[Contest] BitDefender Internet Security 2012 !

First part of the review by Matth

The features on the website are certainly enticing.

“The Autopilot provides a hassle-free experience by making optimal security-related decisions without input from you. This means no pop-ups, no alerts, nothing to configure.” – Don’t we all get fed up answering innumberable prompts, and just fall in to OK / OK / OK mode.

One pet hate annoyance though, is being asked for an email address in order to get the trial, though reputable sites such as Softpedia have the download link.

The email offers an online installer and full 32 & 64 bit downloads. The full downloads are about 230MB, large in comparison to some other solutions.

It also suggests that Bitdefender will detect and remove other security products, though I feel it is rather tempting fate to rely on this, far better to run the previous products recommended uninstall, followed by any additional cleanup tool that may be available, and possibly verifying with Opswat Appremover as well – http://www.appremover.com/

Well, on the 1st attempt, the full download was corrupt, maybe it didn’t like the download manager, or using resume. Using the online installer was quite smooth, and possibly used less data than the full download. I’m not disposed to like installers, since I’d much rather be sure everything is alread downloaded and ready.

Installing:

The install, on the whole, smooth, with no questions (other than home or public network), though surprised that the install did not perform an initial update as part of it – never seen another product that didn’t.

Autopilot really was “no decisions”, however, not sure I agree with allowing remote desktop by default.

Autopilot also did not enable Intrusion Detection, the “HIPS” component. Now comparing with this in other suites, the component can be a source of additional defence and compatibility aggravation in equal measure, and this component can be selected manually while leaving autopilot in control, though you will have to answer some prompts when legitimate (or malicious) applications trip this. I’d be more impressed if autopilot helped with this feature, rather than simply ignoring it.

I’ll take another quote from the website:

“Full Speed

Bitdefender 2012 takes “scheduled scanning” to a whole new level, as the scanning only takes place when your system is idle.”

No, it blunders along regardless, constant disk chatter and CPU load all over the place, I’d call it a resource hog that doesn’t care if the system is idle or busy. The constant disk chatter is annoying, and there seems no way to adjust the level of autoscan. I preferred the way my other one did it, quick scan after update.

The pluses:

Autopilot works, quite well actually.

Under autopilot, there is no trawling through lists of applications, things just work.

Reputable antivirus engine, with adequate test results, top rated by av-test, in the mainstream pack according to Virusbtn RAP scores.

Link checker (one thing my usual product misses out)

It’s the only one I’ve seen that sychronizes early enough with the Windows Security nag so no being told that your security is off.

The minuses:

Horrible interface – my “standard” view of firewall traffic, is several options down, and has little attention to appearance.

Cannot find any option to schedule update or scan, and bursts of net and disk activity go off randomly.

Auto Scan is too aggressive, disruptive to performance (It really needs lower priority & I/O throttling, to be acceptable).

Without taking deliberate risks, it’s hard to see if the autopilot will put the brakes on something unwanted, in which case, the antivirus is the only component you can be certain of.

Classification of certain tools such as IP scanners, as “viruses” and deletion – these are correctly categorized by some other products as “potentially unwanted programs”, since they have a legitimate use.

The elephant in the room:

In easy autopilot mode, with one of the major “leaktest blocking” features not configured, you have to question just how much more it provides than “free & easy” Windows firewall and Microsoft Security Essentials – ok, there are some extra features, and maybe the autopilot has a core of steel if it does find something dodgy.

To sum up, with autopilot being the “wow factor”, I chose to assess that as a priority, and simply skipping the most difficult of configuration areas altogether is a major cop-out. Many other solutions can apply defaults for known applications, and I was expecting more from this highlighted feature. It’s not bad, but it’s not special. For me, it’s a curate’s egg, good in places, but it just doesn’t do things the way I like, and the constant disk chatter is infuriating (yes it IS where I can hear it). A further blot on it’s copybook, System Info for Windows crashed – under my other suite, it prompts for a driver install – and with Intrusion detection on, Bitdefender failed to prompt – even at “permissive”, Siw will not run.

Second part of the review written by Grr

Pros:

1. Ability to do a custom install- select the installation directory/path + Provide proxy settings-if applicable 2. Option to send anonymous usage reports.

3. Has an option for “Enable P2P update”. This is something very new & USEFUL. Now using this option you could do an update of Bitdefender using P2P (peer to peer) technology, instead of http.

4. Doesn’t leaves debris after uninstalling. Just 153Kb, as per Revo.

5. Scans memory & critical system areas while installing.

6. Restart is NOT required after installation.

7. Each window in the main interface has its own process. Example if you open about, it will start a process about.exe. This helps to check memory leaks in my view.

8. One could configure what status alerts it should notify. Example if you already have some firewall and disable Bitdefender’s firewall, just disable the notification for Firewall so that it wouldn’t keep bugging you; unlike what happens in other Internet Security suites like KIS, FIS, NIS.

9. It has a Laptop mode which turns-ON automatically when Laptop is put to run on battery.

10. The description-mode (small ?-mark in the bottom right) is cool. If you click on ?, it shows a ? in-front of all those places where a description is available.

12. You could drag-drop the panels shown in the main interface.

13. A decent OFFLINE-Help manual is located here, file:///C:/Program%20Files/Bitdefender/Bitdefender%202012/support/offlinemanual/index.html

14. The Support Tools is a good one and creates a complete report to be sent to support. It also has an option to reproduce the problem. Report size for me was 654Kb.

15. Has 2 process running-bdagent.exe and pchooklaunch32.exe. I tried to end-task these, but it doesn’t allows to do so.

16. No temporary files are left over after installation.

 Cons:

1. Requires at least 1Gb RAM, else will show a warning while installation.

2. It tries to Download some installer – even when I have downloaded the 226Mb setup file. While without having internet connection it still completes downloading, this is very misleading and wrong. It seems it was downloading from the existing 226Mb file-which was already downloaded and available. This is most probably due to the fact that Bitdefender doesn’t provides link for the complete setup, but just a few Kb file-which inturn downloads the setup. Should correct this.

3. System start time is increased.

4. Has a cool panel slider on the interface, but it’s not clearly visible.

5. Fails to turn-OFF the Laptop mode, when Laptop is running back on power from battery.

6. When the Password-protection is off, it should not allow “Change Password”, as there is no password set. But it does.

7. The main interface could only be closed to tray from the Interface X (close). If you try to right-click-close from the taskbar-it doesn’t works.

8. Estimated scan time is wrong.

9. There is no way to revert back your changes, as it just goes ahead and makes the changes. No Apply or Ok button. So if you accidently make a change to some setting, there is no way to revert it back.

10. The tray icon shows WARNING:multiple issues are affecting the security status of this PC, but when I check the status of the issues-it’s just one.

11. For some scans-it may take up to 100% CPU, process name:vsserv.exe 12. It was blocking the service for VMware Tools. Once I uninstalled it, the service loaded fine.

13. It doesn’t have anything such as to disable ALL protection, which is usually found in every other Internet Security Software suite.

14. It reports a wrong status on update. Even if the update is actually not done, it fails to recognize it. Example if the PC is offline-update is run (and no use)-it assumes Ok that the update is done, rather than actually checking if a real update is done.

15. It mistook Fcleaner and WinRar as a malicious processes, and blocked them. Wierd.

16. The tray icon says “multiple issues are affecting the security status of this PC”, while there is nothing showing as affecting in the interface and it’s clean – there are no issues to fix.

In cooperation with BitDefender  (sponsor of this giveaway), we can offer 1 license of BitDefender Interenet Security 2012, valid for 3 PCs!

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