After retiring Bitdefender Free, Bitdefender launches Antivirus Free for Windows
Security company Bitdefender announced last year that it would retire Bitdefender Free at the end of 2021. Now, three months later, the company launched a new free product, called Bitdefender Antivirus Free.
In a surprising move, Bitdefender launched a new free antivirus product for Windows after cancelling the old one just three months earlier.
The company announced the launch of Bitdefender Antivirus Free on the company blog. The blog post reveals that the program has been created from the ground up. Bitdefender Antivirus Free "offers enhanced features, functionality, and improved user experience in comparison to the previous free version" according to Bitdefender.
The free section of the Bitdefender website does not list the new product yet. You need to visit this link to open the page with the download link. The download is small, but the installer requires an Internet connection and will download more than 500 Megabytes when it is run, provided that you allow it to do so.
The program requires a Bitdefender account. A sign-up and sign-in form is displayed on first run. Users who don't want to create an account just for that can uninstall the antivirus product right after installation again as there is no option to use it without an account.
According to Bitdefender, the new antivirus adds Outlook and Thunderbird email protection, custom scanning schedule options, and exploit detection to the protective features.
The free version includes antivirus protection, including on demand scanning of devices it is installed on, web protection, and advanced threat defense, which attempts to block zero-day attacks. The security program protects against all advanced threats according to Bitdefender. Several features, such as ransomware remediation, vulnerability scanning or a firewall are only available in commercial versions that users may subscribe to.
The interface is easy to use, but many of the options are locked for free users. The dashboard displays two actions, quick scan and system scan, that are available in the free version, and three, vulnerability scan, VPN and Safepay, that are not.
There are multiple upgrade buttons in the interface, and selecting any of the locked options will also display upgrade options. Users may also be notified about special offers and recommendations by default, which can be disabled in the options.
Bitdefender received quite a bit of backlash when it announced the end of the free antivirus solution. If it would have waited with the announcement until the new free product would have been ready, many users might not have taken the announcement that badly.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free offers basic protection against certain types of threats. Good news is that it uses the same antivirus engine as the paid products, and Bitdefender has scored highly in all recent tests.
The program may be an option for users who don't mind the missing features and regular reminders about the paid upgrade options. Free trial options are available for users who want to test the extra features without having to part with their money right away.
Now You: what is your take on the launch?
Bitdefender out, Bitdefender Antivirus in.
Like the naive young lady told to her first lover, “George, get in or get out but stop this ridiculous back and forth”
I don’t know the product, never used Bitdefender software.
@ Tom Hawack
You’ve never used Bitdefender?!!
You’ve never used Win 8, Win 8.1, nor Win 10 and you won’t use Win 11 and now we find out that you don’t use Bitdefender! I don’t know what we’re going to do with you! You’re beyond all hope!
Hi Tom, kidding aside, I hope things are going well for you and your loved ones… (and for your Win 7 computer. My Win 7 computer is getting along fine as well,… maybe even better than yours.) :>))
Your Win 7 computer getting along fine, maybe even better than mine? You must be joking!
Hi there, glad to read you Valborex. Why don’t you pop-in more often? Like old pals let’s go get a beer at the nearest bar, shall we? Life carries on and fortunately it isn’t tough for my loved ones nor for myself. Ups and downs like for all of us but no tragedy when we know what some endure, some since always some more recently. Makes you wonder how misery can get to such a level that it brings lack of tragedy as the component of happiness. I wish you as for all happiness. But can we be happy when anyone suffers? Wide question.
Yeps, Win7 and the PC both mature and still jogging as teens… almost :=)
Read you later, alligator!
Old free Bitdefender was nice. It has the great detection and web protection in browsers without an extension. It has very minimalistic design and discontinued free bitdefender shows zero-popup which nagging you.
This new free Bitdefender looks very similar other free antiviruses which promotes you to paid features or paid products. Mess..
There are not much free option available from now on.
Kaspersky free still looks good and Comodo Antivirus still looks good.
