BitDefender Internet Security

BitDefender Internet Security

Download Editors' Rating:
4.5
Outstanding
Average User Rating:
2.6
out of 172 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    2012
  • Total Downloads:
    226,811
  • Date Added:
    Jul. 28, 2011
  • Price:
    Free to try; 3-user, 1-year license (30-day trial); $69.95 to buy (Buy it now)

Editors' Note: The Download Now link will download a small installer file to your desktop. Remain online and double-click the installer to proceed with the actual download.

Editors' Review

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The bottom line: Bitdefender Internet Security 2012 makes a convincing pitch as an easy Windows security option. It's got an enormous selection of features, but the best one means you'll never see another security notification again unless you get infected. And the price is competitive, striking a good balance between value-added features and cost.

Review:
Bitdefender Internet Security 2012 presents a convincing alternative to its better-known competitors. It's a strong program, with all the major tools that users expect, and some additional useful tricks in its arsenal. When it comes to efficacy, Bitdefender isn't the best in every area, but it's definitely competitive and priced lower.

Editors' note: Portions of this review are based on CNET's review of Bitdefender Total Security 2012.

Installation
Bitdefender's installation still aggressively detects other security programs you have installed. It won't play well with the small subset of programs that are designed to supplement the major suites, like Malwarebytes. It won't install if you have even remnants of them left. To ensure that Bitdefender installs cleanly, our advice is to use an uninstaller tool like Revo Uninstaller to keep program detritus from causing conflicts. The option in last year's version that allowed concurrent installations appears to have been removed.

Bitdefender still offers a highly customizable installation experience, but it's no longer the default. Now, installation will pause in the middle so you can register, and then zip along. It finished in around 2 minutes, which the company says is half the time the 2011 version takes. At the end of the installation, the program notifies you that it has completed a preliminary virus scan to ensure that it wasn't installing on an infected machine.

Uninstallation was a fast and painless process, and the program even allows you to choose whether to reactivate Windows Defender and Windows Firewall. A few Registry entries were left behind, though.

Interface
For the second year in a row, Bitdefender has overhauled its interface. The new look sports a dark theme, not unlike Norton, and retains the modularity of last year's Basic interface, but the rest is entirely new. Gone are the Intermediate and Advanced interface designs, replaced with a less chaotic, more mainstream approach. A big notification status ring at the top of the interface warns you of your security status, with green for secure, yellow for problems that "require attention," and red for immediate security issues. Generally, we think that in the world of complex security threats, a simplified, two-status system of red and green works better than one with an intermediate status. Nevertheless, this year's interface is definitely easier to use than last year's.

Next to the colored status ring are links to Events, Settings, and AutoPilot. Events takes you to a log of recent security events, and it cleverly uses a Facebook-style red-circle notification pop-up to tell you when something has happened requiring attention.

What has been retained from last year's version is the user's ability to choose which security modules live front and center. By clicking the arrow to the right of the main four tools or clicking the row of gray dots, you can scroll through a variety of features and click and drag to reorder them. Leaving them in their default locations will suit most users, however. Antivirus, Firewall, Antispam, and Update are the first four that you'll see; they have a unified look, each with an icon at the top and manage or update toggles at the bottom.

The Settings window is remarkably easy to use, with tabs that repeat the options presented in the main window. Each tab on the left reveals related tabs on top when you click on it, such as Advanced settings under General, or Quarantine under Antivirus. Sliders make it easy to toggle settings, so you can quickly change the antivirus scan, for example, from Aggressive to Normal to Permissive.

Features and support
Bitdefender Internet Security 2012 offers a competitive selection of tools and options. Along with antivirus and anti-malware detection and removal engines, the suite has phishing protection, a spam guard, chat encryption, multiple scan levels, a firewall, parental controls, a system performance optimizer, file encryption, and online backup.

There aren't many changes to Internet Security in this year's edition. Last year the company moved most of its scanning, but not all of it, to the cloud. However, traditional, locally based virus definition scans are still a component of how Bitdefender protects you. The reputation engine in Bitdefender doesn't fully ignore files that it's identified as safe. Based on a geometric progression algorithm that looks at when a file was last accessed, Bitdefender will occasionally look at safe files to ensure that they haven't been turned into sleeper agents. The virus detection engine has been improved this year to look at processes while they are running, while Bitdefender's own processes were moved to the kernel to make it more difficult for threats to circumvent the suite. In turn, this has reduced the suite's impact on system resources.

