Bitdefender is one of the top antivirus developers in the world and their security products have consistently offered users a very good level of protection against all kinds of threats. Their latest top security product for consumers - Bitdefender Total Security 2017 - has been out for quite some time now and we wanted to see for ourselves what it has to offer and how well it performs. After a week of tests, here’s what we’ve found, in this detailed review:
The download and installation experience
If you want to get Bitdefender Total Security Multi-Device 2017 , t he first thing you’ll have to do is create an account on their website, which you will then be able to 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 2017 , you still have to create this account. To create it, you must provide Bitdefender with your name and email address. Once you’ve 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 11.2MB.
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However, when you launch it, you will find that the security suite needs to download another 388.7MB of data from Bitdefender’s servers. It’s a lot, but you must be patient for all to download because otherwise the product cannot install. Obviously, if you have a poor internet connection, this might take a while.
Once all the required data is downloaded, Bitdefender Total Security 2017 begins the installation wizard. If you want to, at this step you can choose to “Send anonymous reports” to Bitdefender or not, as well as choose the language of the suite and the location where you want to install it on your Windows computer.
Click Install and Bitdefender will start the installation process. During this time, the suite will also run a quick antivirus system scan to make sure that your computer is clean from malware. If all goes well and your computer is not extremely slow, Bitdefender Total Security 2017 should be up and running in about a minute or two.
When the installation is ready, you have to sign in with your Bitdefender account, or create one right now if you don’t already have one, in order to activate Bitdefender Total Security 2017.
Then, Bitdefender Total Security 2017 loads its user interface and protection modules. There’s no need to reboot your Windows computer, as the security suite is able to protect you immediately. In a few minutes, it will also trigger an automatic update for its virus definitions database, which is a good thing as it will make sure that you get the latest protection right from the start.
Bitdefender Total Security 2017 is a security suite that’s easy to install on your computer. However, it requires you to provide some personal information which will be used to create an online account. Also, in order to install it you will have to download quite a bit of data from Bitdefender.
Integration with Windows, web browsers and universal Windows platform apps
During its installation process, BitDefender Total Security 2017 automatically disables Windows Defender and Windows Firewall , thus eliminating the possible conflicts and performance issues that could arise because of running two similar security products at the same time. Bitdefender Total Security 2017 integrates very well with Windows 10 in terms of networking also - we had no issues whatsoever 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 2017 is capable of detecting the network profile you’ve set in Windows, and it can automatically adjust its protection level accordingly. However, it does that only the first time you connect to a network - if you change the network profile later, you will have to do the same in Bitdefender Total Security 2017 , manually.
When it comes to your online security, Bitdefender Total Security 2017 chooses to protect you by scanning and filtering all the internet traffic that goes on your computer. It doesn’t bundle any additional web browser extensions and we like that.
One aspect we evaluated is how much Bitdefender Total Security 2017 increased our test computer’s boot time. To do that, we installed BootRacer and did a couple of measurements before and after installing the security suite. Bitdefender Total Security 2017 added only 1 second to the boot time of our test laptop, which is a 2% increase. Negligible, if you ask us.
The security suite only needed about 150MB of RAM memory on our test system to run its core processes. That’s a small number for any modern computer.
In order to get a more complete idea about the impact Bitdefender Total Security 2017 had on the performance of our test computer, we also ran the Home accelerated benchmark offered by PCMark 8. We ran this benchmark before and after installing Bitdefender Total Security 2017. We’ve found tha t Bitdefender Total Security 2017 has no negative effect on the performance of our test laptop. That’s a very good result!
Bitdefender Total Security 2017 is a security suite that’s very well integrated with Windows and all its networking features. The fact that it doesn’t slow down your computer is also a big positive.
Ease of use & configuration
Bitdefender Total Security 2017 offers a very well designed user interface, that’s easy to use, easy to understand and navigate, as well as pleasant to the eye. Every action in Bitdefender Total Security 2017 starts from the main 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 Windows 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’s a threat.
Bitdefender Total Security 2017 uses a lot of tiles and switches in its user interface. That makes it easy to use on touchscreens too, so it’s going to be appreciated by users of Windows tablets or 2-in-1s.
If you need help, Bitdefender Total Security 2017 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 2017. If you prefer to talk directly with a human, if you go online, you will find that you can contact Bitdefender support specialists via email, forums, chat and also phone.
In terms of alerts and notifications, Bitdefender Total Security 2017 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 the network status, similar to the one in the image below.
Bitdefender Total Security 2017 also includes detailed as well as 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 2017 is a security suite that offers a user interface with a very well thought out design, that 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 will appreciate it. From our point of view, the user interface designers from Bitdefender have done a very good job.
Go to the next page of this review and see how effective Bitdefender is at protecting your computer from network attacks and malware. You will also see our final verdict for this product.