In the past, all you need is an anti-virus software to protect your Windows PC. Now, that is no longer sufficient. You will also need firewall, anti-spyware, anti-malware, parental control etc to get fully protected. Many antivirus companies (such as Norton and McAfee) have transit from providing anti-virus solution to total security suite. Bitdefender is one such company too.
Bitdefender Total Security 2012 is a complete security suite that comes with anti-virus, anti-spam, parental control, privacy control, firewall and many more security and Windows performance boosting features. The software, once installed, runs in auto-pilot mode so you don’t have to deal with tons of configuration options just to get it running.
To get it started, simply download and install Bitdefender (Bitdefender is NOT free. You can, however, download the free trial and see if you like it). Once installed, you will have to restart your PC.
After the restart, unlike other security suite, it doesn’t pop up to ask you to configure anything. It automatically assumes the default settings and run on auto-pilot mode. For once, I didn’t even know that it exists.
This is what you will see at its control panel:
By default, all the settings are turned to “ON”. You can easily turn them off by flipping the ON/OFF switch.
The Anti-virus mode allows you to perform a quick scan, full scan, custom scan (of particular folders), vulnerability scan and reboot your PC in rescue mode. The vulnerability scan includes scanning of windows and applications updates and your password strength.
Anti-spam is probably useful only if you use email client like Outlook or Thunderbird.
The Firewall scans your incoming and outgoing ports to make sure there is no unauthorized access to/from your PC.
There are three modes in the Privacy Control section: Anti-phising, Data protection and encryption. The Anti-phising feature protects you while you are surfing the web. It detects phishing and fraud site and notifies you when you encounter one. It also integrates a toolbar to your browser and inform you if the page you are visiting safe or not. I do find this annoying though, and I switched it off immediately.
The Encryption feature allows you to add confidential files to the file vault and have them encrypted. You can also shred a file if you want to delete it beyond recovery.
The tune up section cleans up your internet cache and detect duplicate files. You can also use it to monitor applications and see the amount of CPU and memory they are using.
Safebox is the online backup solution of Bitdefender. They offer you 2GB of online space (bundled with the software cost) and allows you to backup important files to your account. You can get it to autosync so your important files will always be backed up. While this is a great effort by Bitdefender, a meager 2GB storage space is not going to amount to anything, especially if you are going to backup your music and videos. With online storage solutions abound, I am not sure this feature will attract any interest and usage.
Most security suite software use plenty of system resources and cause your system to go slow. For Bitdefender, it is not the case. At its auto-pilot mode, it only takes up less than 10MB of memory. As I mentioned earlier, I almost forgot its existence. Together with the comprehensive security features, it is definitely worth the consideration if you are looking for a security suite software.
Bitdefender costs $69.95 for 1 PC per year.