What is new is the AutoPilot, a smart system that sets most notifications to silent, automatically deals with most threats encountered, and basically ensures that your security is running but not bothering you. Similar to Bitdefender's competitors' "silent" or "gaming" modes, it's on by default, so you could conceivably install Bitdefender and never look at it again. The toggle for it lives at the top right of the main interface, so people who want more control over their security can easily deactivate it. Bitdefender 2012 also has a gaming mode that only silences notifications.

The browser add-on for Firefox and Internet Explorer has been wisely done away with, replaced by a module that will protect you across all five major browsers by scanning Web traffic before it reaches the browser. Meanwhile, a vulnerability scanner will check your computer for outdated programs, drivers, and patches, and recommend solutions.

The Bitdefender Safego tool has been integrated into the suite, too. It performs link scanning for Facebook, with plans to include Twitter support soon. On Facebook, it will scan your news and wall feeds. It's also available free to all Facebook users, and the company's Android app remains free to all as well.

The rescue mode changes are extremely useful. If threats like rootkits can't be removed easily, the computer is rebooted into rescue mode. Bitdefender's rescue mode differs from its competitors' because it creates an encrypted, self-contained Linux OS file on your PC that the rescue mode boots into. It also adds Linux as an option to your boot BIOS.

One area where Bitdefender has reduced the excellent in-program support it offered last year is that video tutorials that used to be included with the program have been moved to the Web. The customer support number is buried in the Bitdefender Web site, as is the link to the live chat support. Direct access from the program's interface would be useful, especially if your Internet connection isn't working. Sadly, burying the support number is nothing new in the security suite business.

When compared to Bitdefender Total Security 2012, which is $20 cheaper, Bitdefender Internet Security lacks the online backup and file synchronization tool called Safebox, the system tune-up feature, file encryption, and file shredding.

Performance
Bitdefender Internet Security 2012 shares the same detection engine as its less feature-laden siblings, Bitdefender Total Security 2012 and Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2012, so all three are discussed here.

Bitdefender isn't the biggest name in security, but name recognition doesn't equal efficacy. In a real-world test, Bitdefender completed its initial scan during installation in 3 minutes, 16 seconds. During two subsequent uninstalls and reinstalls, the installation scan consistently took more than 4 minutes. After the installation scan, the suite averaged Quick-scan completion in 2 minutes, 9 seconds, over three runs, about 1 minute slower than last year.

The Deep scan averaged 1 hour, 32 minutes, 49 seconds over three installs, about 38 minutes slower than last year's real-world scan time average.

CNET Labs' benchmarks found that Bitdefender benchmarked well, but with room for improvement. Note that while last year's benchmarks were tested on the basic installation of Windows 7 x64, CNET Labs is now using a Windows 7 x64 test bed running Service Pack 1. So while results are more comparable than they would be with, say, a Windows XP computer, there's still a notable difference between the test computers.

Bitdefender 2012 showed fast but not stunning scan times, with Total Security 2012 scoring 920 seconds, Antivirus Plus 2012 hitting 996 seconds, and Internet Security 2011 completing in 969 seconds. However, the suites' impact on boot time was less tolerable. Antivirus Plus added 17 seconds to the boot time; Internet Security added 19 seconds; and Total Security slowed the PC boot cycle by a remarkable 21.6 seconds. Likewise, the impact on shutdown times was also problematic, with Antivirus Plus and Internet Security adding around 11 seconds to shutdown, and Total Security extending shutdown by 25 seconds. Compared with last year, when Bitdefender slowed boot time by around 6 seconds and shutdown time by around 2.25 seconds, this is a clear step backward for the suite.

On the less critical but still important tests of MS Office performance, iTunes decoding, media multitasking, and Cinebench, Bitdefender did much better. The scores for all three suites were among the fastest we've seen thus far this year.

Please note that since Bitdefender 2012 is one of the first suites to be released this season, suite comparisons and ratings may be adjusted at a later date.

Security program Boot time Shutdown time Scan time MS Office performance iTunes decoding Media multitasking Cinebench
Unprotected system 40 6 n/a 395 120 342 17,711
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2012 57 17.6 996 414 126 345 17,341
Bitdefender Internet Security 2012 59 17.3 969 414 125 344 17,406
Bitdefender Total Security 2012 61.6 31 920 402 127 346 17,363

Note: All tests measured in seconds, except for Cinebench. On the Cinebench test, higher numbers are better.

