Skip to main content

Bitdefender 2021 Antivirus review

Outstanding quality and professional features scattered across a range of BitDefender 2021 Antivirus products to everyone’s needs

Bitdefender 2021 Antivirus
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

Bitdefender 2021 offers a range of high-quality, user-friendly, and feature-rich solutions for everyone’s budget and requirements.


  • Overflowing with features
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Efficient URL filtering and malware protection
  • Capable ransomware defences


  • Might be a bit demanding on the resources
  • Some minor hiccups in ransomware removal

Bitdefender 2021 (opens in new tab) is the range of products coming to us from a Romanian cyber-security company with longtime experience in this industry and a reputation for powerful and efficient antivirus software. This range consists of Antivirus Free Edition, Antivirus Plus, Internet Security, and Total Security. 

Each of them offers quality protection against malware and advanced features that vary depending on the package you choose. All the products can be fully tested before making a definite commitment thanks to a 30-day free trial, and you won’t even need to leave your credit card information.

Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition 2021 

Bitdefender’s basic consumer product, Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition (opens in new tab), provides essential security that includes efficient antivirus protection and blocking of dangerous websites. 

It won’t give you the advanced multi-level ransomware protection or fancy features like a password manager, secure browser, Wi-Fi scanner, or VPN that other Bitdefender’s products include. However, considering it’s free and simple, you’d still be getting a real antivirus you will be able to use for a long time.

(Image credit: Future)

Bitdefender Antivirus Free can be downloaded on Windows, Mac, and Android platforms. To run it, you only need to enter your email address to create a Bitdefender account, set up the app, and you’re good to go. Although it’s very simple and user-friendly, the app may require some time to scan your device, especially considering there’s no Quick Scan option to check for the most likely infection areas in only a couple of minutes or less. 

(Image credit: Future)

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2021

The commercial range begins with Bitdefender Antivirus Plus (opens in new tab), which extends the core functionality with a password manager, Safepay secure browser for online banking and other transactions, the next-level ransomware protection, Wi-Fi network scanning, vulnerability scanner, and secure file erasing. It also includes the free version of Bitdefender VPN that allows up to 200MB of daily traffic. 

(Image credit: Future)

Users can choose between the slower, full System Scan, the Quick Scan that checks only the most common infection points in 30 seconds, and other, customizable scan options. The File Explorer integration allows you to trigger file scans from the right-click menu. On top of that, you get a bootable rescue environment which helps clear away even the most persistent of malware. Different scans can be run simultaneously. The scans can be customized through the Manage Scans tool.

(Image credit: Future)

Installing the Antivirus Plus on your device will automatically add Bitdefender’s Anti-Tracker extension to Google Chrome and Firefox, and it also works on Safari and Internet Explorer. Firefox and Internet Explorer will also get the Wallet extension (password manager). Chrome users will be asked whether or not they want to install it on their preferred browser. That said, the program also installs a bunch of other background processes, services, drivers, and so on, that might drain the resources and impact performance. 

A one-year license for Antivirus Plus on three devices will cost you $23.99 for the first term, renewing at $59.99.

Bitdefender Internet Security 2021 

Bitdefender Internet Security (opens in new tab) is the product that, in addition to all the features from the Antivirus Plus, comes equipped with a set of parental controls, intelligent firewall, spam filter, webcam hijacking protection that allows you to control apps’ access to your web camera, and microphone usage monitoring to check which apps are using your mic at the moment and to stop those doing so without authorization. If you have enough expertise, the firewall can be tinkered with in detail - setting the rules for ports, protocols, IP addresses, and so on. 

(Image credit: Future)

Bitdefender’s handy parental controls offer such options like limiting your kids’ screen time on desktop and mobile, restricting specific apps’ use, as well as monitoring and blocking calls and messages. Users who want more can upgrade to Bitdefender Parental Control Premium for features like detecting cyberbullying and grooming, or requests for phone numbers and addresses.

(Image credit: Future)

The price of its one-year three-device license is $31.99 for the first year, increasing to $79.99 when renewed.

Bitdefender Total Security 2021 

The ultimate, Bitdefender Total Security (opens in new tab) takes all the advantages from Antivirus Plus and Internet Security and combines them with device optimization options and apps for Mac, Android, and iOS platforms, in addition to Windows that is already featured in the other packages.

(Image credit: Future)

These apps have perks of their own, such as the Mac app deploying superior anti-phishing measures and Time Machine protection aiming to protect your backups from ransomware. Mac users will also get a limited version of Bitdefender VPN.

Downloading Bitdefender Mobile Security for iOS will get you capable malicious URL filtering, while the Android app takes it a step further from the Mac and iOS versions. It offers such advantages like an app locker to protect your sensitive information, scanning of dangerous apps upon installation, as well as anti-theft tools that include locating, locking, and erasing of your stolen device remotely.

(Image credit: Future)

Total Security also throws in some basic clean-up and optimization tools which allow you to modify individual apps’ booting behavior (enable/disable/delay). On top of that, it can cover up to five devices, under the one-year license which costs $35.99 for the first-time buyers, rising to $89.99 upon renewal. 

Final verdict 

Bitdefender 2021 has products for various budgets and security requirements. Whichever you opt for, you won’t end up disappointed. The Free Edition will give you basic but capable functionality forever, no strings attached, while the Antivirus Plus will expand it with several useful features and more efficient ransomware detection. 

The Internet Security will build upon the Antivirus Plus with such tools like smart firewall, spam filter, webcam/microphone protection, and parental controls, while the top-of-the-range Total Security will provide the most comprehensive antivirus protection there is - with an emphasis on powerful blocking malicious websites. It does take some toll on the resources but it might be expected from such a powerful platform.

The Verdict

out of 5

Bitdefender 2021 Antivirus review

Bitdefender 2021 offers a range of high-quality, user-friendly, and feature-rich solutions for everyone’s budget and requirements.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.