Last Updated: June 24, 2021
Can’t decide between Bitdefender free vs paid plan? Wondering about the differences between these two?
If so, you’ve come to the right place.
Before committing to any plan blindly, I’ll break down the key differences and major factors to consider to help you make a better and informed decision.
I am going to compare Bitdefender free vs paid version in terms of four important key aspects:
Let’s start this battle!
Pros & Cons
Bitdefender Free Antivirus Pros & Cons
Bitdefender Paid Antivirus Pros & Cons
Bitdefender Free vs Paid
Bitdefender Free Antivirus offers basic protection against common viruses, malicious websites, and it is compatible with Windows only, while Bitdefender Paid Antivirus offers more advanced protection against all threats and secures your online privacy without compromising your system’s performance and it is compatible across all major operating systems.
Bitdefender Free Antivirus is the set it and forget it type of antivirus program since it doesn’t have the wealth of features and customization options, but it is a good choice if you want basic malware and web protection and don’t want to fuss with antivirus software.
In contrast, Bitdefender Paid Antivirus is an excellent choice for you if you want complete peace of mind against all kinds of malware, viruses, and need unbeatable threat detection, complete protection for your online privacy, personal, and financial information.
There are many factors to consider when choosing between Bitdefender free vs paid but it ultimately depends on your preferences and the features you need.
But the question is, what features does both the Free Edition and the Paid version offer?
Before I cover all the features and what each feature does, let’s have a side-by-side comparison of Bitdefender free vs paid plan’s features.
|Bitdefender Free vs Paid – Common Features:|
|Advanced Threat Defense||✓||✓|
|Anti-Phishing & Anti-Fraud||✓||✓|
|Global Protective Network||✓||✓|
|Real-Time Data Protection||✓||✓|
|Bitdefender Free vs Paid – Paid Plan Features:|
|Protection For All Major O. S.||✕||✓|
|Multi-Layer Ransomware Protection||✕||✓|
|Network Threat Prevention||✕||✓|
|Social Network Protection||✕||✓|
|Wi-Fi Security Advisor||✕||✓|
Now let me explain what each feature does in detail with an overview, starting with the common ones between both Bitdefender free and the paid version.
Bitdefender Free vs Paid – Common Features
Advanced Threat Defense: Its Advanced Threat Defense technology monitors your active apps and proactively blocks suspicious activities to prevent unforeseen infections.
Anti-Phishing & Anti-Fraud: Protect you against phishing attacks and online scam websites.
Bitdefender Photon™: This innovative technology adapts your system’s hardware and software configuration to save computing resources and improve performance and speed.
Global Protective Network: The most heavy scanning takes place in the cloud, so your system performance and speed are not compromised. Bitdefender does not scan the actual contents of your files, and it never uploads or stores them in the cloud and your files are completely private.
Real-Time Data Protection: Get complete real-time data protection against all e-threats, from viruses, worms, and Trojans, to ransomware, spyware, rootkits, zero-day exploits, and other online threats.
So these are the common features both plans include, we’ll now discover all the features a Bitdefender paid plan offers that the Free Edition one does not.
Bitdefender Free vs Paid – Paid Plan Features
All Bitdefender’s paid version features can be divided into 3 categories:
Let’s cover the protection features first.
Protection For All Major O. S.: The full-featured paid version of Bitdefender provides complete protection for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
Antispam: It is designed to work with mail programs to filter irrelevant messages in your mail and protect you against attacks and threats via email. It uses cloud protection to scan suspicious email attachments and block them.
Multi-Layer Ransomware Protection: It protects you against all kinds of ransomware attacks to keep your important files such as documents, pictures, videos, and music safe from encryption.
Network Threat Prevention: Identify and stop malware attacks before they even begin. Bitdefender’s new cyber threat intelligence technologies can identify and analyze suspicious network-level activities and block sophisticated exploits, brute force attacks, malware- and botnet-related URLs.
Rescue Environment: This scanning option allows you to scan and remove stubborn threats that cannot be removed while the windows operating system is running. Advanced malware, such as rootkits, are designed to hide their presence while the operating system is running so they can only be removed before Windows starts.
