Top critical review
31 people found this helpful
Some gimmicky features
on January 8, 2014
I ended up buying Bitdefender Total Security due to it having the highest rankings on several independent anti-virus test labs (Virus Bulletin, AV Comparatives, etc).
I upgraded from the previous 2013 version and as others have stated, it can be intrusive and show popups when your subscription is nearing its end. This was particularly annoying.
The features that Total Security has over Internet Security are just not worth it. You're better off saving your money and using third party tools.
* Anti theft - I tried out this feature and on the Bitdefender dashboard, showed me that my computer was located miles away from where it actually was. You're better off using a third party anti theft program that can accurately pinpoint your computer, as well as take pictures from your webcam (if equipped). I didn't see a way to get the IP address of where the computer was either. You're better off using "Prey" anti theft, or if your computer supports it, Absolute's LoJack for laptops.
* Identity protection - There is a free version of the identity protection which I cannot figure out how to access and keep running into pages that prompt me to upgrade to a paid subscription. You're better off signing up for Credit Karma.
* PC Optimization - You're better off using a third party program like CCleaner which does a much better job and offers a free version.
* Safebox - You get 2GB of "secure" online storage. You can get more storage for free from services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft's SkyDrive, which all also have mobile apps.
* File Encryption - I haven't used this feature of Bitdefender, but there are many free options as well. On the more premium editions of Windows, this is built-in, or you can use the tried and true TrueCrypt program for file encryption which offers better and more versatile encryption.
* Performance - I have not noticed any performance impact as a result of running Bitdefender and it even offers a game mode which stops some background tasks and doesn't show any notifications when a program runs in full screen mode.
* Protection - One nice feature is the browser protection, which blocks access to dangerous sites. However, I have found that at times it will block legitimate sites but you have the option of continuing to the site if you choose. The anti-virus feature seems to work well too. Often times, it will show some tracking cookies from the web as an infected file (such as Cookie.Doubleclick) and remove it, which I suppose may be a nice way to increase privacy. I will admit that I have downloaded some files from questionable sources as well and fortunately Bitdefender caught some infected items and kept me safe.
* Usability - This is purely subjective and personally I don't really care for the user interface. I find that it just doesn't look as nice as some others. For example, in the default configuration, you can only see the status of 4 items (such as ANTIVIRUS, FIREWALL, UPDATE, SAFEBOX) at a time and must click to scroll right or left. I tried out Kaspersky and I found that I like the interface better.
Before you purchase this, I would suggest evaluating a free trial of this as well as Kaspersky to see which one works better for you. Also, consider saving your money and go with the Internet Security edition.