Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition now available in an English language build

December 24, 2012 – 06:56 by in News Print Share One Comment

It’s taken a little longer than we were expecting, but Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is now available in an English language version. And if what you most want for Christmas is a lightweight and very simple antivirus tool, then this could be very good news indeed.

The program offers a reasonable core feature set, with basic real-time protection, simple on-demand scanning (right-click any file or folder in Explorer for a “Scan with Bitdefender” option), and system scans which will run automatically when your system is idle.

But the main focus has been on ease of use, and here Bitdefender Antivirus Free does very well. It has no bulky desktop gadgets, no complex console or multi-tabbed Settings dialog. You won’t even see any alerts, because the program resolves any issues itself – you won’t be hassled.

There are very few configuration options, but this does at least keep the program extremely simple to use

And so while Bitdefender Antivirus Free does have an interface, it’s very much stripped back when compared to other antivirus clients. Click its system tray icon and you’ll find buttons to toggle your real-time protection and automatic scanning on and off, for instance; you can view the program’s logs, or log in to your My Bitdefender account, if you have one (it’s not compulsory); but that’s about it.

This lack of configurability may be an issue for some, but it has obvious advantages, and not just in terms of simplicity. Bitdefender Antivirus Free is also very lightweight, typically using little more than 20MB RAM, and the program had no significant impact on our overall system performance.

There are small issues, too. We’re unsure how compatible the program will be with other security tools, for instance (it asked us to remove an “incompatible” product, Norton Internet Security, although appeared to still work correctly when we didn’t). And for some reason its status always seemed to be displayed as “updating”. We’d like to see it change to “updated” or “up-to-date”, if only occasionally, just as reassurance.

These are early days for the product, though. Bitdefender will most probably iron out any wrinkles before long, and even now Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is an excellent tool, offering a good set of core functions while remaining exceptionally easy to use.

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One Comment »

  • Dave Sharf says:

    I just installed Bitdefender Free this morning. (01-01-13)
    I’ve been battling a frustrating infestation for well over a week now, learning more, downloading more and more tools, until I finally “built” an up to date version of the UBCE4WIN bootable “rescue” disk. (For anybody having problems, I HIGHLY suggest the use of this wonderful source of scanning and repair-tools.) Once I began scanning from outside my O/S, I began to make some real progress. However, I was still seeing a few things return now and then on subsequent bootups, which meant that some nasty nuggets of horror were still lurking within my system. (XP-Home SP3 Dell Inspirion 2400 Intel 4 processor at 3.05 Mhz 2GB RAM.)

    During my “cleansing adventure,” I ran into all sorts of conflicts as a collection of malware slowly disintegrated one piece of security software after another, but once I began scanning from the disk, I gained enough ground to decide on my final group of defending software. Comodo Firewall came first, because I’ve been using their CIS system for years. (I uninstalled their “Geek Buddy” crap because I hate it.) Next, I tried several AV proggies to go with CFW, but I kept running into conflicts. (Or possibly interference from leftover malware.)
    Eventually, I settled with Malwarebytes for on-demand scanning, but I still needed an active AV system which would be compatible with Comodo. When I read that there was now a free version of Bitdefender, I jumped on it. If Comodo hated it, I could always reinstall and try something else. (Comodo’s AV was giving me fits.)

    Problem one; the first thing Bitdefender wanted to do was yank out my Malwarebytes by the roots. (After Malware-B had helped me so much through my battle?) I gave it some thought, then remembered how many times I had read that using one AV by itself was the best way to go, and I remembered also how high Bitdefender has been rated by the pros. So…I went ahead with the installation, allowed Bitdefender to remove Malwarebytes to its satisfaction, then rebooted when everything seemed to be finished. In the end, I had to go into C:\Windows\Programs to find Bitdefender.exe inside its folder, and double-click it to life. Once its icon was in my tool-tray, the fun began.

    Overall, BitDefender is a very active program. (At least at first.) I guess it was updating signatures and scanning everything in sight. It takes a while to become accustomed to the “hands-off” approach the program requires, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much sense it makes. (In other words, stupid-human [me] can’t f@#K up “the grand plan.”)

    With my hard-drive still churning, I decided to open up Firefox inside Sandboxie and check some videos on YouTube. I’ve been partial to silly stuff lately so I tried an HD episode of “Lizzie Mcguire.” Lately, I’ve been getting buffer under-runs even at 360p, even though I know my system used to run nearly everything at 480p with no issues at all. (Couldn’t decide if malware was causing this or the AT&T hard-wired setup I’m using through a third-party DSL service.)

    At first, it seemed that the video hiccups were still with me then about ten minutes later I suddenly realized that I hadn’t seen anything choke up on me for several minutes. I immediately jumped to another HD vid and ran it at 480p, and “lo and behold,” she ran smooth as silk!!! (First time in weeks!) Can I say that Bitdefender made this happen? No, of course not, but I don’t know what else I can attribute it to. For weeks now, I’ve been cursing YouTube, AT&T and The Universe at large for my strange system-symptoms, and stuttering video playback, then suddenly, all that’s gone. Also of note here, is how well-behaved Bitdefender was while viewing videos. When I stopped viewing, Bit-D went back to scanning…when I started viewing again, Bit-D either stopped scanning, or did it in the most discreet manner possible. Brilliant!

    Also, while writing this, Bitdefender gave me a tiny, unobtrusive alert in the lower right hand corner that it has found twenty odd pieces of malware, and dealt with them all in one fashion or another. It also stated that I was not presently infected with anything. (I’ll investigate this later in the logs.)

    As an added note here, I’ve been running Comodo FW in “Paranoid Mode” which means that it alerts me about EVERYTHING! It’s a bit annoying, but I can see which Programs install global hooks etc., and I wanted to watch as Bitdefender did its thing. I can happily report, that while it’s been scanning, I’ve not seen any complaints from Comodo FW at all! In other words, Bitdefender has been busy defending me instead of digging its heels deeper and deeper into my system like most other security programs do. (In the hopes of additional subscribers and funds.)

    Final comment; Already, on day-one, Bitdefender seems to have delivered a final knock-out punch to the crud that has been plaguing my ailing system. The change in YouTube video playback alone seems almost miraculous. If it does as well with system scanning in general, and real-time virus/malware defense, then my days in Digital HELL are finally over.

    LAST FINAL comment; a few minutes ago, my Hard Drive stopped churning. I guess Bit-D has finished its initial scanning. I’m hoping that this means that I will hardly notice the program at all from here on. Again…Brilliant!