I've had my fair share of experiences with various antivirus software over the years. Sophos, McAfee, F-Secure, AVG, and Malwarebytes, to name a few. Some have been more annoying than effective.

Bleeping Computer described how a fake Facebook Midjourney AI page promoted malware to 1.2 million people - attacks are getting more advanced every day. Rilide is a malicious browser extension masquerading as Google Translate, enabling hackers to monitor browsing history, capture login credentials and bypass 2FA.

Recently, I came across BitDefender and was impressed enough to subscribe for a year after a few weeks of testing. This post is not an affiliate one, but rather a recommendation based on my personal experience.

TL;DR Desktop and mobile, light and unobtrusive, real-time protection, blocks suspicious sites, hourly threat updates, privacy and parental controls, free VPN, and install on up to five devices with one license. Mobile app has anti-theft to locate, scream, remotely lock or erase.

Frustrating: the number of product bundles available - Total Security, the Family Pack, Small Office Security, the Ultimate Security, The Premium Security. I'm on the 'Total Security' plan, and they also offer a free version with basic protections.

How does this work?

BitDefender is doing all the talking to "the Internet" and websites you visit. Your browser is receiving data scanned by BitDefender installed on your computer.

This enables BitDefender to intercept and analyze encrypted traffic ("https") before passing it on to the browser, blocking dangerous or malicious links and downloads.

You'll notice the browsers 'padlock' SSL certificate is issued by BitDefender when active.

OK, does it work?

BitDefender, along with Kaspersky and Microsoft, earned a perfect 10-point aggregate score based on results from three anti-virus testing labs in a review by PC Mag. Kaspersky is Russian tech, BitDefender origins are EU, founded 2001 in Romania.

And yes, it works, when downloading live viruses from research sites it triggers immediately

Blocked application

BitDefender also protects my privacy by blocking suspicious links.

Suspicious website blocked

Discreet but present

BitDefender does not get in the way, only notifies me when it has intercepted something, or when the camera or microphone is activated. Threat information is silently updated several times per day. Overall light on resources, using 350 MB RAM.

BitDefender resource use

Parental controls

Five devices are included in one subscription. Install BitDefender on your kids computers and phones. Not only do you protect their privacy, but also keep track of which apps they are using, monitor screen-time, see where they are, and can block browsing to categories such as porn or social media.

Free VPN - yes, really free

200MB same-country traffic is included on the free VPN plan. Kill-switch built in, if the VPN goes down no traffic leaves your computer. A USD 40 yearly subscription enables multiple countries & unlimited data.

A few useful utilities included

  • One-click optimizer, cleaning up junk files from my drive.
  • Profiles - optimized settings for gaming, movies, work, and when on battery.
  • Anti tracking, kills 3rd party cookies in browsers. Firefox users already have this functionality with the cookie-jar.
  • The Scamio bot will check any message for scams - paste them in and see what the bot thinks.

With the user in mind

When checking if BitDefender is running the mouse-over says "You are safe". Highly recommended, give it a try at bitdefender.com