January 9, 2017

Bitdefender Review: Most Advanced Antivirus 2017

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Bitdefender is one of the most well-known Internet security providers, but which version is best for you? Read on.

Best Antivirus
Best Antivirus © CreditDonkey

Internet security software options are plentiful in the market, as more than half a dozen companies offer protection for computers, mobile devices, and other hardware devices that need to be connected to the Internet.

And while having a lot of options is great, sometimes it can lead to inaction on the part of the consumer. Sorting through each Bitdefender option and figuring out exactly which one you need can become such a challenge that you just choose to do nothing. But once you have a good understanding of the features you need and the features each Internet security package offers, finding the right unit becomes a much easier process.

THE ITERATIONS OF BITDEFENDER

Bitdefender has multiple versions that will appeal to consumers looking for security options for online security. Each version offers slightly different features, so finding one that will fit your particular needs just requires spending a little time educating yourself. Here are the most popular consumer-level Bitdefender Internet security options in alphabetical order.

  • Antivirus Plus: If you only need antivirus protection for your computer, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is the answer. You won’t receive firewall protection, but with a firewall built into Windows now, some users don’t feel as if they need a second firewall. Antivirus Plus costs $59 for a one-year subscription for up to three Windows devices. (All prices listed are suggested retail prices.)

  • Antivirus for Mac: Bitdefender also offers a Macintosh version of its Antivirus software, and it also costs $59 annually for a one-year subscription.

  • Box: Bitdefender’s development of Box is an interesting one, as few other security software options from any manufacturer can match its versatility. It goes beyond protecting the devices through which you actively access the Internet, such as a Windows or Macintosh computer or an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, by also protecting home appliances and electronics that connect to the Internet passively through your home Wi-Fi network, such as Smart TVs. Box, which is a small piece of 3.5-by-3.5-inch hardware you connect to your personal network, is aimed at protecting devices that make up the Internet of Things, which is the idea of machines connected to and communicating with other machines automatically. Box is an expensive option, retailing at $199, but it comes with a one-year subscription to the same Internet security features of Total Security. Box is only available in the United States (as of the time of this writing).

  • Family Pack: Family Pack from Bitdefender offers full security protection for Windows, Android, and Macintosh devices, including antivirus and firewall protection. It allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices for a $119 subscription fee per year.

  • Free Edition: The Bitdefender free antivirus software works on a Windows computer. It will scan for and remove viruses and provide protection against fake websites (phishing), but its overall feature set is far less than the Bitdefender subscription options. The AVG AntiVirus Free software is more popular than Bitdefender’s free version, but both work well for basic security needs for consumers.

  • Internet Security: If you’re only looking for protection for a few Windows computers, Bitdefender’s Internet Security is a strong option, offering fast performance levels and protection against all types of Internet security threats, including viruses and malware. You can protect up to three devices for a $79 annual subscription.

  • Mobile Security: Bitdefender’s Mobile Security app is available on the Google Play store for Android devices for $15 per year. It offers antivirus protection along with malware protection and an anti-theft feature, both of which are important, because mobile devices are becoming targets of thieves and hackers at a more frequent pace than ever. You even can use a security code to lock apps that you don’t want others using, should they borrow your phone. No iOS device protection option is available in Mobile Security, though.

  • Total Security: Total Security from Bitdefender offers protection for a variety of devices, including Macintosh, Android, and Windows devices. (It doesn’t offer protection from hackers for Apple mobile devices, however.) You can secure up to 10 devices for a retail price of $99 for a one-year subscription.

WHY PICKING THE RIGHT OPTION IS IMPORTANT

Now that you’ve seen the list of Bitdefender software packages, it’s time to think about what kind of protection you actually need. Sure, you could save some time and just purchase the most extensive and comprehensive software package and have more power and features than you’ll ever need.

