Bitdefender Internet Security 2014 review
A weird and weighty package with plenty of features and a decent malware protection
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'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.
|Price ex VAT||£13|
|Price inc VAT||£16|
|Ease of Use rating||5|
|Features & Design||5|
|Value for Money||5|
|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|