BitDefender Total Security 2013 – What More Could You Want?

Internet Security:
Lee
Version:
2013
Price:
from $69.95
BitDefender TS 2013

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On July 18, 2012
Last modified:May 25, 2013

Summary:

BitDefender Total Security 2013 adds every feature you may have thought you'd ever need in a security program. And then it adds on more. Stay safe, stay secure, get this program NOW.

Key Benefits

  • An absolute beast of a program, but a real beauty too
  • AutoPilot makes it suitable for beginners as well as experienced users
  • Does a great job of spotting, blocking and removing the bad stuff
  • Not as demanding on system resources as last year’s version was
  • SafePay for extra security when banking online

A few weeks ago BitDefender released their new 2013 branded home security products. I’ve already looked at the antivirus and internet security programs so today I’ll be finishing off with the Total security suite. Considering how much I like the other two programs, I have extremely high hopes for this one too. Are they warranted…

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?

Other than for the fact that you have to have a ‘MyBitDefender’ account, yes, it is pretty easy to install this program.

You may be downloading for a minute or two and making a couple of mouse clicks but beyond that there are no complications at all. You will, however, have to log into or create a special account -

MyBitDefender

As part of the installation process you will need to sign into a new or existing ‘MyBitDefender’ account. Creating such an account is easy and you can even login with your Google or Facebook credentials.

MyBitDefender

As you can see in the image above, your account gives access to some of the more intriguing features, such as Anti-Theft (more on that later).

What is the user interface like?

As long as you don’t mind white text on a black background (I do, but the program is too good to mark down for that) then you will find the interface pretty clean and straightforward. The colouring doesn’t stop at black and white though – there is also a splash of green as you can see below. This means all is well and my computer is well protected. Should that colour change it may mean I have minor issues to resolve (amber) or something serious to attend to immediately (red).

Total-Security-2013

Back to the interface itself and you’ll see that the key components are laid out through the middle. Beneath these 4 sections you may also notice a slider which is a handy means of navigating to the other areas of this security suite.

Further up the screen you’ll see AutoPilot (more on that further down the page), Settings and Events.

The settings allows you to get into the program in a bit more detail and this area may appeal more to those who are more familiar with computers and/or these sorts of program. The events, as it sounds, is a list of things that have happened since the program was installed, be it updates or minor points of interest that you should take a look at.

What features does the program offer?

BitDefender Total Security 2013 comes packed with features. Lots of features.

For starters, there is everything that can be found in the company’s antivirus program:

  • antivirus
  • antispyware
  • AutoPilot
  • SafePay
  • USB immunizer
  • antiphishing
  • search advisor
  • SafeGo

And then there are the extra features from the internet security program:

  • parental control
  • two-way firewall
  • antispam

And then there are a few more additions specific to this suite as well:

  • device anti-theft
  • SafeBox
  • tune-up

modules

Here is a little more info on some of the most important features -

Antivirus

The antivirus component, as you would imagine, offers a range of scanning options such as a Quick Scan (very slow on first use but improves over time), Custom Scan (configure it how you want it), System Scan (slow but very thorough), Vulnerability Scan (checks passwords, etc – see last image to see how it flagged up a couple of mine that I had made deliberately weak), Removable Device Scan (USB Immunizer) and Rescue Mode (allows a Linux reboot which is useful for getting rid of pesky viruses and rootkits).

Whichever one of those modes you use will utilise something called the Smart Scan system which means that any files that have been scanned recently (and flagged as safe) will be skipped. This means that valuable system resources will be saved during the scanning process.

Tune-up

Tune-up is a feature that is unique to this Total Security program. As you can see in the image below, it leads to several different options, namely:

  • PC Clean-Up
  • Disk Defragmenter
  • Duplicate Finder
  • Registry Cleaner
  • Registry Recovery
I imagine all of those are fairly self-explanatory but if you want any more info on them just ask away in the comments at the end.

tuneup

Safebox

Safebox is another component of this suite that cannot be found in any of the other security offerings from BitDefender this year. In essence it is encrypted online storage and you can read all about it in one of my previous posts - here.

safebox

Search advisor

Search advisor is pretty standard fare in security programs these days. With it running, you will see something like the image below when you search for something online. As you can see, all the results returned for my search for “Google” have a green tick next to them. This means those links are perfectly safe and you should have no worries about clicking on them. If, however, you see a red cross… I’m sure you know what that means!

search-advisor

AutoPilot

This feature is something that BitDefender brought out in their programs last year and it is very good indeed if you are the sort of person who realises the need for protection but doesn’t want to spend a lot of time learning how to use their new program.

