Up to date with newest lab-test outcomes. This evaluation was initially printed Could four, 2020.
If you would like a easy, no-nonsense malware program that does every little thing for you, Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version ought to do the trick with its all-automatic method to safety.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version specs
Malware safety: Excellent
System impression, background: Mild
System impression, scans: Reasonable
Home windows compatibility: 7 by way of 10
Electronic mail scans: No
File shredder: No
Sport/silent mode: No
Hardened/safe browser: No
Password supervisor: No
Efficiency scanner: No
Ransomware file reversal: No
Rescue disk: Free obtain
Scan scheduler: No
Help choices: FAQs, boards
URL screener: Sure, as a separate free instrument
Upsell nag issue: Minimal
There aren’t any choices, equipment or decisions; you possibly can’t flip particular defenses on or off, run a fast scan or schedule scans. However Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version protects towards the worst malware, and it is very best for anybody who needs to put in antivirus software program on their very own machine — or a grandparent’s machine — after which overlook about it.
Avast Free Antivirus affords many additional options, equivalent to a password supervisor and a safe browser, however its malware safety is not pretty much as good as Bitdefender’s, and even Home windows Defender‘s.
The true winner is Kaspersky Safety Cloud Free, which affords the most effective malware safety and has a good variety of additional options, a number of customization choices and a really gentle system-performance impression. It is our selection for the finest free antivirus software program.
Learn on for our full Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version evaluation.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version: What’s lined, and improve choices
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version makes use of the identical malware-stopping expertise as the corporate’s paid software program. This system has an internet filter to dam malicious websites and defend towards phishing and spam, and screens the system for probably malevolent conduct.
The most cost effective paid program is Bitdefender Antivirus Plus (beginning at $40 per 12 months), which comes with a password supervisor, a safe browser, a file shredder and an on-screen keyboard.
Bitdefender Web Safety (beginning at $60 per 12 months) provides webcam safety, a firewall, a vulnerability scanner and parental controls. Bitdefender Complete Safety (beginning at $90 per 12 months) provides licenses for Bitdefender’s Mac, Android and iOS safety software program, a system optimizer and the power to trace a misplaced or stolen laptop computer. Bitdefender Household Pack is a model of Complete Safety that may cowl as much as 15 techniques for $120 a 12 months.
All of the Bitdefender paid packages so far embody shopper software program for Bitdefender’s VPN service however are restricted to 200MB of knowledge per day. To get limitless VPN service, you possibly can pay a further $40 per 12 months or commerce as much as Bitdefender Premium Safety, a model of Complete Safety that prices $150 per 12 months for 10 gadgets and in addition consists of precedence tech help.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version helps Home windows 7 (with Service Pack 1), Home windows eight/eight.1 and Home windows 10.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version: Antivirus safety
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version’s safety scans for recognized malware, seems to be for probably harmful conduct equivalent to malicious encrypting of key recordsdata, and uploads suspicious recordsdata to Bitdefender’s servers for evaluation. Malware-definition updates are dispersed to 500 million customers worldwide a number of instances day by day.
There’s little in the way in which of adjustment and customization. Overlook about toggling main options on or off or selecting what this system scans for. Every part is automated, besides the scanning of USB flash drives after they’re plugged in — it’s a must to manually right-click the drive in Home windows Explorer or drag-and-drop its contents onto the principle Bitdefender interface.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version: Antivirus efficiency
In current evaluations performed by impartial malware-testing labs, Bitdefender did very properly, though it confirmed a bent to make false warnings.
Over all 24 of German lab AV-Check‘s month-to-month evaluations in 2018 and 2019, and within the first two exams of 2020, Bitdefender detected 100% of recognized “widespread” malware in each time, however missed some beforehand unseen “zero-day” malware 3 times. Solely Kaspersky did higher, detecting all of the malware on a regular basis.
Home windows Defender was in the course of the pack, persistently detecting both 100% or 99.9% of recognized malware, however lacking the mark with zero-day malware six instances over 26 months. Mentioning the rear had been Avast and AVG, which use the identical malware engine and missed a great deal of zero-day malware 10 instances over the 26 months.
Nevertheless, Bitdefender registered probably the most false positives — 41 — amongst all 5 malware engines over these two-plus years. Microsoft had 37 and Avast and AVG 26 every, whereas Kaspersky had solely three, indicating a well-tuned detection engine.
In Austrian lab AV-Comparatives‘ February-Could 2019 collection of exams, Bitdefender’s defenses had been almost excellent, stopping a median of 99.9% of on-line malware and racking up simply two false positives. Kaspersky was certainly excellent, with a 100% detection common and nil false positives.
The positions had been reversed within the July-October 2019 spherical, by which Bitdefender bought 99.7% and Kaspersky 99.1%, though the false-positive scores remained the identical. In Febuary-March 2020, the outcomes swung again Kaspersky’s means; it bought an ideal 100% whereas Bitdefender bought solely 99.5%, however neither had any false positives.
Among the many different three manufacturers, Microsoft’s malware engine could have been a bit too aggressive, as its Home windows Defender had a good 99.6% detection fee however a whopping 74 false positives within the earlier spherical, and 99.three% within the second spherical with 58 false positives.
