Bitdefender Internet Security Review
When it comes to picking the right security solution for your PC, you have lots of choices. Do you want to install a free or paid product, and what functionality do you require?
Should it offer more than just antivirus protection, e.g. a firewall or parenting controls, or do you want to go bare bones instead?
Depending on how you use your computer, and which programs you have installed on it that are security related, you may either prefer a complete security solution that ships with everything you could possibly need, or a program that concentrates on malware only.
Bitdefender Internet Security
Bitdefender Internet Security belongs to the first group, which makes it a complete solution when it comes to securing your PC.
Not only does it ship with the necessary tools to keep your PC secure, it also attempts to make things as easy as possible for users who do not want to be bothered by the software a lot.
The program's Autopilot mode, enabled by default, takes care of many of the chores and customization choices, so that you get started with limited interaction. What this means in effect is that the program will run silently in the background for the most part, so that you are not bombarded with constant notifications or reminders. Everything is taking care of by the application.
Users who want full control on the other hand can disable it to customize the security solution to their liking and needs.
As far as installation goes, it is a bit more restrictive than others. You may need to uninstall other security software that may run on your system before you can continue. In my case, it was Microsoft Security Essentials which I had to uninstall before I could even start the installation of the Bitdefender program (the program displays a prompt which you can use to uninstall the program).
Other security software, like the excellent EMET, Sandboxie or Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit were not rejected though.
Some reviewers have noted that you need to register an account before you can complete the installation. This is not the case, as you can skip the account creation during installation.
Bitdefender will install browser extensions to Firefox and Thunderbird, and likely also to other browsers. There is unfortunately no option to skip that step during installation, and you are left with going ahead with the installation, which in turn will close any open program, or cancel the installation of the program itself.
An option to have a say in that would have been very comfortable.
The program's main window looks similar to the company's other products. Its concentration on white and black ensures that the protection status of the PC sticks out, as it is displayed in green, yellow or red depending on its status. Events are also displayed in color, so that you know exactly when your attention is required.
Below that are links to four components of the program, which may also display colored indicators to you. Numbers indicate events, which you can check out with a click on the number or on events directly.
When you first start Bitdefender Internet Security after installation, you may receive a number of event notifications on the screen. The program will for instance scan your PC for known vulnerabilities, usually in the form of missing Windows security updates, and notify you about them.
What is even better, at least in my opinion, is the option to install those updates right from within the program's interface.
Just follow the on-screen instructions to download and install any missing update right from within the Bitdefender application.
Besides checking for updates for the operating system itself, Bitdefender Internet Security will also check for application updates automatically.
It checks the version of installed software on your system, compares it with the most recent version it has stored in its database, and informs you that an update is available if the versions do not match.
The vulnerability scan is part of the antivirus module. You can launch it at any time with a click on the arrow icon next to scan now, and the selection of vulnerability scan from the menu that opens up.
Internet Security will scan for missing critical and optional Windows updates, application updates, and weak Windows account passwords.
Applications seem to be limited to high-profile targets such as Adobe Reader, Flash, Skype, Java, Windows Live Messenger or web browsers such as Firefox
Four program modules are highlighted in the front page, with four additional ones available on the second page. You can either use the arrows on the left or right on the screen to switch them, or the slider at the bottom. A click on the icon next to the slider provides you with the means to change which modules are displayed on the front screen of the application.
By default, Antivirus, Privacy, Firewall and Update are displayed here, with Antispam, Safego, Parental Control and Wallet displayed on the second page.
Dividing the options on two different screens means that you will never have a full overview of all modules at once. If you want to find out if Antispam is turned on or off, you need to use the slider to check it out.
While the Events listing up top notifies you about any pressing matters, I'd personally prefer a view mode where all modules are displayed on the same page so that you do not have to scroll at all. This can be easily achieved by reducing the size of each module on the screen.
A switch below seven of the modules indicates whether its functionality -- or part of it -- is turned on or not. For Antivirus, autoscan is enabled by default, while the firewall switch indicates whether it is turned on or not.
