What is Bitdefender Total Security 2018 good at?
Bitdefender Total Security 2018 is a security suite that is highly efficient when it comes to:
- Securing your computers and devices from any malware, both offline and online
- Guarding your devices when you connect to unsafe networks
- Providing a well-organized user interface that is both accessible to beginners and with lots of advanced features, tools, and settings for experienced users
Bitdefender Total Security 2018 vs. Bitdefender Internet Security 2018
Bitdefender Total Security 2018 is the most “complete” security suite offered by the company. When compared to the lighter version called Bitdefender Internet Security, the Total adds the Anti-Theft and OneClick Optimizer tools, and besides the Windows software, it is also giving you access to MacOS, Android, and iOS antivirus apps. Considering the rather small difference in price, we believe that the Bitdefender Total Security 2018 is a better deal than the Bitdefender Internet Security 2018 suite. However, both products are excellent, and you should choose the one that best fits your needs.
Pros and cons
When looking at Bitdefender Total Security 2018, there are many positive traits:
- The antivirus engine is extremely good, and malware cannot get past it easily
- The web shield blocks any dangerous websites you might try to visit, in any web browser you are using
- The firewall module is highly efficient when you connect to public networks, and it can handle any network threats
- The user interface has a beautiful and consistent design, and finding your way through it is easy
- Most bundled tools are useful, and we especially appreciate the Bitdefender VPN solution which can help users be more safe when they connect to untrustworthy public networks such as the coffee shops or airports WiFi
We have nothing to complain about Bitdefender Total Security 2018, which has proven to be one of the best antivirus products that we have ever reviewed.
Bitdefender Total Security 2018 is a security product that has found itself at the “top of the food chain” for many years now. The Bitdefender antivirus engine product boasts high effectiveness when protecting you from malware, the user interface looks great and is easy to use by beginners and experts alike. Also, this product has a negligible negative impact on your computer’s performance. We liked its firewall module and the wealth of extra features included, and we appreciate the fact that it includes a basic VPN service to protect users when connecting to public wireless networks. Our verdict is that you cannot go wrong with purchasing Bitdefender Total Security 2018 and we highly recommend it to all our readers.
The download and installation experience
If you want to get Bitdefender Total Security 2018, the first thing you have to do is create an account on the website, which you can then use to manage and control all your Bitdefender subscriptions and protected devices. Even if all you want is to download and install a trial version of Bitdefender Total Security 2018, you still have to create this account. To create it, you must provide Bitdefender with a name, an email address and also choose a password.
Once you have done that, you can download the installer, which is an executable file named bitdefender_windows_[activation_key].exe. It should have a size of only 10.6MB. However, when you launch it, the installation wizard downloads another 430.8MB of data from Bitdefender’s servers. It is a lot and, if you have a poor internet connection, this might take a while.
Once all the required data is downloaded, Bitdefender Total Security 2018 begins its installation. This is the only step that lets you customize the setup a bit: you can choose to “Send anonymous reports” to Bitdefender, and you can select the language used.
Click Install and Bitdefender Total Security 2018 starts the installation process. During this time, the suite also runs a quick antivirus system scan to make sure that your computer is clean from malware. If all goes well and your computer is not slow, Bitdefender Total Security 2018 should be up and running in about a minute or two.
When the installation is ready, Bitdefender Total Security 2018 loads its user interface and protection modules. There is no need to reboot your Windows computer, as the security suite can protect you immediately. In a minute or two, the Bitdefender also starts an automatic update, which is a good thing as it makes sure that you get the latest protection right from the start. On our test computer, this update meant the download of another 60MB. For the update to be applied, the security suite needed a system reboot.
Bitdefender Total Security 2018 is a security suite that is easy to install on your computer. However, it requires you to provide personal information which is needed to create an online account for you. Also, to install it, you have to download quite a bit of data from Bitdefender. Although the antivirus does not need a system reboot to start protecting you, it requires a restart for the first update to be applied.
Integration with Windows, web browsers and universal Windows platform apps
During its installation process, Bitdefender Total Security 2018 automatically disables Windows Defender and Windows Firewall, thus eliminating the possible conflicts and performance issues that could arise. Bitdefender Total Security 2018 also integrates well with Windows 10 regarding networking – we had no issues when creating or joining a homegroup in the local network, nor when we used universal Windows platform apps.
The firewall module included in Bitdefender Total Security 2018 is capable of detecting the network profile you have set in Windows, and it automatically adjusts its protection level accordingly. It is worth mentioning that it also lets you change the network profile manually if you want to.
When it comes to your online security, Bitdefender Total Security 2018 chooses to protect you by scanning and filtering all the internet traffic that goes on your computer. It does not bundle any additional security web browser extensions, and we like that.
