Bitdefender Total Security 2013 review

The latest edition of the anti-virus software incorporates remote management tools and introduces Safepay, a feature which aims to safeguard online transactions.

Safepay

One of the new features of Bitdefender Total Security 2013 is Safepay. This aims to make financial transactions carried out on the internet safer by running them in a protected browser (based on Google Chrome) isolated from the rest of the system. While it defends against keyloggers, the browser has no access to other desktop programs, such as password managers. This may add extra effort to the user, but it presumably is one Bitdefender thinks is necessary to protect the user from loss.

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Another addition is the anti-theft module. This requires a Bitdefender account which can be used to locate lost or stolen laptops via the firm's website. It can also wipe data to ensure thieves can't access it.

Extra features

The product doesn't limit itself to computer security. It also offers a range of performance tools designed to tune up a user's PC. It will find and erase useless files, delete invalid or outdated registry items as well as tidy up your browsing and computer history. It also sports a "Performance Optimiser" tool which displays memory and CPU usage, although this feels more like a re-skinned task manager with few features beyond that.

There is also a Safebox feature, which is an online cloud storage facility with 2GB of free storage. For tweeters and Facebookers there is social network protection too. This looks at links posted by others on social networking sites for malware and other security concerns. There is also a USB immuniser to scan flash drives as soon as they are plugged into a computer's USB port.

Overall

Although the application takes time to download and install as well as update virus definitions, once running it consumes few resources compared to other security suites available. The autopilot mode beavers away in the background without the user having to worry too much as to whether they are being protected enough. It also gives power users the assurance they need with options to configure the suite themselves.

ITPRO Value award

Verdict

Bitdefender 2013 provides users with the option to automate or tightly monitor protection. The additional payment protection and remote management features make this an excellent all-round product. With the performance and storage features included in the suite, this makes the product a bargain at £54 to protect up to three computers.

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Minimum requirements: Operating system: Microsoft Windows XP SP3 (32 bit) , Vista (SP2), Microsoft Windows 7 (SP1), Microsoft Windows 8 CPU: 800MHz processor Memory (RAM): 1 GB Available free hard disk space: 1.8 GB free space (at least 800 MB on the system drive) Recommended system requirements: Operating system: Microsoft Windows XP SP3 (32 bit), Vista (SP2), Microsoft Windows 7 (SP1), Microsoft Windows 8 CPU: Intel CORE Duo (1.66 GHz) or equivalent processor Memory (RAM): 1 GB (Microsoft Windows XP) 1.5 GB (Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft Windows 8) Available free hard disk space: 2.8 GB free space (at least 800 MB on system drive) Software requirements: Internet Explorer 7 and higher .NET Framework 3.5 (automatically installed by Bitdefender if necessary) Supports/Integrates with: Firefox 3.6 and higher Thunderbird 3.0.4 Outlook 2007, 2010 Outlook Express and Windows Mail on x86

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