A small icon in the top right corner of each module leads to its settings. Here you can make changes to its behavior and functionality.
Four setting pages are displayed if you open the Antivirus preferences for example. Here you find the quarantine and its settings, can configure exclusions -- files, folders, extensions or processes -- disable vulnerability scan options, or configure the behavior of the virus shield.
If you are lost, or want additional information about a particular setting, use the question mark button in the lower right of the screen to display on-page hints that you can move the mouse over to display additional information. Note that this on-screen help remains active even if you switch pages, which I think is excellent, especially on first launch when you browse all the different pages and the settings to configure the program based on your requirements.
Antivirus is one of the core components of Bitdefender Internet Security. It includes options to perform a quick, system or custom scan, a vulnerability scan, and relaunch in rescue mode which enables you to remove viruses from your system that may not be removed during normal operations.
The quick scan took less than 30 seconds on a modern PC using a fast Solid State Drive as its main hard drive. The full system scan completed in less than 25 minutes
The two-way firewall is as unobtrusive as it can gets. I noticed no interruption of service or online connectivity after installation: everything worked like before which meant that I did not have to configure the firewall at all.
You can customize rules for applications or adapters, check out the network activity in the firewall settings, or enable paranoid mode which displays notifications to you whenever applications try to connect to the Internet.
The developers have added a couple of handy features to the most recent -- 2014 -- version of Bitdefender Internet Security.
Bitdefender Photon for example improves the scanning speed gradually by adapting to the PC. This may be one of the reasons why the suite scores that well in performance benchmarks.
There are other features worth of note. A once-a-week security report summarizes the security status of the last seven days to you. It highlights scans and disinfection as well as other critical information.
Bitdefender Wallet is a virtual wallet that stores important data such as credit card information, personal files or receipts for you in digital format.Â It can also be used to store website credentials, bank account numbers, pins, emails, and everything else that is sensitive and worth protecting.
Wallet can be used to automatically sign-in to websites, and to fill out other information in supported applications, emails or on websites.
As far as additional protection is concerned, the security software protects your computer from spam, offers an option to bank securely using Bitdefender Safepay by opening all banking sessions in a secure web browser, an USB Immunizer to protect against viruses on USB devices, Anti-Theft technology for laptops, a file shredder to remove files securely, anti-phishing to protect against fake websites and phishing attempts, and chat encryption to protect Yahoo! Messenger.
That's not all though: you do get parental controls, remote management, a search advisor that flags malware and phishing sites in Google and Bing search results, and a personal data filter that protects important data from leaving your computer.
A desktop widget is displayed by default, which acts as an indicator and reminder. It displays the number of events that require your attention, and the scan and firewall activity.
You can disable the security widget under General Settings > General > Display Security Widget.
Independent Test results
How good is the protection? The answer to that is best left to independent tests that test the effectiveness in lab-environments.
AV Comparatives placed Bitdefender third in its Real-Word protection test with a protection rate of 99.7%. Only Panda and Kaspersky Lab scored higher with 99.8% and 99.9% respectively.
The performance test by the same institute puts Bitdefender at the top of the list alongside Avira and Sophos, indicating that it has minimal system impact and is well above the average in this regard.
AV Test, a German security institute awarded Bitdefender Internet Security the highest score of all tested security solutions in the most recent tests it conducted for home users.
The program is one of the best in its class according to those test results, both in regards to protection and performance.
Bitdefender Internet Security is an unobtrusive highly effective security solution for the Windows operating system. It scored very high in independent security tests, has little impact on the performance of your PC -- less or equal than all other suites tested -- and ships with a boatload of features that make your online and local life more secure.
There are virtually no popups or other annoying event notifications that it forces you to deal with on a constant basis, and the Autopilot mode ensures that the software will make decisions on its own without bothering you at all.
All in all, this is one of the best security solutions on the market.Advertisement
My Nod32 license just expired and I’m looking for a good enough alternative. Would be pretty nice to have a license to this one… :)
The free version antivirus is an excellent product and one of the most unobtrusive. It would be good to use the ‘senior’ product, and if there’s a free licence, it would be welcome.
