BitDefender does not slow down your devices: BitDefender is the only antivirus with perfect performance scores in all tests.
  • Very complete features: Including a free VPN, anti-ransomware, password manager, parental controls, webcam protection, and more.
  • Excellent user reviews: Users rate BitDefender as one of the best and most user-friendly antivirus available.
  • Excellent price and deep discount: BitDefender temporarily features a deep discount, making it one of the best deals online.

The Bad

  • Limited free VPN: The free VPN has a 200mb daily limit. This is enough to shop and bank securely, but not to stream movies.

 

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BitDefender Total Security 2019: Full Review

Below you can find our test methods, full review, and data sources

How We Test

Purchasing the best antivirus software is very important.

To help you in your decision,we have tested BitDefender Total Security 2019 according to 6 categories, which you can see in the graph below. The percentages indicate the impact each factor has on the final score.

Every category is important, but not all are equal. For instance, “protection from malware” – the most important aspect of any antivirus – has a 50% impact on the final score, whereas “supported devices” only has a 5% impact.

Don’t worry if you don’t know what each category means yet. Below this section, we will explain each in detail, tell you how BitDefender scored, and which sources we used to determine that score.

And if you only want to know the highlights, each category has a summary in blue. Stick to those and your reading time should be less than a minute.

  • Protection from Malware 50% 50%
  • Impact on Performance 15% 15%
  • Devices and Features 10% 10%
  • User Reviews 10% 10%
  • Value for Money 10% 10%
  • False Positives 5% 5%

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Tibor Moes

Tibor Moes

Technology Analyst

Tech enthusiast and founder of SoftwareLab. He has degrees in Engineering and Business, and has been active in the analysis of software, electronics and digital services since 2013.

BitDefender 2019: Protection from malware

The Good: BitDefender – with Norton – is the only antivirus to achieve a perfect protection score. Meaning it will keep you safe from all malware and online threats. Protection doesn’t get better than this.

The Bad: Nothing.

What is a protection test?

The independent test labs, AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, test the best antivirus software several times each year on multiple factors. One of them is protection, which is split into three parts:

1. Protection from known malware

Malware stands for malicious software. It is any file or program that can cause damage to you or your device. Common examples are viruses, adware, spyware, and ransomware.

When a cybersecurity company discovers new malware, it stores its digital signature in a very large database full of malware samples.

Imagine this digital signature as the equivalent of a fingerprint. In the same way the police would track down criminals using fingerprints, antivirus track down known malware using digital signatures.

This is the most classic form of anti-malware, and is called virus scanning or signature-based detection.

2. Protection from unknown malware

When a new piece of malware is created, it is unknown to antivirus software. This means that no digital signature exists, and the antivirus cannot scan your system for it. 

To still be able to protect you from these unknown threats, the cybersecurity companies have developed a different technique. 

Using this technique, the antivirus programs don’t search for digital signatures, but for specific types of behavior that are typical to malware. These include the hiding of files, the rapid replication of files across a network, or the deletion of files important to the operating system. 

Once the antivirus has discovered a program acting in such a way, it moves it to a safe environment, called a sandbox. Here, the antivirus can analyze the potential threat further. This technique is called heuristic file scanning, or behavioral detection.

3. Protection from user-focused threats

It is increasingly common for cybercriminals to target users, rather than devices. For instance through phishing scams, in which the criminal tries to trick you into handing over sensitive information, such as PayPal logins.

To protect you from this and many other cyber threats, antivirus programs include a range of additional protection features in their software.

Among these are anti-phishing, anti-ransomware, VPN, spam filters, web advisors, wifi advisors, file encryption, file shredders, and much more.

BitDefender 2019: Windows 10 protection score

BitDefender is the only antivirus, together with Norton, to score a perfect test result in each protection test for Windows 10.

BitDefender 2019: Mac protection score

As on Windows, BitDefender scored perfect protection scores for Mac, performing well above average.

BitDefender 2019: Android protection score

In a full homerun, BitDefender also scored a perfect protection score on Android. With Norton, it is the only antivirus in our comparison to score perfect protection scores on all operating software.

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BitDefender 2019: Performance Impact

The Good: BitDefender is the only antivirus in our comparison to have consistent perfect scores in performance. Meaning it will not slow down your devices, whether Windows or Mac.

The Bad: Nothing.

What is a performance test?

While you surf, stream or shop online, antivirus programs operate in the background to keep you safe. In order to do this, every antivirus tool requires a certain amount of resources from your device. And this can slow it down.

The performance tests by AV-Test and AV-Comparatives are designed to analyze the impact on the operating speed of your device.

BitDefender 2019: Windows 10 performance score

BitDefender consistently had perfect scores across all tests, meaning it did not slow down any Windows device.

BitDefender 2019: Mac performance score

As on Windows, BitDefender scores top performance marks on Mac. Meaning it had no negative speed impact on MacBooks and iMacs.

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BitDefender 2019: Devices and Features

The Good: BitDefender offers one of the most complete feature sets of all antivirus, including a free VPN on all devices. 

The Bad: The free VPN is limited to 200mb per day. 

