BitDefender Internet Security 2011 Download:
Review of BitDefender Internet Security 2011:
By Jay Andrew Allen
BitDefender is one of those antivirus platforms that doesn't get much attention compared to the heavy-hitters in the field. That's a shame: historically, Romanian manufacturer SoftWIN has produced a solid product with a fast antivirus engine and great virus accuracy scores. BitDefender is also one of the least expensive antivirus platforms on the market. We decided to check out its latest Internet Security platform offering, BitDefender Internet Security 2011, and see how its features and performance stack up against the competition.
1) Features & Ease of Use: 11/15
BitDefender focuses on providing rich features and functionality using a highly customizable interface. The large array of options offered by the program is both a curse and a blessing.
BitDefender Internet Security 2011 uses the same lengthy installation routine (eight screens!) as BitDefender AntiVirus 2011 Pro. Once complete, users are taken to the BitDefender Dashboard, which is as easy to navigate as its sister application's Dashboard. At first, the available commands seemed thin. It took us a few minutes to realize that users must manually enable most of BitDefender's advanced features - such as Firewall Configuration and Parental Control - by selecting More Options from the Security Menu, and toggling these features to On. In order to configure settings for these features, users also have to go to the My Tools menu, select More Options, and enable the corresponding settings commands as well!
View Larger BitDefender Screenshots
It took us a while to figure out that we could obtain the full panoply of features by clicking Options in the upper right hand menu and selecting Expert View. BitDefender defines three views - Basic, Intermediate, and Expert View - to customize the program for users of varying technical prowess. BitDefender calls this flexibility "Adaptive Design", and touts it as a selling point. And, in BitDefender's defense, it asked us which view we wanted during the (eight-step) installation process. While a nice idea, we found it a little weird that the default view of the program would hide the very features that made the upgrade to Internet Security worthwhile.
The BitDefender Web site highlights two other new features for Internet Security 2011. The Video Library, which contains video tutorials for all major features, is available by clicking Help and Support in the lower right corner, and then selecting View All Tutorials. The Search anytime box on the same page provides in-application access to BitDefender's online knowledge base. These are pretty meager improvements for a version upgrade.
BitDefender offers a great range of features, including enhancements to features commonly found on most antivirus platforms. Take Game Mode, which suspends antivirus scanning activity and alerts when an application is running full screen. Internet Security's Game Mode provides an Automatic Game Mode option that will keep Game Mode disabled, but enable it when certain applications are running. Users can also customize whether a full-screen application triggers Game Mode, or triggers Silent Mode instead (anti-virus activities still occur, but BitDefender suppresses all intrusive alerts).
Another unique feature is Encryption, which can encrypt traffic for certain Instant Messaging platforms. Currently, BitDefender only supports Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger.
BitDefender's other features are equally rich and flexible. The Home Network menu provides a flexible and easy interface for managing security issues across multiple computers. Parental Control permits restricting the activity of user accounts, either by using a pre-determined set of recommendations based on the age of the user, or by customizing which resources and applications the user is allowed to access. BitDefender's Privacy Controls can be set to eliminate tracking cookies, forbid Registry entries that will be executed at start-up, and issue alerts when a user inadvertently sends personal information in an e-mail message.
BitDefender provides a nice Firewall control interface. Instead of insisting that users configure everything manually, it provides a slider with four options ranging from Deny All to Allow All. A Programs window displays which applications are approved for network access, and which have been denied.
2) Virus Scanner: 4/5
The BitDefender Internet Security 2011 virus scanning platform offers a ton of scan options - more than any other application we've reviewed. Besides the usual Full System and Quick Scan options, Internet Security supports a Vulnerability Scan, a Deep System Scan, a My Documents Scan, and an Auto-Logon Scan.
Speed: BitDefender is not just flexible - it's also highly performant. In tests on our reference system*, BitDefender 2011 managed to churn through our 1GB test file matrix in 32.9 seconds, for a total of 31.1 MB scanned per second. This puts BitDefender in the top five Internet Security platforms in terms of virus scanning speed.
Updates: BitDefender does an excellent job staying current: the platform downloads an average of 24 virus definition updates daily.
*Reference Computer: Windows 7 Home Premium running on a Toshiba Pentium Dual-Core T4200 (64 bit), with 3GB of RAM and a 210GB hard drive.
3) Performance Testing: 3.5/10
BitDefender was one of the worst-performing programs in our Internet Security Performance Testing. 5 out of 8 of BitDefender's test results were in the bottom third - definitely disturbing news for an otherwise promising application.
4) Effectiveness: (Virus/Malware Detection) 13.5/15
5) Help & Support: 3/5
»On-Screen Assistance: BitDefender's on-screen assistance text was very thin. The program could use more contextual help to explain its myriad of features, instead of forcing users to consult the help manual.
»Help Manual: While BitDefender's Search Anytime feature was able to find help topics for most of the information we required, we missed the convenience of a traditional help manual with a Table of Contents.
»Online Support: The BitDefender application itself offers gated access to advanced support options, forcing users to use an interactive troubleshooter before providing an option to log a support ticket. Users must go online and drill through several pages to find more direct contact options, including a telephone support number and a Live Chat application. We understand that Customer Support is pricey, but companies should cut down on their support costs by making a great product - not by making it difficult to reach them.
»Quick Support Links:
Internet Security Support Home
While its flexible interface may provide more flexibility than most users need, there's no denying that BitDefender Internet Security 2011 is a great program that's loaded with useful features. Performance-wise, BitDefender is a mixed bag: its fast virus scanning time and low memory footprint are overshadowed by its slow boot times and large installation package. But despite a few challenges BitDefender 2011 is a definitely a "Good" overall program - ranking in the top half of our Internet Security reviews this year.
*Installation Time: 2 minutes and 44 seconds (excluding time taken for updates)
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- Rating: Very Good
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- Rating: Very Good
- Rating: Very Good
- Rating: Good
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BitDefender Internet Security 2011 Screenshots
BitDefender Internet Security 2011 System Requirements:
Windows 7, Vista, XP SP2
512 MB of RAM memory (Windows XP), 1GB RAM (Windows 7 and Vista)
550 MB available hard-drive space
Internet Explorer 6 or newer
Recommended System Requirements:
Intel CORE Duo (1.66 GHz) or equivalent processor
1GB MB of RAM memory (Windows 7 and XP), 1.5 GB RAM (Windows Vista)
600 MB available hard-drive space
Internet Explorer 7 or newer
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