Having decided that MSE is perhaps not the safest choice to use these days I was toying with using Avast but if I were lucky enough to try this that would certainly be a bonus.
What a great set og giveaways you have going lately.
I’m using MSE and Windows Firewall. II would love to have a better security solution.
Thanks for this great giveaway,
I do not have installed anti-virus protection, thanks for the chance to win.
u r not giving license to anyone…. giveaway is trick to get comments i guess. i commented last three posts and didnt get one license. if u r giving license then just post their names.
You must be new here. I’m sure the results will be published when it is ready. The X’mas Giveaway is held every year (as far as I can remember, since 2009 when I found this website). The Ghacks team has no reason to run a scam.
Yes , I am new here. Sorry for above comment
Well,you must be out of luck cos I won this one https://www.ghacks.net/2013/12/02/bulk-image-downloader-4-65-review/ so stop talking crap :)
Like in the last years the winners will be announced at GhacksNet Google+ page from time to time.
PS. Don’t include me in this giveaway. I’m happy with my eset this year.
I really should change my firewall which now is free Comodo v5.12, but i don’t want to dive into its new version because it’s overloaded with features that can’t be disabled durning installation. Same goes with Avast – esp. after last update with metro-ish UI and some scary messages about statistics sent home without any way to disable.
Would be cool to get something in this way.
I am a senior citizen who does on-line banking and this free license would ease my mind when using my computer.
Still running the free Comodo its good but on my old 478 2.5gig pc its slowing it down now LOL
Still going strong after 12 years :)
I’d like to go away from the freeware I’ve used for so many years: Avast! and Avira etc.
I do not like pop-up messages calling me to upgrade to the Pro version etc.
Bitdefender Internet Security is a superior product.
Please, count me in for it.
I’d like to win a license and give it to my brother. He used MSE & Avast Free but still managed to get his laptop infected. He came to the conclusion that he needs an Internet Security software in order to safe from malware.
How good are heuristics in this thing? According to following white paper less than 40% of malware is being detected by antivirus software these days.
hxxp://cs.jhu.edu/~moheeb/aburajab-ndss-13.pdf and whats even worse they already learn how to fool Virustotal :( I guess you’ve heard of “avhide” by truesec.
I would love to win a license as I’m searching for a good security product. Avira is not usable for me because it detects every VMware ThinApp package as a virus. AVG is not efficient for my needs.
I’d like to win because I’m trying to get my WinXP desktop as secure as possible.
I’d like to win a licence because my old xp computer needs a better firewall and a ‘all-in-one’ package should be what I need (and hopefully not overtax the system).
ps: and replacing the current free AV program would be a bonus :-)
Let’s update Bitdefender free.
I’d like to win because i found Bitdefender Internet Security TOP Security softwares . please give me ONE license for this software . Thanks .
I would like to win a license because I’ve only got one leg.
I would like to win because it is the best security software I know! Thanks!
I have been using Bitdefender Internet Security for 3 years. This could be my perfect Christmas gift :)
Would like to work with one of the top three security solutions. Thanks
I ‘ve just uninstalled bitdefender antivirus free (because of the compatibility problems, after 6 months of using), nevertheless I’d like to try bitdefender internet security on the same pc.
Bitdefender is my favorite antivirus program.
Thank you for the offer.
“That’s not all though: you do get parental controls, remote management, a search advisor that flags malware and phishing sites in Google and Bing search results, and a personal data filter that protects important data from leaving your computer.”
Nice features to explore further. I would like to put this on the computer that my parent’s (in their late 60’s) use. Their McAfee is almost up for renewal and they/I are not particularly fond of it.
I am using MSE at the moment and would like to have a better antivirus siftware.
i have never used bit defender. so i deserve to try it with a genuine license. ha ha ha
I’d love to win a license because im using Windows Defender for all of my protection and looking at several Nirsoft network tools seeing a ton of crazy behavior. So this would help immensely.
