Software
Bitdefender 2021
Installation
5.00 star(s)
Installation Feedback
Installation is performed via a one-click live installer, which also displays introductory screens to keep you busy, so you don’t feel time going by. It installs Bitdefender agent, the main Bitdefender product and Bitdefender VPN. Agent can be uninstalled only once all BD products are removed.
It’s a fairly fast installer (about 3 minutes with the download) and doesn’t modify browser or search settings. It installs several browser extensions as well: Bitdefender wallet and anti-tracker.
Interface (UI)
5.00 star(s)
Interface Feedback
Bitdefender’s interface has always been great, but now it has been revamped to be easier on the eyes, as dark mode is back again. It’s easy to navigate and find everything you may need, tho turning off real-time protection (should you ever need to do that), as well as launching an update can be hard, almost impossible to find for novice users. Maybe that has been the main point.

Many settings have been removed from previous versions, such as detailed antivirus settings. Configuration is now minimal, which might be a poka-yoke for novice users, but experts may want more. However, given the low performance impact and high accuracy of the AV engine, configuration might be totally unnecessary.
Usability
5.00 star(s)
Usability Feedback
Alerts are just small windows including no more than 2 lines of text, free of complicated terms. There is a frequent alert that product can be installed on more devices (it pops up every hour or so), but it seems to be a bug, which I’ve reported. Alerts about additional features can be turned off.

The product handles threats automatically, tho this doesn’t always go trouble-free. Bitdefender sometimes leaves malware remnants behind, whilst other times messes up with settings, such as hidden files or file extensions display.

System bootup, as well as sequential scans are fast, but as with many, if not all other AVs, first scan is slow. Immediately after installation BD launches a very slow (tho not full) and deep scan which also checks for remnants of malware, like Emotet. If found, user is advised to perform additional actions, such as to change their passwords.

The tools portfolio, although now slimmed down, still includes Vulnerability scanner that checks for updates, as well as settings compromising the system and user security. It also includes password manager. I consider all other utilities and functions bloatware.

There are relatively informative logs on each action, which can be deleted or marked read.

The Bitdefender’s Central platform allows for remote product management. You can see logs and statistics, launch scans and tuneups, add or remove device or ask for support. You can also see additional offers and manage parental controls. Central is available via dedicated app for iOS and Android or via a browser.
Performance and System Impact
5.00 star(s)
Performance and System Impact Feedback
I have never experienced slowdowns with Bitdefender, but browsing the web with ESET feels much faster. That’s due to the product not using extensions, whereas Bitdefender uses 2.

RAM usage is high, consistently remaining ~320-350 mb. CPU and disk usage are always very low. On idle it is bellow 0.5%, whilst launching apps and browsing the web it might be around 5-8%.
This is a sensible performance configuration for this day and age when RAM is no longer that expensive.

The product employs a very hefty engine, which can use 1GB of space or more and is designed to detect same amount of malware both online and offline. It receives several updates a day and if 2-3 are missed, update can be slow with noticeable performance impact. There is also noticeable performance impact during scans.

Bitdefender includes patented Photon technologies that somehow (I failed to find the whole patent documentation to know exactly) adapts to your system and habits and then does its job without slowing you down.

To boost the performance of your system further, Bitdefender include profiles, which are turned off by default. There is gaming, movie and work profile. All of them increase the priority of the app currently in use, similar to McAfee App and Game Boosters and also disable Windows Updates, background tasks and alerts. This is a nice touch, but it’s unlikely to boost too much.

The VPN powered by Hotspot Shield’s speed is amazing, probably the fastest I’ve seen. You’ll barely feel VPN is even running whilst browsing the web, streaming or downloading files.
Protection
5.00 star(s)
Protection Feedback
Bitdefender’s protection can be reviewed as 3 separate entities.
One is their engine, which same like ESET still continues to be the backbone of the product. As mentioned above, it receives frequent updates and detects high amount of malware both online and offline. The product does some cloud lookup, but unlike Norton, F-Secure, McAfee and TrendMicro, this is not an absolute essential.

The second entity is Advanced Threat Defence, previously known as Active Threat Control, previously known as Active Virus Control + IDS. The system doesn’t have a slider to adjust its aggressiveness anymore.
This is Bitdefender’s behavioural and exploit blocker, which is one of the most effective in the industry.
I’ve been testing it every day for months and it had always handled everything, with very minor exceptions. It reacts fast and removes threats in-depth.
Ransomware Remediation feature copies files upon their encryption to restore them in case the action has been performed by new ransomware variant.
Even though this is listed as an independent component, architecturally it relies on ATD and if it’s turned off, Ransomware Remediation won’t work properly.

