Bitdefender Antivirus Plus review 2015
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2015 won the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award as the year’s best antivirus software. The award is given based on three standards: performance, protection, and usability. In fact, it was best or level best in each of those three categories.
Not only does it do an exceptional job of protecting users from the full range of hackers and those attempting to steal personal information, but it is also exceptionally easy to use even for those who have little or no experience using antivirus software. When problems do arise, which is very rare, users can easily reach customer service techs twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Bitdefender stacked up exceptionally well against twenty-four other antivirus programs when AV-Test, an independent laboratory know for conducting such tests, compared them. The tests were conducted under controlled lab conditions and using standard industry protocols. AV-Test installed each of the programs onto personal computers that had the Windows 7 operating system. Not only did they run the software, but programs were also allowed to run their automatic updates by communicating with the treat databases, which the companies that make each of them store in the cloud.
AV-Test brought 17,794 threats up against the 25 antivirus programs. These included Trojan horses, worms, and viruses. Bitdefender detected all of them, six percent more than the average. Bitdefender was effective both against known threats and so-called “zero-day malware”, which is malware that has not previously been identified as such. Bitdefender evaluates files and programs that have attributes that appear similar to known threats to determine whether they are threats to a system. Beyond just examining the files, the program also tests them to determine whether their behavior is potentially dangerous.
One of the most outstanding aspects of Bitdefender is the speed with which it operates. One of the key components of the performance section of the AV-Test trials had to do with how much an antivirus program slowed down the computer on which it was installed. This was tested for several common tasks, such as downloading applications, visiting websites, copying data files, and running and installation apps. While the average time that an antivirus program slowed performance was three seconds, Bitdefender slowed it by just one second.
One of the risks inherent to running antivirus programs is that they will turn up many false positives, i.e. identify safe files, sites, and programs as threats. When this happens too frequently, many users turn off the programs, thus leaving their computers vulnerable to threats. Bitdefender performed flawlessly in tests, not turning up a single false positive. Not only does this ease computer usage, but it also eliminates the temptation to turn off the software.
AV-Test repeated the tests that it ran on Windows7 systems on the Windows 10 platform, and again, Bitdefender did not identify a single safe program as a threat.
Features & Tools
While Bitdefender provides outstanding protection, its developers understood that it is always possible for a hacker or other malfeasant could find a way around even the best protections. That is why they included a reboot function that starts in a mode that shows the user the problem and allows him to remove it using a tool on the company’s support site. One example of a case in which this could be used is if a rootkit attached itself to the Windows registry and created a self-hiding threat that enabled access that would normally be blocked from anyone other than the user or others on its network.
Users of Bitdefender, especially those who are not experts at configuring their Windows monitoring systems, will find its integration with it very helpful. The antivirus program tells users when the monitoring systems are not safe, as well as when they need to download Windows security patches, which can supplement the security provided by the antivirus program, especially when it comes to protection from zero-day attacks. Bitdefender also lets users know when application software is out of date or missing, a feature that is not available in any of the other twenty-five antivirus programs that were tested.
Not only does Bitdefender protect computers from online threats, but it also has a component that stops attacks that come from devices attached to the computer via USB ports. If users want to scan particular files, they can do so using a drag-and-drop function with a widget designed specifically for that purpose. There is also a dedicated browser that is designed to provide special protections for users when they conduct online transactions.
Bitdefender provides protection from a variety of online threats. Among the ways that it does this is with functions that are specifically designed for some of the internet’s largest websites. For example, users get warnings about any Google and Bing search results that present threats and are prevented from accessing links that are infected with spyware and malware, as well as sites that are known for phishing for credit card information or scams. There are also protections designed for social networks, including one that scans Facebook links for potential threats. Additional protections are built in to prevent vital information, such as Social Security numbers, from being stolen and to let users destroy deleted information using a shredding function, as opposed to just deleting it, which can leave documents vulnerable to other known users or anyone else who gains access to the computer.
Those who want to manage the program remotely are able to do so via Bitdefender’s online dashboard. Users are also provided with lists of optimized apps, issues addressed, and reports about how much space the program has cleared and how much storage space is available on the device every week.
In addition to the exceptional protection that Bitdefender provides, it also includes several other features that are designed to enhance the computer user’s experience. One such feature is the Autopilot, which handles important security decisions on its own without bothering the user with pop-ups or alerts. Another feature suspends any applications that could slow down or otherwise interfere with videos when they are playing. Finally, the software has a function that optimizes the speed of the entire computer, in part by maximizing the available storage space.
Bitdefender’s online help and support are exceptional. Representatives are available for phone, chat, and e-mail support twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. For those who prefer to find solutions on their own whenever possible, there is also a wiki on the support site that is written simply enough even for novice users. Users who have encountered problems can take advantage of the malware and rootkit removal tools that are also available on the site.
Bitdefender is an excellent solution that does more than most of its competitors. It has a wide variety of features that not only protect users from threats to their systems but also makes many different aspects of computer usage more efficient and enjoyable. While most users will find that the default settings and protections are more than sufficient to meet their needs, online tools and a customer support team that is very easy to reach complete the package that makes this antivirus program the best on the market.