Antivirus

Bitdefender 2020 Antivirus Solutions review

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 1 YearSGD$69.99SGD$35/yearViewat BitdefenderPlease noteThis is our all-in-one roundup reviewing every Bitdefender consumer security solution for 2020. On this page, after our brief intro, you’ll find (a) a full evaluation of the entry-level Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020, along with our reviews of the additional features incorporated with the rest of the range: (b) Bitdefender Internet…

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 1 Year

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Please note

This is our all-in-one roundup reviewing every Bitdefender consumer security solution for 2020. On this page, after our brief intro, you’ll find 

(a) a full evaluation of the entry-level Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020, along with our reviews of the additional features incorporated with the rest of the range: 

(b) Bitdefender Internet Security 2020, and 

(c) the top-end package Bitdefender Total Security 2020

(d) Finally, at the end of the article is our review of the free offering, Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition.

You can jump to the reviews of those individual products by clicking on the links, but bear in mind that this article is really designed to be read all the way through, as the features of Antivirus Plus 2020 are also present in the higher-level security suites, of course. 

Bitdefender 2020 is the Romanian firm’s latest power-packed family of top-of-the-range antivirus and security suites.

The consumer range starts with Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition, a simple Windows tool which focuses very much on the core security basics: antivirus, blocking of phishing and other scam sites, and that’s about it.

a massive 60% discount on Antivirus Plus (or click here for a 50% discount if you’re in Australia). That means the price comes down to just $23.99 (around £18) or AU$35 for the year for three devices!

Bitdefender 2src2src

(Image credit: Bitdefender)

Bitdefender Internet Security extends the package with a firewall, spam filter and parental controls. Webcam protection enables blocking unauthorized access to your webcam, and a new microphone monitor shows you which apps are accessing your microphone. $40 gets you a three-device, one-year license, rising to $80 on renewal.

At the top of the range, Bitdefender Total Security adds device clean-up and optimization tools, and introduces apps to cover Mac, Android and iOS devices, as well as Windows. That’s a major bonus, and it’s only marginally more expensive than Internet Security, at $45 for the first year ($90 on renewal) to cover up to five devices.

Some of these headline prices can look high, especially when there’s no introductory discount, but they’re generally good value in the long-term. Kaspersky Anti-Virus costs a low $120 to protect 5 devices for the first three years, for instance, but renews at $240. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus covers the same hardware for $150 from the beginning (even covering 10 devices costs only $180).

If you’re not yet convinced, no problem: every product has a 30-day trial build available. There are no credit card details required, just register with your email address and you can check out Bitdefender’s abilities for yourself.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 is quick, simple and largely automatic. We pointed, we clicked, and within a couple of minutes a reassuring ‘Bitdefender is successfully installed’ message told us it was time to get started.

Browsing our system, we found the installer had added Bitdefender’s Anti-Tracker extension to Google Chrome, and Bitdefender Anti-Tracker and Wallet to Firefox. (Anti-Tracker also works in Internet Explorer and Safari, but there’s no support for Opera or Edge).

  • Get Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 for 60% off by clicking here if you live in the US or UK or alternatively click here for 50% off if you live in Australia!

Bitdefender had equipped our test system with plenty of new background processes, services, drivers and assorted other low-level clutter, too. That’s not unusual for an antivirus, but it can be a problem if it affects performance.

PassMark’s Consumer Security Products Performance Benchmarks 2020 Edition 2 report measured the PC performance impact of 15 top internet security products over 23 metrics. It’s just as thorough a test as it sounds, and the results weren’t good for Bitdefender, with the company ranking a next-to-bottom 14th place (Norton, Kaspersky and ESET came top).

Other tests are more generous. AV-Test’s Windows Home User report for December 2019 placed Bitdefender in the middle of the pack, while AV-Comparatives’ October 2019 Performance report ranked it 7th out of 16.

Our own checks showed mid-range results; it slowed down booting more than Trend Micro Antivirus, for instance, but boot times were more consistent than Avast. Overall, we suspect you won’t have any significant performance issues, but keep that poor PassMark score in mind anyway, and test the trial build carefully before you buy.

There was better news with our self-protection results, where we test security apps to see if malware can disable them. We tried closing processes, stopping services, unloading drivers, tweaking settings, and generally doing our best to break the package, but Bitdefender Antivirus Plus shrugged off our attacks and carried on as normal.