But keep in mind that these Bitdefender software packages operate on annual subscriptions, just like those from most other Internet security providers. So by selecting a package that has more features than you actually need, you’ll be spending more than you need to up front, and you’ll spend more than you need to when purchasing renewals too. So taking the time up front to pick the right package will be worth your time and effort.

FINDING THE RIGHT BITDEFENDER OPTION FOR YOU

The first step in finding the best Bitdefender package is to think about which types of devices will need protecting and what type of protection you need. Because Bitdefender has so many different products aimed at consumers, there surely will be one option that will fit your situation better than others.

If you have “smart” home appliances as part of your home network and if you need protection for all of your family members’ devices, Bitdefender Box is the way to go. Bitdefender was ahead of the pack of Internet security companies in developing this type of all-encompassing security option. The Box hardware still has a few drawbacks, including slow performance as a standalone router, but its performance is stronger when it’s connected to a home Wi-Fi network router. You will need to manage Box from a mobile app, as Bitdefender chose (for security reasons) not to include a web interface with the package. It can be a little challenging to set things up with the app, especially if you have a lot of devices.

If you need Internet security protection for your Apple mobile iOS devices, Box is going to be your only Bitdefender option. If you’re looking for protection for Android devices, you could turn to Total Security or Mobile Security. Mobile Security is an inexpensive option, but it doesn’t provide protection for Windows or Macintosh computers, as does Total Security. However, Total Security is a bit limited in terms of its Macintosh computer protection features, so you may want to consider Anti-Virus for Macintosh or Box if your primary devices are Apple computers.

For those who only use Windows computers on a home network, Bitdefender’s Internet Security product will provide strong protection at a reasonable price. But there’s no option for protection for an Android smartphone or tablet with this product, which makes Internet Security feel a bit outdated versus some of Bitdefender’s other options that give mobile devices and computers equal protection.

3 REASONS TO USE BITDEFENDER

  • You have numerous Internet of Things products: If you have quite a few items in your home that are connected to the Internet passively, such as a smart thermostat or a Smart TV, you can’t install a standard antivirus or Internet security option on these devices. A product such as Box can give you protection for these devices as well as your computers and smartphones.

  • You are seeking an award winning security product: AV Test ranks and selects the best security products, and Bitdefender has received numerous awards from AV Test over the past few years.

  • You want a security option that doesn’t require constant intervention: Bitdefender offers a feature called Autopilot, where the software will perform its work without the need for constant decisions from you. You certainly can make personal decisions through Bitdefender’s settings, but you can allow the software to operate automatically too.

3 REASONS TO CONSIDER OTHER SECURITY OPTIONS

  • You want a less expensive option: The various packages from Bitdefender are priced at the upper end of antivirus and Internet security protection options, at least in the suggested retail price. Bitdefender does offer quite a few discounts through its website though, so it’s worth checking there for the best price. Additionally, when it’s time to renew your subscription packages, check the Bitdefender website, as the company often runs significantly less than retail price sales for renewals too.

  • You don’t want extra hardware: Although the Bitdefender Box is an outstanding protection option for those people with a lot of devices that need security, you will have to purchase hardware to use it. The piece of hardware that ships with Box is small, but you may not want another piece of hardware in your home.

  • You need more options for iOS device protection: Bitdefender is a little limited when it comes to protecting Apple’s iOS mobile devices from hackers. Only Bitdefender Box offers such protection.

BOTTOM LINE

Bitdefender Box is one of those products that may grow into a must-have type of product down the road. As the Internet of Things continues to become less of a drawing board idea and becomes something that’s put into practice more often, an Internet security option that can give the “smart” devices on your home network protection from hackers is going to be vital.

But the number of people who have these types of smart devices connected to a network in their homes is still relatively small. So if Bitdefender Box offers more power and features than are required for your current device list and your budget, Bitdefender has quite a few more software packages that will fit your needs now. Just do a bit of homework on how you need the Bitdefender package to work for you, and you’ll make the smartest choice from the Bitdefender family.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy financial decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

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