User Feedback Bitdefender Premium/Total Security

Bitdefender 2021
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.
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.
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)
  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
  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 specs
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)
  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.


Level 20
Oct 16, 2020
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.
It was a while ago, but with process injection being very common nowadays, it won't help you much blocking untrusted processes from communicating. The Bitdefender way of doing it is far better, focusing on untrusted websites blocked in all apps, rather than blocking app by app.


Level 34
Mar 16, 2019
It was a while ago, but with process injection being very common nowadays, it won't help you much blocking untrusted processes from communicating. The Bitdefender way of doing it is far better, focusing on untrusted websites blocked in all apps, rather than blocking app by app.
Yes, that's why I usually block many LOLBIN's Firewall access. This is the reason I was looking for that firewall rule export feature.