Take one of the best anti-virus products out there and integrate a ton of client and online security add-ins and what do you have? Bitdefender Total Security 2013!
Again this year, Bitdefender has provided Cyberarms a review copy of its latest Total Security product for us to put through the ringer, and again it did not disappoint.
Okay, I am not going to spend a lot of time covering the antivirus engine this year. We covered the 2012 version and it received top marks. Even PC Mag gave Bitdefender’s Antivirus Plus 2013 its Editor’s Choice Award. This year I want to spend more time covering some of the new and updated features.
I will say though that the 2013 release seems just as robust against malware and phishing attempts, and better in some circumstances. In testing, 2013 correctly detected some compressed exploit files from a security conference that were in a huge zipped compilation. The drive was scanned with 2012 and the files were not detected.
Actually, Bitdefender anti-virus is the bane of my security research existence. 🙂
Let me explain.
I use Bitdefender on a couple dual purpose machines that are also used for security research.
I have to uninstall (not turn off!) Bitdefender from these machines when I play with Backtrack 5 and the Metasploit Framework. No matter how many times I encode or pack a malicious payload with Metasploit, Bitdefender catches and blocks it. And this is with Backtrack running in a virtual machine. Even with active scanning and the firewall service turned off, it still identifies and quarantines the payload. I have to completely uninstall Bitdefender from the machines to be able to perform Metasploit mayhem with them.
My only qualm about the anti-virus is that it seems to take a very long time to perform a full scan. But I usually set the scan engine to aggressive and scan every file.
The Anti-Virus engine is excellent, let’s move on.
Administrator Control Panel
One of the first things you will notice, if you are logged in as an administrator, is the control panel interface. The red “x” means that there is an issue that should be taken care of right away.
In this instance, the virus update had not been run in several days.
Simply clicking on the center of the control panel shows you what the issue is and how to remedy it.
The number in red tells you that there are events that should be reviewed, and how many there are to check.
Firewall activity – Displays a bar graph of Firewall activity. If you click on the Firewall Activity button, you can modify firewall settings, change rules or check network activity. They also have a pretty nifty “Paranoid Mode” that allows you to view every communication attempt with the option to either block or allow. This could be handy if you are investigating a possible breach in progress or monitoring strange communications.
Scanner Activity – The progress bar on the right side of the control panel shows scanning progress. Clicking on the scanner activity button allows you to view and modify anti-virus settings.
What is great is if you have a suspicious file or folder, you can just drag and drop it on the control panel and Bitdefender will scan it for you.
If there are no issues or event news, the control panel will look like this:
Finally, clicking on the ID Badge at the bottom will take you to the My Bitdefender page.
Apart from malware and e-mail phishing attempts, Identity Theft, and social engineering attempts through social media sites are top targets for the cyber criminal.
Twitter and Facebook protection are included in Total Security 2013. Just run through the quick setup in each and Bitdefender protection is extended to these social media programs. Incoming links from these sites are scanned for threats. Setup is fairly quick, and like all Bitdefender applets, it runs silently in the background.
Safebox brings Dropbox like features to Bitdefender. You get 2GB of free encrypted cloud storage included. It is very easy to create new folders, upload data and share files with other PCs, or mobile devices. It even gives you a Windows like Recycle Bin in case you deleted a file and change your mind.
What a great idea, whenever you go to do online secure banking transactions, Bitdefender drops you into a barricaded session that protects both your wireless session if you are on Wi-Fi and a virtual keyboard to protect it from being sniffed by hackers.
Though an incredible idea, I did have problems with this. When your computer enters this protected Safepay session, you enter a sandboxed browser. Getting back out of it though, to check an account validation e-mail for example, was not very intuitive.
Once I exited the sandboxed session to get my validation e-mail so I could log in, it created a new session with my banking provider, so I would have needed another validation e-mail.
Though not perfect, this is a huge move in the right direction. Especially for PC users that need to use public networks for banking or shopping.
Another new cool feature, Bitdefender allows you to view the location of your PC or mobile device, and gives you the option of remotely locking it or even wiping it. After installing the Anti-Theft app, the location of your device shows up on a Google map. Though not completely accurate for a PC without GPS (my computer showed up about a mile away from my house), this could be very handy for locating lost or stolen Mobile devices.
This was just a quick look at some of Bitdefender Total Security features. There are several others that I did not mention. If you want one of the best anti-malware solutions loaded with extra security features, that doesn’t inundate you with pop up warnings and messages, look no further than Bitdefender Total Security 2013!
Want a chance to win a license for a full copy of Total Security 2013? Cyberarms in conjunction with Bitdefender is giving away 5 licenses of the award winning software. Simply share a link to this review on your favorite social media site. Then place a copy of the link in the comments field below. Winners will be chosen at random in two weeks (August 9th) from links in the comments section.
Don’t want to wait, why not try out Bitdefender’s excellent protection now? Go to Bitdefender’s website and click the “Try it FREE” link to download a time limited trial.
*** The contest is now over, congrats to our winners! ***