(Updated on March 16th, 2021)

Is Bitdefender Total Security the best antivirus security suite for 2021?

Read this in-depth review to find out if Bitdefender Total Security is right for you.

Malware and viruses are still on the rise. According to Verizon’s data breach investigations, most 2020 breaches resulted from hacking, malware infections, and phishing attacks. To be secure in 2021, you need to protect yourself against these three threats.

Table Of Contents

The best way to do this is by using a paid antivirus security suite such as Bitdefender Total Security. This suite gives complete protection and advanced privacy. You also get other features such as VPN, File Shredder, Firewall, Parental control, anti-phishing, anti-fraud, safe banking, and other features.

Additionally, Bitdefender Total Security is cross-platform, compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices. You also get peace of mind and great value for your money. Its subscription plans support up to 10 devices.

This in-depth Bitdefender Total Security 2021 review will cover its features (and what they do), protection and performance capabilities, user interface, pricing structure, compatibility, and customer support.

Read on to find out more about Bitdefender Total Security 2021.

Pros

  • Award-winning antivirus: Bitdefender offers unbeatable protection against malware, viruses, and other online threats.
  • A wide array of features: Bitdefender offers great and extra features for privacy, optimization, and security.
  • Minimal performance impact: Besides unbeatable protection and impressive features, Bitdefender doesn’t impact your system while carrying out its operations.
  • Cross-platform antivirus: Bitdefender Total Security is compatible with major computing devices such as Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices.
  • Multi-device subscriptions: A single Bitdefender subscription can support from 10 to 15 devices. This gives you excellent value for your money.
  • A friendly userinterface: Bitdefender total Security sports an updated intuitive user interface. This UI is easy to navigate and neatly presents Bitdefender’s various features.

Cons

  • Limited functionality for iOS: iOS users only get web protection and some privacy features
  • Fewer features for Mac: In comparison with Windows, Macs have fewer features.
  • Limited VPN: The VPN is limited to a 200MB bandwidth per device per day. This is not enough for heavy internet usage.

Short Verdict

Bitdefender Total Security is an excellent antivirus security suite. It has an impressive list of features, its versatile and also user friendly. Its anti-malware protection capabilities are unmatched, and it doesn’t impact your performance. This has been proven over and over again through the independent lab tests and evaluations.

Bitdefender Total Security also gives you great value for your money. It’s cross-platform and compatible with Windows, Macs, Android, and limited functionality to iOS devices. Its subscription plans support multiple devices up to 10 and 15 for the Family pack.

1. Features

Bitdefender Total Security is a cross-platform antivirus security suite that offers more than antivirus protection. It packs a slew of unrivaled features and functionalities not seen in other suites. Most of the features and extras are offered in the windows and the Android platform. Essential cutting-edge security and privacy features are offered across all the supported platforms.

In the 2021 update, nothing has changed in terms of features. Bitdefender has sort to improve the existing features and functionalities while dropping obsolete features. New perfections are under the hood. We will look at the features as presented in the Bitdefender Total Security suite. That is, in three categories (Bitdefender’s notable modules) – here are the notable features;

Protection features

These are features tailored to protect you against online security threats and vulnerabilities. They include;

  • Antivirus engine: Bitdefender uses an improved powerful antivirus engine to provide realtime protection against malware, viruses, zero-day exploits, ransomware, worms, trojans, rootkits, spyware, and other online threats. You also get a rescue environment that enables you to get rid of sophisticated malware.
  • Advanced Threat Defense: Besides real-time protection against threats, Bitdefender Total Security uses a behavioral detection technique effective against suspicious activities. Advanced Threat Defense monitors your active apps and proactively blocks suspicious activities to prevent unforeseen infections.
  • Online Threat Prevention: This feature incorporates Bitdefender cloud-based technology to prevent attacks before they begin. It is beneficial when you are browsing the internet. Depending on the implementation, this feature can help you block suspicious and malware-laden websites. You also get anti-phishing and anti-fraud functionalities that protect you against online scams and web attacks.
  • Vulnerability Assessments: The improved vulnerability scanner helps check whether you have outdated system settings and software that need to be updated. The scanner can check for missing Windows security patches, essential updates, security holes, Wi-Fi networks and inform you on the best course of action.
  • Firewall: The privacy firewall adds a robust layer of network protection that ensures no unauthorized incoming or outgoing internet traffic. The firewall also shields you from network port scans, and you can also tweak various settings. You can create your rules, change adapter settings, and review individual applications. This firewall ensures your personal information stays safe from malicious actors.
  • Ransomware remediation: Bitdefender uses a multi-layered ransomware protection approach, which protects you against ransomware attacks. This feature works in conjunction with Advanced Threat Defense functionality to ensure your important files are safe. Ransomware remediation protects your files against unauthorized changes brought by ransomware attacks.
  • Antispam: Bitdefender has powerful email filters that protect you against attacks and threats via email. Antispam uses cloud protection to scan suspicious email attachments and blocks them. This feature is available for local email clients such as Microsoft Outlook and Thunderbird.

