Security Software : Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2013

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Bitdefender's 2013 security product is available in several incarnations, from Total Security, down through Internet Security, to the subject of this review: Antivirus Plus. You can choose the number of PCs you want to protect: one, three, five or 10.

This is a lovely piece of software to use, with its well-designed black-and-grey control panel and a Windows Vista/7/8 widget that shows scan and update activity, as well as any security events and current security status. You can also drag-and-drop files on to the widget for a simple file scan. (Of course, Microsoft is now warning against the use of Gadgets due to security vulnerabilities in Windows.)

Description: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2013

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2013

The main control panel has four sub-panels: Antivirus, Privacy, Update and Safego. Antivirus includes a switch to enable auto-scanning, which can be scheduled as required, and can start quick, full, custom and vulnerability scans.

Privacy offers anti-phishing software and a secure file shredder, while Update specifies when the program should check for new virus definitions and software updates.

Safego is designed to make social networking safer, by checking links on Facebook and Twitter before you can click on them.

In an effort to prevent hacking, Bitdefender offers Safepay as a separate icon on the desktop. This opens banking pages in a secure browser. Bookmarks can be entered into the utility, so it recognises when you’re about to make a transaction.

Description: Bitdefender looks to have done a good job with Antivirus Plus 2013

Bitdefender looks to have done a good job with Antivirus Plus 2013.

AV-Test has yet to examine Bitdefender's 2013 antivirus engine, but it awarded the 2012 product 17/18 - the highest score it has awarded this year.

That version scored full marks for protection against malware and for the repair of damaged systems, but lost a point in usability. It was slightly below average in terms of its hit on system performance, but better than most in avoiding false positives.

From our own tests, it seems extra work has been put into the performance aspects of the program.

It took 41 seconds to complete a 1GB file transfer with Bitdefender’s background processes running, but still only 43 secs when a full system scan was running in the background.

Our 50GB file scan, in which Bitdefender reportedly scanned 76,689 files, took 29 mins 16 secs to complete. This translates to a 45-files-per-second scan rate; we've certainly seen faster security suites.

Interestingly, when pitted against the same 50GB file basket, the older Bitdefender Total Security 2012 checked 98,483 files in 19 mins 39 secs. That test was run under Windows XP, while this was under Windows 7, but that doesn't account for the lower number of files checked, nor the slower speed.

The Auto-Pilot facility works well, and we saw very few pop-ups of the 'xyz is trying to access the internet; what should I do?' variety.

Getting the balance right between this kind of annoyance and satisfactory protection is very important, and Bitdefender looks to have done a good job with Antivirus Plus 2013.


Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2013 is a great piece of software to use, and one that should work well in terms of protection, repair and system impact. It can be a set-it-and-forget-it solution if that's what you need, or you can tweak most settings on demand. It offers good value if you have two or three PCs, but is a bit expensive for protecting a single machine.



$39 (1 PC)


System requirements

800MHZ processor; Windows XP/Vista/7/8; 1GB Ram; 1.8GB storage







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