Another thing we checked is how much Bitdefender Total Security 2018 increased our test computer’s boot time. To do that, we installed BootRacer and measure the boot times before and after installing the security suite. Bitdefender Total Security 2018 did not have any negative effect on the boot times of our test computer, and that is great. Also, the security suite needed only 263 MB of RAM on our test system to run its core processes. That is an average RAM consumption for modern computers.
To check whether the internet or local network speeds are affected by Bitdefender Total Security 2018, we also ran a few tests with Speedtest.netand with LAN Speed Test. The tests that we ran with Speedtest.net showed that neither the download or the upload speed were affected by the security suite. However, the tests that we ran with LAN Speed Test showed that the upload speed for copying a file through the local network was slower by 6 percent after installing Bitdefender. This means that the security suite has a small negative effect on network transfer speeds, but not on internet data transfers.
Bitdefender Total Security 2018 is a security suite that is well integrated with Windows and all its networking features. The fact that it does not slow down your computer is also a big positive. On the other hand, it does appear to be slowing down the speed of copying data in the local networks.
Ease of use and configuration
Bitdefender Total Security 2018 offers a well-designed user interface, that is easy to use, easy to understand and navigate, as well as pleasant to the eye. Every action in Bitdefender Total Security 2018 starts from the central console, which uses Bitdefender’s usual palette of dark gray, white, nature green and powerful red colors.
Of course, it all depends on where you are in the user interface and what the state of security on your computer is. For instance, its main modules use dark gray backgrounds, the settings use white backgrounds, and important messages are green when everything is all right, and red when there is a threat that needs attention.
Bitdefender Total Security 2018 uses a lot of tiles and switches in its user interface. That makes it easy to use on touchscreens too, so it is also going to be appreciated by users of Windows tablets or 2-in-1s.
If you need help, Bitdefender Total Security 2018 gives you a separate, dedicated section just for that. The documentation is found online on Bitdefender’s website but, if you want to ask for support, you can do that straight from the Support section of Bitdefender Total Security 2018. If you prefer to talk directly with a human, you can go online and contact Bitdefender’s support specialists via email, forums, chat and also by phone.
Regarding alerts and notifications, Bitdefender Total Security 2018 is a security product that lets you know each time something meaningful is taking place on your computer. In the time frame in which we used this product, we saw alerts when malware threats were detected, as well as notifications about some firewall threats, similar to the one in the image below.
Bitdefender Total Security 2018 includes detailed but easy to understand logs. Although you can see the log of an antivirus scan you ran when that scan ends, you can also access logs via the Notifications section from the user interface.
Bitdefender Total Security 2018 is a security suite that offers a user interface with a well thought out design, which manages to look great and be easy to use at the same time. It offers both simplicity and a wealth of settings and options, so both beginners and experienced users can equally appreciate it. From our point of view, the user interface designers from Bitdefender have done an outstanding job.
On the next page of this review, you can see how capable Bitdefender Total Security 2018 is to protect your computer from network attacks and malware. You can also see what additional features are included in this security suite, and check our recommendations for what settings you
The firewall module offered by Bitdefender Total Security 2018 can detect the network profile you set in Windows, and it can automatically configure itself accordingly. That is an excellent thing because it means less user intervention is necessary. However, if you want to assign a public or private profile to your network manually, you can also do that.
To get a better idea of the efficiency of the firewall module offered by Bitdefender Total Security 2018, we have run some tests with two vulnerability scanners: Nessus and Nmap. The good news is that neither of them managed to find any open ports or any meaningful information about our test laptop when we used a public network profile on it. However, when we used a private network profile, Nmap was able to identify one open port, and Nessus found two. The only other interesting piece of information the two scanners were able to find in both situations was the MAC address of our test laptop.
Bitdefender’s firewall module is still one of the best we have tested, and its efficiency is highest when you are connected to public networks. It watches every bit of information that goes in and out of your computer, and it can block any network attack with ease.
Antivirus and antispyware protection
The first thing we checked on Bitdefender Total Security 2018 was how good it is for protecting you when surfing the web. As you know, Bitdefender does that by scanning and filtering all the internet traffic that goes on your computer so, at least in theory, that means you will be protected in any web browser you use. To see if that is true, we have used some of the most popular web browsers today: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Opera. Using these browsers, we made the repeated attempt to visit a series of dangerous websites, but Bitdefender Total Security 2018 blocked our access to the perilous websites each time we tried, in all browsers, and that is a very good result.
Then, we checked what Bitdefender Total Security 2018 does when it comes to removable drives that contain malware. To do that, we copied a bunch of malicious files on a USB memory stick and plugged it into our test laptop. Bitdefender Total Security 2018 immediately started scanning and cleaning the viruses found on the USB memory stick. In a short while, there was nothing bad left on it, and that is great!
