A wide array of antivirus agents compete in cybersecurity to gain consumers’ trust. These protection agents must be powerful and thorough and offer reasonable value for money and customer support to lure customers in. Two of these agents are Bitdefender and ESET, and if you were pondering which one to get, we will help you in this regard.
This Bitdefender vs ESET battle will compare each antivirus’s features, protection level, user-friendliness, scanning options, value for money, and possible customer support methods.
What is Bitdefender Antivirus?
Bitdefender Antivirus is a popular software program that protects your computer and data from a variety of online threats like viruses, ransomware, spyware, and phishing attacks. Bitdefender offers powerful protection against cyber threats through its advanced technology, which detects and blocks the most sophisticated malware.
This powerful antivirus agent uses multiple layers of protection, such as a firewall, real-time scanning, behaviour monitoring and analysis and website filtering to catch malicious actors online. Bitdefender’s arsenal of protection measures includes a password manager, a secure browser and a file shredder to keep your data safe and private.
What is ESET Antivirus?
ESET Antivirus is another well-respected player in the antivirus game, offering a different approach to online security than Bitdefender. ESET’s strategy focuses on core protection; it prioritises reliable, baseline protection against malware and other malicious actors. Additionally, ESET consistently scores high in independent tests, such as the Av-Tests and Av-Comparatives, which test malware detection and protection. These scores prove the software’s effectiveness against real-world threats.
Some of ESET’s additional features include essential extras such as a clean interface, a password manager, anti-theft tools and web filtering. You can get the additional protective layer of a firewall when you buy one of ESET’s premium packages.
Bitdefender vs ESET: Which Antivirus Software Offers Better Protection in 2023?
Malware protection represents the main aspect to look for when choosing antivirus software. There are numerous other aspects to consider when searching for your protection agent. Let’s compare Bitdefender and ESET in several categories, such as ransomware and malware protection, scanning, firewalls, ease of use, parental controls and customer support.
Bitdefender and ESET Features
Besides malware protection, antivirus agents need a wide array of features to achieve maximum cybersecurity protection. We compare Bitdefender’s features against ESET’s.
Beyond basic antivirus protection, Bitdefender offers its users the option to secure their sensitive files using strong encryption to prevent unauthorised access. It also protects users on social media platforms by shielding them from malicious links and phishing attempts while browsing. Additionally, Bitdefender gives you a password manager, a firewall and a file shredder to ensure your data never falls into the wrong hands.
Bitdefender has a built-in VPN to allow its users to enjoy private and secure browsing. However, the data allowed through the VPN depends on your premium package. You needn’t worry about your kids’ time online, as Bitdefender gives you customisation options to limit their screen time, monitor their online activities and filter websites to keep them safe.
ESET takes a more focused and minimalist approach, prioritising core protection features and offering additional functionality in its higher tiers. Besides real-time protection, these features include a password manager to store your passwords securely and access them easily across your devices. ESET uses anti-theft tools to track lost or stolen devices and remotely lock or wipe their data.
You also get a firewall and web filtering features to ensure your safe online experience without prying eyes seeking to trace your financial information. Moreover, you can rest assured your privacy and webcam are protected. ESET ensures all your devices, with varying operating systems, are protected due to its compatibility with Windows, macOS and Android.
We call this a tie. If you prefer a comprehensive security suite, Bitdefender is right for you, but if you prefer a lean and efficient solution, you can resort to ESET.
Installation, User-Friendly Interface and Ease of Use
It’s nothing new that numerous powerful antivirus agents have repelled users due to their complex dashboards and difficulty to use. Which one is easier to use here, Bitdefender or ESET?
The download and installation process for Bitdefender is straightforward. You only need to watch out because the software automatically signs you up for automatic package renewal, which you can deactivate later. Bitdefender’s Rescue Environment will find a home on your main drive, Drive C, which facilitates system reboot if malicious factors are hard to remove.
Bitdefender continues its intuitive features from the installation process to its user interface. Common tasks lists will be on the left-hand side while the green security check dominates the screen centre. All these features come in an inviting design with white and blue colours.
ESET’s installation process is as speedy as Bitdefender’s, except you needn’t worry about automatic package renewal. Like Bitdefender, the main tasks, such as Scans, tools and setup, are on the left-hand side of the dashboard, while the security status sits at the centre of the screen.
There are more tasks in the bottom middle part of the screen, such as the password manager. Overall, ESET’s interface is uncluttered and straightforward, making it easy for both tech-savvy and non-technical users. Unlike Bitdefender’s resource-intensive nature, ESET is known for its minimal impact on system performance.
It’s difficult to choose a winner in this category. However, we chose ESET for its light and clean user interface.
ESET vs Bitdefender Protection Against Malware
Protection against malware is the main category users check when looking for a new antivirus agent. Both Bitdefender and ESET offer solid protection, which we will discuss further here.
Bitdefender uses advanced technology to analyse files, behaviour, and network activity to identify and block threats before they can harm your system. It deploys multi-layered defences, including dedicated anti-ransomware modules monitoring suspicious behaviour and blocking attempts to encrypt your files. The software uses its Zero-day Malware protection to monitor and dispose of malicious factors effectively.
Independent test results show us that Bitdefender’s protection against malware is top-tier. The software scored 100% and 99.7% in the Av-Test and the Av-Comparatives tests, respectively. However, the software flagged one false positive and four false positives in the Av-Test and Av-Comparatives tests.
ESET uses a different approach, focusing on essential detection techniques and analysing specific file characteristics to identify malware efficiently. This feature is called Host Intrusion Prevention System, or HIPS, and works with ESET’s Ransomware Shield to terminate possible threats. The software uses behaviour monitoring and application control to identify and block suspicious applications.
