H

hjlbx

Hello,

This is a mini-review of BitDefender Free. ** See illustration below in thread and next post for important infos **

Pros:

  • Virtually 0 % resource usage on my W8.1 system (even when running full scan).
  • Essentially requires no user interaction; virtually "set-and-forget."
  • Requires virtually no user knowledge/experience to quickly learn to use properly.
  • No cost (but not free).
  • Signature database identical to paid version (but local signature cache is tiny, so detections may take a long time until BD Free cycles through entire signature database during its continuous scan).
  • Malicious URL blocking that does work equivalent to paid version.
  • User can manually perform full-system scan.
  • Real-time protection (Virus Shield with heuristics/Active Virus Control).
  • Can Quarantine, Restore and re-Quarantine detected files.
Cons:

  • No firewall.
  • To be effective, system should not be turned off so as to always have continuous scan running.
  • Scans are so slow that malware may be on system for far too long.
  • No way to increase scan speed.
  • Essentially no support (but there is a PDF manual).
  • Online offers when register product.
  • BD Free will auto-delete files without user approval during installtion; it deleted Emsisoft's a2hook32.dll during the initial installation scan (see posted screenshot in thread with reason why BD Free did it).
Impression:

BD Free is the minimalist AV taken to the absolute limit. It is so extreme I consider it "Experimental." A curiosity if you will.

I am not too sure about PCMag's review by Rubenking on this one. 4 Stars ... Really ? Maybe, but jury is still out.

When testing BD Free against malware from MT's Malware Hub I see a difference in detection rates compared to the paid version. Obviously they should detect equally if they both use the same signature database and are updated with the same frequency.

CORRECTION: It has been explained to me by fellow MT member yesnoo that BD states the signaturess are the same, but BD Free's local signature cache is very small. Unlike the paid version, BD Free has to cycle through the entire signatures database via the cloud during its very slow continuous scan. Real-time on-access queries are made by Virus Shield.

On the other hand, the malicious URL blocking seems equivalent to that of the paid version. I also observed BD Free's heuristics (real-time) stop malware that evaded signature detection... the recently posted JS.Downloader/Bat.Encoder sample on MT Malware Hub. Heuristics blocked the .js file. That was a real surprise so, +1 for BD Free.

In contrast, when those.js/.bat files were allowed to run the paid version did not block them, but instead later slammed the hidden downloads. Scratching my head on the difference.

There are other drawbacks:

It uses continuous scan mode that is so slow that it will take an entire day, if not more, to fully scan an entire system. This means malware could be on system for a long time.

There is no mechanism to re-Quarantine a file; I tried to locate the Quarantine and whitelist files, but despite my best efforts they eluded me.

GUI is easy. No bugs. There's nothing to it. There's even a 5-page PDF manual... complete with illustrations. It's in the BitDefender folder and cannot be found online.

From what I see, compared to Windows Defender, it is an improvement in some respects. It's a breeze to install and uninstall so a "look-see" is not too bothersome.

However, I think Avira Free is a better alternative.

Bottom line on this one... it is really only suitable for someone that downloads and installs very little or a system that has low-end RAM/CPU. This solution is very likely not able to adequately protect the "click-happy."

If BD Free turns out to actually provide 4-star protection over time I will be surprised.

At this point I am not convinced... not against malware younger than a week. Older malware ... yes.

In short order this review is closed.
 
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L

LabZero

Thanks for review.
I use Bitdefender in VM for malware testing; seems to work well, has good reputation but
obviously not competes with the commercial version because It is missing some functionality .
 
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H

hjlbx

Thanks for review.
I use Bitdefender in VM for malware testing; seems to work well, has good reputation but
obviously not competes with the commercial version because It is missing some functionality .
By comparing your malware detection by BD Free posts in Malware Hub with BD paid, I see a difference between paid and free version.

What do you think?
 
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LabZero

By comparing your malware detection by BD Free posts in Malware Hub with BD paid, I see a difference between paid and free version.

What do you think?
I use free version of BD to see malware detection differences with paid version.
Have the same engine does not mean have the same signatures and in fact on Malware Hub I see the difference of detection of the same samples obtained with the commercial version.

I's a good antivirus but it is necessary to use others on-demand scanners.
Pay to have !
 
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D

Deleted member 2913

By comparing your malware detection by BD Free posts in Malware Hub with BD paid, I see a difference between paid and free version.

What do you think?
Did you test it online i.e internet connected?
Coz as per one of Bds staff at wilders when Bd free was released, it provides the same protection as paid.
I had sent them an email about this & they replied the protection level is same as paid.
Local signature is different coz Bd free is a cloud AV i.e it stores small cache for offline protection & full databases in the cloud.
 
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H

hjlbx

Did you test it online i.e internet connected?
Coz as per one of Bds staff at wilders when Bd free was released, it provides the same protection as paid.
I had sent them an email about this & they replied the protection level is same as paid.
Local signature is different coz Bd free is a cloud AV i.e it stores small cache for offline protection & full databases in the cloud.
I did not know that fact.

That would account for BD Free not detecting some items immediately.,,unlike the paid version. Instead BD Free, as it cycles along on its continuous scan then eventually it would detect items.

Thank you for that detail. It's a key piece of info. I will add it/make corrections to Pros/Cons.
 

