Bitdefender Internet Security from Bitdefender (Bucharest, Romania) is an excellent example of a security suite that offers much more than firewall software. It is for users who require more than the Bitdefender AntiVirus product and less than the Bitdefender Total Security product (which adds data backup, file shredding and tune-up). Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and the Bitdefender product brand is so well established and trusted that hackers (using a domain name registered in the Ukraine) have attempted to trick people into downloading a product called ByteDefender, which is actually a rogue antivirus utility. Bitdefender Internet Security features Quick Scan, which uses cloud technology for better detection. Designers also added convenient dashboard shortcuts, safety ratings, personalized suggestions and video tutorials. It wins the TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award for personal firewall software.
The Bitdefender Internet Security suite includes a two-way firewall and other security features. It can secure a local area network and protect itself from intrusion via wireless networks. It is possible to manage all computers with Bitdefender installations on the same network from one computer.
The firewall reliably blocks, filters and stealths ports with no glitches.
Parental controls block web sites and specify when gaming and internet access occur. There is an option for Bitdefender to track children’s internet activity. A parent can receive an email every time the Parental Control module thwarts a child’s attempt to reach a blocked site. It can also provide a parent with the history of websites the child has visited. Bitdefender encrypts instant messaging from Yahoo Messenger and Windows Live Messenger as long as the IM contact is also using Bitdefender and Yahoo Messenger or Windows Live Messenger. Another instant-messaging feature specific to Yahoo Messenger and Windows Live Messenger lets parents specify the instant message contacts with whom a child may chat.
Parental controls, antiphishing and antimalware are part of the toolkit. The product automatically detects when a removable storage device connects to the computer, so it can protect against attacks that might come from CDs, DVDs, network drives or USB storage devices. It is possible to suppress the alerts for storage-device detection if the user deems them unnecessary.
The product gives antispam protection for any POP3/SMTP email client and offers antiphishing protection for:
The product accommodates itself to various levels of user expertise and presents a custom user interface in novice, intermediate and expert modes. There is a gamer mode to temporarily modify settings in order to boost system performance and eliminate alerts during games. Bitdefender can use a list of games that it knows by default to understand when to go into gamer mode, or the user can opt for Bitdefender to apply the game mode whenever an application is in full-screen mode. Laptop mode provides for the postponement of scheduled tasks while the laptop is operating on batteries. Bitdefender can integrate with a toolbar on Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox to make it easier to manage the antiphishing features.
The installation and configuration process is reassuring. By responding to questions along the way, Bitdefender adjusts settings and even the user interface according to whether the PC will be mostly for browsing and multimedia or gaming. Whether the PC with the Bitdefender installation is for a child or an expert who can understand advanced custom configurations, the product accommodates itself to the primary use. The installation wizard also understands which features to configure if the PC is a roaming laptop or a computer that is part of a home network.
Automatic processes have their place, but when despite automatic scans and protections a particularly resilient new-born virus sneaks in and begins to manifest, a manual scan is the appropriate tool. Bitdefender can perform a manual scan (after the user places the PC in Windows Safe Mode) in an attempt to locate and remove an obstinate virus from a particular hard-disk partition.
The documentation is of extremely high quality, complete and well arranged with excellent graphics and well-written text.
Bitdefender Internet Security lays on a full complement of help and support in the form of a user forum and online knowledge base as well as online chat, email and telephone access to technicians.
Good personal firewall software is the most important component of a security suite because it stops unwanted visitors at the front door. In case intruders sneak in through the window, the firewall detects them and traps them inside of the house so that they can’t leave with anything valuable.
Bitdefender Internet Security starts with a two-way firewall to block and filter ports and to shield from internet detection. It also monitors Wi-Fi to frustrate access by unknown entities and aspiring hackers. Bitdefender Internet Security suite adds layers of protection above and beyond the firewall such as parental controls, antispam, antipharming, antiphishing, antimalware and instant-message encryption. Gamer and laptop modes that minimize contention for resources plus high-quality documentation and a full complement of support methods contribute to the excellence of the Bitdefender Internet Security suite.
It is a dangerous world out there. The firewall in Bitdefender Internet Security is an improvement over the firewall native to XP. Windows Vista and 7 include a two-way firewall, but in order to enjoy complete security, additional security features such as those included in the Bitdefender Internet Security suite are required.
Bitdefender Internet Security achieves excellent lab test results from independent test labs.
A minority of users report difficulties in reaching customer service but we experienced no such difficulties.
Much more than a firewall, Bitdefender Internet Security is a comprehensive security suite.