PROS / This software consistently scores highly in AV-Test's protection, performance and usability tests.
CONS / It doesn't offer telephone support on the weekends.
VERDICT / Bitdefender stands head-and-shoulders over most of the malware removal software we reviewed. Excellent protection and an outstanding tool set make this program very hard to beat.
Editor’s Note: Top Ten Reviews uses test results from the independent laboratory AV-Test as part of our review process for the best anti-malware software. AV-Test looks specifically at protection, performance and usability on multiple versions of Windows operating systems, and it performs these evaluations several times throughout the year. We use the most current AV-Test scores available at the time of our review. It is possible that new AV-Test scores will be released after our review goes live on the site. We will consider these scores during our next review of the best anti-malware software.
In our evaluation of the best anti-malware software on the market, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus earns the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award. It consistently scores 100 percent on AV-Test's protection, performance and usability tests. It also has every detection and removal tool we look for in anti-malware programs.
This malware removal software protects you against every type of malware, including data-destructing viruses, identity-stealing spyware, and ransomware that allows hackers to digitally hold your computer hostage. And it does so without slowing your system resources or interrupting other things you're doing on your computer, like playing video games.
Bitdefender provides you with several features for peace of mind, such as a virtual browser that lets you shop and surf the web with added security for your most valuable information. It also allows you to create a rescue disc in the event your computer falls victim to a catastrophic malware infection or hacker attack.
When we rated and ranked the best malware removal software, we relied on results from AV-Test, an independent and impartial institute dedicated to evaluating anti-malware software. It tests all the popular programs several times a year against both established threats and the new ones constantly coming out. The three tests are for protection, performance and usability, and Bitdefender Antivirus Pro excelled in all of them.
The protection test put Bitdefender up against more than 14,000 known threats. It scored 100 percent in this test. The average score of the products in our review is 92 percent. That may seem like a small difference, but that 8 percent difference is huge in stopping a virus from slipping through the cracks and possibly damaging your computer. Bitdefender gives you the peace of mind that you're protected from these threats.
The AV-Test performance test measures how much of your computer's resources anti-malware software uses. A program that hogs processing power can slow down everything else you do on your computer, including simple web browsing, downloading files and using other applications. Bitdefender scored 100 percent on this test as well, so you won't experience any lag in your other computer activity when it's in use. Lesser programs can cause a delay of several seconds.
The final AV-Test score we incorporate into our side-by-side comparison matrix is usability. This test tracks how often Bitdefender flags a clean and safe program as malicious. This can become tedious, requiring you to whitelist sources and approve downloads from safe sources. Again, Bitdefender scored 100 percent on this test by not stopping a single safe file or program. Your computer experience won't be interrupted by unnecessary interaction with your anti-malware software.
Detection & Removal
In today's world, it's not uncommon for a person to have multiple computers. When you buy Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, you can install it on up to three computers. Most of the other products we reviewed only allow you to install them on a single machine. This saves you a lot of money by not requiring you to buy a license for every computer you own.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus protects your computer from every type of known malware. It detects and removes common viruses, spyware, keyloggers, rootkits and more. Its protection test results prove that almost nothing gets through the cracks.
One of the nastier types of malware is ransomware. It allows hackers to take control of your computer remotely and lock it up until you pay them money. This is probably the most terrifying experience you can have with malware, because it opens you up to many other threats. When a hacker has control of your computer, they can harvest every bit of information from it, which can result in identity theft, data loss and even more malware infections. Bitdefender can effectively protect against this threat and help you remove it in the case that it does get onto your computer.
Other noteworthy features are a USB immunizer that blocks potential dangers from flash drives. Additionally, a desktop security widget allows you to drag and drop files for a quick scan. Moreover, it has a dedicated browser that gives special attention to your important information like credit card numbers, Social Security number and tax information. The program also scans incoming email for threats like the Trojan horses that deliver malware.
This malware removal software features a gamer mode. This tool allows you to put all of Bitdefender's scans, pop-ups and alerts into the background while you're in full-screen mode, so you're protected but the program will not interrupt your gameplay or video.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus also gives you the ability to perform vulnerability scans on your computer and local network, showing you how to reinforce weak spots in your computer security. You can also create an emergency CD that can revive your computer in case it suffers a crippling malware infection or hack attack. These are two peace-of-mind features that let you use your machine without fear of losing everything.
Help & Support
The software's online product help is excellent. There is an information wiki on the support center site. You can also take malware and rootkit removal utilities from this site. Bitdefender responds to inquiries by online chat, phone and email.
Phone support is available 24 hours a day on the weekdays, but not on the weekends. We'd like to see weekend support added so you don't have to wait for help if your computer becomes infected on the weekend. However, you can always submit an email ticket through the website or log in to the live chat room for services every day of the year.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus' flaws are small and its benefits huge. It consistently scores highly on AV-Test's independent tests. It protects your computer from all types of malware, including ransomware. It keeps malware from being delivered via email or a Trojan horse entering through an infected download. It also provides extra security features, like a special browser that shields your sensitive data to prevent identity theft. You can also use it to make a special rescue disc if you ever do become badly infected. The only gripe we have is the lack of phone support on the weekends, but the excellent and comprehensive protection outweighs this.