(Last updated on February 18th, 2020)
Bitdefender or Avast, which antivirus software is a better choice in 2020?
Read this in-depth, data-driven Bitdefender versus Avast comparison to make a wise decision.
In the modern, digital age, there are more devices connected to the internet (and to each other) than ever.
Do you know almost half of all computer users worldwide have been (or will be) infected by malware?
According to a study, over 10 billion malware attacks were recorded last year. The AV-Test Institute, which is an independent security lab, picks up more than 350,000 new malware samples every day. Both ransomware and mobile malware attacks have also increased at an alarming rate in the last few years.
So, it’s clear that cybercriminals are continuously finding new ways to break into your devices (mainly computers and smartphones) to compromise your data and breach your privacy.
So how do you defend yourself and your family against rampant malware attacks? You need an excellent antivirus program to stay protected against ever-evolving digital threats, like destructive ransomware, data-stealing Trojans, worms, viruses, and more.
Luckily, most premium antivirus programs out there automatically update their malware definitions several times a day, providing immediate protection against all the latest cyber threats in real-time.
While free antivirus programs (like Windows Defender) can be useful, they don’t include advanced security-related features and tools that enhance your security. Only an up-to-date, robust premium antivirus suite will provide you the multilevel protection you need to tackle different types of advanced malware threats.
It’s worth spending few bucks a month to get complete digital protection and peace of mind.
We agree that it does get confusing to choose the most suitable antivirus protection for yourself with so many choices out there. But that’s what our detailed guides are for: to help you make the right decision.
Best Antivirus Suite for 2020
(All the best security products examined)
Editors' Choice Award Winner
Overall Score: 9.9/10
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Overall, Bitdefender is our #1 antivirus software for 2020, because of its excellent, flawless performance in all the recent independent lab evaluations we considered, particularly those conducted by AV-Test and AV-Comparatives.
Right now, we think that Bitdefender Total Security 2020 (currently at 60% off) is the best antivirus package available in the market. Apart from providing excellent anti-malware protection, it offers all the advanced premium features and utilities that must be there in a high-end package -- and best of all, it offers excellent value for money. You can protect up to five devices (PCs, Macs, or smartphones) with just one subscription.
If you need protection for more than five devices, we highly recommend Bitdefender Family Pack 2020. It will cover all the internet-capable devices in your household with the Total Security suite, so your family will be protected no matter what goes wrong.
Today, our comparison will include Bitdefender and Avast. We’ll discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each software. We’ll also see how they performed in recent independent tests and draw our final assessment based on these insights.
In a rush? Below is a summary of the comparison that you can quickly go through to find out the winner in each category.
A Quick Rundown of the Winners in Each Category
Winner: Bitdefender. Both Bitdefender and Avast provide excellent features. But Bitdefender boasts a more robust security- and performance-enhancing feature spread than Avast. So, Bitdefender wins this category.
2. Malware Protection
Winner: Bitdefender. Both companies did well in the independent lab tests, but Bitdefender fared slightly better than Avast in both evaluations.
3. System Performance
Winner: Tie. This category is a tie since both companies received equal ratings in the independent performance evaluations.
Winner: Bitdefender. Avast has a very friendly, intuitive interface. But what makes Bitdefender stand out is the ability to optimize its interface for both casual and skilled users.
Winner: Bitdefender. When it comes to pricing, Bitdefender is far ahead on the affordability scale than Avast. Bitdefender also offers more licenses per product, while Avast is significantly expensive.
6. Customer Satisfaction
Winner: Avast. Avast wins this category, receiving a better ranking than Bitdefender according to one of the two independent sources.
Bitdefender offers more security-related features and extra utility tools in its security products than Avast. Independent tests prove that both software provide excellent protection against all sorts of malware, but Bitdefender is better than Avast in terms of impact on system performance.
We have reviewed, ranked, and rated all the best antivirus software products out there, and we think that Bitdefender Total Security 2020 (currently at 50% off) is the best antivirus package you can buy right now. You can protect up to five devices (PCs, Macs, or smartphones) with just a single subscription of this suite.
If you need protection for more than five devices, Bitdefender Family Pack 2020 is the best option for you.
Looking for Mac-specific protection? Check out Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac for complete peace of mind.
Now, let’s get a more detailed perspective.
Features play a central role in swaying the customer towards choosing one product over the other. A product that carries more utilities certainly comes off as providing better value for money. Let’s see how our competing companies pack their products with different functions.
Let’s start with Bitdefender.
Bitdefender Free Edition is the first PC- only product from the company. It does provide some protection from different malware, but it’s pretty basic compared to premium versions.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 is the entry-level premium product. This is a Windows-only offering as well. The product comes with many useful features such as:
- Full-blown protection against all kinds of malware attacks.
- A password manager that stores all your sensitive information in a digital vault and keeps it safe from misuse.
- A limited-use VPN is included to allow you anonymous browsing to keep you safe from hacking attacks.
- A file shredder permanently deletes your files from the system, so you can rest assured that your private data won’t be discovered.
