Bitdefender Review 2022

By Felix Bauer Felix Bauer René Hifinger René Hifinger | Updated: January 1, 2022
Bitdefender Antivirus Review: How Good Is It in 2022?

Bitdefender's Key Features

At this point of this Bitdefender review, we'd like to go over the most important features which home users usually look for in their antivirus and security products.

User Interface and Scan Options

One important thing I'd like to mention is the first thing you’ll notice – or not – upon installing this antivirus software: Its user-friendly fluid interface, Autopilot mode, and excellent performance mean that you almost won’t even notice that Bitdefender is quietly doing its job as you go about business on your PC or Mac.

If you're new to Bitdefender, it might take you a short while to get used to this interface because it might appear a bit complicated at the beginning.

Bitdefender Benutzeroberfläche
Die benutzerfreundliche Benutzeroberfläche der Bitdefender Internet Security.

Bitdefender notices what type of activity you’re doing. For example: If you’re playing a game, Bitdefender will make sure to suppress any notifications, allowing for a completely uninterrupted gaming experience. If you’re watching a movie, it will put any pop-ups on hold and make sure to devote resources to the media player.

However, for users who would like to be more hands-on in the management of their antivirus software, it is of course possible to turn off the Autopilot mode and manually switch the profile between standard, work, game, or movie modes.

The entire dashboard is accessible via a desktop widget which gives you critical security information at a glance.

Antivirus scanning is the main focus of each of Bitdefender’s products, from the free Bitdefender to Bitdefender Total Security. Like a lot of competing antivirus software products, you have three antivirus scan options:
  • Quick Scan: This scan checks the key areas of a system to check if there is common malware hiding in obscure spots.
  • System Scan: A full system scan detects all kinds of malware and security threats by sweeping the entire system.
  • Custom Scan: Advanced users can also define a tailored scan that will check only specific locations.
Keep in mind: For the most part, Bitdefender’s antivirus scanner will do its job in auto-pilot mode, quietly scanning in the background as you work, game, or watch a movie on your device.

Signature Based Malware Protection

This is the first thing independent labs inspect when testing malware protection scores, and Bitdefender has received one of the best protection scores in this category over the last few years.

Bitdefender is sure to detect and block known malware with its signature based malware detection.

Our hands-on test video shows that the proof is in the pudding with our 95% detection score.

Behavioral Malware Blocking

This is the unique attribute of malware protection, and I found strong protection that uses heuristic and behavioral detection patterns in the internal lab tests I ran.

A software's ability to detect zero-day malware is even more essential. The reason for this is because the antivirus software will not have recognized or cataloged a zero-day virus.

Recently, many antivirus providers boast that their software is "Next Gen" and the only way to prevent zero-day malware because of its antivirus and malware protection attributes.

The suggestion is that behavioral blocking has an advantage because it can prevent zero-day malware that has not been filed and documented in a traditional signature database.

What this means is that an anti-malware software will be able to detect and terminate malware that tries to delete or alter an important system file.

Behavioral blocking is as excellent as it sounds, but with it comes the risk of lots of false positive alerts.

Bitdefender, however, does not have this problem.

Bitdefender matches characteristics of its code with existing malware to detect malware, and also evaluates the malware's behavior to see if it works in potentially suspicious ways, like accessing areas of a system when it has no reason to be there.

Malware Removal

If users opt for a strong antivirus software that blocks malware from the start, one would assume that there is no need for a malware removal option.

This assumption is correct, but sometimes a user can install Bitdefender onto a previously infected system, or signature based protection and behavioral blocking might not pick up on zero-day malware.

This means a user would need malware removal capabilities.

Several independent labs have tested the removal functionality of the Bitdefender removal engine, and the tests proved it to be a top tier malware removal software.


While many browsers have anti-phishing protection built in, they don’t come close to matching Bitdefender’s anti-phishing performance.

