BitDefender Total Security: All the protection you need with extras

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Bitdefender security software has a well-established name in the related industry and Total Security – a step up from the Internet Security suite – is currently their most comprehensive product. Its rich bundle of features and innovative technologies along with the silent Autopilot mode that protects the user in the most discrete and efficient way possible make Bitdefender Total Security a top quality solution for a safe computing environment.

Installation & Requirements

Bitdefender is a highly advanced security product but only in terms of effectiveness and certainly not when it comes to using it. The installer is pretty much self-sufficient and the custom settings provide only a few user-customizable options. While downloading and installing the necessary files, Bitdefender will use a cloud scanner contained by the installer to perform a quick check of your critical system areas and memory.

The only downside of the installation process is that Bitdefender detects and rejects most smaller, specialized security applications (and even files left over after uninstall) that were designed to work in conjunction with major suites (such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware).

The program’s recommended system requirements can be a problem for older computers, although are not exaggerated given the complexity of this security bundle. You must have Microsoft Windows XP SP3 (32 bit), Vista (SP2) or Microsoft Windows 7 (SP1); an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU (1.66 GHz) or equivalent; 1 GB RAM for Windows XP and 1.5 GB RAM for Windows Vista/7; 2.8 GB free space (with at least 800 MB on the system drive).

Interface

Bitdefender’s dark-grey GUI looks rather straightforward at first glance but it comes with a couple of useful tweaks that will help you navigate through it very easy: the top menu has three categories: Events, Settings and the turn Autopilot on/off button. The Events option will open a window that shows a history of all actions taken by the user or the program itself for each of the program’s functions. The Settings option opens a window from where you can customize all of the program’s settings ( also organized as separate panes for each function). As one of those tweaks we mentioned earlier, you can easily return to the main view of the program (while inside the Settings or Events) by pressing the Home button, located at the top-right of the window.

The main area contains a section for each of the built-in tools: Antivirus, Antispam, Update, Firewall…etc. Each one provides related options through buttons with drop-down menus located at the bottom of each section (for example the Antivirus section has a Scan Now button that when pressed provides a drop-down menu with all possible scan modes: Quick Scan, Full System Scan, Custom Scan, Vulnerability Scan and Rescue Mode). Below the options button there is also a switch that allows you to quickly turn on/off each function. You can navigate through these sections by pressing the arrows located at the right and left of the main area (or on the row of grey dots below it) and even changing their display order by dragging and dropping a section where you want it to be.

Now we get to the question that probably crossed through everyone’s mind: What does Bitdefender Total Security have to offer in addition to the capabilities of Bitdefender Internet Security? The answer is: a File Shredder, File Encryption, the SafeBox (online back-up and synchronization capabilities with 2 GB of free storage) and a Tune-Up module (that contains a few basic tools for PC optimization).

The Tune-Up module comes with built-in tools for: PC-Cleanup (capable of removing junk files such as Temporary Internet Files and cookies – only for Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox –, unused Temporary Files and the Recent Documents, but you won’t be able to see or uncheck any of the data selected for deletion); the Disk Defragmenter is actually the default Windows one, and brings no extra functionality except the fact that you will be able to access it from the same place as the other optimization tools; the Duplicate Finder is very efficient, as it also compares the content of the files, not just their names, sizes and creation/modification dates when searching for duplicates; the Registry Cleaner will remove registry entries from your computer left over after programs have been uninstalled (because removing certain entries can cause problems and will allow you to view and manually deselect entries from the list); and last but not least is the Registry Recovery feature which automatically performs a backup before the deletion process starts when using the Registry Cleaner and allows you to restore your Windows registry to the state preceding your last registry clean.

To conclude, the security features contained by Bitdefender Total Security are among the most efficient and reliable from those currently available within this type of products, but the additional tools, although very useful for many users do not provide extra layers of protection.

Pros

– Ensures excellent protection against a broad range of threats in both online and offline environments.

– The Autopilot mode is an innovative and efficient way of getting unattended protection with most notifications set to silent.

– Easy to use interface with customization possibilities.

– Additional tools are provided for file shredding, encryption, synchronization and computer optimization.

Cons

– The program rejects smaller programs such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and requires these to be uninstalled in order to function properly.

– The built-in optimization tools are on par or inferior to the ones already available in specialized applications.

Alternatives

There are not many security bundles similar to Bitdefender Total Security in terms of complexity. However, if you are a fan of these antimalware/utilities hybrids, the Kaspersky Pure software suite somewhat resembles our program in question except for the fact that it lacks the PC tune-up utilities but it does come with a Password Manager, Scheduled Automatic Backup and Home Network Control.

Concerning the protection capabilities you can also get them by opting for an Internet Security suite such as Bitdefender Internet Security but also other popular alternatives like Kaspersky Internet Security, F-Secure Internet Security and Avira Internet Security.

Conclusion

Bitdefender Total Security has few rivals when it comes to the protection and ease of use it provides, and even fewer if we add the extra tools such as the file encryption, shredder and back-up.