Bitdefender 2src2src

(Image credit: Bitdefender)

Interface

Launching Bitdefender Antivirus Plus for the first time fires up a simple tour highlighting key areas of the interface and explaining what they do. Experienced users will probably figure this out on their own, but it’s good to have this guidance available for those who need it.

Bitdefender’s nicely designed dashboard gives you speedy access to the functions you’ll need most often, with Quick Scans and the VPN just one click away.

A left-hand sidebar organizes Bitdefender’s other tools into Protection, Privacy and Utilities areas, and tapping any of these lists the various functions they contain. Most of these are sensibly named, and if you’ve ever used another antivirus you’ll quickly find your way around, but tooltips are on hand if you need a hint.

If the standard dashboard layout doesn’t quite suit your needs, you can customize it to remove default features or add new ones. Not interested in the VPN, maybe? In a click or two you could replace it with links to the full system scan, the password manager, disk clean-up module or a host of other tools. If only everyone was this flexible.

Overall, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus offers a polished and professional interface which delivers in just about every area. It’s easy and comfortable to use for beginners, but also offers the configurability and control that experts need.

Bitdefender 2src2src

(Image credit: Bitdefender)

Antivirus

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 supports several scan modes. Quick Scan checks the most commonly infected areas, and System Scan examines everything. Furthermore, File Explorer integration enables scanning objects from Explorer’s right-click menu, and there’s a bootable rescue environment to assist in cleaning the most stubborn threats.

A Manage Scans tool lets you create new scan types to check specific files and folders, as well as configuring how the scan works, and setting it up to run on a schedule, or on-demand only. This works well enough, although it doesn’t begin to provide the expert-level options that we’ve seen from vendors like Avast and Avira. Unfortunately, you can’t pin your custom scan type to the main dashboard, either, so it’s always at least three clicks away.

Bitdefender’s antivirus settings can’t match the geek-level configurability of some of the competition, either, but they’re well-judged and focus on the functions you’re more likely to need.

You don’t get intimidating and overly technical options to scan RAR archives to a nested depth of 4, but not scan TARs, for instance – there’s just the usual ‘scan archives, yes or no?’ setting.

But in an unusual touch, you’re able to control whether Bitdefender scans incoming and outgoing emails, incoming only, outgoing only, or ignores emails entirely. That may well prove pretty useful.

Default scanning speeds are decent, with Quick Scans taking around 15-30 seconds on our test computer. Regular scans started a little slowly at 25 minutes to check 50GB of files, but this dropped to under six minutes on the second run, and by the third run the scan time was just 67 seconds.

The scanning engine is smart enough to handle simultaneous scans without difficulty, too. If you’re running a lengthy full system scan, for instance, you can still run an on-demand scan of a recent download, or anything else you like. A window pops up to display the results of your second scan, while the first scan continues to run in the background.

The total sum of this is a polished set of malware-hunting tools which go well beyond the basics, but remain easy to use for not-so-technical types. Experts might wish there were a few more fine-tuning options, but in general Bitdefender gets the configurability balance right.

Bitdefender 2src2src

(Image credit: AV-Comparatives)

Protection

Bitdefender has a great name for protection, and its products regularly top the charts with most of the big independent testing labs.

AV-Comparatives’ July to October 2019 Real-World Protection report showed Bitdefender performing very well. The engine blocked 99.7% of threats (that’s 701 out of 703, to put it in perspective), placing it fifth out of 16 for overall protection rate, just behind Avira, Symantec, Trend Micro, and VIPRE.

AV-Test’s Windows 10 tests for December 2019 highlighted even better detection results, with Bitdefender blocking 100% of test threats.

No individual reviewer can hope to compete with the testing labs for thoroughness, but we were keen to confirm their verdicts by seeing how Bitdefender Antivirus Plus handled a couple of ransomware threats.

The first, a real-world ransomware specimen, was eliminated almost immediately, with Bitdefender killing the process before it could cause any harm.

The second was a custom ransomware simulator of our own. It’s about as simple a malware sample as you could get, but it’s also something Bitdefender would never have seen before, allowing us to evaluate how Antivirus Plus performs when presented with brand new threats.

