Avast vs Bitdefender

Bitdefender and Avast are two of the most popular antivirus products that are available today. Avast, in particular, is a popular choice and a well-known brand name to most people who use online security products. However, Avast does come with some controversy surrounding it thanks to past news stories claiming that it sold users’ web browsing data. But despite this, Avast is still used by millions of individuals and businesses around the world. 

If you’re looking for a new antivirus product, Avast and Bitdefender may be the two main choices you are considering. We’ve put together a detailed comparison of the performance, protection, and additional features offered by each tool. We look at the sign-up process, interface, and cost for both products. Whether you are well-versed in the world of antivirus programs or are completely new to the field, this will give you the information that you need to determine which one is the right option for you. 

The Short Version: Who Wins Between Avast and Bitdefender?

Bitdefender came up trumps thanks to superb malware detection and a range of further features that most consumers will find useful. Whether you want to set up parental controls to protect young children who use your device or make sure that your online banking details are secured, you can rely on Bitdefender to offer you the ultimate online protection.

 

Avast vs Bitdefender Summary

Avast:

  • Password manager
  • Ransomware protection
  • Sandbox tool

Bitdefender:

  • Unlimited and secure VPN
  • Advanced parental controls
  • Multi-layer ransomware protection

Background

Avast:

Avast originated in the Czech Republic and currently employs over 1,700 people. Currently, this tool has over four hundred million active users, making it one of the most popular and commonly used antivirus programs on the market today. However, recently, Avast found itself in the firing line after a news story revealed that it had collected and sold customer data. Despite these concerns, it still remains a top choice for users around the world. 

Bitdefender:

Bitdefender was founded in 2001 as a Romanian cybersecurity company. Currently, it is used by half a billion worldwide users and also works with small to medium enterprises and government organizations in 150 different countries. Employing over 1,600 people, Bitdefender is known for being one of the most innovative security software tools in the world.

Pricing and Compatibility

When considering which product to purchase, the price is often the most compelling factor to consider - and antivirus software is no different. Getting antivirus software is an investment, particularly if you are opting for one of the more high-end packages, so making sure that you are spending your money on the right one is an important step. 

One of the main ways in which Avast and Bitdefender differ is that Avast offers a free antivirus package designed to protect you from the most common threats, while Bitdefender does not. However, bear in mind that this is a very basic package with limited features. On the other end of the scale, the top-end package is Avast Premium Security which costs $89.99 per year and can be used to protect up to ten devices. Bitdefender’s top-end package, Bitdefender Premium Security, costs more at $149.99 per year, but they also offer cheaper packages to suit your budget.

  • Avast Free Antivirus: Free
  • Avast Premium Security (1 PC): $69.99 per year
  • Avast Premium Security (1 Mac): $59.99 per year
  • Avast Premium Security Multi-Device (10 Devices): $89.99 per year
  • Bitdefender Internet Security: $79.99 per year
  • Bitdefender Total Security: $89.99 per year
  • Bitdefender Premium Security: $149.99 per year

At the time of writing, Bitdefender is running an offer allowing you to get $60 off the cost of your first year of subscription, which means you can get Bitdefender Premium Security for just $89.99. Avast is not currently offering any discounts or promotions for your first year; however, they do reward loyal customers with the opportunity to take advantage of discounts if you want to commit to them for further years. 

Both Avast and Bitdefender offer a thirty-day money-back guarantee if you’re not fully satisfied with the service, essentially giving you the option to try before you buy. Avast and Bitdefender both work with all the major operating systems including Windows, Android, and macOS devices.

Malware Protection

Whether you use your device for work or leisure, making sure that you are adequately protected is important, particularly with threats becoming increasingly sophisticated and common. Not all antivirus programs are created equally when it comes to the online protection that they offer. In AV-Comparatives latest malware protection tests, Bitdefender scored 99.5%, and Avast scored 99.98%. 

The false alarm test run by AV-Comparatives is also worth looking at when it comes to comparing antivirus programs. The false alarm test is designed to determine the number of false positives that take place when the antivirus program flags a file as malware incorrectly. During these latest tests, Bitdefender only recorded seven false alarms while Avast came in with a huge fifteen false alarms. 

In summary, Bitdefender comes in with the best performance when it comes to malware protection and recording the fewest false alarms. While both Bitdefender and Avast record quite similar results, Bitdefender does appear to be superior when it comes to protecting against malware.

Computer Performance Impact

Antivirus programs can have a significant impact on how your PC performs. This is important whether you are using your PC for work, browsing, entertainment, or gaming as no matter what, you don’t want it to slow down. In tests, Bitdefender took a massive 110 minutes to conduct a full scan, compared to just 60 minutes from Avast. However, Bitdefender scanned more than double the items. Again, during a quick scan, Bitdefender took over 330 seconds, which was considerably longer compared to Avast. 