Independent testing agency AV-Test.org has marked consistently high scores for Bitdefender Internet Security 2011 during the first two quarters of 2011. On a Windows 7 computer, Bitdefender scored 6 out of 6 on Protection, 4 out of 6 on Repair, and 5.5 out of 6 on Usability, for an overall score of 15.5 out of 18, clearing the minimum of 11 for an AV-Test.org certificate and earning the highest score of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, on a Windows XP computer, Bitdefender Internet Security 2011 did even better. The suite hit 6 out of 6 on Protection and 5.5 out of 6 on both Repair and Usability, for a total of 17 out of 18, once again becoming the highest-scoring suite.

Note that AV-Test.org defines its categories as follows: "The 'Protection' covers static and dynamic malware detection, including real-world zero-day attack testing. In case of 'Repair,' we check the system disinfection and rootkit removal in detail. The 'Usability' testing includes the system slowdown caused by the tools and the number of false positives."

Third-quarter results aren't in yet, but results shared by AV-Test.org with CNET indicate that the suite continues to perform well. It notched a 99.53 percent malware detection rate, higher than the overall average rate of 96.14 percent in July 2011 certification testing. The suite was able to remove 93.6 percent of active malware infections, higher than the industry average of 80.7 percent, and 90 percent of rootkit infections. However, the rootkit infection detection and removal rate matched the industry average. In AV-Test.org's zero-day attacks test, Bitdefender blocked 100 percent of the attacks, compared with the average July 2011 certification results of 85.7 percent. The suite also did not find any false positives.

In short, AV-Test.org found Bitdefender 2011 and the new 2012 to be highly effective security protection, and both were progressively more effective than Bitdefender 2010.

The most recent AV-Comparatives.org Whole Product test, which looks at on-demand scanning, retroactive tests, and "real-world" guards including cloud-based protections, puts Bitdefender 2011 in the top four suites tested. The June 2011 test found that it blocked 98.8 percent of attacks and threats thrown at it, only behind F-Secure, Panda, and Trend Micro. Meanwhile, looking at Whole Product test results cumulatively from January 2011 to June 2011 found that Bitdefender 2011 came in second only to F-Secure, blocking 99.1 percent of threats.

A third testing lab, Dennis Technology Labs, had slightly less good news for Bitdefender from its January 2011 test, although the results were still strong. In its test of high-end suites, including Bitdefender Total Security 2011, Dennis Labs placed Bitdefender fourth, behind Norton 360 v5, Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security 2011, and ESET Smart Security v4. Note that Norton 360 v5 was updated about six months after its competitors, in March 2011, and although ESET last received a major update in April 2009, it has been receiving minor updates regularly.

It's fair to conclude that according to third-party tests, Bitdefender has been highly effective over the past year, and if that's your most important standard then you'd be aiming high by choosing it. However, when it comes to system performance, specifically start-up and shutdown times, Bitdefender has room to improve.

Conclusion
Bitdefender Internet Security 2012 has a competitive range of features and offers top-notch security, held back only by its deleterious impact on your boot and shutdown. Throw all that together, keeping in mind the seamless AutoPilot system, and you've got the makings of a sleeper hit.

 
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Publisher's Description

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User Reviews
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  • Current Version

    2.1

    out of 10 votes

    • 5 star 2
    • 4 star 1
    • 3 star 0
    • 2 star 0
    • 1 star 7
  • All Versions

    2.6

    out of 172 votes

    • 5 star 42
    • 4 star 18
    • 3 star 13
    • 2 star 28
    • 1 star 71
  • My rating

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    Write review

Results 1–10 of 10

1 stars

"slowed and crashed my system"

December 28, 2013  |  By chuckawallawalla

 |  Version: BitDefender Internet Security 2012

Pros

cheap and well rated by cnet. so someone must be able to get it to work.

Cons

slow and crash and repeat. bitdefender support accomplished nothing but to waste hours of my time (and theirs, to be fair).

Summary

why would you buy yourself this much trouble. learn from my mistake and save yourself a lot of grief. just look at the reviews here and at amazon, first. i sure wish i had.

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1 stars

"Disappointing. Cannot be recommended."

December 21, 2011  |  By FullSmokingJacket

 |  Version: BitDefender Internet Security 2012

Pros

Interface is pretty.
...er...
...that's it.