Please note, this feature is available only for Windows 10 and you must restart your device in order to boot in the Rescue Environment
Vulnerability Scanner: Scan your system apps, and network with just one click for outdated system settings and software that need to be updated. The security can check for missing Windows security patches, security holes, essential updates, Wi-Fi networks and inform you on the best course of action.
Autopilot: This feature is designed to act as a Security Advisor and to give you deeper insights into your security posture. It automatically gives you on-screen recommendations about security actions you can use in the context of your system needs and usage patterns.
One-Click Optimizer: Identify and remove junk and unnecessary files. You can run a disk, registry, and privacy scan and do the necessary cleanup to improve the speed and performance of your device.
Profiles: Activate the right profile based on your activity or running applications. These profiles are Game, Movie, Battery, Public WIFI, and Work which you can configure accordingly and let Bitdefender know when to use the system heavily or release the required resources.
For example, if you are gaming, Bitdefender will detect the load and switch to the game mode that will adjust visual settings, temporarily halt pop-ups, and even pause unimportant background processes.
Anti-Tracker: It’s an extension by Bitdefender is a browser extension that will help you increase your online privacy by blocking web trackers from collecting your data. Also, it speeds up the loading time of the websites you visit.
Anti-Theft: Locate and lock your lost or stolen device. Also, you can wipe or lock your device from Bitdefender Central.
File Shredder: Permanently deletes selected files or folders and all their traces from your hard drive.
Microphone Monitor: Helps you regain control over your own devices. It lets you know what apps or services have access to your device’s microphone and when to protect cyber attacks that might record your activity.
Password Manager: Let’s you create a wallet to secure your passwords, credit card information, and other sensitive information into your personal wallet for easy access whenever it’s needed. Besides wallet, it gives you the option to autofill online forms and can even recommend secure passwords.
Parental Controls: It is probably the most important for parents because it allows them to check and monitor the activity and locations of their children across devices via your Bitdefender Central.
You can keep tabs on them, limit their screen time, block websites and apps, schedule restrictions, and safeguard them from inappropriate online content. Moreover, you will get reports if your kids try to access the restricted services.
Privacy Firewall: Adds a powerful layer of network protection that ensures no unauthorized incoming or outgoing internet traffic and your personal information stays safe from malicious actors. The firewall also shields you from network port scans, and you can also tweak various settings.
Safepay: My personal favorite feature is the Bitdefender’s Safepay functionality which provides you a separate secure browser to keep your online banking, e-shopping, and any other type of online transaction secure and private.
Social Network Protection: It protects you from malicious links and any online threats your friends unwittingly pass on to you via social networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc.
VPN (200 MB): Bitdefender also offers a VPN that protects you against prying eyes and keeps your online traffic secure by encrypting your online traffic and tunneling it through a secure server. The server assigns you a virtual IP address that replaces your actual IP address.
However, this VPN offers 200 MB of bandwidth per day per device. This is not enough for daily internet surfing and usage. For unlimited VPN bandwidth, you will need to upgrade to the Premium VPN tier.
Webcam Protection: It safeguards your privacy by preventing webcam leaks. This feature notifies you when applications attempt to access your device’s webcam and allows you to block illegal access instantly.
Wi-Fi Security Advisor: It checks the security status of your Wi-Fi connection and lets you know how secure a wireless network is to safeguard you against the perils of unsecured or unencrypted public Wi-Fi’s.
At this point, I have described everything Bitdefender Free and Paid have to offer. A full, premium version of Bitdefender Antivirus has way, way more features than the free plan.
But the question is, should you upgrade to Bitdefender’s paid version? Let’s have a discussion.
Should You Upgrade To Bitdefender Paid Version?
There is no one size fits answer to this question, as it always depends on the type of user you are and your individual needs.
However, Bitdefender is worth upgrading if you need complete protection from all types of viruses, malware, cyber threats, online privacy, personal information, and encryption while surfing the internet without compromising your device speed.
I would say upgrading to Bitdefender’s paid version totally depends on you and it’s not hard to find out if it’s worth paying for the paid version.
