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.

The Good

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.

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The Bad

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.

Bitdefender has a very poor rating by the Better Business Bureau(BBB), which really paints a bad picture of the company’s customer service care. A better rating by the BBB would show a better effort in gaining and keeping loyal customers.

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.

Price (*subject to change)

  • Total Security $69.95 (1 PC, 1 year)
  • Internet Security $49.95 (1 PC, 1 year)
  • Antivirus Plus $39.95 (1 PC, 1 year)
  • Bitdefender Sphere $99.95 (any number of devices for up to 3 users in the same household)
  • Antivirus for Mac $39.95 (1 user, 1 year)
  • Mobile Security $9.95/year
  • PC Optimizer $59.95 (1 intervention)

Free trial offer

All of Bitdefender’s computer antivirus products can be downloaded for a 30-day free trial.

Mobile protection

  • Privacy Protection – Gives you detailed information about what apps are doing with your personal information
  • On-Demand Scanning – Scans apps for legitimacy and safety
  • Anti-Theft – Provides options to remotely locate, lock, wipe, or send a message to a lost or stolen device
  • Web Security – Protects user from webpages that contain malware, phishing, or fraudulent content while browsing


  • Anti-virus, Anti-spyware, and Anti-phishing – Monitors processes’ behavior in real time and tags suspicious activities; scanner checks for missing or outdated security software that could leave you vulnerable to attacks; flags malware and phishing attempts in search engines
  • Bitdefender Safepay – Opens online banking pages in a secure browser, safeguards payments and automatically fills in account information for convenience
  • Security Report – Offers recommendations and notifications of unused modules as well as pending issues and how to fix them
  • Password Protector/Wallet – Automatically logs you into your emails, apps, and favorite websites; safely stores your sensitive credentials, such as credit card information
  • Social Network Protection – Scans, filters, and blocks threats specific to social networking by scanning links received from Facebook friends and monitoring privacy settings; encrypts chat conversations
  • Privacy Protection – Surf and socialize while hiding your private information; prevents sensitive data from ever leaving your computer; file shredder deletes sensitive files from your PC
  • Two-way Firewall – Monitors Internet connections and prevents unauthorized access over WiFi networks
  • Parental Control – Remotely monitor your children’s online activity, block inappropriate content, and restrict Web access between certain hours
  • Antispam – Blocks unwanted email, including spam and scams, with cloud technology
  • USB Protection – Protects flash drives from viruses when they’re connected to your computer
  • Anti-Theft – Remotely locates and locks your lost or stolen device from any Internet-connected device


AV-Test’s December 2013 endpoint security protection test showed that Bitdefender’s technology performs above average in protecting against malware attacks, including web and email threats. The impact on computer speed in daily usage was minimal—in fact, much better than the industry average.  AV-Comparative’s September 2013 test gave Bitdefender its highest rating, Advanced+, after it detected most malicious files and had very few false positives.

Tune-up & Speed

Bitdefender’s antivirus products do not include a tune-up feature. However, the company does sell a PC optimizing service separately. This will assess your PC, optimize it for best performance, perform a system cleanup, and install the latest Windows updates.


While Bitdefender has responded to some of the complaints filed with the BBB, many have gone unresolved—so many that the BBB has attached an alert to Bitdefender’s page describing this pattern of unanswered complaints. Bitdefender has responded to many complaints by issuing refunds, but some unsatisfied customers have reported that the company fails to honor advertised rebates.

Time in Business

13+ years (founded in 2001)


Bitdefender’s chief headquarters is in Bucharest, Romania, with the U.S. global marketing headquarters in Mountain View, CA.

Customer Service

Bitdefender’s website has an extensive archive of support articles regarding their products. They also offer 24-hour email, chat, and phone help for commercial and technical support, though patience is sometimes required for a response. Customers on the BBB have said they have had difficulty reaching Bitdefender for product support or refund assistance.


PC System Requirements

  • Windows XP (32 bit)
  • Windows Vista (SP2)
  • Windows 7 (SP1)
  • Windows 8
  • CPU: 800 MHz processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 1.8 GB free hard disk space 

Antivirus for Mac Requirements

  • Mac OS X version 10.7 or later
  • 1 GB of RAM Memory
  • 400 MB available hard disk space

Mobile Security Requirement

  • Android 2.0.1 or newer

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