We may earn a commission when you make a purchase via links on this site.

Bitdefender Premium Security Review (2024): The Pros & Cons

By Tibor Moes / Updated: November 2023 / Rating: 5 of 5

Bitdefender Premium Security Review 2024

Bitdefender Premium Security: Review Summary

Bitdefender is ranked #4 of 28 antivirus brands.

Bitdefender Premium Security is one of the best security suites of 2024. It has perfect anti-malware protection, no impact on the speed of your PC, and all the security features you need.

Buy it if you want complete protection for up to 10 devices. Unlike Bitdefender’s Total Security, Premium Security also includes the excellent password manager and unlimited VPN.

Alternatively, you could consider Norton 360 Deluxe. Although it only protects up to 5 devices, it includes the same features and costs less.

  • Malware protection: 100%. Bitdefender detected and removed each of the 1,200 malware samples in our test.
  • Speed impact: 100%. Bitdefender’s anti-malware engine is lightweight and did not slow down our test PC.
  • Features: 100%. Bitdefender Premium Security includes anti-malware, anti-phishing, a firewall, a password manager, and a VPN.
  • Price: 80%. Bitdefender Premium Security is excellent. However, several competitors, like Norton, offer similar protection at a lower price.

Thanks to the 30-day return policy, you can try it risk-free.

Ranking  #4 of 28
Anti-malware
Anti-phishing
Firewall
Password Manager
Unlimited VPN
Operating systems Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
🔥 Discount Save 60% on Bitdefender 🔥
Bitdefender Antivirus - Dashboard

Bitdefender Premium Security 2024: Full Review

Bitdefender is ranked #4 of the 28 best antivirus of 2024.

We found Bitdefender to be a top choice for internet security. Its cloud scanner is smart and catches most bad stuff. Plus, you get cool web safety tools and a speedy VPN. Parents, listen up: the parental controls are some of the best we’ve seen.

Bitdefender has free and paid plans. The Antivirus Plus plan is a solid pick for up to 3 Windows computers. Need more? Internet Security has great tools for families. Total Security works for up to 5 devices, even phones and tablets. Want it all? Premium Security is your go-to, complete with an unlimited VPN.

All plans come with a 30-day money-back promise. So, it’s risk-free to try.

Bitdefender Antivirus - Anti-Malware

Anti-malware

We put Bitdefender’s antivirus through its paces and were seriously impressed. Its scanner is light but catches nearly all malware thanks to its cloud tech. With four types of scans—Quick, System, Custom, and Vulnerability—you get deep and focused cleaning options.

In our tests, it nailed a perfect score, finding every piece of malware we hid. What’s more, the full scan finished in under an hour without slowing our machine down. That’s better than many rivals like McAfee.

Scheduling scans is easy, but you can only set up custom scans. This is a slight letdown since others like Norton offer one-click scheduling for all scan types.

Bitdefender’s real-time protection, called Bitdefender Shield, is top-notch. It scans everything—from email attachments to network shares—the moment you touch them. We tried to trick it with dodgy files and network attacks. No luck. It caught and quarantined everything. Advanced users can also tweak settings to suit their needs, making it flexible as well as strong.

So, if you want a strong, smart, and speedy antivirus that won’t slow you down, Bitdefender should be high on your list.

Bitdefender Antivirus - Anti-Phishing

Anti-phishing

When it comes to dodging phishing traps, Bitdefender is a champ. It checks every site you visit against a huge list of known bad sites. In our testing, it blocked every phishing site we threw at it. That’s better than what we saw with Chrome, Firefox, or even other security tools like Panda and Kaspersky.

One thing we really liked was the clear alerts from Bitdefender when it blocks a site. If it makes a mistake, you can easily whitelist the site with a single click. That’s quicker than digging through settings like you have to do with Norton. But be careful; only whitelist sites you’re 100% sure about.

Bitdefender doesn’t stop at just blocking bad websites. It also scans your search results and checks encrypted sites. If a webpage seems sketchy, it won’t let you near it.

So, for top-notch web safety that’s also user-friendly, Bitdefender is a solid pick.