As ever the delectable Kymmy says, maybe even a teddy bear could use it:

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

Firewall

First things first, I should point out that in my experience some of the firewall features, i.e. the intrusion detection system, were set as off when I first installed the program. If you are someone who likes to tinker with their security software then you may want to check this and other settings soon after installing the program. Alternatively, if you are running on AutoPilot then you probably won’t have to concern yourself with the firewall at all.

Overall the firewall is pretty good in my opinion and won’t bug you with messages every few seconds whenever an application attempts a net connection. That is, unless you run the paranoid mode! If you get into this section and know what you are doing then there are many options you can play around with and configure just how you want. There doesn’t, however, seem to be any way to specify certain ports on a per application basis.

SafeGo

BitDefender SafeGo has been available as a standalone program for some time now but you will find it bundled here for ease of use.

It can be used to enhance your security on two of the most popular social networking sites – Facebook and Twitter (I wonder if anyone will come up with something similar for Google +) – by scanning shared links, friends and followers and posts to see if any people or content pose a threat to you. Having used it myself on occasion I can tell you that you may be surprised by what it flags up – there are definitely some dodgy people using those sites!

SafePay

This is a brand new feature for 2013 – a secure browser designed specifically to protect you whilst you conduct your online banking. Not only is it for use with your online bank but you can use it with other sensitive web sites too, such as the site associated with your credit card or for online purchases.

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

SafePay gives you a secured connection which protects you from malicious activity and there is also a virtual keyboard you can use for entering PIN numbers and other crucial information. This prevents your details being stolen via keyloggers.

This component will recognise many banking web sites and you can also add your own too if needed.

Parental Controls

You can set up, configure and monitor parental controls through your MyBitDefender account that you created as part of the installation process.

Parental-Control

Once you have created one or more accounts you can configure and monitor many features such as what your child is browsing on the web, Facebook and, would you believe, even phone calls if your kid has an Android phone and the right app.

Device anti-theft

Anti-theft is the main selling point for all those Android security programs out there right now. Or at least in my opinion it is – I actually think this aspect is far more important than anti-malware on such devices right now. For that reason it is good to see it available here.

Of course it may not be suitable for all users – most of you can expect not to lose your big chunky desktop PC (though it is possible). More likely, your netbook or laptop could be lost or stolen though.

anti-theft

With anti-theft you may be able to find it though – sign into MyBitDefender and select the device you want to track. You’ll then see a map which will be much clearer than the one above (I’ve hidden my location as I am at home right now), along with a description of the device’s location.

In my case the reported location gave the correct street along with a range of 6 possible door numbers. None of those were actually correct, but they were pretty damn close – 2 houses away in fact! Armed with that sort of accuracy you/the police (as the case may be) would have little difficulty in tracking your lost device.

Will it keep me safe?

I’ve still not seen any conclusive independent analysis of the new 2013 range from the big independent labs yet but my own testing, plus the consensus of most of the reports I’ve seen elsewhere on the web are that this program is pretty damn good indeed.

The core aspect of detecting, blocking and removing viruses and other malware works very well. The huge number of extra features that you get in a package like this will all combine to aid you in your defence against just about every other threat imaginable.

Overall impression

This is a very, very good program packed with features that you may never previously have know you needed! Expert users will find much to configure as they see fit whilst less confident people can turn on the trusty AutoPilot.

The main aspects to consider if you are weighing this up against the competition is it’s ability to deal with traditional threats well, combined with the new features such as SafePay and anti-theft which may really make a tremendous difference to some users.

I really do like the entire 2013 lineup from BitDefender. All three of their security programs get the job done and should protect you very well indeed in many different ways.

Keen observers may note that this and the Internet Security program get the full 5 stars whilst Antivirus only gets 4.5. Why is that? Purely because I think that the security suites offer a whole lot more for just a few more dollars – if you’re going to buy a security program then you may as well get the full works if it will only set you back a small amount more than the AV program, don’t you think?

BitDefender Total Security 2013 adds every feature you may have thought you'd ever need in a security program. And then it adds on more. Stay safe, stay secure, get this program NOW.
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.

Comments

  1. Joshua Warren says:

    It seems to me that most installation issues probably stem from conflicts with other antivirus/antimalware detection programs. First, it’s not a good idea to have more than one true antivirus program even installed on the system, much less running together. I don’t know of any that play well together. Next, although most antispyware and system “cleaner” software generally get along, there’s always exceptions. Finally, Bitdefender is a pretty aggressive program and probably will need some tweaking, depending on what other programs are on the system.

    Therefore, it seems wise to remove any other antivirus program (including Microsoft Essentials) and remove or disable all antispyware/antimalware/system cleaner programs prior to installing Bitdefender. These can then be reintroduced one at a time, if desired, although you may not need to. However, in no case should one reinstall the previous antivirus program.

