Even for a well-established security software brand such as Bitdefender, its internet security suite is the most popular choice. Bitdefender Internet Security has a well-rounded set of features to ensure protection against all kinds of threats, in both online and offline environments, easy to setup at a basic level.
Installation & Requirements
The setup is straightforward, but it will take a while for the installer to scan your system, download and install the security suite. Users will be guided through a Get Started wizard to register their product (or enable the 30-day free trial), configure its behavior and activate it.
Bitdefender Internet Security currently supports Windows XP SP3 (32-bit), Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8. Minimum system requirements include 1 GB of RAM and 1.8 GB of free space with at least 800 MB on the system drive.
Bitdefender Internet Security hangs on to its dark-themed, clean UI which is quite easy to use. Still, for those having trouble understanding what the presented options do, the small “?” button in the lower-right corner of the interface enables pop-up descriptions for the main elements of the page you’re currently on.
Each security module has its own pane from which you can quickly access its settings or functions and you can view four at a time using the Panels Slider or all of them using the Modules Overview.
To begin with, we initiated a full system scan, which completed in about 53 minutes, a rather long wait. Also, there was a noticeable decrease in system performance during the scan process. The good news is, Bitdefender is using Photon technology, which adapts the scanning to your computer, gradually reducing its duration. For us it was not so gradual since the second full system scan took only 14 minutes.
There are also other scan modes available, namely the Quick Scan (took about 15 seconds in our case) and the Vulnerability Scan that checks your computer for Windows and application updates. The Antivirus panel also offers a scan manager where users can schedule scans and the Rescue Mode for virus removal on infected systems.
The Antispam module offers several settings: blocking of emails written in Asian characters is turned on and blocking emails written with Cyrillic characters is disabled by default. You can also add e-mail contacts to lists of friends and spammers. The Privacy module offers antiphishing protection, chat encryption for IM clients and customizable data protection for just about any type of data such as passwords, PINs, e-mail addresses and phone numbers.
The Firewall lets you configure the level of Intrusion Detection System and you can even turn on the Paranoid mode, although that comes with the cost of many generated threat alerts you’d have to manually go through. However, with Autopilot on and Paranoid mode turned off, Bitdefender will automatically handle most of the threats.
The program also has a decent Parental Control module that lets you create multiple profiles for your children and track their activities using the online console My Bitdefender (requires account creation). Because this is a full-fledged Internet Security suite, you’ll also get a password manager (Bitdefender Wallet) and social networking protection (Safego).
While an inexperienced user would not be able to configure all of the program’s settings, the related menu is very easy to navigate and allows basic to moderate configuration for most users.
– The Autopilot handles threats with minimum user interaction needed.
– Powerful, customizable two-way firewall.
– Protection against phishing and spam.
– Safego module ensures social networking protection against malware and spam.
– Intuitive Parental Control options.
– Excellent malware detection rates.
– It can have a negative effect on system performance, especially for computers on the low-side of the program’s system requirements.
– Lacks the option of storing Wallet configuration online.
Bitdefender Internet Security might be on the list of expensive security software, but it is an all-round package ready to satisfy whoever needs more than a simple antivirus. Despite the developer’s best efforts to simplify the interface, it’s still a bit too complicated for a beginner. Nevertheless, you could get someone qualified to configure the product and then let it run in Autopilot mode, ensuring continuous automated protection.