Bitdefender Antivirus - Firewall

Firewall

We gave Bitdefender’s firewall a workout and found it both strong and flexible. It watches over your network traffic and keeps the bad guys out. We threw some simulated attacks at it, and it blocked almost all of them. Even when we tried to probe it with a port scanner, it stood firm, revealing nothing.

For the average user, the default “Automatic” mode works great right out of the box. It’s smarter than the basic firewalls in Windows and Mac. But if you like to tinker, you can set it to either “Allow” or “Block” mode. Just be cautious; “Allow” could let malware through, while “Block” can be too restrictive.

There’s also an “Alert” mode that pops up notifications for each new app trying to connect. We found this feature a bit annoying and not as clear as AVG’s approach, which shows you full details about the app.

While the Stealth Mode is meant to make your PC invisible on the network, we found it a bit hit-or-miss. For instance, we could still print wirelessly even with this mode on.

Bottom line: Bitdefender’s firewall is strong and mostly user-friendly. It gives you better safety than what you’d get from a basic, built-in firewall.

Bitdefender Antivirus - Password Manager

Password manager

We tested Bitdefender’s built-in password manager and found it solid but not extraordinary. It handles the basics well, offering high-level encryption, a password generator, and even a feature to audit your stored passwords for weaknesses. It works smoothly across devices and has browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari. The auto-fill and auto-save functions worked like a charm in our tests.

However, when compared to standalone options like Dashlane or 1Password, it falls a bit short. There’s no two-factor authentication, password sharing, or dark web monitoring. Also, while its password generator can create keys up to 32 characters long, some top-tier managers like LastPass offer up to 99.

The password manager is included in Bitdefender’s Premium Security package. Lower-tier plans offer a 90-day free trial, after which you’ll need to pay an extra fee.

In a nutshell, if you’re opting for Bitdefender Premium Security, the included password manager is a convenient and decent option. But if you’re after a more robust, feature-rich password management solution, you might want to look elsewhere.

Bitdefender Antivirus - VPN

VPN

We’ve taken Bitdefender’s VPN for a spin and here’s what we found. It’s run by Hotspot Shield but isn’t quite as feature-rich. The VPN offers strong 256-bit AES encryption, a no-logs policy, and a kill switch—basic yet solid features for online security.

The free version that comes with most Bitdefender plans is quite limited, offering only 200 MB of data daily and auto-selecting servers, which can affect speeds. Upgrading to Premium Security or buying a standalone VPN subscription unlocks unlimited data and 4,000+ servers.

Speed-wise, the VPN impresses. We experienced minimal slowdowns during our tests, making it suitable for everyday activities, even torrenting. However, it faltered when it came to streaming; platforms like Netflix easily detected our VPN use and restricted access.

So, the bottom line? Bitdefender’s premium VPN offers reliable, fast browsing but lacks the frills and streaming capabilities of dedicated VPN services. It’s a good option if you’re already invested in Bitdefender’s ecosystem and want a basic, secure VPN.

Other security features

We tested Bitdefender’s extra features, including its Parental Control, Identity Theft Protection, and System Optimization tools. Here’s what we found.

Parental Control

Available on multiple platforms, Bitdefender’s Parental Control is comprehensive. It allows you to set device limits, block apps, and even track your child’s location. In our tests, it successfully blocked access to blacklisted websites. However, unlike Norton, it doesn’t let kids request access to specific sites. It’s a strong option for parents aiming to ensure their children’s online safety.

Identity Theft Protection

This feature is robust but available only in the US and as a standalone purchase. It monitors a variety of personal information, checks for data breaches, and even scans social media for impersonation. It offers two levels of protection, with the premium plan covering up to $2M in insurance for identity theft incidents. It’s one of the most comprehensive identity theft protection tools we’ve encountered.

System Optimization

Bitdefender’s OneClick Optimizer is basic but effective. It scans and removes junk files to free up disk space. We managed to free up 1.3 GB on our test PC, which is impressive. However, it doesn’t offer detailed insights into what you’re removing, and its capabilities are less varied compared to competitors like Avira.

