Bitdefender VPN Review

Bitdefender VPN is a decent solution designed to work in tandem with the company's antivirus. It's pretty good, though eschews the features and functionality found in market leaders. Still, it's a solid choice if protection is your main concern, as you can read in our full Bitdefender VPN review.

By Brian MurrayWriter
— Last Updated: 29 Mar'19
2019-03-29T02:33:59-08:00
Table of ContentsRating
Features
50%
Poor
Pricing
70%
Decent
Ease of Use
80%
Good
Speed
80%
Good
Security
80%
Good
Privacy
65%
Decent
Streaming Performance
60%
Fair
Server Locations
75%
Good
Customer Service
90%
Excellent
User Reviews & Comments

Decent
Starts from $ 333 per month
Free plan available
best-VPN-reviews

Bitdefender is one of the biggest cybersecurity companies in the world and offers many products, but most people probably know it for its antivirus. As you can see in our Bitdefender Antivirus review we were impressed with its antivirus performance, features and customer support.

That said, we’re taking a look at the VPN offered by Bitdefender in this Bitdefender VPN review. It’s an add-on, meaning you can’t use it if you don’t have Bitdefender Total Security, Bitdefender Antivirus or one of the company’s other products.

The Bitdefender VPN client is easy to use, but that comes at the expense of features. The security is good, but there’s no way to change the protocol or encryption being used. It also offers good speeds and excellent customer service.

Though Bitdefender VPN gets a handful of things right, there are plenty of things that could be better. Aside from being practically featureless, it’s incapable of breaking through VPN detection on geoblocked websites such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer, which means it won’t be making our best VPN list.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths:

  • Good speeds
  • Easy to use
  • Good security
  • Responsive customer service

Weaknesses:

  • Few features
  • Can’t change encryption or protocol
  • Must own another Bitdefender product to use
  • Can’t access most geoblocked websites

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Features

50% - Poor

When it comes to features, Bitdefender VPN is as bare-bones as it can get. Starting with the list of things you can do, there are options to make the client run automatically on start-up or connect automatically when it detects you’re on a WiFi network. For some reason, it’s not possible to have it connect automatically when using a wired network.

That’s all you can do in the application. There are no other settings to edit. You can’t change the protocol or encryption you’re using, there’s no killswitch and there’s no split tunneling. It’s available on all major platforms, though, including Windows, macOS, iOS and Android. That said, Linux users are left out.

It seems as though Bitdefender banked on creating a user-friendly experience that anyone would be able to pick up. There’s something to be said for that style of software design, but when it comes at such a great cost, it might not be worth it.

Ultimately, rather than offering an easy to use experience, the Bitdefender VPN client makes it feel more like you’ve been handed a featureless app that had no thought put into it.

If you’re looking for a user-friendly design that achieves the same ease of use as Bitdefender VPN, but without kneecapping the experience for users who want more control, read our ExpressVPN review. ExpressVPN keeps its interface easy to use while still being rich in features.

Bitdefender VPN Features Overview

Starts from$ 333per month

General

Payment methods
PayPal, Credit card
Accepts cryptocurrency
Simultaneous connections
10
Supports split tunneling
Unlimited bandwidth
Free trial available
Refund period
30 days
Worldwide server amount
27 locations
Desktop OSes
Windows, MacOS
Mobile OSes
Android, iOS
Browser extensions
Can be installed on routers

Streaming

Can access Netflix US
Can access BBC iPlayer
Can access Hulu
Can access Amazon Prime Video

Security

Encryption types
256-AES
VPN protocols available
OpenVPN
Enabled at device startup
Allows torrenting
No-logging policy
Passed DNS leak test
Killswitch available
Malware/ad blocker included
comes with Total Security package

Support

Live Chat
24/7
Email support
24/7
Phone support
office hours
User forum
Knowledgebase

Pricing

70% - Decent

Comparing Bitdefender VPN’s to other providers is difficult because you must have another one of Bitdefender’s security solutions on your computer to use it. If you already have Bitdefender on your system, the prices for the VPN are a good deal, but having to get an additional, usually quite expensive, software to use the VPN can drive people away from it.

However, as you can see from our review of Bitdefender antivirus, it is the best on the market right now so it might be worth the investment if you are really trying to protect your computer.

Basic VPN
  • Free (requires Bitdefender Total Security). 200MB daily limit.
  • 6 GB Bandwidth
  • 1 Included Devices
Premium VPN monthly
  • Unlimited GB Bandwidth
  • 5 Included Devices
Premium VPN yearly
  • Unlimited GB Bandwidth
  • 10 Included Devices
1-year plan $ 3.33 / month
$39.99 billed every year

With that in mind, let’s look at the plans for Bitdefender VPN. For starters, there’s a “free” plan that comes with Bitdefender Total Security. It offers 200MB of data per day, which is good when it comes to free VPN services, but, at the same time, it’s hard to call the plan “free.”

Moving up to the premium plans, there’s a monthly pay-as-you-go option and an annual option. Both have unlimited bandwidth but are limited to the number of devices that your license for the antivirus allows.

