(Updated on March 15th, 2021)
Kaspersky or Bitdefender, which among the two is the best antivirus suite for 2021?
Kaspersky and Bitdefender are both global leaders in the cybersecurity realm. Their products are critically acclaimed for security, protection, and remarkable features. In this head-to-head comparison, we will determine the best between the two. We will evaluate them using the following aspects: Features, Malware Protection, System Performance, User Interface, Pricing, and Compatibility.
Read on to know which is the best security suite for 2021.
Threat actors are still advancing with their attacks on computer systems. The pandemic provided a playground, and with the digital shifts, prevalent attacks are on the rise. According to TechRepublic, security threats in 2021 include ransomware, vulnerability exploits, malware, and blended threats.
To combat these security threats, you will need an all-rounded antivirus security suite. To get this type of comprehensive protection, a paid premium antivirus software is a must. A paid antivirus suite comes with many perks that are not available in the free antivirus software. Besides robust protection against threats, they also give you security and privacy-enhancing features.
Essential features in a paid antivirus suite include a VPN, password manager, privacy cleaner, parental control, file shredder, data encryption, two-way firewall, and performance optimization utilities. Moreover, these suites offer subscription plans that cover multiple devices. Hence, they give you great value for your money as well as peace of mind.
Comparison at a Glance
Kaspersky and Bitdefender products are among the best antivirus suites in the market. They offer unbeatable protection against threats, security, privacy, performance-enhancing features, and cross-platform products.
If you are in a hurry, here is a brief head-to-head overview;
1. Features overview
Winner: Bitdefender. Bitdefender products pack an impressive list of remarkable features. These features enhance your performance, privacy, security, and malware protection. Nonetheless, Kaspersky products also have great features
2. Malware protection
Winner: Tie. Products from Kaspersky and Bitdefender feature award-winning antivirus engines for exceptional protection. They also use other technologies such as AI, adaptive cloud security, and cyberthreat intelligence to keep threats at bay.
3. System performance
Winner: Bitdefender. Bitdefender products offer efficient protection without compromising your performance. For optimal performance, they can adapt to your system resources and hardware configurations. Also, Bitdefender background scans use minimal system resources.
4. User interface
Winner: Tie. Kaspersky and Bitdefender products sport an intuitive, user-friendly interface. Features and functionalities are well organized, and accessibility is easy. Navigation is also hassle-free.
Winner: Bitdefender. Bitdefender offers affordable and competitive pricing plans for its products. The subscription plans cover several devices and hence give you excellent value for your money. Moreover, Bitdefender products pack more features than Kaspersky.
Winner: Tie. Kaspersky and Bitdefender offer cross-platform products compatible with Windows, Macs, Android, and iOS devices. They also provide platform-specific products for Windows devices.
Bitdefender is the antivirus to go to in 2021. It offers robust protection and packs a slew of features for privacy, performance, and security. Its prices are affordable as compared to Kaspersky pricing plans. Additionally, they give great value for your money as they support up to a maximum of 15 devices. Overall, Kaspersky and Bitdefender products offer excellent protection against online threats.
1. Features Overview
Kaspersky and Bitdefender pack premium features and functionalities in their range of products. Features from these two antivirus solutions enhance your security, privacy, and performance. Besides device protection, you also get to protect your family. Both Kaspersky and Bitdefender offer exceptional parental control and much more. Let’s look at the features of each solution.
Kaspersky offers four premium paid products. These home solutions give you the security that you need. Features in these products provide specialized protection for your devices and your entire family. Regardless of various features, Kaspersky offers premium protection in all its products. Below are features unique to each Kaspersky product.
The base product is Kaspersky Anti-Virus. This product doesn’t offer much in terms of features. Nonetheless, you get premium protection. Kaspersky Anti-Virus is compatible with Windows. Its features include;
- Award-winning antivirus engine.
- Ransomware and network protection.
- Performance optimization.
The next Kaspersky products are cross-platform. They are compatible with Windows, Macs, Android, and iOS devices. First on this line-up is Kaspersky Internet Security. It gives you advanced security for all your devices, except for iOS. Its unique features include;
- Encrypted browser for payment protection.
- Two-way firewall.
- Privacy cleaner and file shredder.
- Webcam protection.
- Secure VPN 300MB per day for Windows only.
Up next is Kaspersky Total Security Suite. This is product works on all devices, and as the name suggests, it offers total security. This product is more of a security and privacy suite. It has all the features of the previous products with the addition of;
- Data encryption secure vault.
- Password manager.
- Parental control.
The fourth Kaspersky product is KasperskySecurity Cloud. This is our recommendable product, and it comes in two packages, Personal and Family. Using cloud technology, this product delivers adaptive security. It can check for potential vulnerabilities and keep in check your behavioral habits. Being a cloud solution, this product gives you access to other Kaspersky security and privacy apps.
The Personal and Family packages share most features. The distinct feature that is only available in the Family package is flexible parental control. KasperskySecurity Cloud unique features include;
- Online account checker for breach activities.