Safepay

This secure browser is excellent for online transactions. It prevents remote access, blocks screenshots, and has a built-in VPN. We couldn’t even capture screenshots due to its security features, which is great for thwarting hackers. However, it’s not the fastest for general browsing, and it’s not suitable for HD streaming. For secure transactions, it’s a top choice.

Webcam and Microphone Protection

Bitdefender’s tool monitors access to your camera and mic, offering real-time alerts for any unauthorized attempts. We enjoyed its customization features, allowing us to selectively grant access to trusted apps like Zoom. It’s a valuable addition, outshining competitors like McAfee that lack these protective features.

Ransomware Remediation

Designed to recover files after a ransomware attack, this feature mostly did well in our tests. It restored the majority of our test files, although a few were missed. We found it more reliable than Malwarebytes, which failed to block and restore several files in our testing.

Profiles

This Windows-only feature is a game-changer. Choose from Work, Movie, Game, Public Wi-Fi, or Battery Mode profiles to optimize performance. In our tests, it noticeably boosted system speed when using resource-heavy apps like Adobe Illustrator and prevented interruptions during Netflix binges. It’s more comprehensive than similar tools like Norton’s gaming mode.

Anti-Theft Protection

Among the best we’ve seen. Locate your device, sound an alarm, lock it, or wipe data—all with a few clicks. During our tests, it located our device accurately and the alarm feature was very effective. The only downside? It’s limited to Windows and Android. Still, it outperforms competitors like McAfee, which offers no anti-theft features.

Additional Features

Bitdefender is packed with extras—Wi-Fi protection, anti-tracking, and a file shredder. The file shredder stood out in our tests; it permanently deletes sensitive files, a step up from the standard delete function. While McAfee has a file shredder, Bitdefender shines brighter in other areas.

Bitdefender Mobile App

We tested Bitdefender’s mobile apps on both Android and iOS, and here’s the rundown:

Android: The app is a powerhouse with features like antivirus scanning, web protection for various browsers, auto security tips (Autopilot), and anti-theft tools. A unique feature is App Anomaly Detection, which continually monitors apps for suspicious activities. In our testing, the app excelled at malware detection and effectively blocked phishing sites. The app lock feature even snaps a selfie of anyone trying to break into your locked apps.

iOS: While not as feature-rich as its Android counterpart due to iOS restrictions, the app offers web protection, scam alerts, and a VPN. The scam alert scans your texts and calendar for malicious links, offering another layer of protection.

Customer Support

Bitdefender’s support services are among the best we’ve seen, with a few caveats.

Live Chat: Available 24/7, we found it much quicker than Norton’s. The agents are knowledgeable and can help in multiple languages via Google Translate.

Email Support: It took over a day to get an email response. While detailed and personalized, the response time could be improved.

Phone Support: They have global coverage with nearly instant connections. The agents were polite and knowledgeable, surpassing our expectations.

Knowledge Base and Community: An extensive collection of guides and videos that go beyond what competitors offer. The Bitdefender Expert Community forum is also active, with most queries getting answered within hours.

Plans and pricing

In the table below are the core products with their features and prices.

The prices shown are from the USA. However, most brands have different prices (and currencies) in other regions. So visit the brand’s website to see the price in our country.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
Bitdefender Internet Security
Bitdefender Total Security
Bitdefender Premium Security
Bitdefender Ultimate Security
Starting price
$14.99/year
$24.99/year
$39.98/year
$59.99/year
$89.99/year
Devices
1-10
1-10
5-10
10
10
Operating software
Windows
Windows
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
VPN datalimit
200 MB/day
200 MB/day
200 MB/day
Unlimited
Unlimited
Anti-malware
Anti-phishing
Firewall
-
Parental controls
-
Device optimizer
-
-
Password manager
-
-
-
Identity theft protection
-
-
-
-

Plan description

Bitdefender’s Plans Simplified:

Free Plans

  • Windows: Offers basic protection with an anti-malware engine. Lacks advanced features like ransomware recovery.

  • Mac: On-demand scanner only. No real-time protection.

Paid Plans

  • Antivirus Plus (Windows, $14.99/year): Real-time defense, ransomware protection, password manager, and limited VPN. No firewall.

