Since Microsoft release Microsoft Security Essentials I have never really bothered with a 3rd part Anti Virus, initially MSE out performed most of these apps and was totally free. However in recent years MSE has become has become Windows Defender and it's detection rates and performance has been criticized compared to other apps. I have also noticed that security scares have become increasing common, mainly with Websites being hacked and databases leaked, but more recently the UK was warned about a large scale computer attack that would occur this month. I have also been fixing an increasing number of friend/family computers with various types of virus and malware, especially ransomware.
So in recent weeks I have been more proactive with my computer security, in the past I just ran Defender and Malwarebytes, but I have been looking to test out a new Anti Virus, which has led me to Bit Defender Internet Security 2014 which I am reviewing today and also giving away 3 free 1 year licences to our readers. BitDefender is comparatively priced with prices as low as £23 online, in comparison Kaspersky is £35.99 and ESET is £29.99. All three of these prices are currently discounted at the time of writing though I suspect this is a regular discount.
Unlike Microsoft's Defender and Firewall, 3rd party solutions from companies like BitDefender Antivirus come with various bells and whistles attached. In the case of Bit Defender Internet Security it came with:
- Safepay – a basic secure browser to deal with banking
- Wallet – A password manager
- Online Privacy Protection
- File Shredder – delete sensitive files completely.
- Enhanced! Parental Control
- Cloud Antispam – Stops unwanted e-mail from reaching your Inbox, now fully based on Cloud technology.
- A security widget – Enables you to keep track of all of your security-related tasks, plus lets you quickly and easily drag-and-drop files for quick scanning for viruses – right from your desktop!
As a relatively advanced user I found most of these additional features redundant and unnecessary bloat, however I can appreciate that for you average user these may be valuable additions. I found the browser additions particularly intrusive, but you can disable them and for the majority of people I am sure it helps provide an enhanced sense of security. It also comes with parental controls, which I did not try but I presume this would be a good selling point for many parents.
Most importantly scanning my PC was relatively easy, a full scan took a very long time, but I have multiple hard-drives and backups of several websites which have literally millions of files. There were quite a few false positives for trainers I have used on a couple of games but all Anti Virus software flags these. During the scan I did not notice any noticeable slowdown of my PC. My PC is pretty mid range with a Intel Core i5 750 CPU and 8GB of ram. There were several Bit Defender processes running all the time but the total memory use when not in use was under 200MB which is fine for me. When running a scan CPU usage did not seem to go much about 2%, which again is fine by me.
Overall I have been happy with my experience of Bit Defender, as long as I have no issues with it over the next few months I would happily renew my subscription. For further reference it has received excellent reviews from tomsguide.com, pcmag.com, and pcpro.co.uk so you should be happy if you decide to buy.
If you would like a chance to win a 1 year licence of Bit Defender feel free to enter below. I have 3 licences to give away.