Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition Review

Install Bitdefender's free antivirus program to fend off malware

Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is one of the best free antivirus programs due mostly to the fact that it doesn’t put a toll on system resources while still managing to block dangerous threats.

This free virus scanner from Bitdefender is super easy to use and doesn't bombard you with a bunch of tools that most antivirus programs include. You get a clean virus scanner that everyone is capable of understanding, but it doesn't skimp on features either.

Unlike on-demand virus scanners, Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition doesn't need to be "turned on" or started each time you want it to check for malware since it can run all the time. It's always checking for viruses, worms, Trojans, rootkits, and more.

Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
What We Like
  • Provides on-access protection from viruses and other malware.

  • Virus definitions are updated regularly in the background.

  • Easy on system memory and other resources.

  • Much easier to use than some other AV programs.

What We Don't Like
  • Can only be used at home—no business use.

  • There aren’t custom scanning options like in similar products.

  • Might take a while to fully download on slow connections.

  • Requires you to make a free account to enable protection.

Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition provides constant virus protection, also called on-access or resident protection, for free. This means that Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition can completely replace antivirus software from companies like McAfee and Norton that charge for their software and for yearly access to updates.

How to Use Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

Scanning for viruses and changing Bitdefender's settings really couldn't be easier. The main screen is how you access everything.

Press SYSTEM SCAN to start checking your computer for threats, or drag and drop a file or folder onto the program to scan just those items. If you select the progress area, you can see exactly how many files have been scanned and how many of those files are infected.

Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition scan progress

The settings, accessible through the small gear/settings icon at the top right of Bitdefender, is how you customize the program and access logs. For example, the Events page lists when scans were performed and when updates were made to the program. Quarantine lists all the infected files that Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition found.

Exclusions is how you tell Bitdefender not to scan a particular file, folder, or website. If know that the item is safe but Bitdefender says it isn't, you can explicitly block the program from scanning it.

Bitdefender free antivirus exclusions

The last setting you can toggle in Bitdefender's free antivirus program is the overall Protection Shield, found in the Protection area of the settings. If for whatever reason you need to disable Bitdefender from keeping your computer safe, you can turn it off here.

More Information on Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

  • Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7 are the operating systems that are officially supported for Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition. They also have a free antivirus app for Android.
  • Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition includes a virus shield to stop zero-day exploits, spyware, and other malware.
  • Even though the virus scanning software scans all your files, it doesn't overwhelm the available system resources, which means your computer won't take a large performance hit when using Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition.
  • The scanner starts as soon as critical services are loaded, which means it can check for malicious software, worms, etc. right when the operating system loads. This makes it even harder for viruses to stay on your computer.
  • Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition updates often to stay up-to-date with new threats.
  • Programs are run through a safe environment first to ensure they behave normally, and then Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition will release it to the regular part of the computer so you can use it normally without fear that it's malicious.
  • The software includes a link scanner to protect against credit card phishing attempts. It works by scanning all the links you access through your web browser.
  • Gamers can benefit from using Bitdefender's software as their antivirus solution because major system scans can be paused while playing computer games.
  • Applications accessing the internet that even appear to be working in a suspicious way are blocked by Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition.

Final Thoughts on Bitdefender's Free Antivirus

Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is easy to install and just as easy to use. It gives you all you need to protect your computer from existing or new threats, and does it while still letting you use your computer for resource-intensive things like watching movies, playing games, editing videos, etc.

From the very start, you don't even feel like you need to make adjustments—just install it and let it run in the background. This is a great antivirus solution for anyone not interested in all the options you'd find in a larger program like Avast Free Antivirus.