MSE doesn’t cut the mustard anymore and I’m skint :P
it is better software than i am using now! thanks
I’m currently using a free antivirus program that offers limited protection. I would like to upgrade to Bitdefender Internet Security which has all the security features to give my pc all round protection 24/7. Thanks.
I’d like to win a license for this one …
I love your stuff but notice you are now acting as an “agent” in an indirect way for the software providers with the small number of giveaway licenses offered on your site. I truly believe that this “relationship” you have with the providers can compromise your lack of bias in evaluating their offerings….it may be much harder now for you to be critical of shortcomings in their products.
Personally I would be much happier not to have a chance to beg for a free licence….and know that you are not subtly indebted to those companies that provide the giveaways.
Again, thanks for your wonderful work,
There are no strings attached. I get the licenses and that is it. I write the reviews based on my experience with the product. The positive tone, if there is any, may come from the fact that I only select applications that I like for this giveaway.
There are no debts or other favors involved.
I’m confident your response is totally indicative of your integrity. I don’t pretend to understand Bitdefender marketing strategy, but here is another version of their free offers that seems to be OK. I saw it from a frequently sent promo email from newegg.com – I don’t work for them or Bitdefender.
Bitdefender Internet Security is one of the best software in its kind.
Count me in!
There is no better gift than Bit Defender Internet Security for a security paranoid, wish I could win it, thank you for the initiative!
I’d like to win it, just to try it, and adopt it maybe ?
I’d like to win a license because I’m searching for a good security product. Great giyeaway, count me in, please.
I would like to win because BitDefender has been the best security software for a couple of years now and I need something much more robust than Comodo Internet Security 6.
Thank you and good luck.
This is a very good antivirusit
would be nice to win
Merry Christmas to all !
I’m looking to get a better anti-virus than the free one I’m currently using now and this seems like the perfect time!
Side note: Will the licenses available work for multiple computers?
I’d like to potentially replace MSE with Bitdefender and your giveaway would tip me over the edge to try it. However, MSE uses a different design philosophy to pragmatically protect well, but it therefore does not do well in these comparison tests you cite. It seems the best protection is multiple approaches, concurrent or not, depending on application compatibility. The best way to stay safe is between the user’s ears, i.e. think before you click, and stay away from questionable websites.
Bitdefender is my favorite antivirus program.
Thank you for the offer.
This sounds perfect for my wife’s laptop? Do you have any more licenses available? Thanks!
I’m currenly using the free edition and would really like to have the full one for better security.
best security ever ! thanks.
I’m currently using a free anti-malware product that seems like it’s working but who knows. I have heard good things about Bit Defender. Winning it would be great.
Recently my kaskpersky 2013 expired if you could give me this one, it will be really useful. thanks a ton :)
I use avast free Antivirus, but it costs a huge amount of resources. I dont have enough Money to buy a Bitdefender Key because I’m a student.
So Bitdefender Internet Security would be a great Christmas Gift for me. Thank you for the Chance to win and regards from Germany and of course Merry Christmas to all!
Count me in …Love this site.
If it’s for free its for me..woo hoo
Bitdefender has been rated among the best antivirus solutions, so I would definitely like to give it a try.
I’d like to replace my free Antivira with Bitdefender. Thanks.
I would like to win because i only have separate programs to protect individual aspects of my PC and many cannot obviously run at the same time.
Thanks for the very descriptive, informative article about the Bitdefender program. I’ve been using MSE too. Would really like to have more protection and this Bitdefender program sounds like a great place to start.
I’m still using MSE on my Win7 machine, but the more I read the more insecure I feel. I’d love to get a full security suite but have been unable to afford it. A license for Bitdefender would be awesome.
Bitdefender is one of the best security product out there. Also my current AV subscription is expiring soon ( :) ) . So hope I am licky this for this this antivirus giveaway. Please count me in
Didn’t have a good stand alone internet security program.
love to try this respected software
I live in Iran and anti virus price is very expensive for me.
if you pay 70$ for bitdefender I must pay 210.000 Toman for it.