We ran our test software, and in just a fraction of a second, Bitdefender’s engine cut in and displayed an alert. Not only had it detected and killed our test process, but it successfully restored the handful of files our software had managed to encrypt (just five).

Bitdefender 2src2src

(Image credit: Bitdefender)

We had some small issues with threat handling. Our simulator executable wasn’t quarantined or even blocked from running, for instance. We were able to run it multiple times, and when we manually scanned it later, Bitdefender marked the simulator as ‘clean.’

The company told us that threats are removed only if they’re detected by the signature layer.

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Get up to 60% off the world’s best antivirus with this Bitdefender deal

With seemingly more hacks, malware and viruses occurring than ever, online security remains of vital importance for your tech devices. That’s why downloading and installing the best antivirus software is as important now as it always has been.According to our security software testing, the world’s best antivirus at the moment is Bitdefender. What’s more, the…

With seemingly more hacks, malware and viruses occurring than ever, online security remains of vital importance for your tech devices. That’s why downloading and installing the best antivirus software is as important now as it always has been.

According to our security software testing, the world’s best antivirus at the moment is Bitdefender. What’s more, the provider has currently got a whopping 60% discount on its Total Security plan. The package not only allows you to protect up to five devices, it also gives you complete protection for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android.

But the good news doesn’t stop there, if you’re based in the UK you could be getting this for even cheaper. Rather than paying £28 for a year of coverage, with this Amazon deal you’d be paying just £17.99!

Still unsure? Keep scrolling to read this Bitdefender deal in full. Remember, with this discount you’d effectively be paying around $3/£3 a month for online security – which we think is pretty great.

See this antivirus deal from our #1 provider:

Bitdefender Total Security | 1 year | $89.99 $35.99 | 60% off
Not only is this one of the cheapest antivirus deals, it’s coming from the world’s best provider. Bitdefender Total Security comes with the a microphone monitor, an anti-tracker (which keeps browsing data private), Wi-Fi Security Advisor and it boasts multi-layer ransomware protection. This constantly tracks any malware and records the cyberthreat’s pattern to keep you secure online.

Click here if you’re in the US (or anywhere else)
Click here if you’re in the UK | £28
Click here if you’re in Australia | $59.99
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Antivirus

Microsoft will bring its antivirus software to iOS and Android

Microsoft has revealed its plans to bring its Defender antivirus software to both Android and iOS later this year.The software giant is currently developing apps for both mobile operating systems which will provide antivirus prevention along with a “full command line experience”.plan to preview them at the upcoming RSA conference.Microsoft Word smashes billion installs on…

Microsoft has revealed its plans to bring its Defender antivirus software to both Android and iOS later this year.

The software giant is currently developing apps for both mobile operating systems which will provide antivirus prevention along with a “full command line experience”.

plan to preview them at the upcoming RSA conference.

  • Microsoft Word smashes billion installs on Android
  • Windows Defender is the best antivirus around, claims testing lab
  • Antivirus vendors plan to support Windows 7 post EOL

Defender apps

Microsoft’s mobile Defender

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Antivirus

Trend Micro 2020 Antivirus solutions review

Please noteThis is our all-in-one roundup reviewing every Trend Micro consumer security solution for 2020. On this page, after our brief intro, you’ll find(a) a full evaluation of the entry-level Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security, along with our reviews of the additional features incorporated with the rest of the range: (b) Trend Micro Internet Security, and(c) the…

Please note

This is our all-in-one roundup reviewing every Trend Micro consumer security solution for 2020. On this page, after our brief intro, you’ll find

(a) a full evaluation of the entry-level Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security, along with our reviews of the additional features incorporated with the rest of the range: 

(b) Trend Micro Internet Security, and

(c) the top-end package Trend Micro Maximum Security

You can jump to the reviews of those individual products by clicking on the links in the bar at the top of this page, but bear in mind that this article is really designed to be read all the way through, as the features of Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security are also present in the higher-level security suites, of course.

Trend Micro’s consumer security range follows a very familiar pattern, with a single Windows-only antivirus product, a more powerful internet security suite, and a top-of-the-range product with extra functionality and support for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices.

The baseline Antivirus+ Security offers simple antivirus protection, antiphishing and malicious URL blocking, while Trend Micro’s Pay Guard aims to keep your banking transactions safe from snoopers.