In independent lab tests, the Av-Tests, ESET achieved a near-perfect score of 99.9% malware detection score. In the Av-Comparatives tests, ESET achieved a score of 99.96%, which isn’t far from Bitdefender’s score.
We found that Bitdefender and ESET offer solid protection against malware and have similar scores in independent lab tests. So, we call this round another tie.
Impact on System Performance
Antivirus agents that offer the best protection against malware can be resource-draining agents. This dilemma defers many users to compromise security for performance. Which antivirus agent utilises less system resources in 2023?
Unfortunately, Bitdefender is known to be a resource-draining antivirus agent, especially on older devices. Although the software offers impeccable protection against malware, it will utilise nearly 66% and 38% of CPU and Memory resources, respectively. One thing to try to lower Bitdefender’s high resource usage is to exclude certain files or folders from scans. However, we advise against this step, as it could lead to leaving malicious factors unattended on your device. Many users install Bitdefender to benefit from its near-perfect protection.
On the other hand, ESET utilises a lightweight approach that lowers its impact on system performance, even on older or less powerful machines. During a full system scan, ESET utilised only 29% CPU resources but was a bit heavier on Memory resources with 84%. There was a barely noticeable slowdown during system processes, with a 2% slowdown only while copying files and 21% while browsing online.
Our contenders tie it off again. The winner here depends on your security preferences and your device’s system resources. If you prioritise protection over performance and have a powerful computer, Bitdefender is the best. ESET is more suitable if you have a less powerful machine and are looking for basic protection with a smooth experience.
The different types of scans allow you to run system operations smoothly and target specific files for continuous scanning.
Bitdefender offers numerous types of scans for different purposes. It offers a quick scan to check critical areas for immediate threats. A full scan will examine your entire system thoroughly to leave no stone unturned. Custom scans offer flexibility for targeted searches. Another integral Bitdefender scan is the Vulnerability Scan, which checks your system for possible application or security vulnerabilities. It’s worth noting that Bitdefender’s scans might take slightly longer due to its comprehensive approach.
There are three types of scans in the ESET dashboard. The full system scan, the custom scan and the Removable Device scans. You can schedule your scans to run at specific intervals to ensure proactive protection regularly. You can use the custom scan to check specific folders or drives to target potential threats in high-risk areas.
We choose Bitdefender as the winner for this category for the versatility of its scans.
ESET and Bitdefender Pricing in 2023
We compare the free and paid packages of Bitdefender and ESET to see which software offers the best value for money, making their users’ experiences worth it.
Bitdefender has a free version that offers basic protection against malware. It has three home-paid packages to choose from. The Antivirus Plus plan protects three Windows devices for a reduced price of $39.99 per year for the standard protection suite. The Internet Security plan also protects three Windows-running devices for a reduced price of $59.99 per year but adds Parental Controls and extensive privacy protection. For ultimate protection, you have the Total Security plan for $69.99 to protect five devices, including Windows, macOS, iOS and Android. You can choose to add a premium VPN for a reduced price of $39.99 a year to any package you choose.
Like Bitdefender, ESET offers separate packages for home use that differ from business use. You can start your package with the NOD32 Antivirus for $23.80 a year, followed by the HOME Security Essential for $33.35 a year. The HOME Security Premium package comes afterwards for $42.85 a year. These package prices cover only one device. You can choose up to ten devices, but the price will increase. The last package is the HOME Security Ultimate for $109.75 annually to protect from five to ten devices. These five packages are compatible with Windows and macOS.
There are two packages available for Android. The first is the Mobile Security package for $8.60 for one device for a year, and you can choose to protect up to ten devices. Parental Control for Android costs $17.15 for one device only per year.
The price to protect one device in both antivirus packages is fairly close. We call it a tie.
Compatible Operating Systems
In today’s multi-device world, you need an antivirus that can protect all your devices, no matter what their operating systems are. Having both Bitdefender and ESET supporting the main computer and smartphone operating systems offers convenience and consistency across your digital ecosystem.
While both offer core protection across all platforms, some features might be available only on certain operating systems. For example, Bitdefender’s parental controls might be limited on iOS compared to Android.
Bitdefender and ESET
Both Bitdefender and ESET offer broad compatibility with popular operating systems, meaning you can protect all your devices with one antivirus solution. They both offer protection for Windows operating systems version 11 and older ones and macOS, including macOS Monterey and earlier versions. The two antivirus agents offer protection for Android and iOS devices, although features may be slightly limited for iOS devices compared to Android ones.
This round is a clear tie!
The last comparison category is the customer service methods each antivirus agent offers its users to help them address any problems arising during their use of the products.
Bitdefender supports its customers by offering them various help methods. These methods include speaking directly to a trained representative for immediate assistance, sending a detailed enquiry and receiving personalised responses. You can use the software’s Live Chat to connect with a support agent in real-time for quick troubleshooting, and you can always use the software’s comprehensive knowledge base of articles, FAQs and tutorials for help.
ESET offers four support methods to its customers as well. You can benefit from the software’s online knowledge base and user guides to explore various helpful content, or you can benefit from their swift email support system, where users reported they received answers in less than a day. Live Chat is always available, with swift responses that might take only a few minutes.
Bitdefender has a slight edge in this category.
We conclude this interesting comparison by reminding you that while Bitdefender offers a wide array of protective measures, it can drain your system resources, so you must be prepared with a powerful device. ESET is right for you if you want a good deal regarding protection and prices without compromising on system performance.