What is a devices and features test?

We investigate which operating software are supported by the antivirus, and which features are offered for each operating software.

A note on iOS:

Many antivirus, such as Panda and BullGuard, don’t include protection for iOS. Although it is true that iOS is safer than Windows, Android, and Mac, there are still security threats.

Bonus features such as a free VPN, parental controls, and anti-theft tools, can help users stay anonymous online, protect their children, and keep their iPhone safe from thieves.

BitDefender 2019: Devices & features score

BitDefender supports Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. As with all antivirus brands, the protection features offered vary per operating software. Windows gets the most complete protection, followed by Mac, Android, and iOS. In that order.

Many antivirus, such as BullGuard, go so far that 95% of all features are exclusive to Windows. With the other operating software receiving almost none. This is not the case with BitDefender, which offers a full security suite on every device.

For Windows, the protection is extremely complete. Next to all the usual suspects (anti-virus, anti-phishing, anti-ransomware), a wealth of features is available: A WiFi security advisor, a dedicated online banking browser, password manager, search advisor, vulnerability scan, file shredder, webcam protection, firewall, file encryption, parental controls, anti-theft, and a speed optimizer. And if that is not enough, it now comes with a free VPN, too.

Norton also comes with a 25GB online backup, but no free VPN. We would opt for the VPN if given the choice.

For Mac, BitDefender offers significantly more than most: Antivirus for both Windows and Mac malware, file encryption, parental controls, a dedicated online banking browser, backup protection, and a free VPN.

For Android, the party continuous with an app-scanner, free VPN, web protection, anti-theft, app-lock, and parental controls.

It must be said though, that some antivirus such as Panda, also offer a file and multimedia scanner where BitDefender only offers an app-scan.
For iOS, the offer is limited to a few features: Anti-theft, a free VPN, account protection, and parental controls. This is still more than mostantivirus software offer for iOS, though.

On note on BitDefender’s VPN:

BitDefender’s VPN is created by Hotspot Shield. Their VPN is rated as highly secure, and compatible with torrenting (P2P) and Netflix (although not all its servers).

On its website, Hotspot Shield costs $ 7,99 per month in a 1-year subscription, making it $ 95.88 per year. Through BitDefender, you can get it for $ 29,99 per year. A significant discount.

BitDefender’s free VPN offers you 200mb daily for free, which is more than enough to surf and bank online, but not to stream movies, download large files or use P2P networks.

On the free VPN, you cannot select a server of your own choice. It is always set to automatic to give you the fastest server available. To be able to select your preferred server, you’ll need the paid subscription.

Read our full review of BitDefender’s premium VPN here.

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BitDefender 2019: User Reviews

The Good: BitDefender has excellent user reviews. On TrustPilot, close 3.000 users gave BitDefender a 7.8. In the Google Play Store, a full 125.000 users gave BitDefender 9.

The Bad: Nothing.

What is a user review test?

User reviews have become a marketing tool. This makes it difficult to know which reviews are from real consumers, and which are fake.

Yet at the same time, user reviews are incredibly important. They reflect not only the product quality but also the overall customer experience.

So in our test, we use the data from TrustPilot and the Google Play Store. TrustPilot is the international leader in verified user reviews. And Google Play is the app store for Android apps, which probably has the most real reviews of antivirus software in the world.

BitDefender 2019: User review score

BitDefender receives a 7.8 score from close to 3.000 user reviews in TrustPilot, and a 9 from over 125.000 reviews for its Android app in the Google Play store, like McAfee.
This puts it far ahead of the average antivirus software.

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BitDefender 2019: Value for Money

The Good: BitDefender offers one of the most complete feature sets of all antivirus, including a VPN. On top of this, it comes at a very competitive price, giving it excellent value for money.

The Bad: Nothing.

What is a value for money test?

Value for money means the quality of protection and range of bonus features you get, for the price you pay. All antivirus providers in our comparison offer great protection, but some simply offer more features at a lower price. BitDefender is one of them.

BitDefender 2019: Value for money score

BitDefender offers not only exceptional protection, it also comes with one of the most complete set of bonus features of any antivirus. These include a free VPN with a 200mb daily limit, password manager, file encryptor, device optimizer, anti-theft tool, webcam protection, parental controls, and file shredder.

Combine that with the deep discounts offered, and it becomes clear that BitDefender offers one of the best value for money available.

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BitDefender 2019: False Positives

The Good: BitDefender flagged a few clean files as malware on Windows 10, but far less than the industry average. On Mac and Android, it had a perfect score, flagging zero clean files as malware.

The Bad: Nothing.

What is a false positive test?

Antivirus programs use an advanced file scanning method to discover unknown malware threats (malware that have never been encountered before). This method is called heuristic file scanning.

Using the method, the antivirus tools scan for patterns that are common to malware, such as rapid replication or the attempt to delete or hide files. It basically searches for suspicious behavior.

When an antivirus flags a clean file as suspicious, we speak of a false positive. This is harmless but can be annoying, as your antivirus might block a program that you are trying to use.

