Bitdefender Antivirus Free offers strong basic protection from computer viruses, malware, rootkits, and emerging threats. It's lightweight and unobtrusive, partly because it doesn't pack on extras like identity and privacy protection that other tools can provide, and partly because it lacks some of the automated features and support options that come with Bitdefender's premium antivirus solutions.
Less is more: Bitdefender Antivirus Free is refreshingly free of the "extra" features and tools that make some apps unwieldy and confusing for non-experts.
Easy to use: Bitdefender's compact main interface is a glorified system tray pop-up. We could toggle the Virus Shield and Auto Scan features, access an optional My Bitdefender account, and open the Logs, which also manage Events and Quarantine lists.
Auto Scan: Bitdefender's proprietary Auto Scan feature saves time and resources by focusing attention on high-risk areas. You can disable Auto Scan in the interface's Configuration Area.
Virus Shield: The optional Virus Shield scans files, Web pages, and data in real time to keep malware at bay.
Incompatible: Bitdefender Antivirus Free doesn't share power with other antivirus freeware like Microsoft Security Essentials.
Installation issues: Bitdefender's installer offers to remove conflicting programs, reboot, and resume setup, but we had to reboot and finish the installation manually.
Plenty of free antivirus solutions offer nearly as many bells and whistles as premium packages. If you just want reliable antivirus protection that doesn't require a lot of attention, Bitdefender Antivirus Free belongs on your short list.