Bitdefender Vpn Premium Review
- Strengths & Weaknesses
- Alternatives for Bitdefender VPN
- Bitdefender VPN Features Overview
- Ease of Use
- Installation and Setup
- Bitdefender VPN User Interface
- Streaming Performance
- Server Locations
- Customer Service
- The Verdict
- Bitdefender VPN FAQ
- Comments & User Ratings
Bitdefender is an antivirus visitor based in Romania. Having come from humble origins in the ‘90s, it’s grown to be ane of the biggest names in cybersecurity, with the help of its strong numbers in malware protection tests and its powerful free subscription tier.
Nosotros’ve already covered much of the antivirus service in our Bitdefender Antivirus review. Today, we’re doing a deep dive on one specific feature: Bitdefender VPN. Information technology cannot exist downloaded or used on its ain; you’re required to have a Bitdefender Antivirus Premium subscription earlier you lot get the virtual private network, and you might have to pay even more to unlock its total potential.
Bitdefender does not have its own network of VPN servers. Instead, the service piggybacks on the server network, protocols and encryption established by another VPN, Hotspot Shield (come across our Hotspot Shield review for more details).
For our Bitdefender VPN review, we tested its features, interface, security capabilities, customer service, streaming functioning and more. We discovered that information technology’due south inconsistent about the things it does right — for example, information technology gets into Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and BBC iPlayer, but not Netflix or Hulu — and downright lacking in other areas.
Don’t expect to meet it on our all-time VPN list anytime presently. We recommend, instead, that you check out a choice from that list, like ExpressVPN, for a strong stand-alone VPN service.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Extensive client service options
- Strong security & encryption
- User-friendly if you already have Bitdefender Antivirus
- Unlocks Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer & Disney+
- Almost no features
- Cannot be bought equally stand-alone
- Doesn’t take cryptocurrency
- Privacy concerns
- Few server locations
- Doesn’t unlock Netflix or Hulu
Alternatives for Bitdefender VPN
Some VPNs have very few features considering the developers aimed for a streamlined and user-friendly experience, but and so overshot the marker (read our TunnelBear review for an example). Bitdefender VPN is non one of these. Every part of it feels like an afterthought.
Here at Cloudwards, we similar to share screenshots to give you a sense of the app’due south ability, without challenge that nosotros’ve shown you the entire thing. That’south not the case here. Our screenshot constitutes nigh all of Bitdefender VPN’s feature gear up.
As you can see, you tin fix Bitdefender VPN to open as soon as you log in to your device. You can also toggle whether y’all get notifications about the service. The screenshot is from the Mac version; on Windows, you can besides fix Bitdefender to automatically actuate when you connect to an unsecured WiFi network.
That’s it; no impale switch, no split tunneling, no selection to proper noun trusted WiFi networks. Forget about irresolute protocols or using the VPN as a browser extension. At least you become the malware protection of your Bitdefender Antivirus subscription. For the polar opposite experience with a VPN that has a fantastic fix of features and a VPN that really works, cheque out our ExpressVPN review instead.
Bitdefender VPN Features Overview
Visit Bitdefender VPN
|Payment methods||PayPal, Credit bill of fare, wire transfer (EUR only)|
|Supports split up tunneling|
|Free trial available|
|Worldwide server amount||1,300+ servers in 25 Countries|
|Desktop OSes||Windows, MacOS|
|Mobile OSes||Android, iOS|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox, Safari|
|Tin can exist installed on routers|
|Can admission Netflix US|
|Can access BBC iPlayer|
|Tin access Hulu|
|Tin admission Amazon Prime Video|
|VPN protocols available||Catapult Hydra|
|Enabled at device startup|
|Passed DNS leak test|
|Malware/advertising blocker included|
|E-mail back up||24/7|
|Phone back up||24/7|
Bitdefender VPN requires you to have a Bitdefender Antivirus Premium subscription outset, but even with that requirement, it’s surprisingly well-priced for 3 or fewer devices. For more devices, you’ll save much more than with a stand-lone VPN service like Surfshark that offers unlimited device subscriptions (see our Surfshark review for more).
The following Bitdefender packages include the VPN service. You tin can become discounts on all of these past buying more than than ane yr at a time. A 30-mean solar day trial and 30-24-hour interval money-back guarantee are available on all of them.
- : Unlimited devices, malware protection
Bitdefender Total Security
- : Good for 5 devices
Bitdefender Net Security
- : Good for 3 Windows PCs
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
- : Practiced for 3 Windows PCs
If you have any of these packages, the VPN is included. However, you lot’ll however need to pay to unlock the Premium VPN features. Here’due south how the VPN tiers work:
- : 200 MB per day, Unlimited bandwidth, Same number of devices as your Bitdefender Antivirus subscription, included in any Bitdefender Antivirus bundle
- : Unlimited
- : Same number of devices equally your Bitdefender Antivirus subscription
- : Unlimited GB
- : Unlimited
The Premium VPN rates look great compared to many other VPNs, but don’t forget you’re paying that price on top of any you paid for Bitdefender itself. For case, if y’all got the VPN through Total Security for five devices, add $3.75 every calendar month.
