A great way to find out which antivirus program is best for your needs and budget is to read reviews of those on the market. In this post, we review Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 for Windows.
Bitdefender was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Bucharest, Romania. Their user base numbers in the half-billion around the world. They offer products for private individuals, small and large businesses, and governments. Their products have garnered a number of awards and consistently score high in third-party lab tests. They have substantial sized IT security software vendors with over 1600 highly trained employees. Their products cover protection from viruses, malware, trojans, ransomware, and phishing.
About Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus provides a broad array of tools and options for a product in its price range. These include a Wi-Fi network scanner, password manager, file shredder, and VPN. It can be used on one PC or more depending on a user’s needs.
Bitdefender has a heuristic malware detection scanner that hunts for known threats and learns over time about infection behaviors.
GUI / Interface
Anyone familiar with antivirus software should have no problems navigating the Bitdefender user interface.
The Dashboard holds the five most important security tasks: a scan recommendation, Quick Scan, VPN, protecting other systems and the Safepay secure browser. There’s room to add another task of your choosing.
There is a menu on the left side of the main program window. This has the following options:
- My Account
The main screen has a green check if your system is safe. If there are update recommendations available, then they will be shown. You can run a Quick Scan, the VPN, open Safepay, and install Antivirus Plus on other devices.
You can also add quick actions to the main dashboard such as:
- Quick Scan
- System Scan
- Vulnerability Scan
- Check Wi-Fi Safety
- Wallets Open
- File Shredder
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 provides protection from:
For entry-level antivirus programs, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is one of the best. It provides a wide array of useful features to anyone who needs to protect their computer on a budget. Its threat protection is comprehensive and effective. It can stop dangerous malware before it even starts to download. It runs scans quickly and has been tested by reputable security organizations from many countries.
It can also safeguard your internet browsing which can protect your privacy. Also, it comes with a VPN and safe banking tools.
It can stop phishing schemes that are difficult to spot. Bitdefender runs on a light system load and most users will not notice a slowdown in their computer’s performance.
PROS of Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
- Safe banking tools
- Very good malware protection
- Small Resouces Usage
- Fast scans
Bitdefender runs on very little resources so we did not notice any slowdown while using it.
CONS of Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
- Extra installation steps
- Scans take awhile
- Malware detection is not always perfect
- No firewall included
An important note is that Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 does not have a firewall included. Firewalls provide a level of security most users should have. Antivirus programs would be best designed to have one included.
Also, antivirus scans can take a long time to finish depending on which one you choose (see our test results.)
The installation of Bitdefender is fairly straightforward but does take several extra steps. Some options are not available on the main dashboard, but can only be accessed online. Having them in one place would be much more convenient.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus Installation
Installation goes fairly quickly and can be completed in less than 10 minutes. However, if you are looking for something without any involvement on your part, this can be slightly disappointing.
To learn more, read our Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 installation guide here.
You can access support in the main program using the left side menu option. Click on the Support Center or Contact Support in the main window. This will take you to the Bitdefender support website where you can enter a search query to find commonly asked questions and answers. There are also DIY materials and how-to videos for selected topics.
All support is provided 24/7 when you purchase the program. You can call, email or use the online- chat window to make contact with a support technician. Bitdefender assures a response within 24 hours, and this can be made shorter by upgrading to Premium Security.
Several times a day, the Bitdefender servers send malware definition updates for the newest and most dangerous threats to all its users. You can choose to not use this option if you do not want your threat information passed onto their support. Regardless, you will still get ongoing security updates.
Bitdefender also includes a VPN, a very useful tool for preventing online tracking and shielding your browser histories. This is very helpful for anyone who wants to keep their online activity private while protecting their systems from adware, cookies, and other trackers.
This menu selection has a main screen with the following:
- Firewall for upgraded subscriptions
- Online Threat Prevention
- Advanced Threat Defense
- Safe Files
- Ransomware Remediation
Safe Files is a useful tool that allows for securing important documents from hackers. Other software programs may not include this feature, making Bitdefender stand out from the crowd.
This works by putting items in a folder where they cannot be changed or deleted.
Ransomware Remediation allows for saving copies of files that can then be recovered automatically if their original was disrupted.
You can run scheduled scans in the Manage Scans option in the Protection menu item. You can choose to run them daily, weekly, monthly, and at any time of the day. You can also choose to run them at system startup.
Privacy Features are available for added data protection. These include:
- Password Manager
- Data Protection
- File Encryption
- Video & Audio Protection
- Parental Advisor
This menu item shows all recent events including critical, warning, and other important information.
The left-hand menu has a Settings selection that allows for many different program adjustments. Almost all Bitdefender features can be turned on or off in this section. There are even ways to prevent interruptions from games or movies.
There are two types of scans to choose from:
- Quick Scan
- System Scan
You can run a quick scan in the main program dashboard by clicking “Start Scan”. You can find the system scan in the Protection menu selection on the left side of the main screen. There is also the option to schedule the scans in the Manage Scans option in the Protection screen.
You can view the scanning log file anytime, including basic, advanced, and targeted threat types.
Anti-tracker and Banking Tools
The basic protection program of Bitdefender now includes an anti-tracker. Bitdefender’s anti-tracker hides your browser data to cut down on these annoying ads and keep your online activity more private.
It has banking tools that shield credit card and account numbers while you shop and bank online.
These two features are a significant bonus, adding security protection above and beyond other competing antivirus software.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 System Requirements
Operating System: Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo (2 GHz) or equivalent processor
Memory (RAM): 2 GB
Available free hard disk space: 2.5 GB free space
Our Bitdefender Antivirus Plus Test
Bitdefender has a powerful malware engine that runs quickly. Scanning our system was relatively fast in comparison to other antivirus software we have reviewed. Also, system resources were not used to a noticeable extent.
We ran the test on our standard mid-range PC used for antivirus and anti-malware testing with these specifications:
Desktop PC Model: HP Pavilion 595
Processor: 8th generation Intel Core I5-8400
RAM: 12 GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM Memory
Hard Drive: 1 TB 7200 RPM HD, 128 GB PCIe Solid State Drive
Video Card: Intel UHD Graphics 630
Operating System: Windows 10
Software: Microsoft Office, Google Chrome, included pre-installed software on the system.
File types: xls, txt, doc, mp3, mp4, jpeg, jpg, bmp, png, pdf, docx, exe, wav, wma, bat
Average file size: 4.4 MB
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus Scan Performance
A Quick Scan took 3 minutes to complete on our system.
Total items scanned: 11,989
A Full System Scan took 54 minutes to complete.
Total items scanned: 646,011
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus Review in Summary
Most antivirus programs have similar capabilities. The way to find the one that works for you is to find reviews from others who have tested them out.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 offers great value for the price relative to other antivirus products on the market. Its online threat detection is very good and it uses only minimal system resources to run. If you are a working professional, parent or student who needs their system protected and running efficiently, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is a solid choice.
For more information about products like this, see our Antivirus Mega Review Roundup.