General Question

Myuzikalsoul's avatar

Is BitDefender a reliable antivirus software?

Asked by Myuzikalsoul (590points) September 2nd, 2014

My boyfriend’s Dad uses a purchased full licensed version of BitDefender and I have always simply used the free version of Comodo Firewall, yet I have little to no problems with viruses and he is overrun by them! I am constantly having to clean Trojans from his computer and what I don’t understand is why such a highly acclaimed anti-virus software like BitDefender, that he pays for, misses 99.9% of viruses?!?

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15 Answers

Myuzikalsoul's avatar

I should add that I protect my computer with Comodo only and have for several years with little to no problems. I also use scanners such as SUPERAntiSpyware, Malwarebytes, Spybot Search and Destroy, and CCleaner… all free, and that is all I have ever needed.

RocketGuy's avatar

Trojans become active when someone clicks on them. Maybe he clicks straight from Yahoo Mail (or whatever mail he uses).

Myuzikalsoul's avatar

He seems to have a huge problem with adware and popups as well as site redirects. I fix these problems over and over again with the above mentioned scanners. I also install extensions such as WOT (Web Of Trust), AdBlock Pro, Ghostery, and Pop-Up blockers to get rid of all of the noise. Oddly enough it seems as though BitDefender is counterproductive in that it seems to erase the extensions after a few days, and I have to reinstall them over and over again. I do not have this issue on my computer. It is really quite frustrating. I know he “Updated Windows” from one of those popups that trick you into downloading viruses but I ran SuperAntiSpyware, Malwarebytes, and Spybot S&D and so I hope I got them all. There is something going on with BitDefender it never alerts him or sandboxes anything and I check to make sure it is running in real-time and it is even on paranoid setting!

Myuzikalsoul's avatar

Oh, and I completely forgot that I use MSE and it runs in real-time in conjunction with Comodo. I haven’t needed to actually use it’s scanner in so long I completely forgot it was there!

johnpowell's avatar

Here are some tips that I used with my mom. She was constantly getting this shit.

1. Use Firefox and Ad-Block Edge
2. Never ever open a e-mail attachment unless you are expecting it.
3. Install flash on their computer. Tell them to never ever ever install anything to watch a video. 99% of the time the software will fuck your computer if it wants you to install to watch a video. This is incredibly prevalent.
4. Charge them 50 dollars a hour to fix the mess until they start doing the above.

My mom no longer has these problems since her son is a total dick.

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dina_didi's avatar

BitDefender is my favourite. I googled top 10 antivirus programs and when I saw that most people voted this as the best I installed it. I am using BitDeftender Total Security 2015. You can try most antivirus programs by downloading trial versions from the official websites and find the best for you! And when it comes to avoiding viruses, you can never be safe if you are not paying attention to which websites you are clicking, but antivirus programs can help you prevent downloading most malware!

Brian1946's avatar

@johnpowell “My mom no longer has these problems since her son is a total dick.” I didn’t know that you have a brother. ;-o

rexacoracofalipitorius's avatar

The problem isn’t that BitDefender fails to detect, but that the pattern of use is different between you and your dad. BitDefender may well be perfectly fine, but if your dad runs with Administrator privilege all the time and clicks on random Internet spaff, then there’s little any automated antivirus can do.
Also, you can’t expect your antivirus tools to clean up after the computer has already been compromised. Installed rootkits or other exploits (like those which might be installed from when he “updated Windows”) can easily hide from these tools. The only way to recover from such an exploit is to revert to a known-good system state, which usually means re-installing Windows (or installing a less-broken OS.)

Myuzikalsoul's avatar

@rexacoracofalipitorius Do you know of any good rootkit detector software worth trying to see if this is the case? And do you know if a rootkit could be responsible for deleting any downloaded extensions? I have to keep re-downloading extensions on Chrome and Firefox such as AdBlock, Ghostery, WOT, Pop-Up blockers, etc. just so he can navigate without being bombarded by ads, pop-ups, and site redirects. I install them and then they are mysteriously wiped out after a couple of days.

I have run Malwarebytes, SUPERAntiSpyware, and SpyBot Search and Destroy to no avail. I feel like I am only putting a band-aid on a much larger problem and a rootkit is likely it.

I do not know anything about reinstalling an OS. Do you need a CD? Does it wipe all of his programs clean? The problem is that he works from home and has specific programs that he needs to run efficiently on a cloud in order to complete his work. Could I simply try a system restore?