Privacy features

To ensure impeccable protection, Bitdefender also offers various features that complement your online privacy. They safeguard your private information against various online threats. These features are as follows;

  • Safe Online Banking: Using the Bitdefender SafePay functionality, you can now shop and bank without the fear of online attacks. SafePay provides you a secure browser that allows you to bank and shop safely. SafePay protects you against online fraud, phishing, keylogging and can autofill your credit card details.
  • Bitdefender VPN: When enabled, Bitdefender VPN will protect against prying eyes and secure your online traffic. It does this by encrypting your online traffic and tunneling it through a secure server. The server assigns you a virtual IP address that replaces your actual IP address. The strong encryptions safeguard your online traffic against snoopers and sniffers.

Always connect to a VPN when you are on a public WIFI or when seeking online privacy. Unlike other premium VPN, Bitdefender VPN offers 200 MB of bandwidth per day per device. This not enough for daily internet surfing and usage. For unlimited VPN bandwidth, you will need to upgrade to the Premium VPN tier.

  • Password manager: This feature provides you with a Wallet, a secure cyber-vault where you can store your passwords, and sensitive information such as credit card information. Besides storage, the password manager can recommend secure passwords and autofill this secure information in online forms.

Besides autofill in browsers, you can select other supported apps to use the password manager. If you have used other password managers before, the Bitdefender password manager will be a walk in the park.

  • Audio and video protection: This feature protects your Webcam and Microphone from unauthorized use. It lets you know when apps or services want to access your microphone or webcam. Additionally, you can block the apps or set Bitdefender to do the work for you. This feature is essential against microphone and webcam leaks that can compromise your privacy.
  • Anti-tracker: This feature is offered as an extension on supported browsers. When enabled, anti-tracker blocks various online trackers from collecting your information. You can also view a report and manage the info. By blocking trackers, you avoid ad profiling, and hence you will get less intrusive ads. Also, your websites will load faster.
  • Parental advisor: Other than antivirus protection, you can also keep your children safe while they surf the harmful internet. Moreover, you can keep tabs on them, limit their screen time, block websites and apps, schedule restrictions, and safeguard them from inappropriate online content.

Bitdefender will also send you reports if your kids try to access the restricted services.

You can monitor your kids’ online activities from the Bitdefender Central account. Besides Windows, you can get this feature as a standalone app on macOS, Android, and iOS but with a different set of features in each platform.

Utility features

Bitdefender Total Security also offers utilities and extra features that improve your system’s performance. These features enable the suite to deliver security and protection without compromising performance.

  • Anti-theft: You can stop worrying if you misplace your Windows laptop and Android devices with this Bitdefender feature. In the unfortunate event that you don’t remember where you placed your device, or it has been stolen, Bitdefender got your back. Utilizing your device’s GPS and network triangulation, Bitdefender can locate your device.

This feature is useful since it provides an accurate location when necessary conditions are met (GPS and internet should be on). You can remotely track your devices on the Bitdefender Central account and also lock them, wipe sensitive data or make them sound alarm.

  • One-Click optimizer: Bitdefender packs an effective cleaner that helps you eliminate junk and temporary unused files. You can run a disk, registry, and privacy scan and do the necessary cleanup. Cleaning your devices helps them run smoothly and efficiently. OneClick Optimizer is a perfect utility to give your device a performance boost.
  • Profiles: Bitdefender Total Security offers various profiles that you can use as your daily drivers. These profiles, namely; game, movie, battery, public WIFI, and work – let Bitdefender know when to use the system heavily or release the required resources.

For instance, if you are gaming, Bitdefender will detect the load and switch to game mode. Subsequently, Bitdefender will adjust visual settings, temporarily halt pop-ups, and even pause unimportant background processes.

  • File Shredder: This is a data protection utility that permanently deletes files from your hard drives. This is the best way to delete files securely that leaves no traces in your hard drive. To delete files and folders using the file shredder, you can drag them onto the utility or use the add item functionality.

2. Anti-Malware Protection

Bitdefender Total Security packs an efficient anti-malware and antivirus engine. Also, its multi-layered approach against various threats ensures unbeatable protection. Bitdefender also relies on cyber threat intelligence technologies to stop attacks even before they can happen.

This tech enables Bitdefender to analyze malware and botnet-related URLs, block sophisticated exploits, identify suspicious network-level activities and even stop brute force attacks. Using a combination of other security and privacy features, Bitdefender can smartly give you the recommended protection.

To analyze Bitdefender protection capabilities, we will look at results from AV-Test and AV-Comparative independent labs. These independent labs assess and evaluate antivirus security suites based on the criteria which simulate a real-world scenario.

AV-Test real-world testing involves protection against malware infections such as viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and zero-day malware attacks. It also tests for the detection of widespread and prevalent malware.

AV-Comparatives does real-world protection and malware protection tests. AV-Comparatives test for protection against malicious websites/malware, drive-by exploits, and malicious URLs. It also tests for other infection vectors apart from the web.

Here are the latest AV-Test protection results for Bitdefender.

From the chart, AV-Test subjected Bitdefender to various samples in which it got 100% in both detection and protection capabilities. Bitdefender also scooped the overall protection score of 6 out of 6.

