Bitdefender Internet Security 2015
If Bitdefender has one major selling point, it’s the range of innovative features on offer. Aside from basic antivirus protection and an intelligent firewall with easy-to-use rules, it crams in a rescue mode to reboot, clean and fix your system, web protection with an optional browser toolbar, anti-fraud and anti-phishing protection, a whole raft of privacy tools, a hardened browser for banking and shopping, parental controls and built-in optimisation utilities.
It even has a battery mode for use on laptops, cutting back on non-essential security activities when you’re low on charge.
Sometimes it goes overboard. There are seven clean-up, optimisation and registry tools from which to choose, which seems odd given the prominence of the one-click optimiser. And while we’re impressed by Bitdefender’s Profiles feature, which postpones notifications, background programs and maintenance tasks while you’re working, watching videos or playing games, it’s keen to throw up widgets the rest of the time.
For example, a splash in the top corner of the screen asks if you’d rather switch to the SafePay browser, and a large, circular widget in the bottom right provides status notifications and one-click access to the dashboard, when a system tray applet would work just as well. The interface is, truth be told, a bit flashy, but otherwise clean and easy to navigate.
Quick scans in Bitdefender really are superfast, taking just over a minute on our old dual-core PC with 2GB of RAM. It’s heavier on system resources than the most lightweight package, consuming 24% of RAM and 25% of CPU while scanning on our dual-core test PC, but the system still felt reasonably responsive.
Bitdefender’s only real failing is that it doesn’t match the best products where it matters most: malware protection. It staved off only 77% of attacks, which puts it just above the free AVG and Microsoft products. On the plus side it’s very good at ignoring legitimate software, but if the price for this is weaker security, then we can’t really recommend it.