A lot of these viruses are also due to his grandson who plays tons of games on the same PC. I have been able to keep it running through maintenance every couple of days but if it is a rootkit I imagine it will eventually lock it up.

rexacoracofalipitorius's avatar

A rootkit can do pretty much anything: it’s got root. There’s no reliable way to detect a rootkit. There are rootkit detectors out there, and some known rootkits do leave signatures, but in principle there’s no reason why a rootkit needs to be detectable at all.
If your boyfriend’s dad uses a computer for work then he had better have been keeping good backups. Many companies also prohibit work-at-home employees from using the computer for any other purpose besides their work. He should be more careful, lest he be fired.
The good news is, re-installing the OS will not affect cloud applications. They run on a remote computer, so they don’t need to be present on the local machine. The bad news is, YES, it does remove all the local programs and data. This is why you need to keep regular backups! (One of the reasons, anyway.)
If the computer has a System Restore point that dates to before he “updated Windows” from the popup, then you might get rid of the problem- but any changes to files (data or programs) that occurred after the time the Restore point was made will be lost.

My advice to you is to quit giving him free tech support. You’re smart and knowledgeable, but not qualified to support this situation (judging by your questions and by the things you said you don’t know.) If you mess up, that could cause bad feelings between you and your boyfriend’s Dad. That sort of thing has been known to happen, and it’s not worth it. He needs to bite the bullet and hire someone- someone qualified and who can provide a guarantee / warranty in case his fixes break something important.

Your Dad also needs to learn how to use a computer properly. He needs to start keeping backups, and he needs to learn to wield the Principle of Least Privilege. At minimum, he needs to stop running as Administrator and stop running untrusted code from the Internet. Windows Updates come from the Windows Update program, nowhere else.
It would be one thing if he only used his computer for playing games and for Web browsing, but he’s using it for work. It was only a matter of time before he ran into this kind of trouble, and using the computer for work can make the consequences more severe. It’s also unfair of him to expect you to bail him out of the situation, at the risk of straining your relationships. (He might not actually have this expectation, but the situation is still a bit fraught.)

So, yes, you need a CD (or some removable media like a USB key) to re-install your OS. If you’re re-installing Windows, you need a CD from Microsoft or from the vendor that sold the machine. For many years new computers came with a CD that had Windows on it along with the necessary hardware drivers to make the machine work. Newer computers often don’t come with these, depending instead on the System Recovery Partition (and, often, leaving customers out to dry). Whatever Windows install media you use needs to have a valid key to type in, in order to show that you’re the legitimate owner of that copy of Windows. Re-installing Windows is not for the faint of heart, nor for anyone who doesn’t know anything about it. If you can get a hold of a legitimate Windows CD, I recommend you practice installing on another computer a few times before doing the procedure on a production system. As always, make a backup FIRST.
Installing Linux is a lot easier, but still not for a first-timer to try on a production system. Once you’ve got it installed, it takes a lot of knowledge to adapt a Linux system for use by a Windows user with an established workflow. I recommend you leave any reinstall operations to a professional.

Myuzikalsoul's avatar

@rexacoracofalipitorius Thank you for your advice. I have always been interested in Linux and Ubuntu but have never had the opportunity to work with them. One day I would like to actually study computers as I have never had any training but I have learned everything I know through trial and error, and reading forums.

My boyfriend’s Dad is elderly and often forgets things. He works for a tax company and he physically works in the office but has programs to access the company network on his computer from home. He takes a lot of classes and tests from home using these interfaces. I don’t know much about any of it and have a rough understanding of the cloud concept myself but I assumed it means that he is able to access the companies’ private intranet and programs on a secure server. Like I said, I read a lot and really only focus on things I am interested in doing so I am definitely not qualified to reinstall his OS. I will for sure tell him to call a professional. Thanks again!

jerv's avatar

BitDefender is actually one of the highest-rated AV programs out there while Comodo Firewall is just a firewall with no real AV capability (You make it sound like you have just the firewall part as opposed to the whole package.). That said, I prefer Avast! and Avira for my free AV. And MSE is actually one of the lowest rated; according to AV Comaparatives , BitDefender has 99.8% protection, Avira 99.7%, Avast! 97.0%, and Microsoft was ties at the bottom of the field of 23 at 88.7%.

The problem isn’t the software; it’s the wetware. In other words, the old man is causing his own pain. The best car alarm on the planet won’t keep your car from getting stolen if you park it with the door open and the keys in the ignition.

A common problem with Anti-virus software is that, when it detects a virus, the user will say, “But I really want to run this program!”, and tell the AV program to ignore the infection. That is akin to disabling your home alarm and undoing the deadbolts when two guys with guns and ski-masks ring your doorbell.


Does he have plenty of toolbars on his browser? My boss’ wife did that to his computer all the time (she had to have the coupons!) and the resulting trojans made his Pentium 4 run like a 386. Bootleg games and music are other common vectors, as are porn sites…though good luck getting him to admit to those.

As for the deletion of those extensions, some malware will disable anything that tries to disinfect them, or to stop future infections. Malware is like an auto-immune disorder that way.

LeonardKonrad's avatar

As I remember BitDefender is the 1st in virus guard rankings

tleaton's avatar

BitDefender has the worst customer service I have ever experienced. Wow. DOn’t go there.

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