Others just bullshit..
Kaspersky free just Russian spyware.
Dude. Kaspersky is good. Don’t mix politics with the product. Y
Dude. Kaspersky is headquartered in Russia. They can’t escape from the politics of the spying bear there.
Personally, I think 360 Total Security (free) is the best free option, if you don’t mind those Chinese spies.
I also use 360 TS on all my private PC’s.
But I use the latest in version 8.
The newer ones are just bloatware and other nonsense.
The antivirus is so damn good, it stops all kind od mallware.
Never once had missed a single threath.
I even tested it by dileberetly tryingnto infect ih an no go.
Just shame aboutnthe bloatware and paid option nagging.
I know 360 TS is not a popular option in the USA and such, but many people on Earth use it with little complaints, if any. They do indeed work very close with the Chinese government and military, so there’s that. They have even boasted about those military connections on their English blog. I used to work for them from Ireland. I quit when they dropped the hammer on Hong Kong.
Regardless, their team finds many new exploits/viruses, and they share that info with everyone. Just don’t use it if you work for Raytheon or the like, ha.
I don’t get any annoying nags from 360 TS (free). When it updates the software (about 4x a year) is offers you to buy the full version (as expected), but I just click “no thanks” with no issues. In the software it has a small banner with an offer to buy the full version. It gives me no pop-up nags at all that I know of. If it detects a PUP or such, in the warning Window it does have an offer to buy the full version, but i just ignore that part. In the software it has a place called “Toolbox” where it offers 3rd party software, but I just stay away from that sketchy section.
Besides the good anti-virus, 360 TS (free) also includes anti-ransomware and a Sandbox. I’ve been using it for at least 4 years with no issues.
I once had the full version, but I didn’t notice much difference at all, so I eventually went back to the free version.
If I was to pay for my anti-virus, I’d go with Avast, of which I see is a sponsor of ghacks right now. Otherwise, if 360 TS (free) went away, I’d just use Windows Security, which also has anti-ransomware and is free with the OS.
I like Bitdefender, but the free version doesn’t include anti-ransomware. They are based in Romania. IDK, but I reckon they work close within the hacker scene, as they are great at providing ransomware keys. Hmm.
This interface is same as the one in their paid versions (i used bitdefender total security). I imagine it will show “buy subscription screen” when you click on vpn or safepay or any other bloat in there.
Why did I pay for the total security version when everything i want is in the free version and everything i don’t want is the paid version?
Probably more telemetry too.
I wouldn’t use Kaspersky at this time …
But also never really saw a big difference between Microsoft’s Defender and all the other free AV products.
Good Day All.
I have been utilizing Bitdefender for over 12 years +. (full total security version). Best performing anti virus software ever. The software has protected my pc and over the years and have ‘nothing bad thing to say. Keep it up BD.
Am I missing something or doesnt windows come bundled with its own, fully featured and free anti virus solution and no nagging for a paid upgrade? And one that doesnt collect any telemetry from you, other than that which we have already become accustomed to if we use a modern Windows OS? I just don’t understand where the market is for stuff like this
Yes Windows Defender, built in from Win 8 and higher. No need for any other free AV, since if it is
free then you’re the product!
Wonderful point of view!
Nobody is buying our premium antivirus, we must cancel our free version.
Nobody is buying our premium antivirus, we must have a free version!
Kaspersky is from Russia. I would not trust Russian software going forward in light of the current war situation, especially if the USA+NATO get more involved. Just my opinion.
good that your opinion is worthless
I never trust anything coming from RUS( and all ex soviet states)/CHINA/INDIA. Software related.
I still cant understand after all these years, why that Kaspersky stuff is ranked so high. Its an irony.
Keep up using all devices and software made-in-USDOG like gooogldog and feel happy with all your privacy being stolen.
what about telegram then???
But, I trust Indian software as they are really helpful. Good to see that you American are now scared of economy projections of future.
