Bitdefender

Per year, starts at $39.99

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus: A Top Choice

The entry-level antivirus from Bitdefender boasts the name Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, and the Plus is very much deserved. This tool handles all the basic antivirus tasks effectively—and then goes way beyond in terms of additional security features. Feature-wise, it could take on many security suites and win. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus remains a top choice when it comes to protecting your PC’s security.

Some antivirus products, such as Cylance Smart Antivirus and F-Secure, stick strictly with the essentials, wiping out existing malware infestations and defending against new attacks. Bitdefender, by contrast, packs a huge collection of security-centric features, among them password management, enhanced security for online transactions, ransomware protection, and even a VPN. To be sure you realize how much you Te getting, the installer runs a slideshow detailing the features while doing its job.

At $39.99 per year for one license, Bitdefender’s pricing matches that of many competitors. More than a dozen others go for roughly the same price, among them Kaspersky, Webroot, Trend Micro, and ESET NOD32 Antivirus. F-Secure charges $39.99 too, but that gets you three licenses for the price. Three Bitdefender licenses will run you $59.99 per year. You can also get five licenses for $69.99, or 10 for $79.99. McAfee costs $59.99 per year, the same as Bitdefender’s three-license price, but with McAfee, you can protect every Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS device in your household.

This would have been the 2021 edition of the Bitdefender product line. But for some time, the company has been continuously refining the feature set of each product rather than holding back new features for one big version release. The latest products no longer carry the year as a version number.

Bitdefender’s main window displays a security dashboard, with a left-rail menu that offers detailed access to features. Security recommendations occupy the top of the rest of the window, with a collection of what the product calls Quick Actions below. The default Quick Actions let you launch a quick, system, or vulnerability scan; open the VPN; and configure Safepay online protection. You can configure the product to put the File Shredder or Wallet password manager in the main display in place of an action that’s not your fave.

Clicking Protection, Privacy, or Utilities in the left menu brings up detailed pages of features and settings, though some of the features are available only at the suite level. For example, on the Protection page, the Firewall and Antispam items require an upgrade. Under Privacy, the parental advisor and camera/mic protection aren’t available. Under Utilities, you can use the file shredder or configure the Profiles system, but that’s all.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

PROS
Outstanding scores in independent lab tests and our web protection tests. Enhanced ransomware protection. Active Do Not Track. Banking protection. Offersa virtual private network (VPN). Many security-centered bonus features.

CONS
Unlimited VPN access requires separate subscription. With all real-time protection disabled, ransomware-specific features missed one uncommon sample.

BOTTOM LINE
With outstanding antivirus lab results anda collection of features that puts many security suites to shame, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is an excellent choice for protecting your PC.