BitDefender Antivirus Plus 2013 Review

Antivirus:
Lee
Version:
2013
Price:
from $39.95
BitDefender Antivirus Plus 2013

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4.5
On July 12, 2012
Last modified:May 25, 2013

Summary:

Does everything it should to a high standard and packs in many extra, and genuinely useful, features too. Its only true competition this year may come from BitDefender's own Internet Security suite.

Key Benefits

  • AutoPilot makes the program easy to use, even for those with little computer knowledge
  • SafePay provides a secure means of banking online
  • Very good at detecting and removing viruses and other threats
  • System requirements aren’t too demanding
  • Windows 8 compatible

With antivirus vendor BitDefender having released their new security programs back on the 26th of June I have already reviewed their 2013 internet security suite. Today I shall be looking at one of their alternative protection programs – BitDefender Antivirus Plus 2013.

Will it run on my PC?

The minimum suggested system requirements for this program are as follows:

  • Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
  • 800 Mhz Processor or quicker
  • 1 GB of RAM or more
  • 1 GB or more of RAM (2 GB recommended)

Is it easy to install this program?

Yes. And it is reasonably quick too.

With the full installation consuming a little under 200 MB of hard drive space it was surprising to see that the installation only took a minute or two.

You won’t need to interact with the program very much during the installation procedure as the only real choice you will have to make is between a standard or custom install. The former will be what the majority of users will wish to go with.

getting-started

By the time you have configured the program (dead easy and quick, i.e. setting some sliders as per the image above) you will be up and running in just a few minutes. The only potentially time consuming aspect (which doesn’t take that long any way) is the setup of an account with BitDefender (which you will already have if you used the 2012 version of the program).

MyBitDefender

During installation you will need to sign into your MyBitDefender account if you already have one. If you don’t, you will need to create one which is a reasonably quick process.

MyBitDefender

You can create an account by entering your email address and creating a suitably secure password or you can login via your Facebook or Google accounts if you have one of those.

What is the user interface like?

As expected, the user interface is much like the one found in BitDefender’s internet security suite, albeit with less features present.

The main view of the interface can be seen in the screenshot below:

BitDefender-Antivirus-Plus-2013

From here you can access all the key areas of the program:

  • Antivirus
  • Privacy
  • Updates
  • SafeGo
  • Events
  • Settings
  • AutoPilot
  • MyBitDefender

There is also a handy bit of colour usage here which will give you a very quick indication of the status of your security – the nice bit of green you see at the top of the image above clearly shows that my computer is well protected. Should that turn red I would know that I have an urgent issue to deal with right away. Yellow would mean a less critical issue needs attention but I would still recommend looking into that at the first available opportunity.

Widget

Something else you will notice with this AV program is the fact that it comes with a security widget:

widget

This is something you will find on your computer’s desktop (you can close it if you don’t like it or its too big for the size screen you are using).

The widget will give you a quick view of what is going on with your antivirus program, i.e. scanning activity and notifications. You can also use it to launch the program itself and to quickly visit your BitDefender account. Additionally, you can drag and drop files onto the widget for fast and convenient scanning – handy if you have an odd file that you have suspicions about.

What features does the program offer?

Quite simply, the program boasts the following features:

  • Antivirus
  • Antispyware
  • AutoPilot
  • SafePay
  • USB Immunizer
  • AntiPhishing
  • Search Advisor
  • SafeGo

With the exception of SafePay, opened via a separate desktop icon, all these features are enabled through the main program.

If you are wondering what the difference is between this antivirus program and the internet security suite then I would point out that the following features are omitted from this program:

  • parental controls
  • firewall
  • antispam

Obviously you will have to decide whether those features are needed to meet your own needs or not.

Here is a little more information on how some of those features will help you keep your computer secure –

Antivirus

The main element of this program is, of course, the antivirus component.

You’ll likely be familiar with the various options available here – quick scans, full system scans, vulnerability scanner and custom scanning. There is also what is known as USB Immunizer too though which is a scanner for any removable devices you may add to your system.

Whichever one of these scans you use, you will benefit from a feature known as Smart Scan which allows the program to skip over any files that it has already analysed in the recent past, thereby saving time and system resources.

AutoPilot

This is a very handy feature that will appeal especially to those who like the peace of mind that comes with installing an antivirus program but who, perhaps, don’t fully understand what they are doing with it. AutoPilot will take the most important security decisions out of your hands, thereby keeping you safe without the risk of you forgetting something or messing up a setting.

In fact, AutoPilot makes this program so easy to use…

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

SafePay

This is probably the most exciting addition to BitDefender’s lineup this year –

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

SafePay is found via a separate icon on your computer’s desktop. When engaged, it will allow you to visit your online bank (it recognises many by default) and other sites via a secure browser. Whilst using SafePay you will have an added layer of protection via a secure connection as well as the use of a virtual keyboard for entering those all important PIN numbers and password. This virtual keyboard will help protect you from keyloggers if any have found their way onto your system.

SafeGo

This feature will appeal to the social network fans amongst you.

If you use Facebook or Twitter then it can keep you secure on those platforms by checking out shared links as well as your friends and followers and will then report any suspicions back to you. I use this myself and it does do a good job of alerting you to suspicious activities.

Will it keep me safe?

Yes!

This is a very good program indeed. Not only did it cope with the collection of suspect links and files I threw at it, it also offers so many other forms of protection too, such as SafePay that I mentioned above.

event-viewer

Other nice touches include the vulnerability report that you can see in the picture above. This will alert you should you have an issue that may impact on your security. In my instance the program is alerting me to the fact that my Windows password is weak. In actual fact, said password is actually completely missing – I was running the software on a test machine that gets used for nothing else – but you should make sure that you do password protect everything that is of importance to you.

Overall impression

Before I began this review I hoped to be impressed as I did rather like last year’s programs from the Romanian security guys. The one reservation I had about the 2012 version – resource usage – seems to have been much improved with this year’s version.

Additions to the core program are both significant and useful. SafePay, for example, is an excellent feature that is highly recommended when using online banking, inputting credit card data on sites, etc.

I can only think of one reason not to buy this antivirus program and that is the fact that the company’s own internet security suite is a mere $10 more and that, in my opinion, offers better value. That said, if you don’t need parental controls, antispam and a firewall, then this av program will likely be the best one available this year.

Does everything it should to a high standard and packs in many extra, and genuinely useful, features too. Its only true competition this year may come from BitDefender's own Internet Security suite.
About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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