When it comes to Antivirus programs, two of the most common names are Bitdefender and Avast. Both of them provide excellent cybersecurity services for home and business owners. But which of these software products offer the better protection our computers and digital devices require?
We have conducted a comparison of these two so that you’ll have an idea which to get! Now, let’s take a closer look at Bitdefender vs Avast.
What is a Computer Virus?
Before further comparing the two aforementioned software products, let’s first go back to the basics and learn about computer viruses.
A computer virus is a type of malware or malicious software created mostly by hackers to penetrate one’s computer and infect its whole system. And it doesn’t stop there. Because this is a “virus,” it will most likely spread and also infect other units if not detected early on.
Just like the virus that infects living beings, a computer virus can prevent the whole system from functioning properly. It usually enters your computer’s memory, which results in your unit crashing. Depending on how a certain computer virus is created, it can destroy all the programs and files on your computer or can make your Internet connection slow.
There are different kinds of computer viruses, including resident virus, multipartite virus, direct action, overwrite virus, and browser hijacker. Aside from these, you may also encounter other types of malware, like trojans, worms, spyware, adware, and ransomware.
Types of Defenses Against Viruses
As discussed, different types of viruses and malicious software can affect our computers. That is why technology experts have developed a diverse line of cybersecurity programs. This is to avoid having to deal with common computer problems or with the threats of cybercrimes.
When it comes to fighting computer viruses, one of the first things people usually think about is an antivirus. Antivirus is your best friend. This is a program created to prevent, detect, search for, and get rid of malicious software from your computer system. Depending on the program, most types of antivirus software perform these actions:
- Checks files or directories on the computer for any viruses
- Schedule scans to run automatically
- Allows users to scan a selected file, flash drive, folder, or the entire computer unit at their own convenient time
- Cut out malicious codes
- Present the health condition of the computer
Now that we’ve gone through the logistics of computer viruses, here’s a comparison of two of the world’s best cybersecurity companies, Bitdefender vs Avast.
Avast boasts having the largest threat-detection network, thus, giving computers maximum protection against different kinds of viruses. They also claim that using their antivirus won’t slow down the user’s computer. Their antivirus program is easy to install and effortless to use. It is also compatible with both Windows and Mac, as well as Apple and Android devices.
It is available in free and paid versions. All versions can block viruses, scan for Wi-Fi vulnerabilities, and provide extra security against ransomware. However, there are a lot of important features the free version is missing. Some of them include being able to avoid fake websites, lock out hackers using an advanced firewall, permanently delete files, and block any attempts to remote access. The full version can even perform an overall scan and cleanup of your computer and encrypt your Internet connection to ensure protected browsing.
The Avast antivirus programs are available in the following capacities and price ranges:
- Premium Security, Single Device – $69.99 per year
- Premium Security, Multi-Device (up to ten devices) – $89.99 per year
- Ultimate, Single Device – $99.99 per year
- Ultimate, Multi-Device (up to ten devices) – $119.99 per year
Most products provide a 7-day trial period, which allows users to “test the waters” before they choose to buy the full service. The company also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Smart scans of Avast consist of a series of tests to determine any threats in the browser components and the overall computer performance. Scans can be scheduled. They finish quickly and provide basic results. Meanwhile, a full scan can take several hours before finalizing a detailed checkup.
The Avast antivirus scored the highest point average in AV-Test trials. Even with just the free version, you can get excellent malware protection that is usually better than other free antivirus versions in the market. The company has provided services since 1991 and wouldn’t last that long in the market if their products didn’t deliver quality results.
Although Avast is known to be a leader in antivirus scans and tests, it still comes with some minor flaws. During scans with this software, the computer’s performance may slow down. There are even reports stating that the Avast UI failed to load, making the entire program stop and not respond. The good news is that Avast has already released a fix for this problem.
Another issue to take note is that Avast was involved in a scandal in early 2020. The company was accused to have sold the search history of its users to third parties. In Avast’s defense, the company stated that data harvesting was only practiced to analyze data and catch threats early on. It is not surprising if current users decide to uninstall Avast or just steer clear away from the software. The company also adds a data collection consent feature on its programs, so that users have a choice whether they allow Avast to obtain their data or not.
