Even before the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft had its hands on a functional, easy to use and minimalistic anti-virus solution. Microsoft Security Essentials was actually a result of such an effort, which was called as Windows Defender, starting from Windows 8. Currently, Windows Defender is the in-built antivirus and security solution in every device that is shipped with Windows 8 and later versions.
It is surely a matter of debate whether Windows Defender is powerful to protect your Windows PC from threats. The discussion gets intense when we take into account third-party security and antivirus products like Bitdefender. These third-party solutions offer state-of-the-art security along with practically-useful features at the same time. So, there’s no complaint about the confusion.
In this article, however, we shall have an overall comparison between Windows Defender vs Bitdefender. Here, we’d see what both the security products have to offer in terms of security, usability and performance. After the Windows Defender vs Bitdefender comparison, you would understand which security suite you should have in your PC.
About Windows Defender and Bitdefender
As we said, Windows Defender was known as Microsoft Security Essentials before. It was launched as a minimalistic, effective yet simple security solution that was available for free. For sure, many Windows enthusiasts and advanced users started using MSE, which consumed minimum amount of resources as well. If you are still using Windows 7 PC, you can download and install Microsoft Security Essentials, by the way. Starting from Windows 8, however, MSE was renamed as Windows Defender and integrated to the core of Operating System. When you purchase a Windows PC with 8 or later versions, you will have Windows Defender there to protect you against threats. The tool has received both positive and negative comments from users and critics alike.
As opposed to the former, Bitdefender is a third-party security software developer, based in Romania. The company has been in the industry since 2001, which is quite an impressive amount of experience. All these while, Bitdefender has been noted for the state-of-the-art protection algorithms and richness of features. Bitdefender products can be used in both personal and professional environments, and it has an additional section for enterprise security too. As of now, more than 500 million devices are equipped with Bitdefender Security Products. It also has some super-cool products such as Bitdefender BOX, which is for the security of Internet of Things. In case of Windows, however, it has been a strong recommendation by users and experts.
Pricing Structures of Windows Defender and Bitdefender
There is nothing to be talked about the pricing structure of Windows Defender. As we said, it’s an in-built antivirus of Windows 8 and later versions. When you install Windows 8 or 10 in a PC, Windows Defender will be there by default. You don’t have to pay anything for the antivirus suite. Nor do you have to spend time in configuration and all. Right from the moment you boot up your Windows PC, Windows Defender should be active — at least until you install one third-party antivirus like Bitdefender.
In the case of Bitdefender, however, we need to have a deeper look at the plans and pricing. As we said earlier, it is a third-party, premium and standalone antivirus suite. You don’t get it free, but need to pay a reasonable amount that would bring best-in-class protection. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, Internet Security and Total Security are those major three plans of Bitdefender Security for Windows PC. The basic plan, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, is available for $34.95 per year while the second plan, Bitdefender Internet Security, needs you to pay $44.95 every year. Bitdefender Total Security, the ultimate package in the trio, is priced at $49.95, with a bunch of cool features too. Actually, there isn’t a big difference between pricing of these packages, although features do vary. And, regardless the package you go for, Bitdefender will have an awesome promotional discount coupon for you.
The Performance Factor
It’s a matter of fact that Windows Defender will have an upper hand when it comes to performance. Chances are lot more high that it enjoys the perks of being integrated to OS. And, Microsoft will have optimized Windows Defender to bring the best scanning speed and algorithms together. So, having Windows Defender in your PC won’t affect the speed of your computer. Nor will it be consuming that much resource for running. Practically speaking, you won’t be sensing the presence of an antivirus suite if it’s just about Windows Defender. Despite all these custom notions, AV-Test results say another fact. Windows Defender won’t be consuming much resource, but the performance isn’t the best. Actually, it’s in the last position.
According to the AV-Test results, Bitdefender Security is one of the top products listed there. The main reason for its top position is the optimal performance and minimal resource consumption. Unlike most of the third-party antivirus suites out there, Bitdefender has a clean-to-use interface and a really small footprint. You can’t really find extra use of resources if you are using Bitdefender for protection. And, the scanning and analysis are pretty much faster than a bunch of so-called antivirus suites. So, even without the OS-level integration and optimization, Bitdefender does the job very well as in terms of scanning.
Protection against Threats
This is where the real concern of security-conscious people comes! According to the tests conducted by AV-Test, the protection level of Windows Defender is way too lower than that of Bitdefender. For instance, we can take the case of zero-day threats. Windows Defender was able to clear only 88% of zero-day threats which is pretty lower than the industry average. On comparison, Bitdefender got a zero-day threat score of 100%. So, if you want to have the best protection from newly-risen threats, you should ditch Windows Defender and go for Bitdefender Security. It seems that the Cloud Scanning technique of Windows Defender does not make a difference for the user-community. And, guess what, the protection standards of Bitdefender is going higher each month.
Bitdefender vs Windows Defender — Availability of Features
Once again, Windows Defender fails to satisfy user-community. Windows Defender does not have many features to boast about, especially when compared to third-party security suites. Apart from the OS-level integration and cloud scanning options, Windows Defender cannot do anything further. For instance, there are no options for storing your passwords or protecting the financial transactions. And, even the browser support is limited to Microsoft Edge or IE. In short, the feature-richness of Windows Defender is unsatisfactory.
On contrary to this, Bitdefender is perhaps the most feature-rich Antivirus Suite in the industry. With the help of cool technologies like Bitdefender GPN, Autopilot and Bitdefender Photon, it has managed to stuff in really-useful set of features. For instance, in all the plans, you get options of Anti-spam, Web filtering and anti-ransomware. Today, it’s necessary to have protection from ransomware threats. Additional features include USB Immunizer, Password Manager and Bitdefender Safepay, which is a dedicated browser for secure transactions. As we go to the advanced packages like Total Security, file shredding and parental advisor are also included.
The Final Word on Bitdefender vs Windows Defender
Windows Defender may be a satisfactory antivirus for basic user. However, when you need better protection from a set of not-so-common threats, Windows Defender fails pathetically. For instance, it wasn’t able to deal with most of zero-day threats. Nor does it offer protection from spam or web-based threats. On the contrary, Bitdefender is just the best option for performance and user-friendliness. And, thanks to the Bitdefender coupons, it’s possible to have Bitdefender products at a really reasonable rate, we bet. Moreover, even when Bitdefender is running on your PC, you won’t feel such huge resource consumption or anything. You can simply do what you wanted to do, with best-in-class safety. In case if you don’t know how to remove Windows Defender, you can check out our article.
Marilyn Pickett says
I have, at this time, Bitdefender Free. Since this cuts off Windows Defender, I would guess that much of my PC is not covered. I think it is actually less covered than with Windows Defense. Is that correct?
SM Gray says
I switched as windows defender started consuming high cpu cycles and bitdefender does not. Bitdefender free also has anti-phishing alerts that windows defender does not.
brian goodman says
who ever made this article should update it, windows defender is rated a top product by av test, it has good scores for zero day viruses and everything, BTW McAfee , Kaspersky and Avira all have better scores then bit defender
Frank Abernathy says
Kaspersky is based in Moscow and founder is a former KGB agent! In Russia when Putin says jump you ask how high. How safe is that?
I have been using bitdefender for the past 5 years without any issues. Bitdefender does it for me.