When you navigate to a potentially dangerous site, Bitdefender’s anti-phishing blocker will initially block you from visiting the page, explaining the reasons for blocking the page and the risks should you choose to continue.

They have a 24/7 center that makes sure the URL blocking database is up to date.

Sometimes one can see sites blocked just a few minutes after a domain goes live.

Bitdefender Phishing Protection

Bitdefender Phishing Protection Cross-Platform Ransomware Protection for Windows and Android Ransomware is a real and growing internet security threat that blocks your access to your files by encrypting them, forcing you to pay a ransom to regain access to your information.

Bitdefender’s program includes active ransomware protection and detection.

This means that your dear family albums, videos, and documents are protected from being encrypted and held at ransom.

No antivirus software is 100% impenetrable and a backup policy is a must!

But how does it work?

Any time a non-approved program tries to modify a file in a protected folder, Bitdefender denies it access and generates a warning. Bitdefender is also blocking access to your important files while your PC is booting and the operation system isn’t online yet.

Unfortunately, this protection is not enabled by default and you have to enable it from the control panel.

Make sure you also add the folders you want to protect. Once the module is set to ON, folders such as My Documents and My Pictures are automatically protected.

If additional applications such as cloud sync folders like Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive are installed on the device, they will be protected.

I would expect Bitdefender to use at least one of these five methods for active ransomware protection:

Trapping Ransomware: This is an active function that detects ransomware activity which can be divided into several sub approaches:

It Monitors the high risk folders (my documents / Desktop), so that when a process that alters files in an unnatural rate (read or write too many files too quickly), the process will be blocked / flagged immediately.

Entropy values: When a file is encrypted it has a more uniform distribution of byte values (their contents are more uniform). If a modified file has a higher entropy, it might have been encrypted and the process should be blocked / flagged immediately.

Honeypot files: This involves placing randomly hidden and visible decoy files in high-risk folders and monitoring access to these files. If a process tries to alter the file, it will be blocked and quarantined.

Sacrificial disk / network path: This creates a local or remote folder with millions of random generated files that will slow down the ransomware process and create alerts.