The third entity is the main URL blocker, which works not only in browsers, as other AVs do, but for all apps. When any app tries to connect to a malicious URL or IP, bitdefender blocks the connection. McAfee has similar feature called NetGuard, but it is configured to its mildest level and this can’t be changed. Bitdefender is a lot more effective.

Browser Protection is present as well, for users who like that. I personally don’t use it.
Real-time file system protection
5.00 star(s)
Internet Surf protection
5.00 star(s)
Proactive Intrusion protection
5.00 star(s)
Network protection
5.00 star(s)
Pros
  1. Lots of great features
  2. Easy to use
  3. Simple and non-intrusive
  4. Ransomware protection
  5. Strong and reliable protection
  6. Blocks even brand new malware
  7. Consistently high test scores
  8. Accurate and reliable antivirus engine
  9. Effective malicious URL blocking
  10. Virus signatures are updated very often
  11. Excellent scores in independent tests
  12. Great value
  13. Effective malware removal
  14. Well designed, clear interface
  15. Multiple layers of protection
Cons
  1. Can be resource-hungry
  2. Lots of popups when running
  3. Scans can be rather slow
Software installed on computer
More than 1 year
Computer hardware
See configuration for details
Recommended for
  1. All types of users
  2. Device is shared by family members
  3. Banking or other financial activity
  4. Gamers
Overall Rating
5.00 star(s)
Disclaimer
  1. Any views or opinions expressed are that of the member giving the information and may be subjective.
    This software may behave differently on your device.

    We encourage you to compare these opinions with others and take informed decisions on what security products to use.
    Before buying a product you should consider factors such as price, ease of use, compatibility, and support. Installing a free trial version allows an antivirus to be tested in everyday use before purchase.

McMcbrad

Level 10
Bitdefender has been busy removing bloatware and adopting Software-as-a-Service model, which means the Beta in April and Stable in July release cycle has come to an end. New features are to be released when ready, which was confirmed by a contact of mine. Bitdefender is currently working on new features, but their release date is unknown.

Bitdefender TS offers free VPN with 200 mb per day, per device limit and covers up to 10 devices. Premium Security offers unlimited VPN and up to 25 devices.
 
Last edited:

SeriousHoax

Level 32
Verified
A great review. My experience matches yours. Though it consumes more ram performance has never been a issue for me. It's always one of the fastest.
if 2-3 are missed, update can be slow with noticeable performance impact.
The point you made here is spot on. I found it really annoying when I used it in the past and it happens on the free version as well. It takes a long time to update when few updates are missed, the update size is also massive comparatively, it doesn't make proper use of the available bandwidth so updates also downloads slowly with noticeable performance impact and relatively high CPU and disk usage. They should work on this. Emsisoft who uses Bitdefender's engine don't have this issue so this is not engine related.
 

blackice

Level 28
Verified
Bitdefender even if it consumes ram, it does not sit on the pc, if it has ram to spare it is a perfect antivirus and more its profile system which is great and that is one thing that I love.
My one problem with the profile system is on my rig it kept detecting game launchers as games (Epic and Origin) and would keep the system in game mode even when a game wasn’t running.
 

McMcbrad

Level 10
Untitled.jpg


The Bitdefender scan speed on a high-end system (first-time full scan):
1 928 996 files in ~31 min.
That means the scan speed is on average 1037 files per second.
I have 105.1 GB of data on C:\ and D:\, most of it programs (no personal media files)
That's 107 622 megs and an average scanning speed of 58 megs per second.
 
Last edited:

SeriousHoax

Level 32
Verified
View attachment 248579

The Bitdefender scan speed on a high-end system (first-time full scan):
1 928 996 files in ~31 min.
That means the scan speed is on average 1037 files per second.
I have 105.1 GB of data on C:\ and D:\, most of it programs (no personal media files)
That's 107 622 megs and an average scanning speed of 58 megs per second.
Is that a SSD or HDD? On my SSD which has on average 1gb read and write speed, the whole C drive scan finishes within 3:30 mins, without the Windows folder takes around 1:33 mins.
Bitdefender's scanning speed is really fast in my experience. One of the fastest and faster than ESET, Kaspersky, Windows Defender. But one of the reason why it's fast is, it uses almost 90% CPU and 200-500 mb disk usage while scanning so the full priority goes to the scan. Windows Defender also use high CPU but slower than Bitdefender, Kaspersky stays below 50 and ESET usually within 20-30% CPU on my system so I can understand why the later two might be slower. In general Bitdefender scanning is faster than most.
Btw, I tested Bitdefender Free which uses the same engine so scanning speed shouldn't vary from the paid version.
Attach few screenshots of the UI in your main post if you can. Many of us haven't seen the new dark UI yet.
 

