If you are considering purchasing BitDefender anti-virus software for your personal computer, key factors to consider include the pros and cons on the software's ease of installation, user interface, effectiveness against viruses and spyware, and customer support. The software company Softwin, which is based in Romania, released the first version of BitDefender in 2001. As of 2011, Softwin has released 13 versions of the anti-virus software.
Installing BitDefender is a "quick and painless" process, according to the website Best Buy Antivirus. The anti-virus software includes an installation wizard, which guides users step-by-step through installation and helps resolve any problems. Because installing BitDefender requires low computer resource usage -- in comparison to installing other anti-virus software -- the installation process is fast. Also, unlike Norton anti-virus software, BitDefender does not leave a trail of data behind should you decide to uninstall the software.
Unlike most other varieties of anti-virus software, BitDefender provides a customizable user interface. Customizing the interface allows a user to decide what level of complexity, or simplicity, he wants to encounter when using BitDefender. Specifically, the software allows for three interface views: basic, which has the simplest set of options; intermediate, which provides access to more settings and features; and expert, which allows users to view all of the details of the software's operations. Regardless of which interface view a user chooses, he can customize what tools appear by selecting them from a list on BitDefender's main dashboard window. The customizable features of BitDefender's interface make it "extremely flexible," according to PCMag.com.
BitDefender provides users with access to tools that many other anti-virus software programs do not provide. For example, BitDefender includes an automatic vulnerability scanner, which helps to reveal problems such as weak passwords, weak security settings and missing patches for applications and operating systems. BitDefender also provides a chat encryption tool, which makes online chatting more secure.
BitDefender provides better-than-average results when it comes to scanning files, email accounts and Web pages in real-time. As Best Buy Antivirus notes, the software's 96 percent detection rate means that it can easily contend with the majority of malware, or malicious software, that invades a user's PC. However, in comparison to other anti-virus software, BitDefender provides sub-par results when it comes to detecting spyware, which is a type of malware that secretly collects a user's personal information, and scareware, which is rogue security software that requires payment but provides no benefit or functionality. Specifically, says Best Buy Antivirus, BitDefender only detected 77 percent of scareware samples during testing.
In comparison to other anti-virus software, BitDefender provides inferior customer support. While the software does allow for email, online chat and phone support, getting to the phone-support stage is a lengthy process, requiring multiple steps and registration fields. With other anti-virus software brands, users can gain access to phone support more easily.