Bitdefender and Kaspersky are at the top of the list of powerful antivirus agents worldwide. Each agent offers a wide range of features, incredibly easy installation processes and friendly interfaces to use. The closeness in the range of services between these two agents can make it difficult to choose only one of them as third-party antivirus software.
Our Bitdefender vs Kaspersky battle will put each competitor through a series of testing categories to bring you the best antivirus agent to install. We examine their features, installation process, user interface and protection against malware, among more categories.
What is Bitdefender? What services does it offer you?
Bitdefender Antivirus is one of the products by the Romanian cybersecurity solutions firm, Bitdefender, which started in 2001. The firm includes security solutions for families and businesses, in addition to individual solutions. These individual solutions will provide you with a powerful wall to shield your data from malware, an unlimited VPN, parental controls, anti-theft protection, ransomware protection and anti-loss protection, which enables you to access and find your device wherever it is.
What is Kaspersky? What services does it offer you?
Kaspersky has been at the front row of cybersecurity solutions for years, offering hardcore protection against old and emerging malware. Its services include the Antivirus, the Internet Security package and a Complete Security one. Since it’s compatible with all operating systems, for both desktops and smartphones, the software is hard to compete against in the antivirus software market. Among the services it offers you are effective real-time malware protection, ransomware protection, antispam, a firewall, a VPN, a privacy cleaner and meticulously crafted protection for kids.
Bitdefender vs Kaspersky: Which Antivirus Wins the Battle of the Best Software
Through this comparison, we found these two antivirus agents are more similar than different, especially in the features they offer. However, each agent has a different approach to protection, which differentiate them from one another.
The free versions of our competitors offer a fair level of protection against viruses and malware. With each paid plan of each software, the scale of features rises, and you get more value for money. But which software offers the best features?
Bitdefender offers its subscribers full protection against malware; even if the device is severely infected, you can use the Rescue Environment to scan and boot your system if needed. These features come hand in hand with antivirus software, Wi-Fi protection, protection against ransomware, a firewall, webcam protection, a secure VPN, a file shredder, an anti-tracker, a password manager, anti-theft tools and parental controls. The software uses its Advanced Threat Defenses to monitor and eradicate malware. One additional feature is the Profiles feature, which allows you to adjust the software’s usage and notifications according to the task you’re performing so it would cease sending popup notifications that might interrupt you.
Like its counterpart, Kaspersky offers its users great real-time protection against malware with its powerful Security Cloud. Additionally, you get the antivirus, protection against malware, a firewall, webcam protection, safe browsing and Wi-Fi protection. Kaspersky offers more features that are similar to its contenders, such as a secure VPN, an anti-tracker, a file shredder and a password manager. It also offers a privacy cleaner, which allows you to delete all your private data from any device you use and prevent the next person from exploiting it.
Our contenders offer compelling features, which is why we call this round a tie and let you decide which features you prefer.
The installation process of both competitors is fairly similar, with each of them creating a safety rescue plan for your device during installation.
When you choose your preferred paid plan online, proceed to check out and pay for your product, you will be directed to a link to download the installation file. When you run the file, it will ask you for a few customisations before proceeding, and installation will take a maximum of 6 minutes to finish. During checkout, Bitdefender will sign you up for automatic renewal, which you can deactivate after installation is complete. This antivirus will create its Rescue Environment partition on Drive C, which will help you reboot the system if traditional scans don’t rid your system of stubborn malware.
Kaspersky’s installation process doesn’t differ much from that of its competitor. The process will finish in a few minutes and automatically signs you up for renewal, which you can also deactivate after installation. Kaspersky’s emergency restorative plan is creating a Rescue Disk, which you can even download on a portable device to boot from later.
We call this round a tie since choosing a winner depends on personal preference.
Following the installation process, each software will display its home interface, which will display the protection status of your computer and offer possible tasks for you to get started.
Bitdefender’s interface comes in white and two shades of blue, with the traditional green check that signifies the safety of your device. You have a left-hand menu with common lists, such as Dashboard and Protection, in addition to Notifications and Settings. Atop that menu is the safety green check, and in the middle of the interface is a list of common tasks to perform, such as a System Scan or a Quick Scan or use the VPN.
Kaspersky’s interface developed incredibly over the years. The green and white interface shows a green computer on the left-hand side which indicates that your system is protected. The software’s most common task suggestions, such as running a Full scan, using the Password Manager or Database Update, are in the middle of the interface.
Since the interface of each software is easy to use and would depend on your personal preference, this round is a tie.
Bitdefender and Kaspersky offer near-perfect protection against malware, and the paid plans offer real-time protection and scanning, making it difficult for malicious factors to infect your device.
Bitdefender Shield is this antivirus software’s AI technology used to sharpen its Zero-day Malware protection. This technology monitors and scans the system logs constantly for suspicious behaviour and will flag any possible threats. Real-time protection here depends on the Global Website Reputation Database to determine whether the link is malicious or not. In the Av-Test independent tests, Bitdefender scored a 100% malware detection rate and registered one false-positive malware, a file mistaken to be malicious. In the Av-Comparatives test, it scored a 99.7% malware detection rate and four false-positives malware files.
