The year 2019 has seen a resurgence of antivirus programs and the need for more safety and security online. There are a lot of companies out there offering what they say is the best in antivirus protection. Bitdefender and Avast are two of those, so which is better?
We did the heavy lifting, so you don’t have to. Read on for a complete comparison of the tools, features, and products these companies have to offer. We’ll show you how they stack up to each other in terms of protection, performance, interface, price, and much more.
Half of the world’s computers have been or will be infected by malware, ransomware, viruses, and other threats. More devices are connected to the Internet today than ever before, opening more people up to security issues. There are over 350,000 new malware threats every day, and the frequency with which devices are being compromised is alarming.
Hackers are clever, and they know how to target weak systems. They come up with new ways to gain access to your devices all the time, stealing your information and breaching your privacy. To protect what matters, you need to employ the use of a reliable antivirus product built to recognize evolving threats.
Most reputable antivirus solutions update malware definitions multiple times per day, so they can provide real-time protection from all of the most recent threats. If you already have free antivirus protection, that can help, but they typically don’t include advanced security features or extra tools that improve your security. They also don’t provide real-time protection because they’re not updated as frequently.
For these reasons and many others, we strongly suggest you invest in premium antivirus protection to enhance your online security. We have reviewed and evaluated a lot of antivirus solutions from some of the biggest names in the industry, and we can say with confidence which ones are the best for protecting your privacy and data.
Bitdefender stacks up nicely against the competition because of its performance. It’s also an affordable package with excellent malware protection, advanced features, and a great value. You can get antivirus protection on up to five devices with only one license for PCs, Macs, and smartphones.
But Avast is our winner when it comes to security-related features and extra tools. Bitdefender is better when it comes to the software’s impact on system performance. Both provide exceptional protection against many different types of malware.
If you’re interested, you can check out our more in-depth reviews of both Bitdefender and Avast. Before we begin reviewing Bitdefender and Avast here, let’s look at the plans they offer, so you can prepare yourself for what might work best for you.
While Bitdefender offers the best packages available today, Avast is a close second. However, it always comes down to your needs and your budget. So, without any more fluff, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
The Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition packs a great punch. It’s loaded with protection without all of the confusing extras, for those who don’t really care. It only has the essential features needed for superior security, like you might find in a freemium version, but without extra utilities that you don’t need.
Bitdefender Home Scanner is available as a separate download for free, and it checks vulnerable devices and passwords on the network. By doing this, it can provide recommendations to increase your network security. There are also free ransomware and adware removal tools that you can download separately.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 has a game mode and a silent mode, a password vault, a secure browser, a battery saver, and a file shredder. You can enjoy safer online banking and shopping as well as get rid of sensitive files permanently and safely. Because this is a paid package, you also have access to premium customer support.
With a vulnerability scanner to check for vulnerable or outdated software, identify security holes, find missing Windows patches, and alert you to dangerous settings, this plan is pretty comprehensive. It can also remove malicious malware infections with a rescue disk option.
Bitdefender Internet Security 2019 is a step up from their Antivirus Plus plan and offers webcam protection, a Safe File feature to protect important files from attacks, parental controls, a two-way firewall, and anti-spam filters to block malicious emails.
Bitdefender Total Security 2019 gives you everything in the previous plan with additional performance optimization settings like Disk Cleanup, OneClick Optimizer, Startup Optimizer, and anti-theft features that can help you if you lose your device.
Bitdefender Family Pack 2019 covers an unlimited number of devices with the same security as the Total Security package. Everything works on Windows only, except for the Total Security package, which also works on Mac.
The features available for Mac are a bit different, so we’ll give you a rundown of those now. Bitdefender offers a free Virus Scanner for Mac, and a lot like the free version for Windows, it has only the essential security features. It does still have two Mac utility tools, TrafficLight, and Adware-removal tool.
To get the most out of Bitdefender for Mac, you should upgrade to Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac. It provides excellent protection with a lot of extra features, and it blocks ads, keeps ransomware away, and protects your backups. You can also get Bitdefender Total Security 2019 and Bitdefender Family Pack 2019 for Mac, too.
While some of Bitdefender’s products are compatible with both Windows and Mac, Avast offers separate solutions for both. Let’s start with the Windows products first.
Avast Free Antivirus is more feature-rich than Bitdefender’s freemium version. Avast offers more features than most other free antivirus software out there. The program has excellent malware protection, a password vault, web and email protection, a software updater, a home network inspector, and a silent mode or game mode.
Not only will the Avast Free Antivirus check for vulnerable network settings and unfamiliar devices, but it can also tell you if you have outdated software installed on your computer and prompt you to upgrade.
You can get rid of malware that has already severely affected your system with rescue media, and the Avast SafeZone browser keeps your online banking and shopping experiences secure, plus the Online Security browser plugin blocks dangerous sites and phishing.
