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BitDefender Total Security 2015 Review

Est. $60 for 3 PCs
Reviewed
January 2015
by ConsumerSearch
Bitdefender Total Security 2015 Review

Best Internet security software suite

Pros
  • Outstanding malware protection
  • Stuffed with features, including device anti-theft
  • Easy to use
  • Doesn't bog down computers in tests
Cons
  • Complaints about auto-renewal
  • Can cause conflicts with security products from other vendors
Where to Buy
 

Bottom line

In test after test, Bitdefender Total Security 2015 finishes at the forefront with near-bulletproof protection against all types of malware and good overall usability. Bitdefender's top-of-the-line software comes fully loaded with just about every security option you can imagine. One caveat is that things can get a little ugly if you have other security software already installed, so completely remove those first before adding BitDefender to your PC.

Breaking it down

Ease of use

Easy set-up, simple interface. Bitdefender Total Security's features are easy to use, testers say, though Tom's Guide complains that some may be a little hard to figure out at first. The user interface has been streamlined for 2015, which has earned kudos. "Rather than having a lot of tiles slide awkwardly through the Bitdefender window, as in the 2014 version, here there are three large tiles and four subsidiary ones, giving quick and easy access to all the program's key functions," says PC Advisor's Simon Williams. Once it's installed, Bitdefender Total Security will immediately run a scan. From then on, it can scan on Autopilot by default. In this mode, Bitdefender handles threats intelligently and silently.

Reviewers generally like usability, but share a couple of gripes. Jill Scharr fromTom's Guide complains that she "would like to see more documentation inside the program about exactly what the many features do and how to customize them." Some users complain that auto-renew is set by default, and turning that off is something that is regularly missed. We saw conflicting reports from users regarding whether or not they could obtain a refund if they unintentionally renewed their license.

Features

Rare extras like anti-theft. Bitdefender Total Security contains almost every feature Bitdefender has to offer. You'll find some of them on Bitdefender's less expensive products -- like Safepay for secure online transactions, privacy protection while you're web surfing or on Facebook, and robust parental controls. You'll be able to control your kids' Windows and Android accounts, monitor phone calls, texts and Facebook messages, and more.

Bitdefender offers other features only on Total Security -- and experts say they're really useful. In-cloud data storage (you get 2 GB free) syncs data among your devices. Encrypted vaults store your data securely, and a file shredder deletes data completely. Device anti-theft, rare for a PC suite, lets you locate, remotely lock down or even completely wipe your laptop. PC tune up features goes beyond the usual defrag-and-cleanup, with sophisticated duplicate-file and registry cleanup tools. One-Click Optimizer is the tool that many will rely on. "It will recover disk space by deleting junk files, wipe out useless and erroneous Registry data, and clear away traces of your PC and browser usage" says PCMag.com. Those who want to dig deeper will find more advanced PC Clean-Up and Registry Cleaner tools. Automatic security profile switching minimizes spurious security interruptions and alerts during certain activities, such as game playing and movie watching, but PC World's testers found that it didn't always work.

Performance

Award-winning security that won't bog down your computer. Blocking malware, malicious websites, phishing sites -- Bitdefender does an award-winning job in test after test. It won't slow your computer down, either, experts say. It earns top grades in independent tests by AV-Test. org, AV-Comparatives.org and others. It's an Editors' Choice at PCMag.com and Tom's Guide. User reviews are split down the middle at most sites, however. Some love BitDefender, others hate it, complaining of various issues with performance or installation -- something that's true of virtually all security software. Also, like almost all security software, BitDefender won't coexist peacefully with security programs from other vendors. Make sure you completely uninstall any of those before installing BitDefender to minimize headaches.

Where To Buy
Bitdefender Total Security 2015 - up to 3 PCs, 1 year [Download]

 (13 reviews)
Buy new: $53.97   1 New from $53.97

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Our Sources

1. AV-Test.org

This independent lab continuously tests 24 security products at their default settings over a two-month period (September to October 2014). BitDefender Total Security 2015 beats industry averages by snagging 100 percent of both new and established malware, while imposing no slowdown of overall system performance. The only glitch is a handful (five) of false positives, but that's exactly in line with industry averages. This test is on the Windows 8/8.1 platform, but tests on other platforms, such as Windows 7, score similarly.

Review: Bitdefender Internet Security, Editors of AV-Test.org, October 2014

2. AV-comparatives.org

Information about the testing performed by AV-Comparatives.org is scattered about the site, but this page summarizes how BitDefender fared in various tests conducted over the previous year. The software earns the site's highest 3-star, Advanced+ rating in all cases, including tests of protection, performance, malware removal and more. Testing includes protection against established viruses, and the ability to detect new viruses based upon their activity.

Review: List of Awards - AV-Comparatives, Editors of AV-Comparatives.org, As of January 2015

3. PCMag.com

Bitdefender Total Security's performance earns it an Editors' Choice award. Neil J. Rubenking does his own testing in this very lengthy, thorough review, and takes independent lab tests into account. "Bitdefender Total Security 2015 includes just about every security feature you could imagine, and they all work well," he says.

Review: Bitdefender Total Security 2015, Neil J. Rubenking, July 28, 2014

4. TomsGuide.com

Jill Scharr wishes that some features were better explained, but she finds no issues whatsoever with the protection, performance and ease-of-use of BitDefender Total Security 2015. It earns an Editors' Choice award and is the site's top pick among all-in-one security suites.

Review: Bitdefender Total Security 2015 Review, Jill Scharr, July 28, 2014

5. PC World

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal is disappointed that automatic security profile switching didn't work every time, but beyond that gives lots of kudos to BitDefender Total Security 2015. "Overall, Bitdefender Internet Security 2015 is a good choice for anyone who wants excellent background protection that just works with a minimum of fuss," she says.

Review: Bitdefender Internet Security 2015 review: Solid, low-maintenance PC protection, Sarah Jacobsson Purewal, Aug. 19, 2014

6. PC Advisor

Bitdefender Total Security 2015 earns strong feedback at this British site. Simon Williams gives it separate star ratings for ease of use (5 out of 5), features (4.5), value (4) and overall (4). Evaluations are based on independent lab test as well as tests conducted by the site.

Review: Bitdefender Total Security 2015 review: One of the best PC and laptop internet security suites for 2014/2015, Simon Williams, Sept. 4, 2014

7. Download.com

The editors here like BitDefender Total Security 2015, though see more issues than we saw highlighted at other review sites. They note that, in particular, BitDefender doesn't coexist peacefully with any other security software currently installed on your computer. They suggest uninstalling any already installed antivirus software to minimize compatibility problems. User reviews are all over the place. Some love the software, others find compatibility issues, and some grouse about the auto-renewal option that's on by default.

Review: Bitdefender Total Security 2015, Editors of Download.com, Oct. 8, 2014

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