Just ask yourself this question: Do I need access to most of the features included in the paid plan of Bitdefender?
If you answered yes to your question, you should definitely upgrade to Bitdefender’s paid version and if you answered no, then you should stick with the free version.
It’s that simple!
Bitdefender offers different subscription plans for its antivirus. It offers 4 plans:
|Product||Regular Price||Devices||Save up to 75% OFF|
|Bitdefender Antivirus Plus||$29.99 per year||3||Click here|
|Bitdefender Internet Security||$34.99 per year||3||Click here|
|Bitdefender Total Security||$39.98 per year||5||Click here|
|Bitdefender Family Pack||$49.99 per year||15||Click here|
Bitdefender Total Security is my recommended plan if you’re going with the paid version of Bitdefender as it offers great value for the money, thanks to its excellent feature set and pricing.
It’s also the most popular and best seller suite because of its compatibility with all the major operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. You can protect up to 5 devices with just a single license of this suite.
However, Family Pack subscription is a great option for you if you’re looking for one security suite for your entire family no matter which major operating system your family member is using.
Please note, the other two plans (Antivirus Plus and Internet Security) are only compatible with Windows platforms.
Also, keep in mind that the features vary depending on the pricing plan you choose. To learn more, click here to compare Bitdefender’s plans.
Overall, you don’t have to worry when choosing any plan because there is a 30-day money-back guarantee offered by Bitdefender for each plan if you are not completely satisfied with your purchase.
Let’s review the user interface of Bitdefender’s free and paid edition, starting with the Free Edition first.
Bitdefender Free Edition Interface
Bitdefender Free Edition’s interface is simple and completely automatic for the most part. It has a minimalist type of design for someone who’s non-techy and just needs a quick little antivirus on their computer.
When you open the program, it shows you whether your device is protected or at risk. Under that, there’s a System Scan option and below that, you can drag and drop files or folders to start scanning.
At the top right side, there’s a gear icon that includes Events, Quarantine, Exclusions, Protection, Account Info, Help and Support.
Overall, there’s not a whole lot to it in the Free Edition.
Bitdefender Paid Edition Interface
Bitdefender has a user-friendly intuitive interface. The main window has two major panels. The left one for major modules, while the right one expands on the modules’ features and functionalities.
The modules include Dashboard, Protection, Privacy, Utilities, Notifications, and Settings.
The Dashboard presents various scans, the VPN, and the SafePay feature. It also gives you recommendations and subscription status. You can also customize it.
The Protection, Privacy, and Utility modules open up to the related features. Here’s a quick overview of Bitdefender’s paid version interface:
Overall, Bitdefender’s paid version interface is clean-looking and easy to use — even with the vast number of features and functionalities in the paid version.
So which one should you get? Bitdefender free or the paid version? The answer to this question varies depending on your specific needs and what you value the most.
To sum up this comparison of Bitdefender free vs paid version, here’s my final recommendation for you.
Bitdefender Free Antivirus is the right option for you if you’re running Windows PCs and looking more of a set it and forget it kind of antivirus with basic protection against malware, common viruses, malicious, and fraudulent websites since it do not have an extensive list of features and customization options.
In contrast, Bitdefender Paid Antivirus is the right choice for you if you want complete protection against all kinds of malware, viruses, e-threats, and secure your online privacy, and personal information such as credit card and bank details without compromising your device’s performance.
The paid version of Bitdefender is an award winning top-tier antivirus product with an excellent array of features and it’s compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS which means you get a fully-fledged antivirus security suite in Windows, Android, and a stripped-down version on Macs.
Its impeccable protection is unbeatable, and it doesn’t get in your way during your daily activities.
Apart from that, its premium plans are more affordable than most other premium antiviruses and its subscriptions offer you a better value for your money especially for Windows users.
However, one of the biggest drawbacks of the Bitdefender paid antivirus is that you get fewer features for Mac in comparison with Windows and the iOS users only get some web protection and privacy features.
So that’s the end of our in-depth comparison of the Bitdefender free vs paid version. I hope you enjoyed this guide.
Do share your feedback in the comments section down below and let me know which version you’re going to choose and why.