Avast Pro Antivirus has everything the freemium version has along with Sandbox technology, so you can test dangerous files in a safe and contained environment without affecting the rest of your computer. It also includes a real site feature to stop scammers from controlling your DNS settings, plus premium customer support.
The next level of safety, Avast Internet Security, adds on an anti-spam filter to keep junk emails from getting through, an advanced firewall, and top-notch ransomware protection. Next is Avast Premier, with everything we’ve described so far, plus webcam security and a file shredder. It can also automatically update applications for you if they’re out of date.
Avast Ultimate has a SecureLine VPN so you can browse the web and protect your location and other identifying information, as well as Cleanup Premium to improve your system performance, and a password vault.
Avast’s Mac solutions include Avast Security and Avast Security Pro. Avast Security has anti-malware security, a Wi-Fi security scanner, and web and email protection. Avast Security Pro protects you from Wi-Fi intruders and ransomware.
Both Bitdefender and Avast use signature-match detection to check every file against an extensive database of malware definitions and Heuristic monitoring to check for suspicious behavior of files. Like most antivirus products, it can catch most known and unknown malware threats using these tactics.
If Bitdefender or Avast notice anything suspicious, they upload it to cloud servers and verify that it is malware. If it is, it gets added to the database and sent out to other users, so their software is also updated with new malware signatures. This happens several times every day.
Most antivirus products use the same detection engine. In the most recent tests by independent security labs, Bitdefender detected 100% of zero-day malware and widespread malware for a perfect score. Avast detected 100% of zero-day malware and 99.9% of the widespread malware.
In real-world protection tests, Bitdefender and Avast receive near-perfect rates of protection at 99.9% and 99.6% respectively. They can also protect your system against malware before, during, and after infection at incredibly high rates. At times, they both return false alarms, but it’s better to err on the side of caution. They both provide superior protection against all kinds of malware.
Most advanced antivirus products run in the background as you work, surf, and shop to give you real-time protection against the latest threats, so they use a portion of your system’s resources as they scan. While antivirus software needs to use these resources to be effective, if it hogs your system’s resources and makes it difficult to do anything else, that’s not a good thing.
While Bitdefender gets a perfect score in performance tests, Avast gets a near-perfect score. When it comes to archiving, file copying, installing, downloading, and browsing, neither product inhibits the performance of other tasks enough for you to notice it most of the time.
While Bitdefender performed slightly better in these tests, neither software will degrade your performance enough that it will be a detriment to the usage of your computer on a daily basis.
Bitdefender has a different interface for its free version than it does for paid packages. The freemium software doesn’t have a lot of advanced features, so the interface is simple. You can set it up and forget about it without using the interface much at all. It contains a Scan Computer button on the main screen, and that’s about it.
The premium versions have a robust interface with a left-hand menu including options for protection, privacy, tools, activity, notifications, account, settings, and support. You can see the plan you have at the top. The link at the bottom takes you to an online portal where you can manage your devices.
Avast has the same interface for all of its products. This makes it easy to upgrade from the free version to the paid packages because you’re already familiar with the way it works. It’s a little less complicated than Bitdefender with a menu for status, protection, privacy, and performance.
The dashboard shows performance statistics and a Smart Scan button. You can see the name of the product you have on the title bar, and the button on the bottom left takes you to the settings. You can also upgrade to a better plan. The free version shows ads, but they seem to be unobtrusive.
Overall, for the features and the price, Bitdefender seems to be a better value.
If it matters to you which is more popular, the answer is probably Avast. It’s more well-known and has been around for longer. However, Bitdefender has 500 million users worldwide, and Avast has 400 million. These statistics are different depending on where you look.
According to recent reports, Avast leads the market with 19% ownership of the market share while Bitdefender owns 6% and is seventh on the list. It’s not a bad statistic, but it’s still well below Avast. Avast also beats Bitdefender in overall downloads.
Social media shows Avast as a leader with 4.1 million Facebook fans and 182,000 Twitter followers while Bitdefender has 1.3 million Facebook fans and 82,000 Twitter followers. According to these statistics, Avast is more popular, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Bitdefender and Avast both have robust products, great prices, excellent customer service, and reliable protection. No matter what you choose, it’s important to have the protection you need when connecting to the Internet.
Bitdefender has better prices and performance while Avast has better features and is more popular. With Bitdefender, you can cover unlimited devices, but Avast throws in a lot of add-ons and extras. The Bitdefender interface is more robust, but the Avast interface is easier to use.
Both are available on Windows and Mac and have a 30-day money-back guarantee. The ultimate decision now lies with you. It all depends on what’s most important to you. Both products are excellent, but we might just give the edge to Bitdefender.