Everyone needs some form of protection against online threats, and while Windows has tightened its security over the years, it still only offers basic protection. For those looking for additional layers of protection, such as a more configurable firewall or proactive protection against ransomware, then a paid-for security product is a must.
In a crowded marketplace, it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, but one product that continues to score highly in independent tests is the powerful Bitdefender Total Security 25.0.
Version 25.0 (equivalent to 2021) is now rolling out across user machines across the world, and highlights include a redesigned user interface, improved ransomware remediation tool, and revamped VPN service and application. Bitdefender also switches to a service model, which means going forward major changes will appear throughout the year, not rolled up into major annual updates. This is reflected by the year being dropped from the title.
Bitdefender 25.0's user interface doesn’t simply benefit from a facelift, it’s also become easier to navigate, with logical paths to follow through its main sections: Dashboard (overview and access to key features), Protection, Privacy, and Utilities.
The Dashboard now focuses on providing shortcuts to key scans, the Safepay sandboxed browser feature, and VPN tool. There’s also a user-customisable free space for adding your choice of shortcut.
Bitdefender Total Security's radically overhauled VPN tool sees a change to the underlying protection: out goes AnchorShield Free, to be replaced by the Hydra Catapult VPN protocol. There’s also a new internet kill switch, support for US Netflix and apps across all major platforms. The version bundled with your Total Security subscription does have some limitations: you can’t choose which location to connect through, and each device is limited to 200MB bandwidth each day. A premium license with no limits is available separately, and currently costs $39.98/£29.99 for the first year (regular price $49.99/£39.99).
Delve deeper into the new Dashboard view, and you’ll see it’s been stripped back, with redundant features removed, including File Vault, Startup Optimizer, and Disk Cleanup. Also apparently missing is Safe Files, a tool for combating ransomware that saw users designate protected folders – any applications or processes attempting to access these folders was automatically blocked until the user set up a specific exclusion granting it access.
In fact, the feature has been rolled into Ransomware Remediation, which works more proactively at the system level to block ransomware attacks in the first place. Users can – when necessary – manually set up trusted applications via Protection > Ransomware Remediation > Exceptions.
Other features still present in Bitdefender 25.0 include the password manager, anti-tracker for most popular web browsers, one-click optimizer, and data shredding tool.
These days, many households contain multiple internet-connected devices, and Bitdefender Total Security works across all major platforms: Windows and Mac on the desktop, and Android and iOS on mobile. Securing all of these can be a fine balancing act with traditional licenses where you were limited to just three or five devices.
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Thankfully, Bitdefender offers a generous 15-device Family Pack, which can be spread around your family or household as you see fit, ensuring everyone’s protected, whichever device they happen to be on. And with that in mind, why not take advantage of Downloadcrew Software Store’s amazing deal: one Bitdefender Family Pack license, covering up to 15 devices for two years, for just $69.99/£59.99 – a saving of 60-65% on the MSRP of $199.99/£149.99. That ensures your family is protected right through to late 2022 – it’s a no-brainer, surely?