Review: Bitdefender Security is faster and better

Photon technology brings speed improvements across the board over 2013's release.

Bitdefender Antivirus continues to remain a top-performing security suite that improves over time by adjusting to your computer usage and performance.

Bitdefender's latest version sheds the yearly version identity and brings back the same expected arsenal of security tricks and tweaks that made version 2013 so competitive among the AV crowd. Features like MyBitdefender return to address the rising demand for multidevice protection as many other rivals like Norton and AVG have followed suit.

Bitdefender's cost has gone up for each of its products across the board: Antivirus Plus now retails for $49.95, Internet Security for $69.95, and Total Security for $79.95. Internet Security shows the greatest price hike, at $20 more, putting it at the cost of last year's Total Security suite.

Installation didn't take long but updates can take some time. After installation, Bitdefender will enable an autopilot mode and auto-gaming mode by default for a hands-off maintenance approach. It'll then follow up with a preliminary system scan to check for any existing infections.

Bitdefender dubs its new adaptive technology "Photon" and claims that the security program learns and adapts to your system's performance. It does this by monitoring the various applications and programs you already have installed and "learns" what kind of configurations are standard vs. those that are tampered with by malware. The result is reducing the load on the scanner and shortening times. Our first initial system scans averaged around 20 minutes but subsequent following scans took about two and a half minutes:


    Full Scan times (Initial, post-Photon in minutes)

  • Antivirus plus: 21:38, 2:50
  • Internet Security: 20:54, 2:47
  • Total Security: 22:45, 2:48

AV-Test has yet to release their results for this year's Bitdefender; Version 2013 scored 6/6 in protection and useability with 5/6 for performance. Cinebench scores for processor load scored as follows:

    Cinebench

  • Antivirus plus: 17292
  • Internet Security: 17287
  • Total Security: 17329

In AV Comparatives, Bitdefender scored second highest in real-world protection test at 99.8 percent, ousted only by Trend Micro. Bitdefender also had a score of 2.4 in their system impact test on AV Comparatives; though bested by Symantec, Kaspersky, and Avast!, it still remained in the top 10.

    Boot time, Shutdown time (in seconds)

  • Antivirus plus: 44.73, 10.27
  • Internet Security: 44.75, 9.08
  • Total Security: 45.07, 11.45

Conclusion

Though it might be at least a month or two before all of 2014's test results get published, current performance along with our own findings suggest a trajectory toward maintaining efficacy in overall protection.

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