McMcbrad

Level 10
Is that a SSD or HDD? On my SSD which has on average 1gb read and write speed, the whole C drive scan finishes within 3:30 mins, without the Windows folder takes around 1:33 mins.
Bitdefender's scanning speed is really fast in my experience. One of the fastest and faster than ESET, Kaspersky, Windows Defender. But one of the reason why it's fast is, it uses almost 90% CPU and 200-500 mb disk usage while scanning so the full priority goes to the scan. Windows Defender also use high CPU but slower than Bitdefender, Kaspersky stays below 50 and ESET usually within 20-30% CPU on my system so I can understand why the later two might be slower. In general Bitdefender scanning is faster than most.
Btw, I tested Bitdefender Free which uses the same engine so scanning speed shouldn't vary from the paid version.
Attach few screenshots of the UI in your main post if you can. Many of us haven't seen the new dark UI yet.
It’s an SSD with 1 GB of data, but I was using the system during the scanning process as well.
Scans with Bitdefender are fast, but I have many programs installed, as I do programming, video editing and others and I also keep installers on D:\
I have the full Microsoft Visual C++ dev suite, Adobe Photoshop, Acrobat DC, CorelDraw Graphics Suite 2019, Android Studio, NetBeans, Vdieo Studio Ultimate and others. I also have many installers on D:\, so perhaps 15-20 minutes have gone scanning that. It wasn't using more than 40% CPU throughout the scan and given it's first scan, cache was not utilised.

1604844665363.png


1604844692507.png

1604844721315.png

1604844746297.png

1604844828267.png

1604844892895.png

1604844951312.png

1604845034395.png

1604845084950.png
1604845297405.png
 

SeriousHoax

Level 32
Verified
It’s an SSD with 1 GB of data, but I was using the system during the scanning process as well.
Scans with Bitdefender are fast, but I have many programs installed, as I do programming, video editing and others and I also keep installers on D:\
I have the full Microsoft Visual C++ dev suite, Adobe Photoshop, Acrobat DC, CorelDraw Graphics Suite 2019, Android Studio, NetBeans, Vdieo Studio Ultimate and others. I also have many installers on D:\, so perhaps 15-20 minutes have gone scanning that. It wasn't using more than 40% CPU throughout the scan and given it's first scan, cache was not utilised.

Does it have any settings import/export feature now?
 

SeriousHoax

Level 32
Verified
No, the only thing you can do is, you can opt to keep settings whilst uninstalling. They will be reapplied after reinstall. Exporting settings wouldn’t do too much good, as the product has very limited number of such. It would make sense on products such as McAfee ENS, Kaspersky or Eset.
I see. The only settings I wanted to export was Firewall. If I manually add some into the blocklist and later maybe after reinstalling Windows it's a pain to add them back again. Though I found one solution. The Firewall settings can be copied from the installation directory and can be replaced in safe mood.
 

McMcbrad

Level 10
I see. The only settings I wanted to export was Firewall. If I manually add some into the blocklist and later maybe after reinstalling Windows it's a pain to add them back again. Though I found one solution. The Firewall settings can be copied from the installation directory and can be replaced in safe mood.
That’s solution one, another solution is to temporarily configure it to ask for new rules, open the program and choose to block it. Then you can return to auto-mode again.
 

SeriousHoax

Level 32
Verified
That’s solution one, another solution is to temporarily configure it to ask for new rules, open the program and choose to block it. Then you can return to auto-mode again.
I have used ESET in the past like that, they do have a great interactive firewall. But nowadays I prefer to pre-block some and let the automatic mode do its work. Anyway, the safe mode method is issue better than nothing, so fine by me.
 

McMcbrad

Level 10
I have used ESET in the past like that, they do have a great interactive firewall. But nowadays I prefer to pre-block some and let the automatic mode do its work. Anyway, the safe mode method is issue better than nothing, so fine by me.
ESET's firewall prompts are not too different than Norton's File Insight or whatever window where it tells you the reputation of the file, who signed it and how many people use it. ESET has copied this feature to an extent :D


 

SeriousHoax

Level 32
Verified
ESET's firewall prompts are not too different than Norton's File Insight or whatever window where it tells you the reputation of the file, who signed it and how many people use it. ESET has copied this feature to an extent :D
Yeah right. The Norton one is even better in some context. Norton can even be set up to ask only if an unknown/suspicious program tries to connect. They probably do that by default. Norton's firewall is superb.
 
Top