Bitdefender is a younger company than Avast, entering the market only in 2001. However, they proved to be as successful, having already protected more than 500 million systems in over 150 countries to date. They claim that their antivirus program can be downloaded and installed in a few seconds. Moreover, it is bearable for computer resources. The software can run on both Windows and Mac and is also compatible with Apple and Android smartphones.
Aside from the free version, Bitdefender also offers paid versions with additional features. Note that all of Bitdefender’s antivirus programs use the same technology that is proven to be highly efficient and protective. However, the free version doesn’t have a password manager, ransomware protection, the Safe Pay feature, and VPN. Using the free version alone may still leave your computer prone to cybersecurity threats.
The Bitdefender antivirus programs are available in the following price points:
- Bitdefender Antivirus Plus (up to three devices) – $59.99 per year
- Bitdefender Internet Security (up to three devices) – $79.99 per year
- Bitdefender Total Security (up to five devices) – $89.99 per year
All premium plans are available in a 30-day trial period. Therefore, you can easily back out should you decide that this is not the antivirus program suitable for your computer.
Quick scans take about a minute to finalize but may take longer if it’s your first time using the program. Full system scans may take anywhere from 30 minutes and up to an hour to complete. You can also schedule scans or run several scans at the same time, and there will be no problem. Bitdefender likewise automatically scans a flash drive plugged into the system. The great thing about Bitdefender is that the company provides plenty of guidelines on their website that can help with the various issues each user experiences. Plus, they have a responsive customer service team.
Bitdefender was awarded the Best Protection Award in 2018 by AV-Test. This is due to their constant outstanding results throughout the year’s test season. The company was also AV-Comparatives’ Product of the Year in 2019, because it received the highest points in all seven tests conducted. Bitdefender is also recognized for having a well-designed user interface and highly sensitive real-time protection.
However, no software is created perfectly, even Bitdefender. Users have reported some issues with this antivirus. For one, installing the software comes with drivers, services, and background processes that can lead to boot failure or may even impact the overall performance of your computer. Another downside is that the standard package is only compatible with Windows computers. So, if you own a Mac, you will have to pay extra.
Like Avast, Bitdefender also practices data collection to look for potential viruses. Once the program gets hold of a new threat, it sends the information back to Bitdefender’s servers. When the threat is already noted on the server, it then automatically removes that certain virus from all users worldwide. Collecting personal information may be uncomfortable for some, hence, Bitdefender gives users an option to opt-out of this security feature.
Another type of cybersecurity tactic is Encryption. This method scrambles data or converts data into a secret code. This way, your data will remain confidential if your computer is accessed by unauthorized parties. Not only does encryption protect data, but it can also verify where the message came from, hence making it a powerful cybersecurity method.
A firewall is a software program that checks incoming and outgoing network traffic. Then, based on its analysis of different security measures, it decides whether to permit or block access to or from a private network. It is mainly used to enhance the security of computers connected to the Internet, LAN, or other types of networks. Aside from managing and controlling network traffic, this program also defends resources and validates access. Most operating systems and security programs often come with a pre-installed firewall.
Professional Cybersecurity Service
For maximum protection against potential cybercrimes, many users rely on professional cybersecurity services. These experts usually work with businesses to ensure that all computer systems within an organization remain secured. Their teams first conduct an assessment of the business’ security systems, then provide suggestions on how to improve the current defense structure, and lastly, proceed with the remediation process. Triada Networks, for instance, provides diverse cybersecurity services for its clients, including the implementation of cybersecurity protocols and the setting up of cloud-based solutions.
Bitdefender and Avast offer a plethora of cybersecurity features. They are both easy to install and use. These two anti-virus protection programs both have free and paid versions. Avast’s free version can already give superb malware protection, while Bitdefender’s free version is pretty basic. Upgrading to the paid versions of these programs is, of course, better.
When it comes to Bitdefender vs Avast, Bitdefender remains the top choice, because of the scandal Avast was involved in. The news about Avast selling data they collected made users question the company’s credibility. Also, Bitdefender offers more affordable rates than Avast, making it a far superior choice.