Bitdefender Total Security

Bitdefender Total Security

Download Editors' Rating:
4.5
Outstanding
Average User Rating:
3.0
out of 303 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    2012
  • Total Downloads:
    645,387
  • Date Added:
    July 28, 2011
  • File Size:
    6.7MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    1,293
  • Operating Systems:
    Windows XP/Vista/7

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 Total 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. However, the fact that you can get the same feature even in Bitdefender's basic antivirus suite means you ought to think twice before getting this superhigh-end version.

Review:
Bitdefender Total 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.

Editors' note: Portions of this review are based on CNET's review of Bitdefender Total Security 2011.

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
As the premium suite from Bitdefender, Total 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 Total 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.

The Safebox feature, which automatically backs up your files to a remote server when changes have been detected, will now sync files across multiple computers running Bitdefender. Safebox comes with 2GB of free storage, the same as most of Bitdefender's competitors. Notably, Safebox is the only new or improved feature that only comes in Bitdefender Total Security 2012. The other improvements have been made across all three Bitdefender suites.

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.

Performance
Bitdefender Total Security 2012 shares the same detection engine as its less feature-laden siblings, Bitdefender Internet 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 some 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.

Conclusions
Bitdefender Total Security 2012 has a great and competitive range of features. It could have better system benchmarks, but the security it offers is top-notch. Throw all that together, keeping in mind the seamless AutoPilot system, and you've got the makings of a sleeper hit. It's definitely worth checking out for high-end protection.

 
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Publisher's Description

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User Reviews
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  • Current Version

    2.5

    out of 14 votes

    • 5 star 4
    • 4 star 0
    • 3 star 1
    • 2 star 3
    • 1 star 6
  • All Versions

    3.0

    out of 303 votes

    • 5 star 109
    • 4 star 24
    • 3 star 27
    • 2 star 39
    • 1 star 104
  • My rating

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1–10 of 14

1 stars

"Computer Crash Prone"

October 18, 2011  |  By bullrock

 |  Version: Bitdefender Total Security 2012

Pros

There are none

Cons

Not useable in Windows 7

Summary

I removed Bitdefender 2011 from my computer and installed Bitdefender Internet Security 2012. This brought my computer to a screeching halt. It locked up my software to the extent I couldn't shut it down using Task Manager. So I had to shut down the computer manually.

I can't be the only user that has experienced this mess. So I replaced Bitdefender 2012 with 2011 and my computer is cured. I only have 40 days left on 2011 so I'll need to look around for a replacement. Rest assured, it won't be BD 2012.

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5 stars

"best security software I have ever USED."

October 16, 2011  |  By cnetguy7

 |  Version: Bitdefender Total 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

For bitdefender total security 2012.
First, I had posted total security review in internet security and apologize for that.
I noticed some reviewers below speaking about the bugs in bitdefender. For me, this has been one of the most flawless security softwares I've used.
No problems whatsoever on my windows 7 laptop.
I can run Internet explorer 9, latest versions of chrome (14.0.835.202) and firefox(7), microsoft office, vlc player, windows media player, gom player, 7 zip, adobe. Communications with my wireless EPSON printer has also not been affected. Home wireless internet, public wireless internet all work fine. I am sorry if it didn't work well on your PC but runs flawlessly on mine.
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. I also tested bitdefender firewall with leaktest. It aced it.
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.
file shredder option is very neat for quick, secure deletion of your file. (emptying the recycle bin doesn't delete files, they can be retrieved with recovery software).
One criticism is that the gui isn't very quick reacting like other suites.
My biggest gripe is that the full system scan takes too long and just like Kaspersky slows system down a little. I usually do a full system scan when I am not using the laptop. In comparison, ESET's scan is so much quicker and the impact on the system is negligible.
Still for me, the pros far outweigh the cons.
Once the trial expires I don't want to switch to switch over to any other paid security ( tried the best of em all except f-secure and like bitdefender the best) however, the price just seems very out of reach for a security software for an average joe like myself especially considering the fact that there are quality av's, pc tune up facilities, comodo firewall all available for free.
Still I love this!
Very good. Very pleased. You have my second to none respect bitdefender team.

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1 stars

"disappointing..."

October 13, 2011  |  By eve_monte

 |  Version: Bitdefender Total Security 2012

Pros

good protection but....

Cons

very difficult to install. some feature's a bit frustrating. i prefer previous logo than just a 'B'.

Summary

although i am a big fan of this product, sad to say but i agree to disagree with this upgraded (?) product. 2011 version was very much easier to use than 2012.i hope somehow bitdefender could "defend" its reputation and regain respect.

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1 stars

"Nope, Nope, Nope... years of support down the drain"

October 10, 2011  |  By demitrihaze

 |  Version: Bitdefender Total Security 2012

Pros

Price
History
System Resources (friendly)

This product unfortunately is riding on the coat tails of its previous success. Though I have been using bitdefender for years I am VERY FRUSTRATED by this upgrade to 2012, it is a beta release.

Cons

Slow internet browsing, IE not working well anymore, Firefox no longer a viable browser, only browser which works part of the time is Opera. NAT devices on home network no longer working, Slingbox does not work...

Summary

It may have tested ok with regards to system scans but as far as "using" this suite as a productive part of your day using the internet and your computer while on the net, it fails miserably. I am SERIOUSLY considering a different solution.