210.000 Toman = I must work 2 week for it
bitdefender=2 week hard work
I use avast and i 1ont to change it for bertter one
I use this program to protect, and I enjoyed. I want to prolong a license.
Best regards and thank you.
With Microsoft giving up on the malware war, this would be a nice upgrade.
I am a disabled Veteran on a limited income. At the present time I am using free AVG. I would love to get a free license to this product. I have read the description and it sounds like a great product.
My banking and alot of Veterans Afairs stuff is done on my computer and by the sounds of this it would be very secure.
Thank you I hope I win.
I’d give Bitdefeder a try as I’ve found out is the best antimalware in independent tests.
Would be nice to have a licence for this.
A better anti-virus than the Free I’ve got. I was thinking of buying a license but I wasn’t sure if Bitdefender is the one.
Best security app
Every year I get a Christmas gift from you. I hope that this year could get this excellent antivirus software, especially as I’m a big fan of Bitdefender. My Panda antivirus has expired and now I do not know what to do. I wish you a Merry Christmas and I wish you many more years of success, because you are the best technology site!
I currently don’t have an anti-virus/security suite on my laptop. I was using comodo but it dosen’t really have the features I like. This program looks fantastic!
It sounds like Bit Defender insinuates itself pretty deeply into the OS. I was using Avast, but after the last update I found I could no longer compile dot-Net programs under #Develop. Apparently the antivirus program thought something in the IDE was manipulating .Net in an unacceptable way.
I’ve uninstalled Avast antivirus on Win 7, and so right now I boot that OS only with the computer disconnected from the internet. (Not as troublesome as it may seem, since I usually have a second machine running Linux on at the same time.) I guess I’d be leery of using Bit Defender as well, since it also appears to monitor processes at a pretty detailed level.
Anybody have suggestions for a internet-and-download-only antivirus monitor?
Yesss… I want to Defend myself just a Bit!
Hi,i’m using kaspersky internet security 2013 and the time of my license is over.i want to use Bitdefender IS for the first time.
Please send a lisense.
I’m the IT guy in my circle of family and friends. I wouldn’t mind getting a license to evaluate it so I could make a recommendation to others. I get asked about antivirus and general security applications all the time!
Please send a license.
One of the best!. A must have program.
Thank you for the giveaway!
Hope to win licence for this great Internet security.Marry Christmas Martin.
WOW! Everything but the kitchen sink.
Would love to see for myself how it affects system resources.
I was waiting some giveaway this year as we saw last year from ghacks. so here we have wonderful giveaway. Thank you for this. :)
About bitdefender IS . Its great product . great detection and safe removal of malware make it among top AV. But i heard from lot of people say it is bit heavy on system. All i want they should reduce their AV Set up size, the way Bitdefender increasing their file size it might reach 1GB mark. Make it an OS . Bit defender must learn from ESET and F-secure they have around 50-60 MB setup file compare to BIS 1/2 GB setup file.
but neverthless it is one of the best protection in market along with kaspesrky and other vendor.
Would love to get one year key to protect my Desktop. So kindly consider me while you pick one of 10 winners.
Thank you Ghacks always nice to visit here.
I am using Avast free and want to use it.
I’d like to win Bitdefender IS because it’s the best security suite (with Kaspersky). Thank you.
I am using avira free but I like to have bitdefender
bitdefender detected 3 viruses which kaspersky pure failed to detect so i would like to have bitdefender to protect my laptop. it is fast and ease access.it starts much earlier than anyother security suites. thats it
A new Bitdefender license would be nice since my current subscription is currently coming to a close.
I always wanted to try a security suite and always thinking of this one.Thank you for the opportunity.
I have the free version of the Bit Defender but it does’nt provide basic features which other a/v’s provide but the Internet Security does.
I really like bitdefender and kaspersky antivirus
I upgraded to windows 8.1 and have no antivirus installed now
it will be a good chance if I could get bitdefender at least to try it on windows 8
Thanks for the giveaway.
I want to win, because I used to have. For me to be the best and safest for protection. Easy to use. Thank You!