Both Avast and Bitdefender had similar results on PC performance impact when no scan was taking place; however, when scanning was in progress, tests showed that despite not taking as long, Avast had a significantly bigger impact on disk utilization. Data from tests run by AV-Comparative, which shows how antivirus impacts on PC performance during common tasks such as browsing websites, installing and uninstalling applications, downloading files, file copying, launching applications, and archiving, found that Bitdefender scored very fast for common tasks, while Avast scored fast. 

Features

With people spending an ever-increasing about of time online, getting protection for day-to-day tasks like managing passwords or protecting your online banking information is important. Both Avast and Bitdefender offer a range of features to help you get the protection that you need. The key features offered by both are:

Avast Premium:

  • Block spam and phishing emails
  • Secure passwords
  • Safer online shopping
  • Block malware
  • Advanced firewall
  • Webcam protection
  • An extra layer of ransomware security
  • Wi-Fi security weakness scan
  • Permanently shred sensitive files
  • Run suspicious apps safety
  • Automatic app updates

Bitdefender Premium Security:

  • Priority support
  • Device optimizer
  • Unlimited VPN traffic
  • Parental controls
  • Protection for Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS
  • Protection against malware, adware, and spyware
  • Multi-layer protection against ransomware

Top Three Features for Each Program

Avast Premium:

Safer Shopping: If you utilize online banking or are a frequent online shopper, Avast’s Safer Shopping feature is an ideal tool that you can use to stop hackers from hijacking the router’s DNS and potentially send you to fake sites where your details will be stolen. And, it will reduce the chance of hackers getting access to your passwords. 

Automatic App Updates: If you have several applications on your device, it’s important to ensure that they are regularly updated. Updates are not just for new features, but they often also include strengthened security measures to combat new strategies used by hackers. This tool automatically searches for the latest updates for your apps and makes sure that they are kept up-to-date. 

Sandbox: It can be risky to open a file that seems suspicious, but in some cases, you may really need to know what’s there. Avast’s Sandbox tool allows you to open any files in a safe and controlled environment before running them on your PC. 

Bitdefender:

Anti-Theft: Bitdefender’s Premium Security package includes a range of effective anti-theft and anti-loss tools for your Windows device. You can access them remotely from your Bitdefender account regardless of where you are in the world. 

Unlimited VPN: The VPN included with Bitdefender Premium offers an additional layer of protection for your online presence by encrypting all online traffic including sensitive data like passwords, downloads, and online banking information. The Premium Security package from Bitdefender includes unlimited encrypted traffic for devices running on Windows, macOS, or Android.

Multi-layer ransomware protection: Bitdefender offers a multi-layered approach towards protecting against ransomware. This includes a layer of data protection that safeguards personal documents, videos, music, photographs, and other files against any type of ransomware attack. 

Sign Up and Installation

We expect a hassle-free, quick sign up and installation process for any antivirus tool. Avast offers an easy checkout that provides you with a handy download link after entering a few personal details and payment details. Installation only takes a few minutes in total. 

Similarly, Bitdefender also offers an easy signup process and takes just a few minutes to install on your device. Bear in mind that when you download Bitdefender, automatic renewal is switched to on by default, so it’s worth turning this off if you are not sure whether or not you want to renew your subscription the following year. 

Interface and Ease of Use

Many antivirus features can often seem complicated; however, both Avast and Bitdefender have pleasant dashboards that are easy to use. When you open the dashboard for Bitdefender, you are greeted right away with ‘You are Safe’ along with the typical overview of your device, protection status, privacy, and utilities. You can also access a section of the dashboard designed to allow you to share any suggestions for what you would like to see in future updates. 

Avast also offers a simple and easy-to-use interface. Upon opening, you will see a green tick that indicates your device is protected, and there’s a clear button for running a smart scan. If you want to see more in detail, you can easily access the protection, performance, and privacy sections from the left menu. 

Customer Support

Antivirus software users want to know that they can rely on good customer support if they run into any issues when using the software. Avast offers customer support via both email and live chat, or you can pay more to access the technician phone support option if you need it. There is also a self-service section where users can access a very detailed FAQ section on the Avast website which provides answers to a wide range of commonly asked questions for users who do not wish to contact anybody directly. 

Bitdefender Premium Security also offers excellent customer service. They provide users with an extensive support hub that includes the answers to many common questions. There are also videos that you can watch to get details of how to fix some issues by yourself, making it an excellent choice of software for users who prefer the self-service route. But if self-service isn’t possible or you simply want to be able to talk to an employee, you can get in touch with Bitdefender through telephone, email, or online chat with somebody available to answer questions around the clock. They also provide an expert community where you can tap into the knowledge of both users and employees alike. 

Conclusion

While Avast and Bitdefender are both excellent choices of antivirus software, Bitdefender comes out of this comparison as the worthy winner. It outperforms Avast in several different areas including malware protection, lower false alarms, and in terms of PC performance impact. While Bitdefender does cost more than Avast, you definitely get what you pay for when it comes to the number of additional features that are offered to protect you on a daily basis online including a VPN, anti-theft features, and parental controls to protect you and your family.

 


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