- A Vulnerability Scanner detects any loopholes in the security network and fixes them instantly.
- There’s an Anti-Fraud module that protects your financial information and provides you safe online shopping experience.
- 1 license of this package protects 3 PCs. But there’s the option to add more computers.
The next tier of protection is Bitdefender Internet Security 2020, also a Windows-only product. It includes everything from the previous suite plus:
- A two-way firewall is part of this product to monitor your home network keeping you safe from intruders.
- A Fire Vault Feature protects the sensitive information on your device so only you can access it.
- There’s a Vulnerability Checker that fixes any loopholes in the security settings to ensure your protection.
- There’s also a limited Parental Control module. This utility monitors your children’s online activities and restricts their access to inappropriate content providing safe browsing for them.
- There’s a webcam shield as well as a Microphone Monitor that lets you control what apps get access to your microphone.
- 1 license of this suite protects up to 3 PCs.
Next up is Bitdefender Total Security 2020, the company’s full-blown antivirus package. The product includes everything from previous offerings and more features like:
- An Anti-Theft module that allows you to locate any stolen or lost device under the protection of this suite. This feature saves you from losing your prized possessions.
- The product also comes with performance optimization tools to speed up system processing power for your routine activities.
- This suite extends security to macOS, Android as well as iOS devices.
- A single license of this product will protect up to 5 devices.
Bitdefender Family Pack 2020 is the extended version of the Total Security suite that:
- Covers up to 15 devices.
- The Family Pack also provides advanced parental control to supervise your kids’ online activities and provide safe surfing for them.
Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac is a separate product that only caters to Mac devices. This product includes:
- High-end malware protection against all Mac-related threats.
- A VPN that provides fast, secure, and anonymous browsing experience, so you are risk-free.
- Multi-layer ransomware protection is also part of the product. This function saves you from rogue software that might hold your computer hostage.
- Speed enhancing features enhance system performance so you can do your work unhindered.
- A Traffic Light browser extension is included to provide safe online shopping and banking experience for you.
- There’s also cross-platform protection that prevents the transfer of malware threats from Windows devices.
Bitdefender provides superior customer support for all its products through chat, phone calls, or emails.
If you’re interested in Bitdefender’s business solutions? Click here for more information.
Now let’s review Avast products and their features.
Avast has different products for Windows and Mac devices. We’ll start with Windows-only products.
Avast Free Antivirus is the company’s free offering that provides only cursory protection. For more advanced features, let’s look at their premium products.
Avast Internet Security is the first paid product from the company. This product includes:
- Comprehensive protection against all kinds of malware.
- A firewall that monitors network traffic for security issues, so you’re protected from external threats.
- A Real Site feature protects you against DNS hijacking and makes sure you get to the original website.
- A Sandbox feature lets you open files in a safe mode to avoid any viruses entering your computer system from unchecked documents.
Next up the product ladder is Avast Premium Security. It includes everything from the Internet Security Suite plus:
- A Webcam Shield that secures you against spying hackers.
- A Data Shredder tool that makes the recovery of any deleted files impossible for anyone. This feature makes your private information does not get in the wrong hands.
- It also incorporates Ransomware Shield to protect you from monetary cyber crimes.
- A Wi-Fi Inspector detects weaknesses in your home and public networks, so your device is protected everywhere you go.
Finally, for Windows-only products, Avast Ultimate is the highest tier of protection. Along with everything from the Premium Suite, the product also comes with more advanced features. For instance:
- A secure VPN tool ensures safe as well as anonymous browsing for you.
- There’s a high-functioning clean-up tool that keeps your computer speed at its best.
- There’s also a full-blown password manager and protector that secures your sensitive information while you’re on the internet.
- This product is a mix of all premium suites and individual offerings.
For Mac-specific protection, the company offers Avast Security for Mac. This product is available in two versions: free and pro. The free version provides basic malware protection. Nothing much. The Pro version however includes:
- Comprehensive malware protection from all kinds of Mac-related digital threats.
- A Wi-Fi Security Scan feature that protects you from threats across this channel.
- Wi-fi Intruder Alert notifies so when someone is trying to gain access to your network.
- A Ransomware Shield is also included.
- Web and email shields to protect from cyber threats transferred through infected documents or phishing websites.
To check out Avast’s business antivirus options, click here for detailed information.
Winner: Bitdefender. Both companies provide great features. But Bitdefender offers a much more comprehensive feature-set spread across different suites.
2. Malware Protection
An impressive set of features won’t make much of a difference if a software isn’t protecting your computer adequately. This is the most testing function for any antivirus software. Let’s look at test results from two independent organizations and see how our competing products perform on this metric.
Let’s first look at test results from AV-test.org. They gave out their Protection Test results in April 2019. In this test, Bitdefender scored a perfect 6 out of 6.
Avast was a little behind Bitdefender with 5.5 out of 6.
