Pros / Bitdefender features secure delete, which ensures no part of the threat remains on your computer after it is removed.
Cons / This program doesn’t offer as much protection to iOS smartphones and tablets as its Android component.
Verdict / Bitdefender Total Security 2019 is among the best multiplatform computer protection programs on the market, though it has limited security for iOS devices and doesn’t work well alongside the Microsoft Edge web browser.
Editor's Note: We have reviewed the newest version, Bitdefender Total Security 2019, and updated this review accordingly.
We used over 200 live malware threats to test how well Bitdefender could block them from infecting our test computers. As with other independent testing laboratories, we found Bitdefender did a good job at recognizing and stopping Trojans, rootkits, ransomware, phishing schemes and several other digital threats. We observed that Bitdefender had a more difficult time tagging malicious sites and downloads in Microsoft Edge, but this isn’t too surprising since Edge doesn’t typically play nice with standalone computer protection programs. However, there were a few instances when Microsoft Edge couldn’t connect to a site and gave an error message, but Bitdefender still stopped a Trojan, rootkit or other virus from downloading. Bitdefender worked the best alongside Firefox and its enabled security settings.
During our tests, Bitdefender did a good job blocking threats as they attempted to enter through various web browsers. When we tried to access a malicious site, Bitdefender displayed a prominent message in the browser screen. If it is a document or file trying to download, Bitdefender displays a tag, warning and block message on a banner pop-up in the bottom right corner of the computer screen. These threats are immediately sent to the quarantine folder and recorded in the event log. We noticed several instances where a “dead” site still had a threat lurking that Bitdefender captured and logged.
One great feature of Bitdefender Total Security 2019 is its secure delete. We noticed during our live malware tests that some security programs would remove threats from the quarantine folder and place them into the recycle bin. This type of delete still provides an avenue for the virus to re-infect or attack your computer even after it has been detected by the protection program. Bitdefender, however, completely deletes every threat so there is no sign of it left on your computer to possibly re-infect it later. In fact, Bitdefender found remnants of threats that other programs we tested had left behind and ensured these, too, were completely deleted from our system.
Bitdefender was a top performer in malware detection tests run by independent labs, and also has a good false-positive rate, meaning it correctly identified malicious programs and didn’t accidentally block safe websites. We noticed a little slowdown to our system while Bitdefender was running, but it wasn’t enough to disrupt us while watching movies, downloading files, attaching images to outgoing email messages and playing games online. We were very impressed at how fast Bitdefender performs its full system scan, more than twice as fast as other computer security software.
Bitdefender Total Security 2019 detects threats that attempt to enter your PC through removable media such as USB thumb drives. If an infection does get through, Bitdefender lets you boot your PC in a safe mode to clear up the virus and restore your files.
You can further secure sensitive files by adding them to Safe Files. The documents and other information stored in these files are hidden and don’t appear to be saved on your computer, so hackers and other bots can’t steal them or hold them for ransom if they break into your system. In addition, the software protects against phishing websites that try to steal your identity.
There are parental controls included with Bitdefender Total Security so you can monitor and control your kids’ online activity. There is a password manager to safely store login information in a secure central place and a file shredder that completely removes deleted files from your hard drive.
Bitdefender detects and removes both Mac and Windows malware on Mac machines. Even though Windows viruses can’t harm your Mac, the program keeps you from accidentally passing malicious files or links on to your friends and family members through email or file sharing. Unfortunately, Bitdefender uses up a lot of your Mac’s resources, causing some slowdown while it runs.
The Mac module in Bitdefender Total Security automatically scans incoming emails and USB drives. It also searches your Mac computer for any outdated software and provides you with a safe link to download the latest version.
The Mac component detects and blocks phishing schemes on Safari, Chrome and Firefox browsers, and it alerts you to any dangerous sites so you can avoid them. It also automatically conducts updates each hour, downloading any recent patches or product versions, and Bitdefender sends out patches to repair glitches in the software.
Both the Windows and Mac components include a firewall that works alongside the one included with your operating system. This provides another layer of protection against hackers and internet snoops looking to sneak into your computer through your internet connection.
Bitdefender is good at securing personal data on Android cell phones and tablets, and it protects these devices from malware. Independent testing also shows that Bitdefender doesn’t falsely identify safe sites as malicious.
If your Android phone is lost or stolen, the antitheft tools help keep your information safe. Bitdefender lets you remotely locate, lock and even erase information on your phone. It also snaps photos of whoever is handling the phone, which could help in nabbing a thief and getting it back. The Android module also comes with antiphishing capabilities as well as parental controls to keep tabs on your children’s cell phone use.
Bitdefender Total Security does protect iOS devices, but it is very limited in security tools. The iOS module only has some antitheft and limited parental controls. It doesn’t have a password manager or the ability to block unwanted calls like the Android mobile component. If you need better protection for your iPhone or iPad, consider Trend Micro Maximum Security, which is compatible with Apple’s mobile devices and includes a long list of extra security features.
Total Security comes with excellent customer support. Bitdefender is one of the few computer protection companies that you can contact through live chat, email or phone support 24/7. You are given 2GB of online backup storage where you can safely store images, documents and files that you can reinstall if your computer’s safety is compromised. This is a lot of storage, enough for about 300,000 files, though it is still much less than Panda Security that gives you 20GB and Norton that comes with 25GB.
- Windows Malware Detection
- Mac Malware Detection Rate
Bitdefender Total Security 2019 is one of the best computer protection programs for Windows, Mac and Android devices. The software earned top-notch malware detection scores on all these devices in tests run by independent software test labs. We, too, found that Bitdefender does a great job at blocking Windows malware before its sneaks in through malicious websites and downloads. It does struggle to block threats coming through Microsoft Edge before they start downloading due to Edge’s refusal to support third-party web extensions that provide additional computer protection. Fortunately, Bitdefender does catch these threats before they infect your computer and quickly quarantines them. Its secure delete ensures that no part of the threat remains on your computer once it is deleted.