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Bitdefender Total Security 2018 review: A solid choice for your PC

Romania-based Bitdefender is increasingly one of the top antivirus choices these days. It’s also a company not content to sit on its laurels, as evidenced by Bitdefender Total Security 2018, its full security suite.

The look of Total Security 2018 is reminiscent of many other antivirus suites. The color scheme is dark grey and black, with essential information displayed in blue or green text to highlight it. The main navigation is in the left rail, where you can switch between the various menu options while viewing details in the main part of the window.

One nice touch is how Bitdefender continually shows the status of your PC at the top of the main window for the first three options in the left rail. That does, however, make it a little hard to figure out what’s going on when you switch between them—each section has the same basic color scheme.

Each of these first three left rail menu options uses a tile-based interface in the main window. The top Protection option, for example, offers tiles for a Quick Scan or a Vulnerability scan. To dive into more thorough scans, click the blue View Features link in the main window.

There are also three status tiles for Bitdefender’s app protection, file protection, and web protection features. These tiles tell you whether Bitdefender has taken any action on your PC. When I first saw the interface, I expected to be able to click on these tiles. In time you can, once they actually have something to report, but at first they’re just “dead” tiles with no information.

The next left rail menu option takes you to the Privacy section, where you can set up a file vault for encrypted files. There is also a wallet feature for saving credit card numbers, as well as Bitdefender’s Safepay, a sandboxed environment primarily for conducting online financial transactions. Safepay has a number of helpful features including the ability to block other apps from taking a screenshot, and a virtual keyboard that blocks keylogging. The Privacy section also houses Bitdefender’s parental control features.

bitdefenderwallet Ian Paul/IDG

Bitdefender’s wallet/password manager.

The wallet is a password manager that can save website logins, as well as credit card numbers, address, phone number, birth date, application license keys, and so on. There are also sections for email login information, and router logins.

This section lacks the ability to save notes or add attachments that need to be securely stored, however. You can save files in Bitdefender’s File Vault, but there are times when it’s helpful to keep file attachments with login data: secret questions for your bank, for example, or other sensitive information best stored as an image or text document.

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