Yet again this year, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus beats all rivals in tests. Experts say it defends your computer against malware (and phishing, ID theft and more), is easy to use, and won't slow down your system too much.
Installs quickly on clean systems, more slowly on infected ones. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus (2014) installs quickly on uninfected computers. If your machine is already infected, it may take longer. "Installing the product on eight of my 12 malware-infested test systems took some extra work," says Neil J. Rubenking at PCMag.com. On three of those computers, the Rescue CD provided with the software did the job (albeit slowly). But on one system, Bitdefender's preinstall scan damaged crucial files, "making it unbootable." After some back-and-forth with Bitdefender tech support, Rubenking did get the system running again.
Identity theft protection, social media privacy and more. The 2014 edition of Bitdefender Antivirus Plus goes way beyond virus protection, experts say. It not only defends your computer against malware, viruses, worms and Trojans, it also protects against identity theft, phishing and USB-source threats. It protects your privacy on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, makes sure your online payments are secure, and constantly monitors your credit report. Almost everything happens on autopilot, with no annoying pop-ups. You won't get a firewall or parental controls, though -- for those, you'll have to step up to one of Bitdefender's Internet security suites.
Consistently the best in tests. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus (2014) beats its competitors in test after test. It's a favorite at all three of the top independent labs -- in fact, it earns perfect or nearly perfect scores at AV-Test.org and AV-Comparatives.org, protecting impeccably against malware and phishing while not bogging down the system. It earns a VB100 ranking from Virus Bulletin, too. Testers at PCMag.com and CNET's Download.com are equally impressed. Both name it a top pick. However, few owners have rated this brand-new software yet, and the few who have reviewed it at Download.com give it mixed marks (usually saying it's too slow).
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus wins an Editors' Choice award here, along with Norton AntiVirus and Webroot SecureAnywhere. It delivers impressive protection in Rubenking's test, and it's loaded with useful features. However, Rubenking has "some difficulty installing on malware-infested systems."
Review: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2014, Neil J. Rubenking, July 3, 2013
This independent IT security institute tests many antivirus programs on various Android and Windows versions. So far, the 2014 version of Bitdefender Internet Security (the suite product) has only been tested on Windows XP and Windows 7. It earns perfect scores for malware protection and usability, and high scores for performance (not slowing down the computer).
Review: Detailed Test Reports, Editors of AV-Test.org, As of December 2013
This independent lab tests antivirus programs in several areas -- file detection, anti-phishing, impact on system performance and more. In the latest tests, Bitdefender earns the highest possible rating, Advanced+.
Review: List of Awards, Editors of AV-Comparatives.org, As of December 2013
CNET's Download.com tests three Bitdefender products, including Antivirus Plus (2014). Eddie Cho judges their installation, scan times and impact on system performance. All perform well, and the full suite (Bitdefender Total Security) earns a Download Pick. It gets only 3 out of 5 stars from users, but only 15 have reviewed the current version.
Review: Bitdefender Total Security, Eddie Cho and contributors to Download.com, July 15, 2013
5. Virus Bulletin
Virus Bulletin is an independent testing lab that certifies security products for a variety of operating systems. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus has earned VB100 certification for every operating system including Linux. You need to subscribe to Virus Bulletin to see detailed testing results, however.
Review: VB100 Results Overview: Bitdefender, Editors of Virus Bulletin, As of December 2013