BitDefender Internet Security 2014 Review: Internet Security Software
|Visit BitDefender Internet Security 2014 Website|
|Quiet and effective with plenty of features to keep you and your computer safe and secure.|
Following a stellar showing in 2013, BitDefender's Internet security software for 2014 continues to provide great antivirus protection and an emphasis on identity protection. In addition to the quiet performance we all hope for, BitDefender 2014 also offers lots of little extras you probably didn't realize you wanted.
After purchasing the software, BitDefender sends the installation file and license activation code to your email for retrieval. Before the program is fully activated, you are given the option to configure several options (Autopilot, Automatic Game Mode and Automatic Laptop Mode) by toggling them on or off depending on your preference. Though it does take longer than other software due to waiting for the email and configuring your options, installation is relatively quick and simple. It also gets you into using the program without too much fuss.
BitDefender has maintained the same interface from its massive overhaul two years ago, which is stylish and simple to use.
The bar at the top of the main page shows your threat level with a corresponding color (green = safe; yellow = problems that need attention; red = major threat), along with buttons for Events, Settings and Autopilot. Events takes you to a page where you can see an overview of any events that have occurred, organized by type (such as Firewall or Privacy Control). If there has been any activity, a little red box with the number of events pops up over the events tab as well as on the page over the event type(s). Settings pulls up the settings overview page so you can make customizations and changes to the various settings for different areas of the program. You can also access the settings for individual features by clicking on the cog icon at the top of each button. Finally, Autopilot lets you switch between User Control Mode and Autopilot Mode.
The rest of the home screen is dedicated to the nine primary features of the software, which you can scroll through in a list or view in grid mode — where you can rearrange them to whatever order suits your individual needs. Antivirus has a drop-down menu of the various scan options. The scan options include Quick Scan, System Scan, Manage Scans for scheduling future scans, Vulnerability Scanner that checks your software for updates and weaknesses and Rescue Mode, which lets you restart in rescue mode to remove viruses from your system and also lets you toggle Autoscan. Privacy lets you configure the file shredder, which permanently deletes files, as well as toggle Antiphishing. Firewall opens up the firewall management and allows you to turn it on/off. Update enables automatic updating or you can click the button to update when you prefer. Antispam lets you add email addresses and domains of both friends and spammers to keep your email free from unwanted clutter.
ID Theft Protection: After completing the free activation on the BitDefender web portal, you can click to view reports. While they do offer monitoring from a single credit bureau for free, to access tri-bureau monitoring and a whole host of other features you will need to enroll for $14.95/month.
SafeGo: Clicking here takes you to the Facebook monitoring dashboard. When connected to your account, SafeGo scans your wall and Newsfeed for potential threats as well as monitors your privacy settings to ensure your account is safe.
Parental Control: After creating a profile for your child, this feature allows you to connect computers and other devices he or she uses and provides feedback on web, application and IM use, lets you view and block phone numbers from SMS and phone calls and monitors Facebook accounts and location services.
Wallet: Store all of your website logins, email client settings, application and subscription information, Wi-Fi networks, personal and banking information by creating a secure, password-protected wallet. Once created, you can export the wallet to another device or clear it to make a new one. This feature can also be used with your browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome), Skype and Yahoo! Messenger to fill in logins immediately.
Finally, the top of the interface has a graph icon that lets you view a weekly security report generated to include your weekly status and tips tailored to improve your computer's security. This section also contains a MyBitDefender drop-down with links to your Account Settings, Dashboard and ID Theft Protection.
Also returning from 2013 is the desktop widget, which is a mini version of the dashboard that sits in the lower-right corner of your desktop for easy monitoring of your security status and notification of any alerts.
Antimalware and Antivirus
While it has excelled in the past in the independent testing body AV-Comparatives Whole-Product Dynamic Test, BitDefender scored 2 out of 3 stars in two different tests this year — struggling most with blocking clean domains. Historically, BitDefender has always scored high on the antivirus tests performed by AV-Comparatives and they retain a 3 out of 3 historical average score.
Our own antivirus tests were all thwarted easily, and it is worth mentioning that BitDefender performed very well with blocking actual threats in the Whole-Product Dynamic Test. Overall, if you're looking for good protection against malware and viruses, BitDefender's a good choice.
Performance is one category where BitDefender has struggled in the past with a history of middling performance ratings in the AV-Comparatives Performance Test. Recent results have shown an upswing with 3 out of 3 stars in the most recent test and a score of "very high" in every category. During our initial installation and use of the program, we noticed severe system lag that disappeared after uninstallation of the program; however, subsequent installations onto additional PCs for testing did not create the same problem.
For those who would prefer not to deal with a pop-up every time something happens, the option to have the program run on Autopilot is a smart one. In this mode, BitDefender takes care of most security threats behind the scenes, only notifying you via pop-up when there is a severe threat warning. In addition to Automatic Game Mode, you can add the games you play to a custom list so it's triggered whenever you fire one up.
An interesting change to BitDefender this year is heavy reliance on the browser dashboard (MyBitDefender) that is accessed when you click on various features in the program, such as Parental Control and SafeGo. Also found on MyBitDefender are pages for various extra services you can purchase to complement your software, including an Anti-theft application, Technical Assistance programs and VIP Support enrollment.
Despite a couple of bumps in the road when it comes to protection and performance, BitDefender retains its status as a great all-around security software for those looking to protect their computer and identity while surfing the web.
System Requirements: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8
* AV-Comparatives ratings on a variety of tasks related to the antivirus and antimalware product. "Dynamic Test" refers to AV-Comparatives' Real World testing of a variety of security aspects of the different software suites. Older scores may reflect previous software versions.
AV-Comparatives. Score indicates overall effectiveness in a variety of tests over time. † indicates that company did not take part in all tests. See reviews for details.*Averaged 2010/2011 scores for each company's antivirus/anti-malware product by independent testing agency
**Score indicates impact of antivirus product on system performance. Average of performance tests by AV-Comparatives.
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