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.
We used 352 live Windows threats and 165 infected Mac files to test how well Bitdefender could block them from infiltrating our test computers. As with other independent testing laboratories, we found Bitdefender did a good job recognizing and stopping Trojans, rootkits, ransomware, phishing schemes and several other digital threats. Bitdefender has a more difficult time tagging malicious 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 where Microsoft Edge couldn’t connect to a site and gave an error message but Bitdefender still stopped a Trojan, rootkit or other virus as it downloaded.
Bitdefender stopped 99 percent of both Windows and Mac malware before they could infect our test computers. During our tests, the program 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 was an infected file download, the program blocked it and displayed a warning message on a banner pop-up in the bottom right corner of the screen. Most threats were immediately scrubbed from our system, but a few samples were sent to the quarantine folder. We noticed several instances where a “dead” site still had a threat lurking that Bitdefender captured and logged.
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 trace of it left on your computer to possibly re-infect it later. In fact, the program found remnants of threats that other software we tested had left behind and ensured these, too, were completely deleted from our system.
For both Windows and Mac computers, Bitdefender Total Security 2019 automatically scans incoming emails and USB drives. If an infection does get through, the protection software lets you boot your PC in a safe mode to clear up the viruses and restore your files. You get 2GB of online backup storage so you can save files from any of your devices for safe keeping. These can help restore your computer files and settings after a malware attack, but this isn’t a lot of space compared to other computer protection services. While 2GB is enough for storing about 300,000 files, it is still much less than Norton Security that comes with 25GB.
Bitdefender for Windows has a few extra security tools that aren’t available for Mac computers. This includes the parental controls so you can monitor and control your kids’ online activity. You set these up from the online portal rather than the desktop dashboard. The Windows program also has a password manager to safely store login information in a secure place and a file shredder to completely remove deleted files from your hard drive.
Both Windows and Mac Bitdefender Total Security programs have a vulnerability scanner. This looks for outdated software and provides you with a legitimate link to a website where you can download the latest patches or versions. This tool is important since hackers and ransomware often infect computers through out-of-date software.
If your cellphone 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 comes with antiphishing capabilities and well as parental controls to keep tabs on your children’s cellphone 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 version. If you need better protection for your iPhone or iPad, consider Trend Micro Maximum Security which is compatible with Apple mobile devices and includes a long list of extra security features.
Bitdefender Total Security 2019 is one of the best computer protection programs for Windows, Mac and mobile devices. The software earned top-notch malware detection scores in our independent tests for doing a great job blocking both Windows and Mac malware before it snuck in through malicious websites and downloads. It does struggle working alongside Microsoft Edge due to Edge’s refusal to support third-party web extensions that provide additional online protection. Fortunately, Bitdefender catches these threats before they infect your computer and quickly quarantines them, or it securely deletes them to ensure no part of the threat remains on your computer.