Yep in every war everyone has to choose sides even if it doesn’t affect them as much. But hey Russian people aren’t bad. You can’t discard all coz of one crazy man and his minions.
@Yash, so true. Russian bashing is not only inappropriate it is moreover counter-productive in that it may push Russian inhabitants to adhere to what they might otherwise contest and refuse : if I’m considered bad because my leaders are then why would I protest? There is a major difference between bashing a leader, a government, an administration, correlated oligarchy and companies and refusing its inhabitants on the ground of citizenship : changes come from the inside maybe even before than from the outside. And, heck! people are people, like you and me. Even soldiers obey, they don’t always decide at least when they are the offenders. Like Sting sings it, “Russians love their children too”.
As for Kaspersky, I’d consider the company closer to administration than to the people. But in whatever country once you get powerful implications with the powerful becomes a strong hypothesis. Even in the States. How often haven’t we debated here and elsewhere about ties between major US companies (GAFAM but not only) and intelligence agencies? So let us be aware but focusing on one country is somewhat a narrow approach.
Have you even tried it? Watch the pc security channel test kaspersky v bitdefender. Kaspersky protects your pc even without signatures. So do not mix politics with product
Kaspersky is Russian spyware. Don’t mix ignorance with global politics
That GUI looks suspiciously similar to AVG free and AVAST free…
Are they all the same?
its the same gui as the paid version
[…] I would not trust Russian software […]
What about the hundreds, if not thousands of people who contribute to closed & open forms of software projects for sale and/or free? Are you going to search for them all and personally interrogate them?
You know that nginx server software is Russian. You would not also go to any website would you?
nginx is bought by an american company
Never mind the Russian crap ,,
is this any good
i see no firewall ,what else do i not see
Excellent surveillance product. 100% data tracking coverage of all your activities.
That’s not how Bitdefender works. Nor sample submission. But good work on the fear mongering.
I use Avira free, haven’t had any problems.
Avast free is the best….
tried all the anti…
avast with firewall etc….
Avast is the best? In what parallel universe are you living in?
I’ll wait for a review comparing Bitdefender antivirus free against Microsoft Defender. If there are noticeable difference like better threat detection and virus protection, I’ll give it a shot.
Bitdefender has one of the best antivirus detection engines. I have used it in the past.
That being said, if you know how to stay safe on the web and dont get viruses when using ms defender, the only difference you will notice while using bitdefender is your pc being slower.
Thats why i uninstalled bitdefender and am also using ms defender
I use bitdefender on multiple systems and it rarely goes above 2% cpu usage on i3, i5, and i7 CPUs. In fact, Windows Defender is much more of a resource hog when it comes to CPU usage than Bitdefender. So your argument holds no water.
I have used both on multiple computers from dual core to 8-core CPUs. Bitdefender’s static antivirus engine barely goes above 2-5% CPU usage even when launching new applications. In contrast, Windows Defender has been resource intensive (CPU-wise), with constant spikes above 20% usage even on an i7 8750h. So your argument about Bitdefender slowing your computer down while MS Defender is more resource efficient holds no water.
Except Bitdefender uses far less of your CPU utilization than Defender. I’ve used both on low end, mid-end, and high end processors and Defender spikes above 15-20% constantly. Bitdefender barely goes above 5% cpu usage during normal use. The only thing it is heavy on is RAM, and if you have a pc with 4gb of ram then its time to join the 21st century.
Thats all well and good until you open a .doc or .pdf and it turns out to be ransomware. Then your files are encrypted because MS Defender has proven time and time again its ineffective against ransomware. Its controlled folder access approach to ransomware is dated and ineffective.
In the currently dark times of Covid19, desperation, fear and war..
If you live in Europe: use any antivirus made in Europe (I am using Panda by now).
If you live in America: use own’s Windows Security.
Don’t trust other ways.
Yes, use Windows Defender when there are countless videos on YouTube and tests done with ransomware that show that Windows Defender falls short on fighting ransomware. And guess which country is the main target for ransomware? The United States. So no, don’t use windows defender if you want your data to remain safe.
