Bitdefender is one of the best antivirus developers in the world, and their security products have consistently offered users a great level of protection against all kinds of security threats. Their latest top security product for consumers - Bitdefender Total Security 2018 - 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 more than a week of testing, here is what we have found about it, in this review:
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.net and 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 should adjust.