Cons

Painfully slow PC start up.
*Astonishingly* slow web page loading.

Summary

Nice but dim.

Although the interface is good looking, I found it not all that obvious to use in practice, but this is a relatively minor gripe and Bitdefender is hardly unique in sacrificing function to form.

More importantly, the impact of Bitdefender on the speed of web page loading was astounding. It became so slow as to make the PC unusable. At first I thought the broadband connection was down or suffering a degrade, and tried loading a broadband speed checking site. I gave up on that one after waiting 10 minutes; which is more than a little ironic.

Having read the reviews and recommendations associated with the 2010 version, I was profoundly disappointed with this. Something has clearly changed for the worse. I have uninstalled Bitdefender and replaced it with McAfee which shows none of these problems.

Protection must come with close attention paid to minimizing the impact on the performance of the PC. If a machine performs well (and safely) with McAfee or CA products loaded but not with Bitdefender, then it is not rocket science to pinpoint the origin of the slowdown.

Time for a rethink chaps.

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4 stars

"Robust security which has every thing to protect,but..."

October 19, 2011  |  By chinnavignesh

 |  Version: BitDefender Internet Security 2012

Pros

High Detection rate
Excellent Anti Phishing
Easy to use UI
Virus Removal is superb.
Smaller and Faster updates

Cons

System Start Up slowdown
AntiSpam doesn't work with mostly used Thunderbird
BitDefender support
Searched Advisor doesn't work properly with Firefox

Summary

Hello, BitDefender is one of the best security suites in market. BitDefender Internet Security 2012(BDIS2012) has every feature to protect our PC. BitDefender has Search advisor which scans and warns of any malicious results. Anti Virus has multiple features AVS and IDC. BitDefender has a outstanding firewall which shuts every attack as well. In the latest version of 2012 BitDefender has entirely change it UI. An advanced user will surely like it setting terminology.Even it shows tips to protect PC.BitDefender even has IM protection which scans Yahoo Messenger and MSN only(No Gtalk!).BitDefender has a protection toolbar called Trafficlight which scans entire web page along with antivirus.DON'T BUY BITDEFENDER IF YOU USE OLD PC OR IF YOU HAVE ENTRY LEVEL PC. Thank You

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1 stars

"Best AntiVirus, Worst Firewall for most users"

October 15, 2011  |  By TechnoGamer147

 |  Version: BitDefender Internet Security 2012

Pros

I am impressed by it detection rates and proactive defense. And i have to agree it is a good antivirus.

Cons

Firewall blocks my internet connection so it can't update. If it can't update it is useless.
Auto pilot feature give me problems and annoyance.
After trying to fix it, i gave up as i had a head ache just trying to comprehend it settings.
And my laptop felt slower than usual.

Summary

I agree the AntiVirus is the best at the moment(i say moment because who knows when the other brands might catch up). But it internet security and maybe even it total security suites should not be release to the public. I mean it seems that bitdefender works pretty well with powerful, newer computer. but people these days don't have the money to buy a new one. I liked the layout in the old version to show advanced view and easy view of you choice.
But i suggest now they should work out their firewall, and maybe fix it to be lighter on laptops and older computers. it could have been the best internet security suite, if it wasn't for those problems.

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5 stars

"who is your daddy NOW malware?"

September 30, 2011  |  By cnetguy7

 |  Version: BitDefender Internet Security 2012

Pros

second to none malware detection,elimination.
better firewall than most.
auto pilot mode reduces the number of pop ups.
features galore.

Cons

not the lightest.
default parental web control pain.
clunky gui.
too aggressive security.
removes malwarebytes as does kaspersky, norton, trend micro.
full scan > 1.5 hours ( intel core t4500 processor, 4 gb ram).
increased boot time.

Summary

Recently tried AVG internet security 2012, Eset smart 5.0. both of them are very good ( i preferred ESET of the two). I would recommend them to anyone. Eset was very light on the system. It's use of cloud makes the full scan very quick. I liked AVG's web accelerator.
However, despite it's heavy use, bitdefender rates as the best by many av comparatives.
Yesterday, Bitdefender firewall blocked 2 port scan attempts in a public location. I love avg and eset but i doubt their firewall is that good.
Default web control blocks access to naughty websites, file sharing websites. That can be remedied with going into admin account, bitdefender settings-> web control -> web control off. this change cannot be made in windows 7 user accounts, only an admin account.
It also has a tune-up facility and one can use it's defragmenter, registry cleaner, privacy sweep etc but i don't find it useful. I use windows inbuilt degragmenter and CCleaner for registry clean and privacy sweep.
file shredder option is neat.
Very good. Very pleased.