Now let’s look at the Real-World Protection Test results from AV-Comparatives.org that came out in June 2019. Bitdefender performed brilliantly on this test and received the ADVANCED+ award, the highest award from AV-Comparatives. Avast was a little behind with the second-best ADVANCED award.
Winner: Bitdefender. Both companies performed well in independent tests. However, Bitdefender left Avast behind in both tests, becoming the winner in this category.
3. System Performance
If an antivirus is excellent at protecting your computer but drags the system speed to a crawl, you’re certainly going to be put off. Let’s see how our two brands compete in this arena and impact your system speed.
We’ll first look at the Performance Test results from AV-test.org. In this test, Bitdefender got the full score and received a brilliant 6 out of 6.
Avast also performed exceptionally and received 6 out of 6 score.
Now let’s look at the test results from the Performance Test issued by AV-Comparatives in April 2019. In this test, Bitdefender and Avast once again tied each other and both received the highest ADVANCED+ award.
Winner: Tie. Both companies gave a fantastic performance on the two independent tests and received matching scores. So, it’s a tie.
An interface is a software’s first interaction with the user. It is kind of like the opportunity to make the first impression in action. If the interface is complicated to use, the rest of the user experience will be marred by this complexity. That’s why an antivirus interface needs to have a simplistic and functional design.
Let’s take a look at both Bitdefender and Avast interfaces and see which one is better designed.
Bitdefender interface divides into two main portions: a panel on the left side and a screen on the right side. The left panel lists different operations and notifies the system status. The screen side of the interface uses big quick access blocks to start or modify any function.
Bitdefender makes its interface intuitive and easy to use. At the same time, it incorporates the functionality to switch to more complex personalization for more seasoned users. It’s an ideal interface for both casual and expert users.
Now let’s see how Avast interface functions in comparison.
Avast uses shades of dark grey color with contrasting bright colors to design its interface. This interface also comprises of a vertical rail on one side and a screen on the other. All the functions are accessible through the side rail, which you can expand to access more specific tasks.
The interface uses a well-organized design and is relatively easy to use. However, the free version of the product displays advertisements that can become frustrating.
Winner: Bitdefender. While Avast too has a user-friendly interface. Bitdefender optimizes its interface for use by both casual and veteran computer users, which makes it a better design.
When it comes to pricing, the more the value, the better. Every customer gauges a price point based on what it brings in return. That’s why companies should be careful about how they charge for their products in comparison with their competition.
Let’s look at how Bitdefender and Avast compare in their pricing for different products.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, the first paid product from the company costs $34.99 per year for 3 licenses. Bitdefender Internet Security, the second tier of protection costs you $39.98 per year also for up to 3 licenses. But both of these products are only compatible with Windows.
Next comes the third package, Bitdefender Total Security which comes at $44.99 per year for 5 licenses. Finally, Bitdefender Family Pack costs $69.98 per year and gives you an unlimited number of licenses. Both these premium products are universal, meaning they apply to PCs, Macs, and mobile devices.
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Now let’s see how Avast fares in comparison.
Avast Internet Security is the entry-level product that comes at a cost of $59.99 with 1 PC-only license. Avast Premier costs you $ 69.99 per year. This product also provides protection for 1 device only.
Then the most premium tier for Windows-only devices, Avast Ultimate costs $119.98 per year also for 1 device. Lastly, Avast Security for Mac, the flagship MacOS product, costs $59.99 for 1 Mac.
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Winner: Bitdefender. Bitdefender has priced its products quite reasonably compared to Avast, also offering more licenses with every tier. There’s a massive difference between the top-tier prices of both companies. So Bitdefender wins this category.
6. Customer Satisfaction
It is imperative today for any company to give full support to its customers in case of an issue. This presence or lack of support adds a lot to the brand’s market reputation. Let’s see which of our competing companies is better at keeping its customers happy.
Our first source of feedback rating is the Better Business Bureau (BBB). They are an independent organization that collects customer feedback and average it out into letter rating from A to F. BBB awarded Bitdefender with an average C rating while awarding Avast with a perfect A+. This shows that Avast takes excellent care of its customers.
Now let’s look at our second source. Consumeraffairs.org is another platform to check customer ranking. The website collects customer responses and issues a 5-star ranking based on the positive or negative nature of the feedback. Bitdefender scored a 3-star rating on this site. Avast also matched Bitdefender on this platform and scored a 3-star rating.
Winner: Avast. Both companies received a similar rating from the second source, but Avast went way ahead compared to Bitdefender in its rating from the BBB. Avast is the obvious winner here.
There’s no questioning that Avast is a top-notch security company. But Bitdefender surges ahead with its focus on functional features, excellent malware protection, minimal impact on system performance, and good pricing structure. All of these aspects are hugely important.
Get Bitdefender at 60% off today
Overall Score: 9.9/10
Special offer ends in ...
Editors Choice Award Winner
Got more than five internet-capable devices? We found that Bitdefender Family Pack 2020 is the best option out there in terms of value for money.
If you are still unsure, Bitdefender offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and exceptional customer support, so you there is nothing to lose.
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