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Bitdefender, launched in 2001, is headquartered in Romania with global marketing headquarters in Mountain View, CA. The antivirus was developed by the Romanian-based software company Softwin. Its predecessor product, AVX, was the first antivirus product to include a personal firewall. Now in its 17th version, Bitdefender antivirus technology has received several awards for its malware detection and removal capabilities. Within the past two years, it has been named “Best Antivirus” by PC Mag and “Product of the Year 2012” by AV-Comparative. It was also given AV-Test's “Best Repair” award in 2012. 

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The Good

  • Great features
  • Cloud services
  • Extra perks

This company promises excellent protection against malware, and it boasts the features and credentials to back up their claim. Bitdefender's technology includes social network protection, anti-spam, anti-phishing, and a powerful firewall. Though the product is downloadable, up-dateable antivirus software in the traditional sense, it combines those layers of protection with cloud services that flag malware and phishing attempts in Google and Bing search results. Perhaps because of this combination security approach, Bitdefender has been shown by AV-Test to have minimal impact on PC speed. Bitdefender's antivirus products have some extra perks along with computer security, such as autopilot setting configuration that prevents the need for pop-ups, secure online storage, and remote settings management. The company recently came out with the first antivirus product specifically designed for the Windows 8 and 8.1 interface. Bitdefender also offers excellent cloud security for businesses, with no hardware costs.

The Bad

  • Free version is limited

While Bitdefender's free antivirus products offer top-notch protection, these free versions only offer on-demand virus scanning (versus continual, real-time scanning). For that reason, you'll definitely want to purchase a paid subscription if your computer has a continuous connection to the internet.

The Bottom Line

If you want rigorously-tested computer and mobile protection, Bitdefender might be the company for you. But if customer support quality is your priority, you may want to keep looking.

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