The Internet is a dangerous place. Help me to defend myself. I’m afraid. :)
i am not using any protection hence would like to get one.
i would like to win one license cause i think bitdefender is the best security solution
I am irritated by Avast continually attempting to make me upgrade. Would like to have a cleaner product like Bit Defender
Looks like a great product. I would live to have it to use. I would buy it however I have been out of work for quite a while and do not have any extra money for such stuff. I am currently using a free product from someone else which is no where as good so I would love a free license.
Even if I don’t win thank for offering this opportunity.
As in the others I use MS security essentials and windows firewall. If I do not win anyone license I will probably change to another free option. I would like to hear the ghacks opinion for free antivirus in a comparison.
Being an avid Avira user for ages, I am now interested in using BD – practically for switching out of the Avira world for a few reasons. If BD does not slow my machine and net speed down, I am going to be a keeper of it and promote naturally in the forums I am attached to.
Thanks Martin for the giveaway.
My KIS license is going to expire in exactly 21 days from today, So I would appreciate Bitdefender license so that I can enjoy best protection.
Please count me in. THanks Grr
I want to use security software like this to get a better firewall than the default WinBlows installation gives you.
Using the free version of Avast, would like to win some premium AV like BitDefender.
I have used Bitdefender for a couple of years; it is un-intrusive and highly rated. I would easily continue with it.
Count me in Please.
To replace my free Antivira.
Thanks, Merry Christmas !
Let’s make things clear I do not need license for this giveaway.I just would like to thank you for Newsbin pro licence.
I am using Kaspersky 90 days trials at present ,since my Bitdefender total security has just expired.I had some issue with it like difficulty in downloading daily offline updates,large size of the updates and BSODS related to some of its drivers.But overall it is a very good security suite to have.Hope that all the glitches are removed in this new version.Kaspersky and Bitdefender are my preferred security software.Let me try my luck.
Thank You for the review and contest.
This is very good protection to my computer. Thank you.
I use only Avast Free now :(
I have used previous versions, and bit-defender is great. One of the 3 top Reactive Anti-viruses in the latest ratings. Count me in for the drawing of one of the free licenses. Thanks.
Thank you for this offer, I like to have this great software, really fast and reliable.
it is great security software, thanks
Yes! Count me in on BD it’s top self software! i would gladly use this on my computer. Thanks
its a great idea..thanks for the update..as this will be good protection for the computer…!!
because i’m using mse that is not so secure.
very good review!
I wish to be so lucky to receive this wonderful gift! My BitDefender’s license will expire soon
Thanks for the early Santa gift I will use it with peace of mind knowing my PC is secure thanks to you and Bitdefender.
I need good AV, Bitdefender is the best.
Thank you Santa for my free license to Bit Defender. As a disabled veteran getting direct deposit and doing online banking this will make me fell more secure.
I do alot of medical stuff through my local VA , appts,order meds ect. this is great. I can’t thank you enough.
Wish you and yours Happy Holidays.
I really love this antivirus, is the best of the WORLD, I want this version so much!
Bitdefender, in my opinion, is the best antivirus. Never got virused with it. Happy Hollidays!
BIS 2014 is one of the best security program, so I really want to win one of the license of BIS in this great giveaway.
Thanks Martin Brinkmann for the giveaway!
My BitDefender’s license will expire soon
I want a BIS license, please count me in.
I used allot of security programs and as my Kaspersky internet security just expired please count me in for Bitdefender. I never used there internet security program before. Thanks for this Christmas opportunity.
My current av is expired and want a new one.
Please count me in.
thanks and Merry Christmas.
Great AV. Great giveaway. Great review.
Would be great to have a reliable internet security suite :)
Thank you for this fantastic giveaway. Bitdefender is really a good security suite, so please count me in.
I have been looking at security products as I am no longer comfortable with defender / security essentials so a giveaway would be great late Christmas present!
Thanks for this Bitdefender giveaway. I really love BD, it’s simply the best!
Please count me in too.
Thanks for this Giveaway.
Thanks for this great giveaway.