Microsoft instructed us that the excessive false-positive counts had been a results of its Good Display function flagging something unknown as potential malware, and AV-Comparatives chalking up a false constructive each time that occurred. For its February-March 2020 exams, AV-Comparatives reportedly turned Good Display off, and Defender got here away with solely 5 false positives and an total detection retailer of 99.7%.
Avast and AVG had the other downside: solely 5 false positives every however underwhelming 99.2% common detection charges within the February-Could spherical, and 99.three% with eight false positives every in July-October. In February-March 2020, they every scored 99.7% with 5 false positives, the identical as Home windows Defender.
We usually use take a look at outcomes from Britain’s SE Labs, however Bitdefender stopped being examined in mid-2018 after it bought mediocre scores for neutralizing some malware relatively than fully eradicating it.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version: Safety and privateness options
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version’s minimalist options vary from anti-phishing defenses to warnings of recognized malicious web sites. That is all that comes with the software program.
Bitdefender’s free Visitors Mild browser add-ons for Chrome, Firefox and Safari have to be downloaded individually, as does the Dwelling Scanner instrument that appears for insecure gadgets on a house community.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version: Efficiency and system impression
Bitdefender Antivirus Free had a reasonable impression on system efficiency as measured by our customized benchmark take a look at, which clocks how lengthy a CPU takes to match 20,000 names and addresses in an Excel spreadsheet.
We used an Asus X555LA pocket book with a 2-GHz Core i3-5005U processor, 6GB of RAM and 59.5GB of recordsdata on a 500GB arduous drive. It used Home windows 10 with the newest updates.
Earlier than we put in Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version, we ran the benchmark to supply a baseline for comparability. The CPU took a median of 13.7 seconds to finish the take a look at. The time rose to 14.zero seconds after Bitdefender Antivirus Free was loaded, however earlier than it began scanning.
The two.1% background slowdown was the second better of the free antivirus packages, simply behind Kaspersky Safety Cloud Free, which really sped up the system by zero.9% after its set up.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free was sluggish to finish its first full scan, which took 1 hour, four minutes and 47 seconds. That improved dramatically after the primary go-round, as a result of this system had realized what to disregard and what to look at.
On subsequent scans it averaged three minutes and 38 seconds, which was so fast that it would not matter if Bitdefender Free lacks a quick-scan possibility.
Nevertheless, energetic scanning slowed system efficiency significantly. Our data-matching benchmark took a median of 17.7 seconds to finish its duties whereas Bitdefender Antivirus Free ran full scans.
That is 29% slower than the preinstallation baseline, matching Avast’s, and 26% slower than the background load after set up.
By comparability, AVG’s full scan slowed the system by 13% from the baseline and seven.1% from the background. Home windows Defender’s full scan induced a 20% slowdown from the background. Kaspersky was the pace champ, slowing issues down by just one.1% from the baseline.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version: Interface
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version’s interface is open and accessible however overwhelmingly darkish. The black foremost window has a big inexperienced checkmark when every little thing is sweet, or a crimson X when issues aren’t so good. Under which can be listed the final 4 duties the software program has carried out, together with scans and updates.
The gear icon within the higher proper opens the few choices out there. The Occasions part mirrors the principle web page’s current exercise, Quarantine is for caught malware and Exclusions is for whitelisting secure objects. The Safety part exhibits which variations of the software program and engine are in use and allows you to flip the Safety Protect on and off.
Account Information permits you to log into your Bitdefender Central account, cease Bitdefender improve reminders and finish malware information-sharing. However there is not any technique to pressure a malware-definition replace.
This system’s System Tray icon is a disappointment, as all it does is open the principle interface window. Different free AV packages’ System Tray icons give standing checks, search for definition updates and begin scans.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version: Set up and help
Step one is to obtain and run the 10.1MB installer program, which in flip downloads the 384MB foremost installer. In our case, the method floor to a halt after 14 minutes. It took an additional 6 minutes and two reboots to get it executed. Your expertise needs to be higher.
The subsequent step is to arrange a Bitdefender Central on-line account to observe your safety and people of different gadgets with Bitdefender software program put in. You’ll need to reply to an e-mail verification verify.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version’s Assist and Help part is a thinly veiled try and get you to improve to a paid subscription (and, fortunately, about the one one you may encounter), however there is a hyperlink to ship the corporate suggestions.
There is no assured phone or chat tech help with Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version. As an alternative, there are many on-line assist out there for widespread issues together with movies and studies of current hacks. Nevertheless, we had been capable of begin a stay chat with a tech-support agent with no downside from the Bitdefender help web site.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version evaluation: Backside line
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Version makes a advantage out of being primary and automated. It lacks customizability, choices and further options. Its safety is sweet, and this system can whip by way of a tough drive in report time. However its preliminary scan appears to take ceaselessly, there is not any quick-scan possibility and you may’t even schedule scans.
If you would like extra extras, Avast Free Antivirus comes with numerous goodies, however its malware safety is not that good. Your finest wager can be Kaspersky Safety Cloud Free, which aced almost all of the safety exams, has a great variety of extras, is very customizable and had a really gentle system impression on our take a look at machine.