Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 Review

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 is the best antivirus software for computers running Windows 10. It found 99 percent of the malware threats we used during our protection tests and earned perfect or near-perfect scores in other test lab results.

Our Verdict

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 offers superb antivirus protection. It’s accurate, reliable, and now comes with enhancements for blocking and recovering from ransomware, plus some handy extras.

For

  • Accurate malware blocking
  • Effective against ransomware
  • Lots of features
  • Easy to use

Against

  • Some bonus tools are basic
  • Ransomware cleanup could be more complete

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 is the company’s baseline antivirus package for Windows. It offers all the essential malware hunting tools, plus some great additional extras. We think it’s so good that it’s number one in our list of the best antivirus software right now.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 provides antivirus (as you would expect), real-time behavior monitoring and multi-layered ransomware protection. It also offers malicious website blocking, online banking protection, a password manager and secure file deletion, which is impressive given it’s Bitdefender’s basic program.

There’s even a Hotspot Shield-powered VPN. However, we were disappointed to see that it’s a basic edition that doesn't allow you to select your location, and is limited to just a 200MB daily data transfer allowance. That’s barely enough for email and very light web browsing - we’d recommend upgrading to the premium VPN option, which offers much more bandwidth.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 review dashboard

(Image credit: Bitdefender)

One new feature that comes with Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 is Ransomware Remediation. This provides an extra layer of protection by looking for dreaded ransomware. Once spotted, it backs up targeted files, while simultaneously shutting the malicious process down. That means that even if it takes a few seconds for the regular antivirus engine to destroy the ransomware, Bitdefender will be able to restore ransomware encrypted data without any problems.

Another notable new feature is Network Threat Prevention. This aims to plug the holes used by malware looking to exploit vulnerabilities on your device, and prevent more widespread attacks.

For those who appreciate the “Set it and forget it” approach, Bitdefender's Autopilot system delivers useful, intelligent recommendations for how to optimize and personalize your protection based on how you use your device. Meanwhile, the dashboard for the Windows build sports a clean, new interface, making it even more user-friendly.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019: Price 

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 costs $39.99 for a one device, single year license. That’s fairly average for antivirus software, but you can ramp up value by adding Windows devices and additional years. A one-year, 10 device license is priced at just $79.99, while covering 10 devices for three years only ups the cost to $179.99 , which is just $6 per device for each year of protection.

Need something more powerful? Take a look at Bitdefender Total Security 2019, which introduces a firewall, spam filter, webcam protection, parental controls and more, for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. You can buy a one-year license to protect five devices at a cost of $44.99 with a special first year discount (it’ll cost $91.00 to renew).

Not sure which is right for you? Every Bitdefender antivirus product comes with a free 30-day trial, so you can play around with the features and see which suits you best.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 installation

(Image credit: Bitdefender)

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019: Setup and installation

Before you can download a Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 trial, you need to create a free Bitdefender account. That means you have to give your email address before the program is downloaded, but these days lots of companies ask for this - and having an account does enable you to monitor your device’s security status via Bitdefender's web console.

With our email address enrolled, we downloaded Bitdefender Antivirus Plus and began the installation. While the initial downloader is just 10MB, the full Bidefender Antivirus Plus 2019 download is nearly 500MB, so you might have a short wait depending on your network speed. Installation takes anywhere between three and ten minutes depending on your computer's performance

Configuration was automatic and therefore simple, taking just three minutes. Our next step was to scan our PC so we can begin free of viruses. Browser extensions get installed, and this was done painlessly.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 tour

(Image credit: Bitdefender)

Antivirus Plus begins with a simple tour, which calls attention to important pieces of the straightforward interface. While experienced clients scarcely need this presentation, it's still helpful for newer users. After the tour window is closed, you next investigate the smooth Antivirus Plus console. We welcome the all around planned interface which gives easy access to the fundamentals. 

For instance, only a tick away are quick scans, while a sidebar on the left partitions the suite's devices into logical Protection, Privacy and Utilities territories. Extension of these territories shows the different choices accessible inside, which you can explore.

We like that you can modify the console. This lets you change the default choices with alternatives more suited to your needs. For instance, those not interested in a VPN can, in just a few clicks, change it out for an assortment of alternatives, including a button to launch the system scan, the password manager, or the file shredder. 

