Bitdefender has entered the free antivirus race by introducing Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition. Bitdefender had a free virus scanner previously but it was not real time. It only scanned for viruses on demand. It seems that now Bitdefender wants to compete free antivirus champions like Avast, Avira and AVG.
I was surprised by the size of the Bitdefender free antivirus setup file. Even the offline installer is less than 10 MB. The definition updates are not included in the initial setup and will be downloaded once the application is installed. Bitdefender free edition comes with an absolutely zero configuration installation. You just have to run the installation and after some moments, the antivirus will start running on your computer.
After downloading the installer setup (download links at the end of the article), run the installer and it will ask to accept the end user software license agreement.
On the next screen, it will give you two options, one the choice of installation location and two whether you want to run an initial scan or not. This will be a quick scan without compromising the performance of the system. You can choose not to scan by unchecking “Perform an initial system quickscan”.
After the installation process, you will see the Bitdefender free antivirus window above the system tray.
You may notice that there are only two options available at the time. Bitdefender has cleverly taken the dashboard online. Now you will need to login to your account for all the configuration options. To sign in or sign up for My Bitdefender membership, just click on the Login button.
Bitdefender only allows 30 days to use the product without registering. Registration is free and recommended.
After the signup process, you will need to click the link sent to your email address. After this, you can go to my.bitdefender.com and login with your credentials. You will be greeted with a dashboard with different options that you can enable for the Bitdefender installation on your computer. You will also see your computer name listed on the dashboard.
You will have the following features that you can enable for your computer:
You can activate any of the option by clicking on the icon.
For Safebox, Anti-theft and Parental Control, you will need to download and install separate setups which will be provided once you click on the appropriate icon.
Overall Bitdefender free antivirus seems to be very light on resources. I have been running it for a few hours with heavy work but haven’t seen any noticeable change in system performance. One strange thing is that when I am running the application on Windows 8, it does not ask to disable Windows Defender which is Windows 8 default antivirus. Running two antivirus at the same time may reduce system performance to some level.