  • Internet Security (Windows, $24.99/year): Adds firewall, anti-spam, and parental controls. Still Windows-only.

  • Total Security ($39.98/year): All-device support. Adds mobile apps and system tools but no unlimited VPN.

  • Premium Security ($59.99/year): Unlimited VPN and supports up to 10 devices. All-device coverage.

  • GravityZone Premium (Starting at $49.99/year): For businesses, includes advanced features like sandboxing and Linux support.

In our testing, Bitdefender provided solid protection, but some plans were limited by device compatibility or lacked key features like an unlimited VPN. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Test score comparison

Next to our own anti-malware tests, we analyze those by AV-Test. We’ve compared the results of the 10 most recent tests for Windows 10. The tests were performed by AV-Test, the German anti-malware test lab. They use three factors:

  • Protection (1-6): Antivirus protection against malware attacks.
  • Performance (1-6): System slowdown caused by the antivirus.
  • Usability (1-6): Frequency of false alarms and disruptions.

We used their results, and this formula, to calculate the final score:

Final Score = 60% Protection + 20% Performance + 20% Usability.

Brands not listed in the table haven’t participated in the analysis by AV-Test. This is usually not a good sign. Because most reputable brands, except Panda, ESET, and Sophos, partake in the test.

Source: AV-Test.

Final Score
Protection
Performance
Usability
6.00
6.00
6.00
6.00
6.00
6.00
6.00
6.00
5.98
6.00
5.90
6.00
5.98
6.00
5.90
6.00
5.97
6.00
5.85
6.00
5.96
5.95
5.95
6.00
5.94
5.95
6.00
5.85
5.93
5.95
5.95
5.85
5.91
5.95
5.75
5.95
5.87
5.83
5.83
6.00
5.81
5.85
5.55
5.95
5.77
5.70
5.95
5.80
5.60
6.00
6.00
4.00
5.47
5.15
5.90
6.00

Price comparison

We’ve compared the prices of the top antivirus products for Windows. To make it a fair comparison, we looked at what it would cost us, to protect a  single Windows PC with the most essential features:

  • Anti-malware
  • Anti-phishing (web protection)
  • Firewall
  • Password manager
  • Unlimited VPN (no data limit)

A few notes:

  • Some brands are missing features, lowering their value for money.
  • Prices are second-year prices in the USA, without first-year discounts.
  • Prices are rounded up for readability (e.g., $99.99 becomes $100).

Brands have different prices outside the USA. See those on their website.

Total price
Missing features
$ 50
No firewall, password manager, and VPN
$ 80
No firewall and password manager
$ 90
No firewall
$ 130
No password manager
$ 180
No firewall

User reviews

We’ve compared the user reviews of all antivirus brands. We’ve used the scores and review count of TrustPilot, a leading user review platform. However, take these results with a grain of salt, as some brands actively attempt to increase their ratings.

Personally, we are wary of exceptionally high scores. Especially those by brands such as TotalAV, known for aggressive marketing and sales tactics.

We consider scores between 4.0 and 4.5 good and realistic. Higher scores are dubious, and lower scores indicate that the brand might have a poor product or customer service. McAfee’s scores, for instance, are worrying.

Source: TrustPilot.

Review score
Review count
4.8
5900
4.7
97000
4.4
1600
4.3
14500
4.3
4000
4.2
8300
4.1
13200
4.1
900
3.9
12000
3.9
26600
3.8
19000
3.7
7600
1.2
2000

Company Profile

Bitdefender is a key player in the global cybersecurity field, established in Romania in 2001. The company aims to be the most trusted source for cybersecurity solutions, offering products with high efficacy, speed, and ease of use. It serves a wide range of clients, from individual consumers to small and medium-sized businesses, as well as larger enterprises.

The company has a robust global presence with headquarters in Bucharest, Romania, and Santa Clara, California. It also has additional offices across North America, Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region. With over 1,600 employees, more than half of whom are specialized in research and development, Bitdefender emphasizes constant innovation. This focus has led to the issuance of 440 patents, particularly in core technologies like machine-learning algorithms for threat detection.

