PROS / Bitdefender outperforms competitors in tests conducted by software performance labs.
CONS / For parental controls, you would need to upgrade.
VERDICT / Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is the best choice for security software, and it also happens to include effective antispyware.
Some antivirus products used to decline to include antispyware features for fear that adware publishers will sue them for calling intrusive adware what it is: spyware. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, however, flags such programs so you can make informed decisions about what you install. Software that hijacks your attention and uses your computer screen as advertising space now falls under the category of "extended threats."
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner for best antispyware. It is also full-blown antimalware that protects your PC from viruses and safeguards your privacy on social networks. It warns about dangerous websites and protects you from attempts to steal your identity. Furthermore, it has features that keep you safe while banking and shopping online.
In the winter of 2014, the independent German test lab AV-Test included Bitdefender in tests alongside two dozen competitors. Bitdefender was the winner after AV-Test evaluated the products continuously over two months. Bitdefender demonstrated its ability to identify all brand-new threats and had no difficulty detecting malware spawned within four weeks prior to the testing.
AV-Test also measured whether Bitdefender slows down its host PC while visiting websites, downloading and running application programs, and copying files. Bitdefender’s hit on performance was negligible and three times faster than the average competitor involved with the testing.
Bitdefender also earned a perfect score on usability tests. The AV-Test approach to measuring usability is to determine whether the software slowed the system down, confused and labeled legitimate software as malware, or mistakenly blocked perfectly safe files.
In addition to being a performer in terms of stopping threats and using computer resources sparingly, Bitdefender has many good security features. It keeps you safe during online banking or shopping by automatically opening a separate, secure browser. Whenever you insert a USB drive into your PC, Bitdefender scans for threats. Bitdefender also guards your safety on social networks and warns about sites that it knows to be phishing sites when they show up in search results from Bing or Google. A personal data filter stops any personal identity information from the leaving your PC. There are system tune-up utilities and a file shredder that removes any traces of deleted files so that file-recovery software cannot resurrect them. Something rare in this product category is that Bitdefender scans applications and system settings and alerts you about missing pieces or outdated software that would benefit from a Windows security patch.
Bitdefender can tell if you are working, playing or watching video and knows to leave you alone at those times by not interfering or slowing you down or sending you pop-up messages. Management is convenient through an online dashboard that you can access from a remote browser. You will receive a weekly security report so you know what’s been happening if you have chosen the autopilot mode, which spares you from responding to situations as they arise.
Help & Support
You can access Bitdefender's help and support 24/7 by telephone and email. A user forum puts you in touch with fellow users. Extensive resources are online with instructions about how to tackle various security situations. In addition to free services, there are premium paid support services for advanced support from a technician who uses remote access to help you.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus takes care of antispyware. However, it is also full-strength antimalware with many useful features. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is the best antispyware software as well as the best antimalware. If you get into a security situation where you are in over your head, you can take advantage of 24/7 customer support.