You can sign up for Trend Micro’s antivirus solutions here

Trend Micro Internet Security protects up to three PCs and throws in parental controls, optimization for your social media privacy settings, and PC cleanup and maintenance. 

The package is priced at $40 for year one, $80 on renewal, or you can pay $60 up-front for a two-year license, then $125 when you renew.

Again, this isn’t particularly expensive, but if you’re looking to protect more devices, you’ll find much better deals elsewhere.

Trend Micro Maximum Security covers up to five devices, which can now include Macs, Android and iOS devices, as well as PCs. Oh, and it adds a password manager, too.

Pricing is reasonable at $40 for the first year, $90 on renewal. The two-year subscription is better value than the rest of the range, too, at $60 for the first term (the same as Internet Security), $140 on renewal.

Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security

Trial

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

Getting started with Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security is generally easy. There’s a trial build available, installation is largely automatic, and you don’t even have to provide your email address to try it out. (You’re prompted to enter your email address at the end of the process to get product news and updates, but this is optional. We left the box blank and the installer didn’t complain.)

Installation Checks

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

One potential issue we noticed is the installer’s sensitivity to ‘incompatible’ software. Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security refused to install until we removed Kaspersky’s Secure Connection VPN, for instance. It’s hard to see why, because although it’s a Kaspersky product, it has nothing to do with antivirus, and it really shouldn’t conflict with other security tools. 

Chrome Extension Installation

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

There’s another minor hassle with Trend Micro’s browser extensions. Antivirus+ Security didn’t install these for us, instead raising occasional pop-up alerts asking us to install the Chrome extension manually. The package could do more to help users out (the ‘install our Chrome addon’ alerts don’t even include a link.)

Installation

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

Once setup is complete, the package added an icon to our system tray but otherwise stayed mostly in the background. This is an antivirus which doesn’t get in your way, and most of the time you can forget it’s there.

The Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security installation grabbed more system resources than most, with more than 1GB of data and executable files, a further 2.65GB in an Installer folder, eight background processes and assorted other drivers.

The package had only an average performance impact on our review system, though, and other testing shows similar results.

For example, PassMark’s Consumer Security Products Performance Benchmarks for 2020 (Edition 2) checked 15 popular antivirus packages for their PC performance impact across 23 metrics. Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security wasn’t on the list, but PassMark did check Trend Micro Internet Security, and that managed only 10th place (1st place had the least impact on speed, 15th the most.)

We completed our initial checks by simulating the type of attacks malware might use to try and disable Trend Micro’s protection. We tried to delete files, kill processes, stop services, tweak settings, unload drivers and silently uninstall the package, but Trend Micro’s capable self-protection blocked even the sneakiest of tricks, and we remained fully protected at all times.

Settings

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

Interface

The interface has a friendly and appealing look. There are large animated icons, a big scan button, a clear description of your security status, along with text captions and tooltips to make it clear how everything works. You can even customize the console with a new background image.

Checking the Settings dialog revealed the same focus on clarity, with nothing too intimidating present. Instead of the usual technical jargon, options are spelled out in plain English, like “Prevent programs on portable drives from launching automatically” or “Check if programs try to make unauthorized changes to system settings which could threaten your security”.

Experts might wish for more low-level control, but if you’re normally left baffled by at least some antivirus settings, Trend Micro’s simplified approach could be a refreshing change.

Scanning

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

Antivirus

Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security’s Scanning options are straightforward. You’re able to run quick, full or custom scans, where you can specify particular drives or folders to check. There’s very little control over any of this, and no Avast-like ability to add other scan types and define precisely how they work. But it’s easy to use, and if you’re not the type who normally delves deep into antivirus settings, you’ll probably be happy enough.

You’re able to scan files from their right-click Explorer menu, too, although with some restrictions. We noticed that Antivirus+ Security doesn’t support simultaneous scans, and the Explorer ‘Scan with Trend Micro’ option is greyed out when you’re running a scan from the main console.

That’s probably not something you’ll notice often, but it’s still a potential nuisance, and not an issue you’ll get with the best engineered antivirus (Kaspersky products are able to run multiple scans simultaneously, each in their own window.)

