BitDefender Antivirus 2013 Review

by Dev Duff on October 8, 2012

BitDefender Antivirus 2013

Ensuring strong protection against viruses and malware attacks is quite possibly one of the highest priorities for computer owners but it is also equally important to have a protection system that is easy to use and quick to react. In several cases, the antivirus software ends up with extensive redundancies and vacuous features that do little justice to the true ideal of antivirus protection. BitDefender Antivirus is one that is always ready to take on any challenge that it faces and it is very easy to use at the user’s end. In addition to offering strong security measures and an easy use interface, this one is quite light on computer resources and manages quite well within limited means. As far as economics goes, BitDefender offers great value for money. After extensive tests and studies, it will not be an overstatement to say that this is indeed one of the best antivirus software out there.

Installation and Getting Started

One of the most frustrating things about getting an antivirus running on your computer is actually installing it. There are a lot of services that demand exhaustive inputs on your part. Customized installation options is one way but the line between choosing and doing all the work yourself is quite thin. BitDefender comes with an easy installation process and has clear step by step instructions. Moreover, the process goes through a scan and avoids quite possibly the most annoying aspect of installing something new- it doesn’t need your system to reboot. Once the service is up and running, you will find that the software suite is very easy to understand and use. The interface is rather minimal and designed to a great level of elegance. Drag and drop capability is offered for the various modules so you can choose the type of scans you wish with nothing more than a click.

One of the first things you will notice about BitDefender is the Autopilot mode. This mode essentially means that the antivirus software will make security related decisions without constantly prompting you for action. It requires no configuration and uses its best judgment to make the right choice. There is always the option of turning it off and switching to manual mode at the user’s discretion.

Effectiveness and Performance

BitDefender Antivirus Plus is very effective at blocking virus attacks and can successfully thwart attempts by malware and spyware to extract any sensitive information from your machine. The software has performed consistently well on various industry standard tests and some of them have even established it as the standard for other antivirus software to be compared with. The best feature is the dynamic resource management through Smart Scan which allows the computer to function as it normally does because it doesn’t grab too many resources. Moreover, maximum performance is ensured by the Scan Dispatcher feature that uses the time to scan when system resource usage falls below a certain point.

This antivirus is designed to work with a range of operating systems from Windows XP SP3 to Windows 8 on both 32 and 64-bit systems. Considering the effectiveness of the software, it has rather reasonable system requirements and requires only 1.5GB of RAM and 2.8GB of free hard disk space. BitDefender has been successfully certified by the various standard institutes across the world. It has a high rating on the AV-Test and certification from Virus Bulletin for use on Windows XP and from ICSA Labs for Windows 7. Performance against protection on Windows 7 is the highest in the industry and the same goes for Windows XP too. It is also rated to have usability and repair scores higher than 90% on both Windows 7 and XP. In the following section, the main features and their mechanisms are highlighted in greater detail to understand the antivirus better.

Features

Offline security is virtually unmatched by any other service. The Active Virus Control module is very adept at detecting and eradicating any hidden threats and it continuously monitors application and service activity to check for any excessive and inconsistent usage. Alerts are delivered in real-time and these can be handled either by the Autopilot mechanism or manually. The working of the Active Virus Control is quite intelligent as it doesn’t raise unnecessary red flags for discrepancies in a single file but rather looks for clusters of suspicious and threatening activity before terminating it. Active Virus Control tries to prevent malware attacks by limiting availability of kernel resources to the interfering software.

Most antivirus software come with the same set of standard protection features but BitDefender goes the extra mile and includes some really neat and thoughtful features that not only keep you safe on the computer but also impress you to a large extent. For starters, when you login to your online banking account or try to make a financial transaction online, a new secure browser window is automatically generated to handle all such tasks. You don’t even have to tell BitDefender to do this because the Autopilot mode is going to take care of everything and you can just sit back in peace. Autopilot will allow you to do everything you want with the computer and not disturb you. With the Autopilot mode on you can have your computer scanned easily when you are watching a movie or doing something that doesn’t demand heavy resource allocation.

One unique tool here is the special gamer module which turns off notifications when you are running a full screen application, under the assumption that you do not wish to be disturbed. However, the security is not compromised and the services will be running the background.

As just mentioned, the Safepay feature which opens a new secure browser is very useful at keeping phishing and hacking attacks at bay. The secure browser has far improved security than the standard browsing sessions that you have with the conventional browsers and it encrypts the data to a very high level making it virtually impossible to retrieve. For greater safety of financial transactions online there is a credit monitoring feature that runs all the time and alerts you if there are any undue changes. You do not have to reveal any confidential information but just the reports have to be delivered on a periodic basis for effective monitoring.

Online protection is also extended to social networks and instant messaging. With the growth of social networking, sharing malicious links through Facebook and Twitter has become common and for the unsuspecting individual it is easy to get caught in the web of the threats that go around in this manner. BitDefender filters the links you receive on these networks and prevents you from getting caught unawares and goes the extra step to track the privacy settings that you have. Among the most commonly seen attacks are those from fake banks, escrow scams etc. BitDefender can also be integrated with Yahoo! Messenger and encrypts all your chat conversations so that they will not be prey to prying eyes. The encryption used here is similar to the one that it uses to protect your financial transactions from phishing and the like.

One of the most common entries for viruses into computers is through external and removable media such as CDs, DVDs and USB drives. There is a USB Immunizer service with BitDefender that flushes out all possible viruses that a flash drive might be carrying the moment you connect it to the computer. Also, the software suite comes with a rescue facility that will allow you to boot and repair from a secure environment in the unfortunate event that your system is infiltrated by rootkits.

Updates and Customer Service

Some things can only be as good as when they are newly purchased but if the same were true about antivirus software we would be having a terrible time by now. The essence of any antivirus is its readiness to update itself with various virus definitions and BitDefender has, quite arguable the best database here. Updates are delivered on a regular manner or you can manually choose when you want the database to search for new definitions. BitDefender has a self-repair mechanism that ensures your software working all the time even if it downloads a corrupted version by backtracking to the last working version. The updates do not slow down your computer and if you set it for automatic updates, there is nothing to worry about.

The manual and help settings are pretty exhaustive and will get the service running almost impeccably but there is always the possibility of something going haywire and requiring technical support. BitDefender has its service center on call 24/7 and can be accessed via phone, email and even live chat. The help section already features a knowledgebase, troubleshooting tips and useful tutorials but BitDefender technicians are always ready to help out. The help service can be searched with ease because of the unified search.

Coupons

Click here to find the latest BitDefender coupons and discounts.

Verdict

BitDefender is easily the best antivirus software out there but you may not have heard of it because of less extensive marketing on the developers’ part. It offers great value for money and nifty features that are not seen with most other competitors. The software is easy to use and takes care of most of the jobs with the Autopilot setting and you can be sure that your online sessions are secure with the various other modules. Installing and setting up are both child’s play and you can customize the settings to a large extent, keeping your computer safe even for kids to use! If you are renewing your antivirus subscription, BitDefender is your best bet!

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