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Bitdefender Internet Security Review
Technology should make our lives easier
• High levels of threat detection in lab tests
• Impressive antiphishing protection
• AutoPilot mode offers silent security
• Parental controls & social networking protection
• Identity theft monitoring & protection
• Doesn't like other security programs running at the same time
Bitdefender Internet Security malware detection rates with the major labs and our own independent tests was very impressive. From a feature perspective, its packed with great security tools that rival its competitors. Its price is competitive, so when you combine that with top level malware detection rates and an impressive feature set it rightfully ranks highly in our comparison chart.
Bitdefender was easy to install, we encountered no major problems. On our test computer it took around 3 minutes to install, which was considerably faster than last years version. Bitdefender have been making noises about its installation times and from our experience we certainly believe them.
It's worth pointing out here that Bitdefender Internet Security doesn't like other security software running at the same time, which is a little frustrating. We didn't encounter any software conflicts ourselves, but we have had reports of others encountering problems, so uninstall any security programs you may have installed on your computer.
Anti-virus - Included in Bitdefender Internet Security is a useful vulnerability scanner that can identify missing Windows or application patches. This makes identifying potential problem much simpler.
Firewall - Continuously monitors all incoming and outgoing data. There are five configuration tabs that cover 'Status', 'Traffic', 'Advanced', 'Activity' and 'Zones'. The 'Activity' interface is graphical; users can view all of their computer communications over the internet visually and it features an easy to use sliding bar to adjust your security level to one of three options: 'Ask', 'Allow' or 'Game Mode'. It also includes a whitelist for acceptable programs. Though the software list didn't include a few popular titles such as Mozilla FireFox internet browser, programs not on the whitelist can be added individually as they are used.
Parental controls - We found the parental controls included in Bitdefender Internet Security to be both streamlined and comprehensive, allowing parents to restrict not only websites but certain installed programs as well. Parents can also filter online content, including email, by keyword and chat ID's, making this feature ideal for weeding out the undesirables from your child's web surfing experience.
Bitdefender Internet Security allows individual user account set up with specific rules and controls for each. So parents can adjust their level of control for different ages as well. These accounts can restrict access to programs and can be set to restrict use during specified hours. All of which we feel makes the parental controls top notch.
The independent lab results for all of Bitdefender's products in are nothing short of impressive. Av-test.org found that Bitdefender caught 98.9 percent of their malware collection. Virus Bulletin gave Bitdefender a rating of VB100%, the highest possible score for anti-virus software. This certification covered all current known viruses in the wild, through both on-demand and on-access scanning.
In our tests Bitdefender Internet Security was a distinct improvement over its predecessor, able to catch 99% of the viruses, spyware, Trojans, worms and other malware we through at it. The software also performed well in detecting hidden threats such as rootkits and infected installer files.
During our testing, Bitdefender prevented replication without generating false positives and though it did leave behind some modified registry keys, we viewed this as a minor issue that wouldn't generally affect overall computer security.
As far as scanning speeds, our tests placed Bitdefender in the mid-range, compared to its rivals. However, there were a few small annoyances associated with this software suite such as out-of-date software lists that could potentially leave the user with an outdated browser, and the occasional glitch when downloading virus updates, the latter being easily corrected through a reboot. Despite these minor annoyances, we think that Bitdefender Internet Security performs on par if not ahead of its class as an anti-virus.
Data encyption - The Suite also includes a file vault that enables you to create encrypted password protected drives (or vaults) where you can store confidential and sensitive documents.
Laptop mode - Included in the program configuration is a laptop mode that prolongs battery life.
Gamer mode - Provides protection from threats often found in online gaming environments without the annoying pop-up alerts that can distract from your game play.
Ease of use
This year Bitdefender has overhauled its interface design. The most notable change is not the new dark theme, but the removal of the intermediate and advanced interfaces which have now been merged into one single interface. Its difficult to assess whether this has been a good move. Seperating basic and advanced options, based on a users needs can be a good thing, but streamlining can have its benefits too - on balance we think it was a good decision.
Help & support
Bitdefender provide 24/7 telephone, email and live chat technical support - free of charge - for issues that cannot be resolved through their online resources. So you don't have to pay huge telephone bills when things go wrong - a definite plus. They also provide tutorials, user manuals and FAQ's on their website.
The rich feature set and scalability make it easy to use without compromising on security functions. Bitdefender is more than worthy of second place in our comparison chart and particularly an ideal choice for users who want to 'install it and forget it'.
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