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Bitdefender Internet Security 2014 review

Verdict

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

Review Date: 28 Feb 2014

Reviewed By: Darien Graham-Smith

Price when reviewed: £13 (£16 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Performance
4 stars out of 6

Ease of Use
5 stars out of 6

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.

Author: Darien Graham-Smith

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User comments

CPU load on older processors

Perhaps it's just my PC but after installing Bitdefender last year, replacing Kaspersky, I now find there are times my computer becomes unusable due to the activety of Bitdefender. I will not be renewing my subscription but moving back to Kaspersky.

By strudders on 28 Feb 2014

Ironclad Security

Tried 2013 product and free bug upgrades last year, certainly secure as my Win7 PC died the no boot drive death.

By rhobstein3 on 1 Mar 2014

Bitdefender = go slow on Quad CPU

I went to Bitdefender and wondered if my PC was dying.

The difference from F-Prot was dramatic.

It became so bad I had to trash a 4 PC sub to Bitdefender.

Why did F-Prot more than triple their renewal rates?

By MeesterChris on 8 Mar 2014

Performance killer

I agreed with the above comments about performance. I can't believe this made it to market. Bitdefender absolutely DESTROYS performance, turning any machine into a doorstop. Seriously. Look elsewhere. I tried Bitdefender in an attempt to punish Russia (Kaspersky is a Russian company), but it was probably the best anti-virus software I've ever used (2013). I'm seeking a refund for Bitdefender, and going back to Kaspersky (if I can figure out how to actually *remove* the software from my hard drive without having to hack the registry (sheesh). Yeah, stay the heck away from Bitdefender. It's wicked bad.

By brainbot on 24 Mar 2014

Avoid it!!!

BitDefender (provided by Avangate) is a terrible product and even worse company. Purchased it last year but have had nothing with trouble with it. Crashed computer, slowed down performance. So flicked over to another antivirus product and everything works perfectly. Sent them an email to cancel my account 10 months ago, but just yesterday they charge me for a renewal. So email them to ask for a refund to which they refuse because it is auto renewal. Say I sent a cancellation email and am told I need to contact someone completely different to organise a refund. Avoid like the plague people, worst customer service ever!!!

By shanef on 1 May 2014

It's not slow...

...on my 4 year old Dell Vostro 2.2 Ghz laptop, so how can it be slow on recent quad cores? Go figure.

I have tested numerous security products and the least impact one is Webroot, second best is Bitdefender, third Avira.

My preference for BD includes the virtualised secure browsing environment in Safepay.

Overall the latest version of BD is stable, fast, great detection but personally I would prefer a different GUI for Windows 7 users, I don't like the trend of forcing Win 8 tiles / metro on Win 7 users.

By Cavehomme on 8 May 2014

It's not slow...

...on my 4 year old Dell Vostro 2.2 Ghz laptop, so how can it be slow on recent quad cores? Go figure.

I have tested numerous security products and the least impact one is Webroot, second best is Bitdefender, third Avira.

My preference for BD includes the virtualised secure browsing environment in Safepay.

Overall the latest version of BD is stable, fast, great detection but personally I would prefer a different GUI for Windows 7 users, I don't like the trend of forcing Win 8 tiles / metro on Win 7 users.

By Cavehomme on 8 May 2014

Customers are not Real People just Bank Accounts

Hidden in the Terms of Use which most people don't bother to read because we have a family, a job, and more important things to do than read a mundane novel related to well... Come to find out, they sneak an auto renewal on you. So by the time you have purchased your newest Total Security software, Voila! Extra bank drafts! On top of that you purchased a better version than the year before with the SAME company, and they will not refund your money for the auto renewals you had no clue existed. Bummer! Their support is contrary to the meaning for Support. So if you want a program that looks cool, but makes you login to three separate sites to keep from being robbed, and not giving a care whether or not you are pleased with their service or level of commitment, than this is your cup of tea. Mine was more like a cup of mud.

By Gadgetress on 16 May 2014

Bitdefender Mobile security - steer well away from it

I installed Bitdefender's mobile security on my android phone and within 24 hours my phone's 32 gbyte SD memory card became inaccessible. It won't even be recognised by my computer.

By mikejduk on 24 Jun 2014

autorenewal

agree with other reports-avoid like the plague.
bought June 20104 and it trashed my PC . Took off and asked for refund(to which i was entitled to within 30 days)-got no refund .wrote this off to experience. Even though I opted out of auto renewal they took £46 and change from my ban this week-and guess what-they won't refund again.
please please don't get ripped off by these scammers; my next step is to go to trading standards and hope for the best. BE WARNED

By lordstephen on 4 Jul 2014

Defends in a very greedy system stalling way

I use a lot of heavy software, as in CAD and 3D. Bitdefender does a great job of slowing down your system when you need it most. Do yourself a favour and avoid this absolute crap, read these posts!

I've since switched to Webroot. Faster and non-intrusive. So far so good. I get that none are perfect. But you need to find one that works best for your system. BD doesn't offer this to power users.

By EvilVeggie on 11 Aug 2014

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