Once you do that, the cost falls into line with most other VPN services. If you become Bitdefender only on one device, this is actually one of the about cost-effective VPNs, but that solution is bachelor only for Windows users.
The payment methods are pretty limited. It supports only credit cards, PayPal and bank transfers internationally — no cryptocurrency (but like Encrypt.me). In the U.S., y’all tin can also ship a check or pay cash at a vii-Eleven or Ace Hardware location, though the website is extremely light on the details of how. Frankly, nosotros’d rather have bitcoin as an option.
Ease of Employ
Bitdefender VPN is very piece of cake to use, merely so is a fork. Calling a fork “user-friendly” is a bit misleading: it’s got so few features, the designer would have to really go out of their fashion to mess it up.
It’due south exactly the same with Bitdefender VPN. One button comprises 90 percent of the UI. Whatever issues this VPN service has, they don’t come up from existence difficult to use.
Installation and Setup
Installing Bitdefender VPN was a flake of a mess. First, nosotros had to install Bitdefender Total Security, using instructions that didn’t friction match what we were seeing.
Subsequently working that out, the whole package took most five minutes to download. Then we had to go into our system preferences and let the bundle to finish downloading, a diversion that didn’t do anything until nosotros quit the installer and relaunched.
Then we had to create an account. After that, we were finally allowed to boot upward the antivirus app and go searching for the VPN. We found it under the “privacy” tab (see beneath).
Nosotros practice this sort of affair for a living, and so it wasn’t a problem for u.s.a., simply information technology’south easy to imagine somebody who isn’t particularly tech-savvy getting turned off very apace.
This itself wouldn’t exist so bad, if it weren’t for the fact that people who aren’t estimator-savvy are prime targets for malware, scams and privacy invasions. Convoluted installation processes should be considered a security risk, which means Bitdefender has a weakness early on.
Bitdefender VPN User Interface
If you’ve already read the “features” section, yous’ll know Bitdefender VPN has virtually zip going on. All you can do from the master page is connect or disconnect, upgrade your business relationship to the Premium VPN, open the carte du jour or change your server location.
If you’re using the Basic VPN that comes with a Premium Bitdefender antivirus package, y’all can’t even change your location, only can simply connect automatically to the fastest server. Attempting to change this setting results in a full-folio Premium VPN advertising you can’t click away from.
In fact, despite the paucity of features, this UI offers three dissimilar opportunities for yous to upgrade to the Premium VPN. It quickly starts to experience like the simply purpose of the Basic VPN is to advertise the better paid version.
Information technology might sound like we’re being overly harsh, but this product is supposed to keep you prophylactic. Cramming it full of upselling is like putting ads on seat belts. Bitdefender VPN is competing with the best gratis VPN services out there, and with antics like this, at that place’s no reason for a Full Security user to bolster their security with the Windscribe or TunnelBear VPNs instead.
If you want to see what it looks like when a user interface is well-organized around a wide range of features, bank check out our CyberGhost review.
Performance took a major hit with Bitdefender VPN, no matter what server nosotros connected to. Upload speeds plunged in several normally trustworthy locations, which leads united states to believe that the VPN’due south U.Due south. and UK servers, in item, are under a huge amount of strain.
In the United States, which should take been a gimme, latency increased past more than than 10 times and download speeds plunged. Upload speeds took a major hit, as well, meaning this VPN causes a major drag when streaming video or sending files. With latency like that, nosotros can’t recommend it for gaming, either. Attempt i of our fastest VPNs, instead.
As we stated in the intro, Bitdefender VPN is not powered by Bitdefender itself, but past Hotspot Shield. Hotspot Shield uses AES-256, the standard, authorities-grade encryption that tin can’t be cracked without a supercomputer and virtually 10,000 years of complimentary fourth dimension. So far, so good.
The complexity comes with Hotspot Shield’s chosen protocol, Catapult Hydra. Developed in-house by Hotspot Shield’southward parent visitor, AnchorFree, and chosen by several cybersecurity brands to power their add together-on VPNs — including Bitdefender, McAfee and Cheetah Mobile — Catapult Hydra claims to be the fastest VPN protocol in that location is.
Given the speeds nosotros got compared to other services that use OpenVPN or IKEv2, we’re skeptical that Catapult Hydra is much more than a marketing gimmick. We’re also suspicious of proprietary protocols, in general, since the whole point of a VPN is to go along interested entities from having any control over your online security.
Whether or not it’due south faster, it is at to the lowest degree secure. We checked for DNS, IP and WebRTC leaks, and we institute no vulnerabilities.
We have serious concerns most Bitdefender VPN’s privacy. It’s one of the few VPNs we’ve used so far this year to not take a strict no-logging policy, stating instead that “nobody volition have admission to your online logs.”
That makes us remember Bitdefender is logging users’ browsing history and but promising to not release that information to third parties. It’s similar to what we’ve long suspected of TorGuard (see our TorGuard review to learn more than).
As y’all can run across, it’south a dense wall of text that seems designed to discourage reading. The gist is that using Bitdefender products might require you to transmit data about URLs and files infected by malware, and that Bitdefender volition utilise info leaked in past data breaches to tell you whether a certain account or password has get unsafe.