- Remote account management.
- Mic Protection.
- Secure VPN 500MB traffic per day.
- Home Wi-Fi Monitor.
- Hard drive health monitor.
Bitdefender closely follows the footsteps of Kaspersky in terms of its offering. For home and personal use, Bitdefender has five paid premium products. Three of these products are cross-platform (compatible with Windows, Macs, Android, and iOS devices), while two are compatible with Windows only. These products pack advanced features for security, privacy, and performance.
The base product is Bitdefender Antivirus Plus. It one of the products that are only compatible with Windows devices. It packs an impressive list of features that are also available in other Bitdefender products. We’ll group the features into three categories: protection, performance, and privacy.
Protection features mainly offer on-device security. They include;
- Award-winning engine bolstered with multi-layer ransomware and real-time data.
- Advanced threat defense.
- Anti-phishing and anti-fraud.
- Network threat prevention.
- Rescue environment.
- Vulnerability assessment.
- Web attack prevention.
Performance features ensure Bitdefender doesn’t take a toll on your system resources. These features are as follows;
- Bitdefender Photon.
- Global protective network.
- Performance profiles and battery mode.
Privacy features protect your online activities and sensitive files. They are;
- A 200MB traffic VPN.
- File shredder.
- Password manager.
- Safe online banking.
- Social network protection.
Up next is Bitdefender Internet Security. This is another product built for Windows. Its additional features are mainly for privacy. They include;
- Microphone monitor.
- Parental control.
- Webcam protection.
- WIFI security advisor.
The next three products are cross-platform. Starting is Bitdefender Total Security, our recommendable product. It offers a balanced array of features for security, privacy, and performance. It has all the features from the previous products and supports up to a maximum of 10 devices. Its additions include;
- Antitheft and anti-loss utilities.
- One-Click performance optimizer.
Next in line is Bitdefender Family Pack. This is also our recommendable product and is suitable for a large household or your small home office. It is similar to Bitdefender Total Security, and it comes with one unique ability;
- It can support up to a maximum of 15 devices.
The final cross-platform product on this list is Bitdefender Premium Security. It has all features of the previous products with one addition;
- Unlimited VPN traffic.
Although Kaspersky offers excellent features, Bitdefender’s impressive feature list is unmatched.
2. Malware Protection
Award-winning antivirus engines from both Kaspersky and Bitdefender products keep threats at bay. Equipped with real-time detections and multilayered protection, these solutions offer protection against malware, viruses, ransomware, spyware, trojans, and other online threats.
Kaspersky relies on its next-gen solutions’ instant threat detection, artificial intelligence, and adaptive cloud technology to offer impeccable protection. A combination of these technologies gives you the security you need and even protects you against ‘fileless’ threats. There’s also WIFI security and a firewall to protect you from intruders
Bitdefender also uses its next-gen technologies to offer robust protection against threats and zero-day exploits. Its malware-detection technology coupled with cyber threat intelligence enhances its protection capabilities. Bitdefender products are also effective against botnet exploits and brute force attacks. They can analyze, identify, and block potential network threats.
To determine their malware protection capabilities, we will rely on evaluations from independent labs such as AV-Test and AV-Comparatives. These labs use samples that emulate real-world scenarios. AV-Test evaluates protection against zero-day attacks and detection of prevalent and widespread malware.
Here is how Kaspersky fared in the latest AV-Tests.
Here are the latest AV-Test results for Bitdefender.
In AV-Comparatives evaluations, antivirus products are subjected to two main tests; real-world protection tests and malware protection tests. The real-world protection tests are concerned with the web vector. That is, they test against malicious URLs, malicious websites/malware, and drive-by exploits.
Let us see how Kaspersky fares in AV-Comparatives real-world protection tests.
Here are AV-Comparatives real-world protection test results for Bitdefender.
The malware protection tests by AV-Comparatives evaluate the file vector. They test against malware spread via USB drives and networks.
Here is how Kaspersky fared in the latest AV-Comparatives malware protection tests.
Here are the latest AV-Comparatives malware protection test results for Bitdefender.
In the AV-Test evaluations, both products got a perfect score of 6 points. In AV-Comparatives tests, both products were awarded the three-star advanced plus rating for real-world and malware protection. Overall, Kaspersky and Bitdefender showcased impeccable protection and advanced security. Their protection and detection rates were also high.
3. System Performance
It is a known fact that antivirus suites have a heavy system performance impact. But with the latest technologies and powerful machines, that is not the case anymore. Nowadays, most antivirus suites offer protection without compromising on performance.
Kaspersky products use adaptive cloud technology for efficient protections. When doing background scans, Kaspersky uses fewer system resources. However, it can be aggressive and resource-hungry for active scans. Depending on your system, full scans can moderately impact your system performance.
On the other hand, Bitdefender has a little performance impact for both active and background scans. Bitdefender products are equipped with Bitdefender Photon technology. This makes them adapt to your system resources and hardware configurations. Hence, they know when to use the system heavily and when to release resources.
