BitDefender: Comprehensive PC Protection with a Serious Pedigree

By Adam Stone | Posted October 26, 2006

Not content to tackle security issues from just one vantage point, European software maker SoftWin has come to market in recent months with a trio of products meant to safeguard computers from a range of threats.

Sold as BitDefender AntiVirus 10, AntiVirus Plus, and Internet Security, the products range in price from $40 to $70, with free trial evaluations available for download as well.

The BitDefender line comes with a serious pedigree, having accolades in having won the European IST Prize, the #1 Best Buy ranking from PC World, the PC World “Best 100 Products of 2006,” and most recently top billing in Consumer Reports’ “Best Tools to Stop Viruses, Spam and Spyware” report.

What makes the BitDefender trio so great? The big sell here lies in the breadth of functionality, starting with B-HAVE (Behavioral Heuristic Analyzer in Virtual Environments). This BitDefender proprietary technology emulates a virtual computer-inside-a-computer, a place where software is run in order to check for signs of potential malware. The manufacturer touts this as a new kind of security layer, one that safeguards a system by detecting malicious pieces of code for which signatures have not yet been released.

BitDefender’s Antivirus protection includes the ability to scan and disinfect infected files on access, and will allow infected documents to be recovered, rather than deleted. A new feature in BitDefender Antivirus sniffs out and removes rootkits.

An anti-spyware feature watches for spyware threats in real time, based on a broad database of spyware signatures. To keep things secure, BitDefender monitors numerous potential hotspots where spyware might attack a system, thus lessening the likelihood of a successful attack.

The “Plus” version of AntiVirus enhances functionality by integrating anti-virus and anti-spyware functions along with firewall, anti-spam and other features.

Scalable Protection for Any Budget

Meanwhile, BitDefender Internet Security offers up a sturdy array of defenses against outside invaders. The slightly more expensive security suite ($59.95 for one PC and one year of protection, or $69.95 for two years and two PCs) offers tools that can tackle viruses, spyware, spam, rootkits, phishing and even objectionable Web content.

A Web scanning capability filters traffic in real time, buffering potential trouble before it reaches your browser. Port scan detection detects and blocks port scans, which can create vulnerabilities. A privacy guard monitors HTTP (Web) and SMTP (mail) traffic to safeguard personal data such as credit card and Social Security information. Filters can be used to keep out incoming mail that contains unwanted words or to block Web pages that contain specific words or phrases.

For Peer-2-Peer and IM junkies, BitDefender includes filters against viruses and worms that spread via instant messaging and file-sharing applications.

Here’s a nifty one: An anti-dialer that prevents the bad guys from running up a huge telephone bill at your expense. Will those wacky felons never run out of larcenous ideas?

BitDefender passes the ease-of-use test. It’s just as simple to set it and forget it as it is to monkey around endlessly. You can leave the defaults in place, micromanage protection levels against spyware or spam, or set parental controls. A desktop indicator shows how many files have been scanned lately. Regular reports detail the findings of each completed scan.

The software is especially efficient in the realm of updates. At the user’s discretion updates will occur every hour or can happen at user-defined intervals. Automatic hourly updates can be loaded into the system immediately or else at a time specified by the user.

Why pay for protection when there are so many well-regarded freebie products available? In a few words: advanced protection and support. BitDefender offers 24/7 live support along with e-mail help and online responses to FAQ.

Overall, we give BitDefender strong marks for being comprehensive. With each BitDefender product we see an effort to address a broad range of threats, coupled with a extensive suite of defensive tools. This ought to make a powerful combination in the ongoing effort to keep things locked up tight.

Adapted from winplanet.com.

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