Here are the latest AV-Comparatives Real-world protection test results for Bitdefender.

Here are the latest AV-Comparatives Malware protection results for Bitdefender.

In both AV-Comparatives tests, Bitdefender got the advanced plus 3-star rating. This means it did an exceptional job of detecting and preventing malware exceptions. Also, it has maintained a 3-star rating in the past three years.

Overall, concluding both lab results, Bitdefender offers exceptional protection against online malware and other threats.

3. System Performance

Bitdefender keeps your devices safe without compromising on performance. Using the Photon technology, Bitdefender Total Security adapts to your system to improve speed and performance. Depending on your software and hardware setup, Bitdefender can save computing resources while doing scans.

Additionally, most times, you will notice a virtually zero impact on your system performance. When heavy scanning is a necessity, Bitdefender takes it to the cloud while maintaining your privacy. Hence, Bitdefender doesn’t impact your resources nor affect your system’s speed and performance.

Here are the performance test results from the independent labs.

In the recent AV-Test evaluations, Bitdefender Total Security got a perfect 6 out of 6 scores. It was tested in various situations where it might affect performance, such as file operations, browsing, installing apps, and downloading.

For the past years, Bitdefender got the advanced plus 3-star rating on AV-Comparative. This is one of the highest ratings an antivirus security suite can get. The ratings from both labs indicate Bitdefender does not impact the performance or speed of your devices.

4. User Interface

Bitdefender sports a user-friendly intuitive interface. Although there were some slight updates, the base design remains simpler and somewhat unchanged. The main window still has two major panels. The left one for major modules, while the right one expands on the modules’ features and functionalities. The modules include the Dashboard, Protection, Privacy, Utilities, Notifications, and Settings. 

The Dashboard presents various scans, the VPN, and the SafePay feature. It also gives you recommendations, subscription status, and you can customize it. The Protection, Privacy, and utility modules open up to the features discussed above.

5. Pricing Structure

Bitdefender offers various subscription plans for its products. The plans carry a 30-day free trial, and the subscription period starts from 1 year to 3 years. Here are the subscription details for Bitdefender Total Security.

  • Bitdefender Total Security goes $39.98 for 5 devices for the first year.
  • The first 2 years for 5 devices cost $89.99.
  • The first 3 years for 5 devices cost $119.99.

Here are more first-year subscription plans for other Bitdefender products.

  • Bitdefender Antivirus Plus costs $29.99 for 3 devices.
  • Bitdefender Internet Security retails at $34.99 for 3 devices.
  • The Family Pack goes for $49.99 for 15 devices.
  • Bitdefender Premium Security costs $64.99 for 10 devices.

Bitdefender subscriptions and pricing plans offer the best value for your money in the antivirus market.

6. Compatibility

Bitdefender Total Security is a cross-platform product and is compatible with Windows, Macs, Android, and iOS. Its subscription plans are also multi-device; a single subscription can support up to 10 devices. If you have more devices, you can upgrade to the Family Pack, which supports 15 devices.

Bitdefender Total Security is fully featured for Windows than it is in Macs. The Mac version has few features, but you get the same unbeatable protection. The same is similar to the mobile version. Android packs more features while iOS is limited to some essential protection. Mac and iOS are closed systems, and hence their little third-party products can do.

7. Customer support

Bitdefender offers customer support through the FAQ knowledge base, a 24/7 live chat option, and the second level email support. The knowledge base contains guides and tutorials regarding activations, installations, and how to troubleshoot common issues.

If the FAQ support isn’t enough, you can try the live chat. It’s usually responsive and can help you with issues not addressed in the knowledge base. For more complicated issues, you will need to use email. It is relatively slow but effective for complicated matters.

Final Thoughts

Bitdefender Total Security is top-tier antivirus security with an excellent array of features. Its impeccable protection is unbeatable, and it doesn’t get in your way during your daily activities. Its subscriptions offer you a better value for your money, and they support multi-devices.

Moreover, Bitdefender Total Security is cross-platform, compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. You get a fully-fledged antivirus security suite in Windows, Android, and stripped version on Macs. Similar to other antivirus suites, in iOS, you get web protection with very few features.

Frequently asked questions

Is Bitdefender Total Security good for 2021?

Bitdefender Total Security is among the top antivirus security suites. It gives you complete protection, great features and cross-platform protection for all your devices.

Is Bitdefender worth the money?

Bitdefender gives you great value for your money. Its competitive prices are a bargain, considering the comprehensive protection it offers.

Does Bitdefender slow down computer?

Bitdefender doesn’t have a heavy impact on performance. Your computer will only get sluggish if it doesn’t meet the minimum requirements.

What is the best Bitdefender to buy?

Bitdefender offers great cross-platform antivirus suites. Our recommendation is Bitdefender Total Security. If you have multiple devices, the Bitdefender Family Pack is the right choice.

Does Bitdefender remove viruses?

Yes, Bitdefender Total Security removes viruses. It also offers protection against ransomware, spyware, worms, rootkits, trojans, and zero-day exploits.

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