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5 stars

"Perfect Antivirus Solutions"

October 05, 2011  |  By tambelanblog

 |  Version: Bitdefender Total Security 2012

Pros

1. easy Setup
2. Support Win7 bit32/64bit
3. Lighter than older version (Not eat CPU resources)
4. Great interface
5. Fast updated with cloud system

Cons

1. Installer with internet make more times because need to download files.
2. cannot add my comment in My Bitdefender account

Summary

1. Recommended for anyone who interested security
2. easy and user friendly
3. really cheap on price

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2 stars

"Does not play well with others"

September 23, 2011  |  By mechfl

 |  Version: Bitdefender Total Security 2012

Pros

cool red dragon mascot

Cons

Too many to list...see below

Summary

Gave me errors and made my screen flash right after install - contaced CS they said Windows firewall needed to be turned off - IT WAS, and I needed to uninstall HP assistant - so they never tested on an HP computer - then they want me uninstall/reinstall the VS! I also installed BD on our desktop, now it won't let me load new software even if I turn the VS off!! I guess this VS would be OK if you never want to do anything to your computer. I plan on getting my money back after 3 days of frustration.

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1 stars

"Became Unusable"

September 23, 2011  |  By bolshoi_ch

 |  Version: Bitdefender Total Security 2012

Pros

BD used to be ok.

Cons

Installed on 4 systems (2 @ work, 2 @ home). Couldn't complete a scan without failure. Would update regularly but frequently required a reboot. New interface not intuitive. Spontaneously turns AV functions off.

Summary

I've been a BD user for 5-6 years. It used to be a fairly decent product. It always appeared to work without grief. However since the last two iterations, 2011 & 2012, the product has consistently failed to perform its' basic functions. Scans routinely failed, locks up during updates, turns all AV functions off. I had no confidence in the product at all. My contact with customer support was disappointing and ineffective.

Following my intuition, I decided to scrap BD with about 300 days left on my license.

BD's reputation was the factor that motivated my purchase, but for me their reputation now is in the toilet.

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1 stars

"Bad product, worse customer service"

September 11, 2011  |  By Dallen3978

 |  Version: Bitdefender Total Security 2012

Pros

I can't find anything good about it.

Cons

Repeatedly freezes computer, incredibly slow start up and shut down, internet use moves at a crawl. My computer is almost like a paperweight.

Summary

Don't buy this product. Customer Service is HORRIBLE and unresponsive. I tried the troubleshooting they suggested and it didn't work. It hasn't worked right from the day I downloaded it. I have to send multiple emails to get them to respond. Finally, I asked for a refund and they said no. They asked me to download Total Viewer so they could log into my computer. I did that a week ago and have sent them three emails giving them the info they need to log in. They still have not done anything and they have not responded to the emails I sent just this week.

I will have to uninstall it and buy another product. I guess I just lost my money...and they don't seem to care at all.

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3 stars

"GREAT FOR PROTECTION ALTHOUGH"

August 28, 2011  |  By CorzaJL

 |  Version: Bitdefender Total Security 2012

Pros

The User Interface is amazing much more improved than the 2011 version. Improved Protection seems to be alot better than the anti viruses i have used. Simple Features. Fast Scan not as fast as ESET's but its a reasonable Speed

Cons

People who enjoy watching videos via the internet do not use this software it will freeze the video every few minutes i know its not my computer as its new and highly speced. Also it slows Startup by abit but its fine if your patient

Summary

Its great for protection its design is amazing definitely in the top 10 anti viruses it doesn't have many features but hay its an antivirus it gets rid of viruses. Wouldn't Recommend for people who enjoy videos via internet because of constant freezing | UI >10/10, Protection >10/10, Features >7/10, Overall > 8/10

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2 stars

"i think 2011 was better then this"

August 15, 2011  |  By Spycops

 |  Version: Bitdefender Total Security 2012

Pros

2011 is better then 2012 it had same protection and was very liter on resource too

Cons

very heavy on ram
drop in av-comparative latest test result from 3 star to shamefully 2 star
i think 2011/2010 interface was much easier to navigate and customize

Summary

WILL NOT RECCOMEND OVERALL
i will still ask bitdefender users to be one 2011 version itself its the best in market but new version is terrible one

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Results 1–10 of 14

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Full Specifications

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What's new in version 2012
  • Autopilot: Autopilot provides a hassle-free experience by making optimal security-related decisions without input from you. This means no pop-ups, no alerts, nothing to configure.
  • Social Network Protection: Bitdefender filters/blocks social-networking specific e-threats by scanning the links you receive from your Facebook and Twitter friends, and monitors your privacy settings.
  • Scan Dispatcher: The Scan Dispatcher finds and uses time-slices when system resource usage falls below a certain threshold to perform recurring scans of your entire system. This way Bitdefender does not interfere with user-initiated actions and does impact system responsiveness.
  • Safebox--Online Backup & File Synchronization: Bitdefender Safebox monitors your important files and instantly backs them up to a secure remote server whenever a change is detected. Backed up files become available to your other computers on which Bitdefender is installed. Bitdefender Total Security comes with 2GB of free storage.
  • Rescue Mode: If e-threats, such as rootkits, cannot be removed from within the Windows operating system, the computer is re-booted in Rescue mode--a trusted environment which is then used for cleanup and restoration.
  • Virtualized Browser: It launches the browser in a Bitdefender-provided environment, isolating it from the operating system. This is done to prevent browser-based e-threats from exploiting browser vulnerabilities to gain control of the entire system.
  • Improved: Flexible Interface: Drag and drop modules to get quick access to the actions you perform most often directly from the main window.
  • Improved: Streamlined Installation: Bitdefender 2012 easily installs with just a few clicks, and in half the time required by the previous version.
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, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Vista
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size 6.7MB
File Name bitdefender_ts.exe
Popularity
Total Downloads 645,387
Downloads Last Week 1,293
Pricing
License Model Free to try
Limitations 30-day trial
Price $79.95

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