  2. Joshua Warren says:

    I installed Bitdefender on two computers (desktop and laptop). The desktop was a brand new replacement for my burglarized desktop that I lost in August. I ordered the Bitdefender Total Security 2013 software at the same time that I ordered the PC, thinking I’d have the software on hand to install once the PC arrived. As it turned out, the PC arrived before the software did–presenting me with a dilemma: activate the preinstalled trial version of Norton, or wait on the software before setting up the PC for internet access. I needed the PC for work, so decided to uninstall Norton, and install the free version of Bitdefender pending arrival of 2013.

    I had some trouble on the PC getting 2013 installed and had to call customer service. I learned that some of the other anti-spyware programs on my system were causing problems, so uninstalled them. After that, no problem. What I want to note is that my call to customer service on a Thursday afternoon was answered before the second ring…the service rep was extremely helpful and courteous, and solved that problem without further issue.

    Later that evening, one of my programs would not run properly (a transcription program used for work) and I had to contact customer service again. This time the problem was a setting in Bitdefender that needed to be tweaked. Once done, my program ran perfectly. This time, I reached someone before the first ring.

    I have only had the system up and running for two days, but I am extremely pleased with it so far. It does seem to have some issues during initial setup getting everything to work together, but when you consider how well it protects your system, it is worth it.

    Setup on my laptop was straight forward and uneventful because of what I learned during the first install on the PC. Btw, one of the nicest and most useful features is the SafePay feature. I haven’t had time to really get into it yet, but am looking forward to benefiting from its protective features.

    • Lee Munson says:

      Its good to hear you got both good service and quick service too – both seem to be somewhat amiss in this industry at times.

  3. Joshua Warren says:

    I wish I had this program (Total Security 2013) installed on my last PC and laptop. Both were stolen during a burglary back in August, 2012. It would have been a snap to recover them using the anti-theft features. That would have been a big help to the police detective working my case.

  4. Lee – not sure about the customer service but the installation process was terrible, which is easily confirmed by checking their forum. Right now I am on my 5th try at installing BDTS2013. Hasn’t made it through a complete install yet. And each time it stopped I had to reboot to attempt it again. The last time it ran for two hours before saying it was sorry it could not finish – and I have no clue why it couldn’t finish. The first few times I figured it was my fault and so I tried all the various uninstall programs they recommend to get rid of my earlier package, but I ended up having to download Revo to get rid of PandaUSB. I had started to ask for the refund and then decided to give it one more try. Panda may have been the problem as it has gone further this time than the previous attempts – I hope it finishes because I think the program is good. But they need to fix the install or at least explain that a good uninstall program is required before attempting installation. A company with good customer service doesn’t let people waste hours (days in some cases) when they know there are free, simple solutions available. (By the way, it just finished successfully so the Panda must have been the problem).

    • Lee Munson says:

      I’m glad I installed Panda after and not before! Glad you have it working now.

      You do have a fair point about customer service in general though – I’ve actually spoken to BitDefender and others about this as no-one in this industry is really good at it in my most humble opinion.

  5. WARNING – Don’t trust this company !!After reading the glowing reviews I was excited about this program. After purchasing the software online, I was told I would get an email with a registration key. They don’t send a registration key, only a sales pitch to install it for me for an ADDITIONAL fee.
    I had to call customer service to get a registration key. They never send an email, but hope customers are stupid enough to pay $40 for installation.After reading other reviews, I was careful to delete any other virus software. My computer was brand new, so there was only the trial version of Norton and Trend that is preloaded. After deleing them and checking for any traces in the registries, I started the download. I figured that there would be no problems with a brand new computer with no existing issues.I was unable to install the program because it had a critical error about 90% of the way through the installation. After an hour on the phone with 2 customer service reps, they were unable to install the program. They offtered to email me in 24-48 hours to try again with the error log.This is the oddest experience I have had with an online service. It was so underhanded that it certainly did not inspire confidence in the company. I would only use software from a company I trust.When I asked for an immediate refund they said they would have a customer service rep contact me in 24-48 hours to “talk to me” about cancelling. I insisted that I wanted an immediate refund, but they said an immediate refund was impossible. I am doubtful I will even get my money back at this point.I would never trust this company. The product doesn’t work, the customer service is no help, and they are unethical in the way they handle your account.I read a similar review somewhere and disregarded it thinking that there are always people who aren’t happy with a product. Now I wish I had listened to that review. Since this is a new product, I am sure the negative reviews will start rolling in.

    • Lee Munson says:

      I actually think BitDefender’s customer service is better than many other companies. If you are still having problems let me know and I’ll see if I can help…

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