Bitdefender Internet Security 2014 is the latest edition of Bitdefender's mid-range security suite.
Don't think that "mid-range" means "basic", though. The program includes everything you'd expect from a security suite, and more: antivirus, firewall, a USB drive immuniser, strong browsing and privacy tools, social networking protection, parental controls, a spam filter, and the list goes on. All you're really missing are a few of Bitdefender Total Security 2014's high-end extras: secure online storage, an anti-theft service, file encryption and PC Tuneup modules.
New features this time start with what Bitdefender are calling their Photon technology, which they claim is "an innovative antivirus technology that accelerates scanning speed by gradually adapting to your PC".
The suite now includes the Wallet, a capable password manager which manages both your website and application logons.
Elsewhere, the spam filter is now fully cloud-based, cutting system impact and improving detection rates. Parental controls are significantly enhanced (you get full HTTPS as well as HTTP coverage, for instance), and the Safepay online banking environment stores your logons even more securely via the new Wallet.
And a weekly Security Report sums up what's happened in the past seven days, highlights anything you need to do, tells you about unused modules, and more.
The trial installer arrives as a small download, which insists that you remove any other antivirus packages it thinks are incompatible (unlike some other products, there's no option to skip this). Once it's happy, the program scans your PC, which simultaneously downloading and installing the rest of the package.
The one small complication is that you'll need to activate the installation via your MyBitdefender account, but even if you don't have one, this isn't much of an issue: either click "Create a new account" and follow the instructions, or sign in via your Facebook, Google or Microsoft accounts.
And, finally, that's it - you're set up and ready to go. If you've tried Bitdefender 2013 then you'll recognise the interface, which looks and feels almost exactly the same. But there are also valuable extras, like the Wallet, which help to move the package forward.
What's new in build 17.28?
- new Firewall drivers
- improved Anti-Theft lock mechanism
- performance update for Safebox
- added new detection for latest versions of Mozilla Firefox in Vulnerability scanner
- other improvements
There's nothing revolutionary here, but Bitdefender Internet Security successfully builds on its previous incarnation, offering better performance, a useful password manager, enhanced antispam and parental controls and several other goodies.