- Specifically designed for Windows 8
- Supports Microsoft’s Early Launch Anti-Malware (ELAM) feature
- Integrates with Windows 8’s Security Centre
- AutoPilot makes it very simple to use
- Excellent detection and removal of malware
- SafePay increases your security when online banking
Long before Windows 8 was released there was much talk about Microsoft’s new operating system amongst the security community. Topics such as Secure Boot and the Sandbox were popular but, arguably, the greatest point of interest was the inclusion of a security solution out of the box.
It is of course too early to draw many conclusions about how effective Windows 8’s in-built security is/will be. But, to my mind, a free solution used by the majority of an operating system’s users is not something that appeals too greatly – its just too juicy a target for the bad guys to concentrate their efforts on.
So thats why there may well still be life after Windows 8 for all of the established security companies out there.
Indeed, as you can see from the image above, the new operating system already has over 90 various security apps available in the Windows store. One of the latest ones to be released comes from my favourite security company; BitDefender. And that is what I’m looking at today – BitDefender’s Windows 8 Security.
Will it run on my PC?
The program has the following minimum system requirements:
- Windows 8 operating system
- 1.8 GB of free hard drive space
- 800 Mhz processor
- 2 GB of RAM
The recommended system requirements are:
- 2.8 GB of free hard drive space
- Intel Core Duo 1.66 Ghz processor or better
- 2.5 GB or more of RAM
Is it easy to install this program?
Yes it is.
If you have installed any other BitDefender security package recently then you’ll know what to expect – this suite will run a preliminary scan to ensure you don’t already have any gremlins on your system then download all the required files and then install the full package.
As part of the process you will have to log into your MyBitDefender account (or create one if you don’t already have one).
Once this is done you’ll be good to go…
What is the user interface like?
BitDefender Windows 8 Security is, essentially, BitDefender Internet Security 2013 with some extra features added on. There are some minor cosmetic changes though and I think they are actually an improvement.
The main interface can be seen in the screenshot below.
From here you have access to all the most important areas of the suite as well as other key areas such as the Events viewer, stats and AutoPilot.
You also get a similar type of colour coding as per the companies other releases in 2013 – not the big green rectangle which denotes a well protected system. (If the boz was red or orange then something would need your attention and the program would tell you exactly what).
One important point to note here is that this is a desktop program and not a Modern UI app as you might otherwise think given the way that Microsoft’s latest operating system has evolved. Personally, I think that is a good thing.
What features does the program offer?
If you look at the image below you will get a quick idea of the main features on offer here:
- Early Start-Up Scanner
- Security Info
- Privacy Control
There is also something called Safepay which can be accessed via a separate desktop icon to the main program.
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.
Does what it says on the tin – the anti-spam feature will prevent dodgy emails even getting to your inbox. Works with Outlook 2007/10, Outlook Express, Windows Mail and Thunderbird.
Early Start-Up Scanner
Windows 8 specific feature
BitDefender is integrated with the Windows Security Center and constantly keeps you informed of the security status of your PC.
Windows 8 specific feature
Prevents dangerous malware from infecting your computer at Windows 8 startup, using ELAM (Early Launch Anti-Malware) technology.
This component of the program gives you access to the anti-phishing element as well as a secure file shredder.
Another fairly self-explanatory component is the firewall which will guard your networked PC from outside attack from hackers.
BitDefender SafeGo has been available as a standalone program for some time now but is 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 – 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!
Will it keep me safe?
Being such a new program means there are no independent reviews available just yet. Therefore, I decided to test it out against a large list of dodgy sites. BitDefender Windows 8 Security coped admirably and successfully detected everything I threw at it!
But this program isn’t just about blocking email or other viruses, it goes a lot further than that. One of the best new features is designed to protect you when you are involved in perhaps the most crucial task you may perform on your computer – online banking –
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.
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.
BitDefender’s Windows 8 Security isn’t vastly different to their recent Internet Security 2013. In fact, it is pretty well the same suite with a few extra features thrown in that are specific to the latest Windows operating system. The really important new feature – ELAM support – isn’t really visible to the end user but thats not to say it isn’t extremely useful.
So, at the end of the day, this is the same 5-star product I’ve already reviewed with extra protection added on top and that makes it extremely good value indeed.
The malware detection and removal capabilities of this program are second to none, its easy to use, looks good and packs all the features your likely to need to take your personal computer security to the highest level.
There really isn’t anything not to like with this program so if you are looking for the best solution for your new Windows 8 machine then look no further than this!
- from $59.99