Both the test labs, AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, test the antivirus software for false positives on WIndows, Mac, and Android.

BitDefender 2019: Windows 10 false positives score

BitDefender performed on par with the industry average in the tests by AV-Test, but scored well above average in the tests by AV-Comparatives. This gives a performance score of 95% on Windows 10.

BitDefender 2019: Mac false positives score

BitDefender scored a perfect score on the False Positive test for Mac. But before you congratulate them; so did every other antivirus in the test.

BitDefender 2019: Android false positives score

As on Mac, BitDefender scored a perfect score on Android. This time though, the industry average was not on the same level.

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Data Sources

Below you can find all the sources we have used in our analysis

Protection, performance, and false positives data:

Protection, performance and false positives are the core of the analysis. Our data comes from the two leading IT security labs, AV-Test and AV-Comparatives.

The labs run multiple tests per, analyzing the antivirus on protection, performance, and false alarms (called usability by AV-Test). In our analysis of the best antivirus, we have averaged the scores of all their tests since January 2017.

User review data:

The data on the user reviews comes from TrustPilot and the Google Play Store

TrustPilot is a website focusing solely on the collection of user reviews. To date, over 45 million user reviews have been written about over 200.000 businesses around the world.

The Google Play Store is the app store for Android, the leading operating software for smartphones. It has one of the largest software review databases in the world.

Value for money, device and features data:

All data for these categories come from the antivirus software themselves, including supported devices, features, and prices.

Links:

For links to the exact articles and web-pages used, read on below.

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AV-Test:

https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/mobile-devices/android/january-2019/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/mobile-devices/android/november-2018/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/mobile-devices/android/september-2018/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/mobile-devices/android/july-2018/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/mobile-devices/android/may-2018/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/mobile-devices/android/march-2018/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/mobile-devices/android/january-2018/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/mobile-devices/android/november-2017/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/mobile-devices/android/september-2017/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/mobile-devices/android/july-2017/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/mobile-devices/android/may-2017/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/mobile-devices/android/march-2017/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/mobile-devices/android/january-2017/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-macos/macos-high-sierra/december-2018/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-macos/macos-high-sierra/june-2018/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-macos/macos-sierra/december-2017/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-macos/macos-sierra/june-2017/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-windows/windows-10/december-2018/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-windows/windows-10/october-2018/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-windows/windows-10/june-2018/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-windows/windows-10/april-2018/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-windows/windows-10/december-2017/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-windows/windows-10/october-2017/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-windows/windows-10/june-2017/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-windows/windows-10/april-2017/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-windows/windows-10/february-2019/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/business-macos/macos-high-sierra/december-2018/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/business-macos/macos-high-sierra/june-2018/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/business-macos/macos-sierra/december-2017/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/business-windows-client/windows-10/december-2018/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/business-windows-client/windows-10/october-2018/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/business-windows-client/windows-10/august-2018/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/business-windows-client/windows-10/june-2018/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/business-windows-client/windows-10/april-2018/
https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/business-windows-client/windows-10/february-2018/

AV-Comparatives:

https://www.av-comparatives.org/tests/mobile-security-review-2018/
https://www.av-comparatives.org/tests/mobile-security-review-2017/
https://www.av-comparatives.org/tests/mac-security-test-review-2018/
https://www.av-comparatives.org/tests/mac-security-test-review-2017/
https://www.av-comparatives.org/tests/performance-test-october-2018/
https://www.av-comparatives.org/tests/performance-test-april-2018/
https://www.av-comparatives.org/tests/performance-test-october-2017/
https://www.av-comparatives.org/tests/real-world-protection-test-july-november-2018/
https://www.av-comparatives.org/tests/real-world-protection-test-october-2018-factsheet/
https://www.av-comparatives.org/tests/real-world-protection-test-february-june-2018/
https://www.av-comparatives.org/tests/real-world-protection-test-july-november-2017/
https://www.av-comparatives.org/tests/malware-protection-test-september-2018/
https://www.av-comparatives.org/tests/malware-protection-test-march-2018/
https://www.av-comparatives.org/tests/malware-protection-test-september-2017/
https://www.av-comparatives.org/tests/business-security-test-2018-august-november/
https://www.av-comparatives.org/tests/business-security-test-2018-march-june/
https://www.av-comparatives.org/tests/malware-removal-test-2018/

TrustPilot:

https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.bitdefender.com
https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.bitdefender.de
https://www.trustpilot.com/review/bitdefenderofficial.com
https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.norton.com
https://www.trustpilot.com/review/dk.norton.com
https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.mcafee.com
https://www.trustpilot.com/review/pandasecurity.com/france
https://www.trustpilot.com/review/pandasecurity.com/germany
https://www.trustpilot.com/review/pandasecurity.com/netherlands
https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.pandasecurity.com
https://www.trustpilot.com/review/pandasecurity.com/spain
https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.bullguard.com

Google Play:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bitdefender.security
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.symantec.mobilesecurity
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wsandroid.suite
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.avast.android.mobilesecurity
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pandasecurity.pandaav
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bullguard.mobile.mobilesecurity

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