Bitdefender has built strong partnerships with over 20,000 qualified resellers and is available in 170 countries. They also maintain technology alliances with industry leaders like Citrix, VMware, and Microsoft.

The company has a track record of receiving industry recognition from various independent testing organizations and media outlets. Their solutions are well-regarded for effectiveness in threat prevention, detection, and response.

Beyond its business goals, Bitdefender is also committed to sustainability, producing annual reports to disclose their environmental and social responsibilities.

Overall, Bitdefender has evolved significantly since its early days. It originated as Softwin, a startup founded in post-communist Romania in 1990 that eventually transitioned into Bitdefender in 2001. The company has since reached many milestones, including a valuation of over $600 million in 2017 and launching a Formula One partnership with Scuderia Ferrari in 2022. With two decades of experience, Bitdefender stands as a global leader in cybersecurity solutions.

How we test antivirus software

Below we describe how we run our tests. For even more details, visit our blog posts on how we test antivirus software.

Anti-malware protection test

We analyze antivirus software’s capability to detect and eliminate known and unknown malware, using heuristic analysis for behavior monitoring.

We conduct in-house tests and analyze those from labs like AV-Test, SE Labs, and AV-Comparatives to determine the best malware protection.

Malware includes adware, keyloggers, ransomware, rootkits, spyware, trojans, viruses, worms, and more. Other cyber threats, usually not classified as malware, are (zero-day) exploits, hacks, identity theft, phishing attacks, scams, and social engineering.

False positives test

False positives occur when antivirus software misidentifies legitimate software, files, or websites as malicious. We rely on AV-Test’s large-scale analysis of false positives in its usability test to guide our evaluations.

System performance test

We measure the CPU load during antivirus software system scans and consider AV-Test’s performance results on the slowdown caused by antivirus software when opening websites and handling software.

Firewall test

We evaluate two-way firewalls that filter incoming and outgoing data and allow users to set rules to regulate data streams. We use the ShieldsUP! test to determine if the antivirus software blocks all ports.

Password manager test

We assess password managers’ ability to create, store, and autofill secure passwords, as well as additional features like two-factor authentication and biometric login.

Virtual Private Network (VPN) test

We evaluate built-in VPNs on their security, privacy, speed, compatibility with streaming services, unlimited data access, and support for peer-to-peer networks and torrent clients.

Parental control test

We examine parental control features, such as screen time rules, website/app blocking, and real-world location tracking. We test these features on a device and attempt to circumvent them, checking if the activity is accurately reported in the parental control admin.

Anti-phishing protection test

We evaluate antivirus browser extensions that block phishing sites by installing them and attempting to visit dangerous URLs.

Ransomware protection test

We assess security suites’ ability to prevent data encryption through exploit prevention and behavioral detection during ransomware attacks.

Bonus features test

We test any additional cybersecurity tools such as:

  • Ad Blocker
  • Anti-theft
  • Dark web monitoring (identity protection)
  • Email protection
  • File encryption
  • File shredder
  • Gaming mode
  • Microphone protection
  • PC maintenance features
  • Secure browser (hardened browser to protect your online banking)
  • Secure cloud storage (cloud backup)
  • Spam filter
  • Startup optimizer
  • Tune up tools
  • Virtual keyboard
  • Webcam protection

Ownership and reputation test

We analyze the trustworthiness of antivirus companies, especially concerning customer data. We read press releases, news articles, and privacy policies to determine their reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the most frequently asked questions.

Is Bitdefender a good antivirus program?

Bitdefender is ranked #4 of 28 antivirus programs. The ranking is based on its protection, performance, price, and features. Find the best protection in our comparison of the best antivirus of 2024.

How do we test antivirus software?

We analyze the protection from malware, the performance impact on a PC, and the number of false positives. On top of that, we test various security features such as the firewall, password manager, VPN, and more.

Author: Tibor Moes

Author: Tibor Moes

Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab

Tibor has tested 39 antivirus programs and 30 VPN services, and holds a Cybersecurity Graduate Certificate from Stanford University.

He uses Norton to protect his devices, CyberGhost for his privacy, and Dashlane for his passwords.

You can find him on LinkedIn or contact him here.