Infinitely-recursive directories: This creates a sinkhole in the Windows file system so that when ransomware attempts to traverse the file structure to create the list of files it needs to encrypt, it will get stuck. Bitdefender Active Ransomware Protection Bitdefender Active Ransomware Protection A Fully-Fledged Two-Way Firewall Like its competitors, Bitdefender provides a firewall that blocks outside attacks and controls how programs can use your internet connection, as well as what protocol are allowed or blocked. In keeping with Bitdefender’s user interface and hands-off approach, the firewall runs in the background and is already pre-configured, making its own choices – no pop-ups and no interruptions! When the firewall detects a new application or a file that tries to access the Internet, it will immediately ask for specific permissions from the user. Bitdefender Two-Way Firewall Bitdefender Two-Way Firewall Sandbox Browser - Bitdefender Safepay This feature serves as an added layer of protection for online transactions, ensuring the privacy of your sensitive information. When you open sensitive site – such as your bank’s online portal – a notification will pop up suggesting that you switch to Bitdefender Safepay’s interface. Opening Safepay initiates a separate browser, completely isolated from all other processes on your computer. The browser and a virtual keyboard for password entry, and it blocks any screenshot attempts. This is a virtual environment that will be terminated when you exit the Safepay browser. Bitdefender Sandbox Browser Bitdefender Sandbox Browser Vulnerability Scan The vulnerability scanner continuously scans for weaknesses, hidden backdoors, and management ports with weak or default passwords that are inadequately secured. It also scans for poorly encrypted communications. When this scanner finds something it will spring right into action by correlating the information it gathered from the devices it is protecting with online vulnerability databases. It sends a thorough report with tips on how to solve the problem and secure your network based on the specific issue identified. Bitdefender Vulnerability Scan Bitdefender Vulnerability Scan Additional Features of Bitdefender There are quite a bit of additional features in the higher-tiered packages that provide that extra bit of security. Users can enjoy Bitdefender's anti-spam tool which stops unwanted email from reaching your inbox without any noticeable drag on system performance, a file shredder, a multi-device license, and rootkit detection. Now, let's get into more detail in this Bitdefender review about the most significant additional features. Parental Control Bitdefender’s Parental Control provides you with control over your kids’ devices by matching each of your Windows and Android devices to the child that uses it. You could also choose to filter inappropriate websites and even optionally monitor your child’s social media activity. But on an Android device Parental Control does even more: Should you choose, Parental Control for Android allows you to block unwanted calls and get notifications if the phone reports back as being in an area that you’ve designated as “restricted.” Bitdefender Parental Control Bitdefender Parental Control Bitdefender Parental Control Settings Bitdefender Parental Control Settings PC Tune-Up Optimizer Bitdefender’s Optimizer function automatically speeds up your device’s performance by running optimization tasks on your operating system. The OneClick Optimizer can free up space and speed up the system along with the Disk Cleanup, Registry Cleanup, and Privacy Cleanup. There is an interface to see how many junk files, registry issues, and privacy issues are found. Nice crowd wisdom feature: Optimize your start-up performance through the Startup Optimizer, which monitors how each process contributes to your startup time and displays this in a chart alongside information about how many other Bitdefender users chose to enable, delay, or disable that process. Bitdefender PC Tune-Up Bitdefender PC Tune-Up PC Optimizer Startup PC Optimizer Startup Bitdefender Wallet: A Password Management Solution Bitdefender knows that it can be challenging to keep track of your passwords in an organized and secure way. That’s where Bitdefender Wallet steps in, generating strong passwords, storing them, protecting your privacy, and providing a secure browsing experience. Bitdefender Password Manager Bitdefender Password Manager WiFi Security Advisor This is a new and improved privacy tool that notifies users about WiFi profiles and whether they are trusted or not. Basically, there is a list of all the available public networks that display buttons under each entry to indicate if its trusted or untrusted. This tool activates itself automatically every time a user connects to an unsafe public WiFi network so that that maximum protection is configured for all protected devices. A warning message will appear saying that connecting to an unsecured WiFi network poses major risks to the user's privacy, and then Bitdefender recommends using the VPN secured browser to surf online. Bitdefender WiFi Security Advisor Bitdefender WiFi Security Advisor Device Anti-Theft While common for mobile security products, it isn’t often that you see anti-theft protection in a security program designed for PCs. Despite that, don’t you want to protect your laptop against theft, just as you would protect your phone? You can access the anti-theft interface from any internet-connected device, locate your PC, and choose to lock or wipe it. Bitdefender Device Anti-Theft Bitdefender Device Anti-Theft Bitdefender TrafficLight Browser Add-On Bitdefender provides top-of-the-line web protection via an extension called TrafficLight installed in your web browser of choice – Safari, Chrome, or Firefox. Once installed, it blocks suspicious content, adds indicators next to search engine results to indicate which links are safe, and lets you know if the site you are visiting is tracking your activity. Additionally, TrafficLight includes anti-adware which helps you block and remove intrusive and annoying adware from your system. Bitdefender Box: The Appliance for Your IoT Network Available only in the US at this stage, the Bitdefender Box protects all your internet-connected devices. Whether it's your smart TV, your gaming console of choice, or even your remotely-controlled light switches, the Box notifies you of vulnerabilities in your home network with a network vulnerability assessment mechanism, includes a convenient app to manage all of your devices, provides identity protection, and acts as a buffer between you and potential threats by intercepting all internet traffic and filtering out malicious elements with loT devices protection. It even integrates the management of your PC Bitdefender installation, so you can manage and schedule scans from one location. The biggest advantage of the Bitdefender Box is that it acts like a real network firewall like one you would typically find in high-end networks. This unique position gives this appliance a real advantage in protecting and monitoring your network.