PC Security Channel – Windows Defender vs Ransomware, just do a YouTube search and enjoy the show.
This is welcome news. Thanks to Bitdefender for their products, and Ghacks for the heads up on this and all else.
More than 500 MB??? What other “goodies” did micro$haft vetted ante-virus packed inside?? NOD32 is just ~60MB.
The full version of ESET is most definitely not 60 MBs. Try downloading a trial of their suite and going to its program folders sometime.
Its not just 60 mb. Where is your proof? Go to the program files folder and actually look at the metrics of the directories ESET uses.
When it comes to anti-virus, nothing beats Kaspersky. Not only the protection, but also it’s usability. Tried others in the past, but always ended up fighting with the software or with my computer itself. With Kaspersky, you’ve full control on both.
Except Cybereason, CrowdStrike, SentinelOne, and Bitdefender are all better than Kaspersky. You left that part out.
Crowdstrike, SentinelOne, Cybereason, and Bitdefender are all better solutions than Kaspersky.
I put a facemask on my computer, sooo safe!
Haven’t used any anti-virus for years now. Regardless of which one it is it typically a) is a resource hog b) does man in the middle for all your HTTPS traffic, Bitdefender Free was in fact the last one I used before just sticking with Windows Defender + uBlock Origin + Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit (can still get it for free), with all that and some common sense I’ve had no problems.
Thats all well and good until you open what you think is a pdf and it turns out to be ransomware. Then your Windows Defender is useless.
100% useless program. Avoid at all cost.
100% useless? Bitdefender is consistently ranked as one of the best cybersecurity solutions on the market today. It is in the same category of protection as Crowdstrike and SentinelOne. Talk about an ignorant comment. Do your research, Alwil.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with Kaspersky (it’s an excellent performing AV, probably in part due to the massive amount of malware that it’s exposed to in its “home” location) but I wouldn’t exactly cry out if someone had concerns about using it. While there is no evidence to point to that they have bent to pressure in the past from Russian authorities, it’s certainly a more likely worry than if you stick with a vendor who isn’t HQ’ed on Russia.
Having said that, not sure why anyone bothers with any of this stuff at home when Defender (Windows Security) is competent enough, free, and should cause less problems since it’s made by the OS vendor – somewhat important given the cadence and complexity of Win10-11 updates now.
No idea why anyone uses 3rd party basic antivirus on Windows. There’s absolutely no reason to bother with any of it when Microsoft Defender is already there doing as good a job as any alternative. No installs, no setup, no maintenance. Just leave it alone and let Defender do its job.
No idea why anyone looks both ways before crossing a busy street.
Vehicles have drivers. Vehicles have brakes.
What could posssibly go wrong?
Defender does it jobs? I’ve seen dozens of major hospitals and clinics taken down by ransomware because Windows Defender’s approach to ransomware is sub-par and dated. It’s “controlled folders” mechanism offers zero remediation benefits outside of the selected folders that are backed up to Microsoft’s “OneDrive”. It’s anti exploit protection is nonexistent, where there have been countless examples of malware exploiting privilege escalation exploits to gain access to core system files while Defender sat on its hands. Malware can even access Microsoft Defender’s quarantine with minimal elevation, and disable it via scripts. These are not flaws that you see with Bitdefender, CrowdStrike, and SentinelOne.
Windows Defender is not even close to being in the same league as these vendors. Period. I don’t even see how you can excuse using Microsoft’s solution to protect zero-day vulnerabilities in the operating system the same exact company developed. Makes zero sense, and if businesses headed your advice it would be a disaster.
Microsoft Defender does the job. Unobtrusive, High ranking at tests. The only annoyance is it blocks things like Wireless key view by Nirsoft.
You can exclude the map where you have put these kinds of safe and trusted software from scanning.
Another way is to temporarily disable Windows Defender Smartscreen while downloading and installing safe software.
