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BitDefender Total Security 2008 Review

Security companies like to throw tough-sounding words around in order to make their product seem like it’s the best of the bunch. At first glance, BitDefender Total Security 2008 seems like it is just another product stuffed with words to make a quick sale. In reality, however, BitDefender manages to compete with top-rated suites such as Norton 360 or Windows Live OneCare.

“Secure your every bit”
With a statement like “Secure your every bit”, BitDefender has a lot to live up to. It accomplishes this through a complete suite of different types of security. An anti-virus, firewall, anti-spyware, spam protection, parental controls, and even a system restore feature are included in the suite.

Spyware Gets the Boot
BitDefender certainly has put a lot of effort into this package. They have won numerous awards in the removal of Trojans, spyware, and viruses. The spyware protection in particular has caught the eye of many consumers. The level of protection is so tough, that users can’t even delete potentially dangerous files. Instead, the user must use BitDefender to remove or quarantine them.

The spyware protection of BitDefender Total Security 2008 has been compared to solutions such as SpySweeper, a highly reputable program. BitDefender succeeds where SpySweeper has yet to, namely in the area of installation. If spyware is present on a machine while installing most security programs, it can interfere with the installation and stop it altogether. BitDefender has a pre-installation scanner that removes threats before the installation - now that is total security!

The Next Generation Firewall
BitDefender Total Security 2008 really excels with its firewall. The security has been beefed up to include features most firewalls today, sadly, don’t have. The new stealth port technology that most firewalls are starting to use is indeed supported. This will make your computer’s ports invisible to hackers. You have to see ports before you can attack them!

One of the more exciting features is the networking security. If you connect to an unsecure network, BitDefender will be sure to let you know. If you are on your own network, and a computer connects to it, it’ll tell you right away. This keeps away war drivers, who seek to steal internet or even wreak havoc on unprotected networks.

What good is a security suite that isn’t installed? No good at all! That is the same reason why many malicious programs simply seek to attack the security program first, and then wreak havoc. BitDefender Total Security shines through, with protection against deleting or ending vital processes or files.

Lastly, we have a treat for video game addicts. If you ever wanted to annoy a gamer in the middle of a game - simply spam him with alerts, update programs to consume bandwidth, and be sure to eat up all of the system’s resources with scans. Previous firewalls are famous for interrupting gamers while they just want to get a good round of gaming in - and BitDefender has come to the rescue. With the special Game Mode on; alerts are not displayed, updates are not initiated, and system resources are barely touched. You’ll still have protection, and of course a sense of peace that gamers should expect from a firewall.

Keeping the Kids in Line
Most children have easy access to the internet these days - and with that access, risk ensues. Children generally shouldn’t be able to look at harmful sites, and BitDefender has a parental control feature that makes sure they don’t. The real power of this program comes from the extra level of development. If you wish to impose time limits, that is completely possible. If you would like to restrict certain programs from running, that’s easy too. You may also implement different levels of security, and apply them to each individual child.

Parental controls certainly aren’t the subject of security concerns, but the included controls are more reason to buy BitDefender Total Security 2008 if you are looking for this feature.

Criticism of BitDefender Total Security 2008
We’ve had nothing but good things to say about BitDefender Total Security 2008. There are a few minor things that shouldn’t go unnoticed. First, the price is fairly hefty - expect to pay around $80 for this product. The fact that it is a little more expensive is alleviated by the fact that you can install it on 3 computers, and the subscription lasts for 2 years instead of just one.

If the price doesn’t necessarily do it for you, the configuration options might. Some users claim that the options just aren’t precise enough as they’d like them to be. Most options include a simple “on” or “off” state - which isn’t good for extra configuration. This is seen in the parental controls, in particular. If you’d like to create custom rules on what your kids can and cannot see, you’re out of luck. Instead you must use one of the created zones, and modify it to fit your needs as well as you can.

Closing Comments
BitDefender Total Security 2008 is a great package for users who need the next generation of protection. The price might shake a few people, and the lack of configuration may keep the more advanced users out. But for the mainstream user, this is a big benefit. You won’t have to go through multiple configuration screens just to have a working firewall, and well, you probably won’t complain about that.

Overall, the price is well worth it. Especially considering that you will get the package for 3 computers, and be subscribed to updates for a good 2 years. When you compare this to other programs, it’s still competitive in price. This equates to only around $40 a year, which is an excellent price for the amount of security that is being given.

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