Cybersecurity Opinion

REVIEW: Bitdefender INTERNET SECURITY 2020

The last few months have seen an unprecedented increase in cybersecurity attacks, both on companies and individuals, so if you don’t already have effective security protection on your computers and devices, now is the time to get it. While it can be difficult to know which products and packages are going to offer the best protection for you against cybersecurity attacks, I am going to walk you through Bitdefender’s INTERNET SECURITY 2020, its main features, and pros and cons.

Bitdefender, a Romanian based security provider has been in operation since 2001, and currently protects half a billion users with its global security delivery infrastructure. The company works with government organizations, large enterprises, SMEs and private individuals across over 150 countries worldwide. The company’s internet security software has won numerous awards over the last few years and has had over 100 patents on its core technologies issued in the last three years for its machine-learning algorithms for detecting malware and other online threats, deep learning and anomaly-based detection techniques.

One of their key products, Bitdefender INTERNET SECURITY 2020, has recently won the Outstanding Product award from AV-Comparatives. It offers real-time protection for Windows PCs against all the various types of threats, such as viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware and ransomware. It offers protection to the network also, analyzing and identifying suspicious activities on the network and blocking potentially dangerous URLs where appropriate.

Features

One of the key features of Bitdefender’s INTERNET SECURITY is its real-time response to attacks. Its Advance Threat Defense uses a technique called behaviour detection, which monitors active apps, and instantly takes action if it detects suspicious activity. The product also protects against ransomware and includes a data-protection layer that protects your documents, pictures, videos and music so that you can be confident your most important files are safe.

Similarly, Bitdefender offers real-time protection against threats on the web so that you know you are not going to be directed to a harmful website and you know that the links coming up on the your search engine are safe. Phishing attacks are also very much on the rise with websites that look legitimate and trustworthy but really aim to steal your financial or personal data. These sorts of scams are becoming increasingly common and convincing with many having already fallen pray to these types of cyber-attacks. Bitdefender’s anti-phishing protection alerts and blocks such websites before it’s too late.

Besides protection whilst browsing the web, Bitdefender’s INTERNET SECURITY also focuses on privacy and protecting your personal information. Bitdefender VPN encrypts all internet traffic so that you know that your privacy isn’t at risk on the web; however, there is a limit of 200MB a day, which will not be sufficient for heavy internet users. One of the newer privacy features is an anti-tracker browser extension that enables you to detect and block a wide range of web trackers so that you can keep your browsing data private.

The Bitdefender Password Manager also secures your passwords, credit card information and other sensitive data, putting it into a cyber-vault, where you can easily access it but know that the information is safe. The passwords are still easy to retrieve with the option to autofill online forms. With the huge amount of personal data being stolen and leaked by cyber criminals on a daily basis, this is a key feature.

User Experience

Downloading and setup of Bitdefender’s INTERNET SECURITY was quick and painless. It ran discretely in the background and didn’t seem to have any impact on the speed of my PC or interfere with the way I usually work on it. Scanning did take some time but again I could continue to work as usual, and as I am a high-usage computer user anyway my PC probably had more files on then the average user. My full computer scan took about 35 minutes and thankfully didn’t find any threats.

I found the Protection Features tab on the dashboard useful with the breakdown of protection such as antivirus, firewall, antispam, and file protection. It was easy to navigate and there was even a small explainer for each feature so you knew exactly what was what. Managing the settings and exceptions on each of the features was quick and intuitive. I don’t think any of the other previous internet security products I have used in the past had web cam and microphone protection, or if they have then I haven’t made use of it, and this is an extra layer of protection I am going to utilize from now on.  

The interface of the notifications tab on the dashboard is similarly easy to understand and you can see all the activities, including updates, scans and warnings. I liked that the notifications are broken down into separate tabs: all, critical, warning and information, so if you just wanted to review one sort of notification history then you don’t have to scroll all the way through.

I am utilizing the automatic profiles feature which monitors your current activity and applications that you have running to assess which features to push to the forefront and when to limit background activities. For instance, if the product assesses you are working, it will boost email protection and will eliminate system slowdowns. If it picks up that you’re watching a movie, it will limit background activity and eliminate interruptions because who wants to be interrupted when you’re watching your latest movie? If you are using public wi-fi, then your network protection is going to be boosted. I think the product being able to monitor your activity and seamlessly respond accordingly, is a real pro and hopefully its something we are going to see more of in the future.

Pricing

Bitdefender INTERNET SECURITY 2020’s starter package of 1 device for 1 year is offered at £39.99 although they do run discounts. At the time of writing, that particular package had a 50% discount so was priced at £19.99. Most households these days have multiple devices, so a mid-way package of 5 devices on a one-year plan was priced at £54.99, and for 10 devices for one year £59.99. Considering just how costly a cybersecurity attack can be, I think it’s reasonable price to pay, and for that, you are getting the full list of benefits and features of their INTERNET SECURITY 2020 product.

Bonus:

As an avid cybersecurity news follower, I was positively excited when I came across Bitdefender’s Cyberthreat real-time map. If you need a visual guide to demonstrate to you the real scope and sheer volume of cybersecurity threats in today’s world then this is for you. A constantly updating table breaks down real-time threats into attacks, infections and spam, detailing date, time, attack country and target country, while the details are also illustrated in a map, also being updated in real-time. With multiple threats being logged every second, I had worked out that during the short amount of time I’d been perusing the map, over 1000 threats had been logged.

Conclusion:

Bitdefender’s INTERNET SECURITY 2020 package definitely comes with a comprehensive list of features and I like that the company are really focusing on real-time detection and protection against a wide range of threats on the web as well as keeping your sensitive data and files safe too. The dashboard was easy to use and understand and I really liked that it was capable of contextual recommendations based on my device’s usage and needs. It didn’t impact the usual running of my PC, such as slowing things down, even when running a scan, and it very much worked in the background.

On the flipside, as a heavy internet user, the limit of 200MB a day on the VPN doesn’t cover my requirements so it would be something to decide on whether to upgrade in the future. Having said that, I would have to say that this is pretty much my only negative when it comes to the product and I am otherwise impressed with the capabilities of the product and the comprehensive list of features.

Cybersecurity threats are reported to be on the increase, and not a day goes by without a cybersecurity attack making the headlines, whether its personal data being stolen, companies being hacked into, or online scams. We may not be able to put a stop to cybersecurity threats but we can make sure that we are doing our part in protecting our devices with a comprehensive internet security product.

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