The last test we did was to install Windows 10 on our laptop, infect it with several dangerous viruses, including some ransomware. Then, we asked Bitdefender Total Security 2018 to install and clean the infection. As expected, Bitdefender Total Security 2018 did all that without any issues. After a full system scan, the laptop was running clean again.
An antivirus engine might be very good at detecting and removing malware from your computer but, if it is too slow and it takes forever to do it, it is not that good. Fortunately, Bitdefender’s antivirus engine is a fast one: it needed 5 minutes on average to scan our 126GB Windows 10 system partition with 35GB of data on it.
We also took a look at what independent security organizations had to say about Bitdefender:
- AV-Test awarded Bitdefender Internet Security with their top score of 6 points out of 6 for Protection and Performance, and with 5.5 points out of 6 for Usability.
- AV-Comparatives gave Bitdefender their Advanced+ mark in all their tests: “Real World – Protection Test,” “Malware Protection Test,” and “Performance Test.”
- Virus Bulletin awarded Bitdefender their VB100 badge.
Bitdefender Total Security 2018 does not disappoint this year either – it is still one of the best security suites in the world, and it is more than capable of handling any malware threat.
Bitdefender Total Security 2018 comes bundled with quite a few additional extra features:
- Vulnerability Scanner – a module that checks for and installs available critical Windows and application updates, as well as checks for weak Windows account passwords and wireless networks vulnerabilities.
- Wi-Fi Security Advisor – checks the security of the wireless networks that you connect to, and lets you know if they are insecure.
- Safepay – is a secure environment that includes a web browser that keeps your online financial transactions protected against any phishing attempts, malware, keyloggers, session hijacking and all kinds of fraud activities.
- Wallet – is a password manager that keeps your personal and financial data secured (encrypted). It can hold information about your email accounts, passwords, credit cards and so on. It works with Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Bitdefender Safepay.
- File Vaults – creates special folders which are encrypted and secured using a password, so that any files inside them are protected against unwanted access. It is a useful tool for those who work with sensitive and valuable files.
- Webcam Protection – blocks unwanted access to the webcam found on your computer, so that bad apps or hackers cannot access it without you knowing.
- Parental Advisor – a tool designed to help you manage your child’s online activities. Setting this feature requires you to access the Bitdefender Central web page. While adding and configuring a child profile are both easy and simple tasks, this feature cannot be configured to work only for a child user account on your Windows computer. Instead, it blocks inappropriate content on any user account. However, if all you want is an extremely simple to use the parental tool, you may like it.
- File Shredder – a tool designed to help you permanently delete files that you do not want to be recoverable.
- OneClick Optimizer – scans your computer for junk files, registry issues and privacy issues that can be cleaned or resolved.
- Startup Optimizer – analyzes the programs that load on the Windows startup and lets you disable them, enable them or delay them. All these features work well, but they are things you can do from Windows too.
- Anti-Theft – uses your Bitdefender Central online account to help you locate your devices if you lost them or if they are stolen.
- Disk Cleanup – checks your storage drives for large and unnecessary files that you could remove to gain free space on your device. This is something Windows does on its own anyway, so it is not that useful.
- Bitdefender VPN – a VPN service offered by Bitdefender in association with Hotspot Shield. Using this VPN service is a great idea if you want to stay safe on public unsafe wireless networks. It is an excellent addition to the security suite, but you should know that you only get 200 MB of internet traffic a day. If you want more, you must buy a separate subscription. When we connected to the server recommended by the VPN solution, the decrease of internet download and upload speeds was obvious, but that is a necessary compromise if you want security.
Bitdefender Total Security 2018 bundles many additional tools, and most of them can be useful to their users. We especially like the fact that the security suite bundles a VPN solution to protect its users when connected to unsafe networks like those from coffee shops or airports.
Default settings that you might want to adjust
Bitdefender Total Security 2018 is a security product that is well configured by default. However, there are a few things you could adjust:
- Configure a scheduled antivirus scan. By default, there is no such scan configured in Bitdefender Total Security 2018 and, to achieve a higher level of security, you should create one such task to run monthly or even more often. You can do that in Protection -> View features -> Manage scans.
- Disable the “Display notifications with special offers” option, if you do not want to be bothered with such notifications. You can do that in Settings -> General.
Bitdefender Total Security 2018 is well configured by default, and there are very few things you could improve.
What is your opinion about Bitdefender Total Security 2018?
You read our review, and so you know that we like Bitdefender Total Security 2018 a lot. Before leaving, we would love to hear your opinions about this antivirus product too. You can share them below, in the comments section.