I used Kaspersky AV, paid version, for a while before the war in Ukraine erupted. It is excellent software, and easy to control.
But I removed it because it slowed down my coputer, not because of the ongoing war in Ukraine. Can’t and won’t blame every Russian human and company because of the madman and mass murderer Putin.
And yet as someone who works in the MSP industry I have seen COUNTLESS businesses brought to their knees by ransomware because they used Windows Defender. It’s abhorrent against modern threats, which are mainly ransomware. And it just falls flat on its face with ransomware. PC security channel has plenty of videos to prove it. Its heuristics engine is garbage (as proven that once you turn off the internet connection its detection rate falls below 65%). So, like many Microsoft fanboys your claim holds no water.
@Tom ‘Microsoft fanboy’? I feel honored especially since this is the first time someone call me so. Thank you for my 1minute of fame.
That said, You might be on some track stating Defender is outranked by ransomware.
As the typical MS fanboy I will try Bitdefender. Who knows?
I’ve been using their top of the line (paid) Bit Defender product for a few years. Seems fine to me.
But then I’m no techie and therefore just an uniformed, uneducated sheeple who ‘doesn’t know better’. waaaahhhh!
You made a good decision, MS Defender falls flat against the most prevalent type of malware: ransomware.
A quick search on youtube proves this.
Except Bitdefender uses far less of your CPU utilization than Defender.
I’ve used BitDefender free and paid for many years now. I gave up on the paid, because they would get grabby with my credit account even though I declined to subscribe. At the subscription rates, the cost kept going up. If you bought new every time, the cost stayed down. Eventually, after they over or double charged me three years running, I dropped the paid version and it’s features, and stuck with BD Free.
The Antivirus Free new version requires you to read and agree to a subscription agreement (For a FREE product??) and has nagging pop ups. I’ve found the settings to turn the pop ups and notifications off, but if they keep happening, I will be abandoning BitDefender entirely.
We’re coming from a multi-platform prospective and have found BitDefender to be a wonderful fit for our needs.
With Central, I can manage all of our users, when the software has blocked malware, viruses, etc. either browser or software based. Then I can also remotely trigger BitDefender to execute scans, including important windows updates. This extends into Android, Mac and with limitations iOS.
I personally, also verify through multiple industry leading sources that BitDefender remains in the top five, most of the time, top three of best detection, while also needing the least resources… Ie. If it’s the best but your sales staff disabled because it’s slowing down their presentation, what use is it!?
We did use Kaspersky for years but it’s Mac version became a dog and slowed the computer down when it would scan in the background, thus users would disable or force quit it. But it too consistently is in the top five for best AV detection.
We need cross platform scanning because of a windows malware/virus is attached to a presentation, it delivered to one of our Macs that is then forwarded to our PC, we want to catch it in the Mac to limit exposure from first host, not once’s it’s inside of our firewall.
This has nothing to do with geopolitical issues, nothing to do with single OS, but an actual real world usage and BitDefender has to date allowed us to remain virus, malware and ransomware free across the our small company.
We aren’t a huge corporation but a small <15 company.
I use a combination of uBlock Origin (in Firefox), Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit and Anti-Ransomware (both free) and Bitdefender Free. Bitdefender uses less CPU and the system as a whole feels snappier than with Windows Defender, and since it was installed it caught several malware/phishing attempts while browsing that Defender would’ve entirely missed.
When I follow your recommendation above “The free section of the Bitdefender website does not list the new product yet. You need to visit this link to open the page with the download link.” I receive a free download and a free free trial version for 30 days, but not a permanent free version.
It is not a free version as I would understand it.
You get a free download and a free 30 day trial – thats all.
Free Version as at Jan-2023 has BUGS.
(Cannot find edition ID
I can disable “monitoring” but all links to re-enable are dead in the water.
Now to try and get some useful info from the BD forum
My prefered is an anti executable … light years ahead of BD in response times to threats.
Using free BD while setting up a new PC