Kantry123

Level 6
Verified
i think rather than using the Bitdefender free with no chance of increasing scannind speeds & Decreasing BOOT speeds...I guess we can use 360 Total security with Bitdefender engine should do the Job very well

also LIGHTER compared to BD Freee

What u all say?
i guess there not much diff as the engine is same

Regards
 
D

Deleted member 2913

You have mentioned "(I would have thought real-time protection would perform an immediate query on-access. Evidently not.)
I think it does connects realtime, otherwise whats the use of full databases in the cloud?
The Bd staff at wilders had mentioned offline cache protects 90% & to be fully protected internet connection is required.


By the way,
I have a request if possible.
Comodo Internet Security has Cloud AV protection too.
Their AV is decent & database is big & AV updates takes little time & system feels little slow during the update.
So I use CIS without AV i.e AV not installed.
And I use Internet Security Config.
I dont know how good the Cloud protection reacts.
So is it possible to test CIS with the above config i.e AV not installed & Config set to Internet Security?
 
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H

hjlbx

I think it does connects realtime, otherwise whats the use of full databases in the cloud?
The Bd staff at wilders had mentioned offline cache protects 90% & to be fully protected internet connection is required.


By the way,
I have a request if possible.
Comodo Internet Security has Cloud AV protection too.
Their AV is decent & database is big & AV updates takes little time & system feels little slow during the update.
So I use CIS without AV i.e AV not installed.
And I use Internet Security Config.
I dont know how good the Cloud protection reacts.
So is it possible to test CIS with the above config i.e AV not installed & Config set to Internet Security?
I am evaluating BD Free long-term on system to get to bottom of it all.

CIS projects in the works.
 
D

Deleted member 2913

I am evaluating BD Free long-term on system to get to bottom of it all.

CIS projects in the works.
But is it possible to test the way I have mentioned i.e AV not installed & Config set to Internet Security?
I want to see how CIS Cloud AV performs & Config set to Internet Security.
Coz I am running CIS without AV & Config set to Internet Security.
 
H

hjlbx

But is it possible to test the way I have mentioned i.e AV not installed & Config set to Internet Security?
I want to see how CIS Cloud AV performs & Config set to Internet Security.
Coz I am running CIS without AV & Config set to Internet Security.
Yes. Will take a while, but I will get to it.
 
H

hjlbx

You think maybe this is a serious problem?

During installation scan detected (false-positive) and auto-deleted EAM's a2hooks32.dll; no prompt for user review prior to file deletion nor any method to recover file (no Quarantine back-up).

Virus Shield deliberately does this without user consent to ensure its own installation. Typical user won't know that fact or how to restore the deleted .dll by any other means. To them, BD Free broke their beloved EAM...whether or not that is the actually the case.

Hint: Install BD Free on system without any other security software 1st, then add (e.g. MBAM, ZAM, EAM, EEK) after BD Free is installed.


 
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hjlbx

So here's some more test results:

I grabbed a total of 56 samples randomly from the front page of MT's Malware Hub. All samples are relatively new... most were posted less than 4 days ago. A few were posted within the past 24 hours or so... so fairly fresh.

BD Free detected 36/56 = 64 % detection rate.

Most notably all the items not detected were either not executable on my system or adware/PUPs.

A scan by MBAM turned up a bunch of missed items and cleaned up the PUPs missed by BD Free quite nicely.

On-Access queries to the cloud are indeed made by BD Free... so this is confirmed.

The one instance of Active Virus Control (heuristic behavior-based detection) was the detection and automatic deletion of EAM's a2hooks32.dll illustrated earlier in this thread (look at detection note - Troj.Heur). So at least AVC it confirms heuristics is functioning... however, its accuracy is an entirely different matter.

I understand why BD Free auto-deleted the .dll during installation - to ensure nothing messed with its install. But do you think typical BD Free user would have a clue?

BitDefender states BD Free is identical to the paid version. If this truly is the case then paid BD users better "duck and cover."

Just to be fair... if I chose a statistically representative sample set with a distribution of a few new, a few more slightly older and mostly all > 7 days old ... well, then BD Free's protection skyrockets to the 90s. Perhaps that type sample is more representative of what a user would face in the wild. Of course the detection rate is directly dependent upon the average age of samples. From what I see, Rubenking used a sample set with an average age greater than a few days - but I cannot confirm this.

I also want to add that I did see BD Free spike to about 30 % CPU usage when larger malware packs were extracted and there were a lot of apps launched simultaneously by one of the adware installers.

Another quirk occurred - after using BD Free for a few hours something was done to IE11 settings. For example, the home page was removed and cannot be reset. I observed this identical behavior after a few hours of using BIS 2015. It's probably not a coincidence.

BD Free is nifty. For those that choose to use it, I would surely add MBAM free. NOTE: BD Free GUI does not play well with MBAM while MBAM is scanning.

Food for thought... why would I pay for BAV if I can get the same protection for $0 with BD Free? Think that is possible? Would BD really offer identical protection for free?

Try both and make your own informed decision.
 
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nissimezra

New Member
the worst AV i came across. its a joke.

thx for the review and its a correct one.
1 star, not even.
 
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nissimezra

New Member
i think rather than using the Bitdefender free with no chance of increasing scannind speeds & Decreasing BOOT speeds...I guess we can use 360 Total security with Bitdefender engine should do the Job very well

also LIGHTER compared to BD Freee

What u all say?
i guess there not much diff as the engine is same

Regards
360 do not really use BD engine. I made some tests and I can tell you it's not the same.
but 360 is much better. it is one of the best on the market
 

Kantry123

Level 6
Verified
360 do not really use BD engine. I made some tests and I can tell you it's not the same.
but 360 is much better. it is one of the best on the market
But I guess 360 alone is enough but I got really impressive results of combining it with avira rather bitdefender engine

Thanks for ur reply
regards
 
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