Bitdefender Internet Security 2014 review

28 Feb 2014

A weird and weighty package with plenty of features and a decent malware protection

Price when reviewed: 
16(£13 exc VAT)
5

We've recommended Bitdefender Internet Security in the past, and the 2014 edition intercepted a creditable 97% of our real-world threats. Unfortunately, it also threw up several warnings about programs we knew to be safe, knocking its overall protection score down to 94%. You have a choice about this, though: click to activate Autopilot mode and Bitdefender will silently take whatever action it considers appropriate on your behalf. It's a nice touch for less technical users.

As well as the expected antivirus and firewall capabilities, Bitdefender offers a password manager, parental controls and a Facebook scanner. You also get Safepay, a simple, bespoke web browser intended for financial transactions that runs on its own secure desktop. Kaspersky's approach is a little less obtrusive, however.

Bitdefender Internet Security 2014

Bitdefender's gloomy front-end doesn't expose everything that's on offer – in the default view, four of the key functions are weirdly hidden off the side of the window. There's also an optional desktop widget showing your at-a-glance security status.

In our Explorer benchmark, Bitdefender scored a reasonable 92%; in the applications test, it managed a rather less dignified 82%. The effect wasn't too obtrusive, however, as CPU load didn't top 60% during scanning, and activity never ground to a halt.

Perhaps a bigger concern is Bitdefender's use of disk space: after we'd installed the software, downloaded the latest updates and carried out a system scan, we found a huge 1.4GB of storage had been consumed, more than twice as much as any other package.

All of this makes Bitdefender's security suite an iffy choice for a tablet or an Atom-based laptop – for a system such as this, you might prefer to investigate a more light-footed package.

However, since Bitdefender Internet Security 2014 can be found online at a competitive price, it remains a good choice for more powerful hardware where disk space and speed are less of an issue.

Details

Software subcategory Internet security

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes
Other operating system support Windows 8