Like its counterpart, Kaspersky uses AI technology, under the name System Watcher for its Zero-day Malware detection. It also utilises a different global database to identify malicious links. Kaspersky scored high results in the Av-Test and Av-Comparatives independent lab tests, with a 100% malware detection rate and zero false positives in the former and 99.2% malware detection rate and zero false positives in the latter as well.
For performing slightly better, Kaspersky wins this round.
Impact on System Performance
Our contenders are famous for being lightweight antivirus agents; however, that doesn’t mean they consume fewer system resources, which is why we put them to the test to find out which has the least impact on system performance.
During a Full system scan, Bitdefender utilised 66% of CPU resources and 38% of Memory resources, which can slow your device down. While some users argue Bitdefender would take a large toll on older devices, the software’s near-perfect detection rate makes up for its heavy use of system resources.
During a Full system scan, Kaspersky utilised 32% of the CPU resources, which is nearly half the amount of its competitor and 16% of your Memory resources. During the three-hour scanning time, it scanned over 2 million files. The Quick scan will utilise 71% of CPU resources and will take nearly 5 minutes.
Scanning options allow you to perform different tasks and save time with their real-time and background scanning features. Both contenders offer multiple scanning options that serve multiple purposes.
In addition to its real-time protection and constant scanning for malware, Bitdefender offers a Full scan, a Quick scan, a Vulnerability scan and a Custom scan. The software’s Custom scan can be scheduled to run regularly and to scan specific folders which you specify when you’re setting the scan up. You can also schedule a Full or Quick scan to run later. With a malware detection rate of 99.51%, it runs a bit behind its competitor.
Besides the traditional Full, Custom and Quick scans, Kaspersky offers Instant File scans, Application Vulnerability scans, Removable Devices Scans and Background scans. Several of these scans are irreplaceable, such as the Application Vulnerability scans, which search for common application vulnerabilities that malware can exploit. With a malware detection rate of 99.96%, Kaspersky provides your device with impeccable protection.
We expected Bitdefender to have more scanning options, which is why Kaspersky won this category.
Since both our antivirus software offer decent free versions, which will help you get rid of malware as a start, we are comparing their paid plans to find out which offers the best value for money.
Bitdefender offers paid plans for Homes, Businesses and Partners. Its Home plans are the All-in-One Plans which include two sub-plans. These two plans are the Ultimate Security plan at $89.99 for the first year and the Premium Security plan at $49.99 for the first year. The difference between the two plans is the latter doesn’t offer protection against Identity Theft. The software also offers you several cybersecurity solutions to choose from, each at its own price.
Kaspersky’s paid plans include three plans, the Standard Plan for $32.99 a year, the Plus Plan for $39.99 a year and the Premium Plan + Kaspersky Safe Kids for $40.99 a year. The Plus Plan offers a secure VPN and a Data Leak Checker while the Premium Plan offers you the Kaspersky Safe Kids tools for free for the first year, in addition to Identity Protection and Expert Virus Check and Removal. It’s worth noting that Kaspersky offers you a free trial of all its packages, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Kaspersky wins for the diversity of its added features with each plan.
Compatible Operating Systems
Bitdefender and Kaspersky are compatible with major operating systems for both desktops and smartphones. But which of them supports more versions?
This antivirus software will work on major desktop operating systems, Windows and macOS. It supports Windows 7 and later versions, while it supports macOS 10.10 and later versions. The software is compatible with Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari. For smartphone operating systems, it supports Android 5.0 and later versions and iOS 12 and later versions.
Like its contender, Kaspersky supports Windows and macOS, with Windows 7 and macOS 10.12 being the oldest compatible versions. Compatible browsers include Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and even its older version, Internet Explorer. Compatible Android versions begin with version 4.2, while support for iOS devices is fairly recent, and you will have to have version 14.0 or later.
Bitdefender wins because it supports a majority of older versions.
Both contenders provide the same customer support ways, which bids the question of which software wins in the extent, availability and efficiency of their offered customer support.
Bitdefender offers four customer support venues; e-mail, live chat, phone help and a massive knowledge base. Two of the software’s merits are its Expert Community, which includes some of the most complex and common issues you might run into when using the software. The second one is the availability of many of Bitdefender’s FAQs on Google, which makes it easy for you to find an answer to your issue, as you wait to hear from customer support.
Kaspersky offers the same customer support venues as its contender; e-mail, live chat, phone help and an online knowledge base. The knowledge base includes an interesting addition, besides the forums and FAQs, Kaspersky’s social media platforms, if you prefer to use them over any of the other venues. Since Kaspersky offers only paid plans, these customer support venues are reserved for premium users.
We believe each contender excelled in its quest to provide their customers with the best possible support venues; that’s why they stand on the same step here.
Now, let’s summarise our battle:
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Even though Kaspersky won this battle, Bitdefender remains a powerful and effective antivirus software. Whichever antivirus agent you decide you, your data will be fully protected.