Updated on Oct 16, 2011

so sorry, this was a review for bitdefender for bitdefender total security so don't take this review into consideration.

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1 stars

"Looked Good, performed bad."

September 26, 2011  |  By 1Atma1

 |  Version: BitDefender Internet Security 2012

Pros

Good Features

Cons

Screwed up my internet connection

Summary

First I had problems getting it to install. Finally did and the interface looked promising. Then I started having problems with my internet connection. It was very slow and my wifi would drop out often. Windows would repair it only for a short while later the same thing happened. Thank goodness it was trial version that I could uninstall.

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5 stars

"Think about it..."

September 02, 2011

 |  Version: BitDefender Internet Security 2012

Pros

Installed without a hitch.
THE highest rated security suite on AV-test.org
Has a great set of features.

Cons

Wish it were available at local retailer.

Summary

Think about it. As I write this, there are a total of 3 ratings for this most recent version - all 1 star negative. I think it's important to pay attention to ratings, but also to realize that I just may be smarter than them. Maybe they have AV running that's conflicting, maybe they have other system conflicts, maybe they are installing this because they are already having problems. When I see things like, "locked my whole system up" or, "resource hog" I have to wonder...
There is a comment about asking for a refund? That's what free trials are for!
I am giving this 5 stars because it is a very good security suite. It is lighter on resources than Norton or Kaspersky. BTW it's also cheaper, but even if the same price it's better at protection, repair and usability.

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1 stars

"totally frustrating"

August 12, 2011  |  By dkhampton

 |  Version: BitDefender Internet Security 2012

Pros

I can't find anything positive about it at this time.

Cons

My system is barely moving. Takes forever to load pages and I'm just totally frustrated.

Summary

I've just uninstalled it and will be asking for a refund!

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1 stars

"Terrible software"

August 11, 2011  |  By bokkie123

 |  Version: BitDefender Internet Security 2012

Pros

If it is indeed working properly, probably it will work fine. I don't know.

Cons

Although it has a good detection rate, this suite is not yet ready to be released. Firewall blocks a lot of programs. Can't configure it.
Very heavy on resources and slow down my laptop too much.

Summary

When I try to download objectdock from Cnet download.com it blocks the program to be installed, I tried everything. I don't know why this was blocked, another thing is I have to remove Malware bytes, it's not allowed to have this as a second security program. I have to uninstall it before running Bitdefender. This program is very heavy on resources, I have an Acer Aspire I5 core with 8GB ram, this should work fine but slowed down my laptop incredibly. Suite not ready, lot of bugs still. Just wait for a couple of moths before you buy this. try it first!

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1 stars

"Bugs galore"

July 30, 2011  |  By The_Lyppard_Man

 |  Version: BitDefender Internet Security 2012

Pros

It might be good if it worked properly as it has a good set of features. At least this new version didn't cause any BSODs like the previous version (although perhaps that was because it didn't stay on my PC for more than an hour).

Cons

Stopped IE & Firefox from working. Wouldn't let me set up parental controls alerts. Networking only worked intermittently. Online backup refused to work at all.

Summary

It's hard to say anything about this software without resorting to expletives. AVOID.

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Full Specifications

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What's new in version 2012
  • Rescue mode--Reboots your computer in a trusted environment, which is used for cleanup and restoration
  • Virtualized Browser--Isolates the browser from the operating system in a Bitdefender-provided environment to block web-based threats
  • Autopilot--Provides a hassle-free experience by making optimal security-related decisions without input from you
  • Social Network Protection -Filters the links you receive from your Facebook and Twitter friends and monitors your privacy settings
  • Scan Dispatcher--Triggers system scans when resource usage falls below a certain threshold to avoid any impact on your system's performance
General
Publisher Bitdefender
Publisher web site http://www.bitdefender.com
Release Date July 28, 2011
Date Added July 28, 2011
Version 2012
Category
Category Security Software
Subcategory Internet Security Software Suites
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size 6.46MB
File Name bitdefender_isecurity.exe
Popularity
Total Downloads 226,811
Downloads Last Week 779
Pricing
License Model Free to try
Limitations 30-day trial
Price $69.95

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