Bitdefender is a Romanian company that produces Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition which in turn is a simple and lightweight free antivirus program. Bitdefender consumes very little computer resources and has no annoying advertisements, which most other free antivirus programs have as they attempt to monetize their free software or encourage upgrades. Bitdefender Free is only available for Windows.
Bitdefender Free features include real-time shield and active virus control, both of which actively monitor your system for viruses and other potential threats before they are able to infect your computer.
It also has an intrusion detection system which monitors applications that try to access the internet to make sure they are not malware, as well as HTTP scanning that protects you from scams such as credit card phising attacks and other infected or malicious websites that are used to attack browser and system vulnerabilities.
Another feature Bitdefender Free has is B-Have which analyzes how applications behave in an isolated computer environment to detect unknown threats that are not in Bitdefenders virus database. Bitdefender also has features to prevent rootkits which are malicious tools used by hackers to gain control of their victims computers.
Most of these features and everything else on Bitdefender runs in the background automatically, although there is a manual On Demand virus scanner as well. But this is one of the things I personally find a bit lacking with Bitdefender Free. The interface is too simple. It almost reminds me of a Mac product where they decide how everything should be and you can’t really adjust any settings to suit your specific needs. Most people will probably be OK with this, but as someone who avoids Mac products for this specific reason, it kind of nags at me from time to time.
That being said AV-Test scored Bitdefender fairly high in all of its tests, although they tested the full version of Bitdefender which has a different interface than the free one, so the Usability and Performance tests are not really relevant. However in the Protection test, which is arguably the most important one, Bitdefender scored 5.5 out of 6 points, which is an excellent score and should be accurate for the Free version as well because they use the same antivirus engine.
Another slightly annoying but not deal breaking thing is that in order to use Bitdefender Free you do have to register for an account with Bitdefender.
I have also had some negative experiences with Bitdefender Free while using it on my desktop computer which runs Windows 7. From time to time it has crashed when I’ve been playing certain games with full screen enabled and at one point it also minimized my game window when I started to play a full screen game. So I had to actually shut it off when I was playing games. But after a while it no longer did that, so they must have fixed the bug in an update.
Overall I think Bitdefender Free is an excellent antivirus. To sum it up it has a very good antivirus engine, no annoying ads and it consumes very little resources.
So I highly recommend it and I’ll give it 8.5 out 10 points.
Good antivirus protection
Interface too simple, not enough options
Some crashing issues with full screen games
Must register to use