The Bitdefender Antivirus Plus interface is a major highlight, striking a good balance between accessibility for novice users, and more manual, advanced features for power users. It furnishes novices with simple access to the most important features, and accommodates a lot of setup alternatives and low-level changes for advanced users.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019

(Image credit: Bitdefender)

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019: Features

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 has support for various scan modes: Quick Scan inspects the possibly infected areas and is quick, System Scan looks at everything and takes longer, and Explorer integration empowers scanning objects from Explorer's right-click menu. There's also a bootable rescue environment for getting rid of more stubborn malware threats. 

The choice to Manage Scans option lets you make new types of scans to check specific files and folders. So you can search for rootkits, yet skip 'possibly unwanted applications,' for example – and there are additional choices for scheduling of automatic scans. While this doesn’t quite reach the levels of the much more configurable Avast, there's still a lot of control for more advanced users.

Scanning speeds are plenty fast. A Quick Scan checked in at around 15-30 seconds on our test PC, while a full system scan took a lengthy 135 minutes to look over 335 GB of documents on the first pass. Be that as it may, at least this dropped to 43 minutes on the second sweep, and considerably further to 30 minutes by the third. 

Another helpful component is Bitdefender's password manager, Wallet. This can store website credentials, credit card info, wireless network passwords, application logins and license keys, email server credentials, and personal details for contact individuals such as names, dates of birth, addresses, emails, phone numbers, etc.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 review privacy features

(Image credit: Bitdefender)

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus has extensions for mainstream browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer (but not the Windows Edge browser) with their password manager extension. The Wallet extensions was automatically installed in our Chrome browser. We found that this extension handles site login basics, yet discovered that it struggled to fill in progressively complex forms effectively, and automatically submit these forms once they were finished. In all honesty, it won't supplant a dedicated password management solution like Dashlane, however in the event that you don't have such software already, it is helpful and secure. 

Another element is Bitdefender's Safepay, which is a secure browser intended to secure web based banking and other sensitive exchanges. We tried it utilizing screen capture devices and keyloggers, and can confirm that they couldn't record any of it.

The Vulnerability Scanner does some essential checks for missing application updates and Windows patches, weak passwords and other potential vulnerabilities. It didn’t find anything during our testing, but could warrant running once in a while to help stay up-to-date with the latest software updates. 

Another helpful element is the File Shredder that can safely wipe chosen documents and folders so totally that there is no route for them to be recovered. It works quite well, and could be convenient for cleaning delicate records. Our concern is that it limits more advanced users as it doesn't permit a choice of shredding algorithm or other settings. While this may be just fine for novices, more advanced users can get these types of options by utilizing a program purposely built for shredding digital files.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 clean system no virus

(Image credit: Bitdefender)

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019: Protection

Bitdefender gets high ratings from top third-party testing labs. 

Bitdefender performed well across the board in AV-Comparatives' February to June 2018 Real-World Protection report. It blocked 99.8% of threats presented, placing it third out of 18 for protection, just behind Trend Micro and F-Secure. AV-Test's Windows 10 tests for April 2018 demonstrated that Bitdefender blocked 100% of malware, so a perfect score.

We wanted to confirm this and independently conducted further tests. We began by checking  Bitdefender's  malicious website filtering against some known new hazardous links. Antivirus Plus blocked 84%, which is better than most competitors. However, this is a challenging area for consistent evaluation and results change from day to day depending on the malicious software that’s a website is carrying.

Bitdefender also prides itself on its anti-ransomware functionality, so we put it through its paces.

First off, we tested Bitdefender against a real-world ransomware sample (don't try this at home, please). Fortunately, it wasn't much of a fight, with Bitdefender Antivirus Plus immediately controlling the ransomware before our system could get damaged in any way.

We then pushed the difficulty level up by creating our own custom ransomware, which we knew Bitdefender would never have seen before. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 allowed it to run while watching what was going on for a little while, but then it killed the process when it decided it was malicious. It also took the next step, and decrypted all the files that the ransomware had made on our computer.

However, because the ransomware executable was still on the system and was not deleted, Bitdefender did not completely clean up the entire system. Additionally, the encrypted files were left alongside the originals. All that said Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 did successfully block both a known and brand-new ransomware threat, and crucially without a single file lost or damaged.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019: Verdict 

Bitdefender Antivirus Pro 2019 is a great antivirus tool for all around protection from a variety of malware, with specific expertise in ransomware – a growing threat. It does a great job of keeping both known and newly discovered threats from destroying your computer system or lurking under the surface, making it a must for your shortlist of the best antivirus software.

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