Scan times were a little below average in our tests, and we didn’t notice any ‘scan only new and changed files’-type optimization to improve performance. No matter how many times we scanned our 51MB of test data, it still took around 14 minutes.

Folder Shield

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

Trend Micro’s protection doesn’t stop with real-time behavior monitoring and on-demand scanning. Folder Shield, an anti-ransomware layer, watches your Documents, OneDrive and Pictures folders, as well as any connected USB drives, and alerts you about any attempt to modify files by trusted processes. You can add more folders as necessary.

Folder Shield isn’t a new idea – Windows 10 now does something similar with its Controlled Folders feature – but it’s a welcome extra layer of protection which could block even brand-new undiscovered ransomware.

Protection

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

Protection

AV-Comparatives’ real-world protection test is a tough benchmark which pits 18 top antivirus engines against some of the very latest malware. Trend Micro’s results in the latest July-October 2019 summary report were very positive, with its test product blocking 99.9% of test threats, placing it third out of 16 contenders.

The package typically raised more false alarms than most of the competition, though, something we’ve also seen ourselves. Avira topped the AV-Comparatives list with just one false positive across all tests, for instance; Trend Micro had 19. That could translate into a lot of extra hassles during real-world use.

Checking the results from other labs revealed a mixed picture. AV-Test’s September-October Home Windows report showed Trend Micro blocking 100% of all test threats and raising only one false positive, against an industry average of four. But SE Labs October to December 2019 Home Anti-Malware Protection report placed Trend Micro ninth out of 15 with a protection rate of 98%.

Ransomware Test

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

To get a more complete idea of the program’s abilities, we tested the program with our own custom ransomware simulator. As we’ve written this ourselves, Trend Micro wouldn’t be able to detect the threat from its file signature, and could only rely on behavior monitoring. Many antivirus products have failed this test, but Trend Micro managed another big success. Not only did it kill the process after only a handful of files had been encrypted, but it also recovered those documents in full, ensuring we didn’t lose any data at all. 

That puts Trend Micro alongside Bitdefender and Kaspersky as the only vendors with products that have both blocked our test threat and recovered any lost files. That isn’t necessarily the best result – some products have blocked our simulator before it can touch a single file – but the ability to restore damaged files does give us a little more confidence in an antivirus’ abilities.

Social Network Protection

(Image credit: Trend Micro)

URL filtering

Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security includes several levels of browsing protection. 

Trend Micro’s Social Networking Protection uses browser extensions to display a ‘risk rating’ of links on popular social networks, for instance (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Weibo and more.) But there’s also automatic checking of URLs before they’re accessed, and even if a p

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Bitdefender has the best antivirus for 2020 and you can get a discount now

With increasingly more hacks, malware and viruses occurring online – an antivirus software is more crucial than ever. And if you’ve got a shiny new piece of tech or you’re just looking to secure your current device, our in-depth testing show that Bitdefender has the most impressive virus protection of them all.What’s more, Bitdefender currently…

With increasingly more hacks, malware and viruses occurring online – an antivirus software is more crucial than ever. And if you’ve got a shiny new piece of tech or you’re just looking to secure your current device, our in-depth testing show that Bitdefender has the most impressive virus protection of them all.

What’s more, Bitdefender currently has a discount on its awesome Antivirus Plus plan, which will let you guard your gadgets and vulnerable information from cybercriminals with a very tasty 60% off discount. 

After plenty of testing, analysing and scrutinising all of the biggest and best antivirus software services out there – we have come to the conclusion that Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is our all-round top choice.

Not only does it have a wide range of features, it is extremely reliable and efficient and has accurate malware blocking. Plus with this discount you’d be paying less than the equivalent of $2/£2 per month to ensure all your data is protected. 

See this antivirus deal from our number 1 provider:

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 | 1 year | $59.99 $23.99 | 60% off
Not only is this one of the cheapest antivirus deals, it’s coming from the world’s best provider. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus comes with the added bonus of a VPN and Safepay, and it boasts multi-layer ransomware protection. This constantly tracks any malware and records the cyberthreat’s pattern to keep you secure online.

Click here if you’re in the US (or anywhere else)
Click here if you’re in the UK | £15.99
Click here if you’re in Australia | $35
View Deal

  • Check out our best antivirus guide to see Bitdefender’s biggest competition

Why is Bitdefender the best antivirus?

The re

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