Furthermore, Bitdefender performance profiles are a great help when you are using your system. Depending on the current activity, Bitdefender can temporarily halt pop-ups, pause unimportant background activities, and adjusts visual settings.
To determine how Kaspersky and Bitdefender impact your system performance, we will rely on AV-Test and AV-Comparatives results. System performance evaluations test how antivirus products affect your daily computer activities. They test for launching programs, installing programs, browsing, downloads, and other file operations.
Here are Kaspersky performance results from AV-Test evaluations.
Let us see how Bitdefender fared in AV-Test performance evaluations.
Here are AV-Comparatives results for Kaspersky.
Here are AV-Comparatives results for Bitdefender.
In AV-Test results, Kaspersky settled for a 5.5 score for performance while Bitdefender scooped the 6 points for performance. In AV-Comparative results, Both Kaspersky and Bitdefender got the advanced plus three-star performance rating. From the results, we can conclude that Bitdefender products don’t heavily impact your system’s performance, while Kaspersky has a noticeable impact.
4. User Interface
Both products sport a user-friendly interface with easy accessibility and hassle-free navigation.
Kaspersky products have an intuitive minimalistic interface. The main dashboard has a status and information module at the top, feature modules occupy the central area, and the bottom area hosts a toolbar. The dashboard feature modules include the scan functionality, updates, safe money, password manager, privacy protection, backup and restore, parental control, and my Kaspersky.
The bottom toolbar gives access to settings, more tools, messages, support, other products, and your license details. You won’t miss noticing the Kaspersky Aqua-green signature color highlights.
Bitdefender also packs an intuitive decluttered interface. The main window is divided into two panels, left and right. The left panel hosts Bitdefender modules, including the Dashboard, Protection, Privacy, Utilities, Notifications, and Settings. The right panel provides the space where the functionalities of the module open when clicked.
Kaspersky and Bitdefender offer various pricing plans for their products. Their subscription period ranges from one year to three years.
Kaspersky plans carry a 30-day free trial with no credit card required. Here are the introductory subscription plans for the first year at the time of this review;
- Kaspersky Antivirus retails at $29.99 per year for 3 PCs.
- Kaspersky Internet Security costs $39.99 per year for 3 devices.
- Kaspersky Total Security goes for $44.99 per year for 5 devices.
- Kaspersky Security Cloud Personal starts at $53.99 for 3 devices per year.
- Kaspersky Security Cloud Family costs $89.99 for 10 devices per year.
Bitdefender subscription plans carry a 30-day money-back guarantee. Here are details of the introductory first-year prices;
- Bitdefender Antivirus Plus starts at $29.99 for 3 devices.
- Bitdefender Internet Security costs $34.99 for 3 devices.
- Bitdefender Total Security retails at $39.98 for 5 devices.
- Bitdefender Family Pack goes for $49.99 up to15 devices.
- Bitdefender Premium Security costs $64.99 for devices
Regarding the pricing plans, both Kaspersky and Bitdefender offer competitive prices. However, Bitdefender is a bit cheaper, covers more devices, and it has more features. In the long run, Bitdefender gives you excellent value for your money.
Kaspersky and Bitdefender offer both platform-specific and cross-platform products. The latter is compatible with Windows, Macs, Android, and iOS devices. The Windows platform gets more features as compared to the Mac platform. The same is also seen in the mobile landscape; Android has more features than iOS.
Mac and iOS products have fewer features because their operating systems are closed and offer greater protection than their counterparts.
Kaspersky and Bitdefender are great options for protection against malware, viruses, and other online threats. They have received many awards from independent labs, and they are proven to deliver what they promise. Both brands have cross-platform products, multidevice subscriptions, and malware protection.
In this head-to-head showdown, Bitdefender has the edge over Kaspersky in various aspects. Bitdefender has an unrivaled list of features, it’s light on your system resources, and it has a lower purchase price. In this comparison, Bitdefender is the best antivirus suite for 2021.
Frequently asked questions
Yes. Bitdefender is among the best antivirus suites you can use to protect your devices in 2021. Bitdefender products are rich in features, have impeccable protection, and they are cross-platform. Moreover, they have affordable multidevice subscription plans.
We recommend Bitdefender Total Security and Bitdefender Family Pack. Bitdefender Total Security offers exceptional protection, and it balances its features for security, privacy, and performance. Bitdefender Family pack sports all the Bitdefender Total Security features with support of up to 15 devices.
Both solutions offer robust protection, great features, and they are among the top antivirus suites in the market. However, Bitdefender offers excellent value for your money, packs impressive features, and it doesn’t heavily impact your system.
No. After a thorough investigation, the European Commission concluded that there’s no actual evidence that Kaspersky antivirus products are used to spy for the Russian government.
Although its Background scans are light on resources, active scans paint a different picture. Overall, depending on your system, you might notice a performance toll when Kaspersky is doing a full scan. The impact is heavy in systems with fewer system resources.