Bitdefender at to the lowest degree seems to understand the responsibleness of belongings onto user information. However, that’southward not very reassuring, equally its promise not to let anyone see logged information will simply last until a government subpoena or enterprising hacker comes along. We much prefer the Hide.me VPN’s approach of not saving any information at all (see our Hide.me review for more than).
Netflix immediately detected Bitdefender VPN when we started watching a show. The same affair happened on Hulu. On BBC iPlayer, we managed to become around the block, but the streaming speed was and so slow that shows were difficult to watch.
We were as well able to watch shows on Amazon Prime Video and Disney+, merely with the 200 MB daily data transfer limit, information technology isn’t possible for Bones-level users to picket more than 10 minutes of TV.
Notwithstanding, using the Bitdefender Premium VPN level is a perfectly adept way to catch up on
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
on your business trip to Toronto. If yous want a truly splendid streaming performance, though, NordVPN is the way to get (see our NordVPN review).
The gratis version of Bitdefender VPN merely gives you the option to connect to whichever server has the fastest connexion. The Premium VPN version includes servers in 26 countries, though it doesn’t specify how many servers are located in each.
The available countries are heavily focused on Western Europe, though South America and Asia are too reasonably well-represented.
We scoured the internet for more specifics nearly Bitdefender VPN’s server offerings, but couldn’t discover whatsoever information. Even so, we can say that 26 countries is not many. We don’t similar VPN Unlimited much, just if you read our VPN Unlimited review, you’ll run across that even this VPN has servers in more than twice as many countries.
Bitdefender isn’t mainly a VPN service, so the fact that there aren’t many help options specifically for the VPN is excusable. The troubleshooting help in the knowledgebase is high quality, if a little hard to find, and there are lots of options for getting in impact with a existent, knowledgeable back up person.
Choosing “support” from the VPN window’s preferences menu opens the Bitdefender back up center in a browser window. The commencement page you’ll run into is a bones “how-to” for your version of Bitdefender VPN.
From in that location, finding the rest of the knowledgebase is non like shooting fish in a barrel. You accept to navigate to an unassuming card and detect a small link within it, as shown beneath.
It’south easier to just selection “help” from the main Bitdefender Antivirus window, merely from at that place, you have to navigate through the whole knowledgebase to find the articles most the VPN. In that location aren’t many, but they’re detailed and helpful.
Bitdefender also offers help through email, live conversation, phone calls and a forum. The forums aren’t very agile, just information technology’south something we like to come across anyway.
When we asked a question on live chat, we were first in the queue and were talking with support within a minute, despite the fact that the whole Bitdefender Antivirus ecosystem shares the same platform. English-speaking phone lines are open 24 hours a day and are answered equally fast, while lines in other languages are open during local business organization hours.
Bitdefender VPN isn’t but feature-poor, it’s a little insulting. It seems to have been thrown together to hook people who already use Bitdefender Antivirus on the assumption that they’ll care more than near the convenience of bundling ii services together than they will most a VPN they tin can actually employ.
The biggest sign of this is Bitdefender’south decision to base its VPN on Hotspot Shield’s network, rather than building its own. Although this saved some endeavour, it locked Bitdefender VPN into a small server network and an unproven protocol.
On top of all that, it has the gall to relentlessly advertise a Premium VPN upgrade and make the entire VPN service basically useless without that upgrade. Bitdefender is a respected name in security, and then information technology should actually exist above these used-car dealership antics.
If you desire the other features of Bitdefender Total Security or Bitdefender Internet Security, this VPN isn’t so bad that it should change your mind. All the same, we recommend keeping the VPN turned off and getting a costless service from Windscribe, instead. Read our Windscribe review to learn why.
What are your experiences with Bitdefender VPN? SHare them in the comments below and, as e’er, cheers for reading.
Bitdefender VPN FAQ
If you decide to utilise it — and we aren’t saying you should — it’south best for people who are already using Bitdefender’s other products. If you have the Premium VPN service, you should turn it on whenever yous plan to connect to the net through any app. If you’re working with 200MB of information per day from the free Basic version, plough the VPN on only for potentially sensitive deportment, like sending files or making purchases.
Bitdefender VPN comes complimentary with college-level Bitdefender Antivirus packages, including Bitdefender Total Security, Bitdefender Internet Security and Bitdefender Antivirus Plus. All the same, the free version allows simply 200MB of data transfer every day and prevents you from choosing your ain server.
Bitdefender Safepay is a browser designed for users to make financial transactions in a condom surroundings. It gives users the option of routing all traffic through Bitdefender VPN. Information technology’s extremely secure, running all web apps in a “sandbox” feature while also protecting you from keylogging malware. Security is one thing Bitdefender knows how to get correct, so we’d phone call Safepay a safe bet.
Bitdefender VPN is powered past Hotspot Shield, another VPN company that sublets its network out to antivirus providers (McAfee and Cheetah Mobile are also customers). Hotspot Shield runs on the proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol with 256-chip encryption.
Bitdefender Vpn Premium Review