Though the prices offered by Bitdefender VPN are competitive and seem to be a great value, it’s unfair to compare them to other providers because Bitdefender requires you to make an additional purchase. If you’re looking for an affordable VPN that doesn’t require an additional purchase, take a look at our CyberGhost review.

Ease of Use

80% - Good

Bitdefender VPN focuses on offering a simplified and streamlined user experience more than on providing a feature-rich one. Because of that, the VPN is easy to use.

You can open the VPN application from the control panel that comes with Bitdefender software or the system tray icon. The system tray icon changes to show whether you’re connected, with a small red X indicating you’re not and a green check indicating you are.

The first screen of the client sports a simple white background with a large blue button that lets you connect and a drop-down menu below that to let you pick where you want to connect to. The server list is alphabetized and easy to browse, with the flag of each country sitting to the left of its name.

A button at the top left opens a menu that gives you a handful of options, including the settings, contacting support and seeing information regarding your account, such as how many days are left on your subscription.

Though the Bitdefender VPN client is streamlined, the experience on the website is not as optimized. Bitdefender doesn’t consider the VPN a standalone product and, because of that, it isn’t given much space on the website. Almost all of the website content is for other products, so finding answers to questions about the VPN, or even finding it at all, can often be a hassle.

Speed

80% - Good

Bitdefender offers impressive speeds on all the servers we tested. Establishing a connection takes about 10 seconds each time, which is far from fast, but, once connected, the internet feels responsive and stable.

Location:Ping (ms)Download (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)
Unprotected (Virginia)1472.055.86
United Kingdom9039.444.72
Switzerland10769.843.46
United States5349.264.81
Japan19368.903.25
Brazil15169.343.73

As you can see from our test results, when we connected to Switzerland, Japan or Brazil, we saw reasonable, but not great, ping times and only lost a few percentage points on our download speeds. Upload speeds took a much bigger hit, which might be important to take note of if you’re want to send files with your VPN.

One thing that caught our eye was that the UK and U.S. servers returned worse results than the others. The ping time was what you’d expect from those locations because they’re much closer to us than Japan or Switzerland, but the download speeds were inferior.

That’s probably a symptom of not having the strongest possible network infrastructure. It’s likely that those are the two most trafficked locations and the inferior performance is because they’re under heavier load.

Though its performance during our tests might earn it a spot on our fastest VPN list, it doesn’t have the best ping times in many cases. If you’re looking for a VPN with rock-bottom ping times that will let you play competitive games abroad, take a look at our best VPN for gaming roundup.

Security

80% - Good

As has been the theme of this review and the VPN, there are no options when it comes to how protected you are while using Bitdefender VPN. There are no protocol settings to change or encryptions to choose from. That said, the settings that are forced on you are what we suggest people use, anyway.

Bitdefender VPN uses the OpenVPN protocol, which is a powerful and open source protocol that’s secure, reasonably fast and reliable. If you’re interested in learning more about VPN protocols, check out our VPN protocol breakdown.

To further improve the security, Bitdefender VPN encrypts your connection using AES 256-bit. That’s the VPN setup we would recommend for almost anyone because it’s secure and offers a quick connection. For all practical purposes, AES 256-bit is impossible to crack, but if you’re curious about cryptography in general, you should read our description of encryption article.

Though Bitdefender VPN doesn’t let you turn DNS leak protection on or off like many VPNs do, it did pass our DNS leak test.

If you’re wondering what DNS leaks are, head to our what are DNS leaks article for an in-depth explanation. In short, a DNS leak means some information about your browsing is slipping into the hands of your internet service provider or, in some cases, the government, even when you access the internet through your VPN.

Privacy

65% - Decent

Though Bitdefender VPN’s security is good, in some ways, Bitdefender might be the one to keep your eye on while using the service. Establishing transparency is one of the most important things for a company handling cybersecurity and a VPN to do. A major component of that is having easily interpretable and concise privacy policies and user agreements.

Though Bitdefender is a larger company than many of the VPN providers we look at and offers many additional services, its end-user license agreements and privacy policies are needlessly complex and difficult to navigate. There are various subscription agreements, terms and conditions, and privacy policies posted on its website.

Unfortunately, when we asked directly about VPN’s privacy policy, we were directed to a short FAQ page that said “nobody (advertising agencies, ISP’s, insurance companies, etc.) will have access to your online logs.”

That suggests logs are being kept but not shared with third-parties.

If you dive in to the Bitdefender Home Solutions privacy policy and head to section 7.3, you’ll see that it only collects randomized or hashed user and device IDs, IP addresses and randomly generated tokens used to establish the VPN connection. That said, it shares that information with Anchorfree, a third party that processes data on behalf of Bitdefender.

Though it seems like the information being collected in regards to the VPN is largely anonymized and is not identifying, plenty of information gathered on the website and during checkout is, including your home address. If you’re looking for a VPN that offers a top-of-the-line privacy policy with no logging, take a look at our NordVPN review.

Streaming Performance

60% - Fair

Bitdefender VPN wasn’t able to get through most of the VPN detection systems we put it up against. BBC iPlayer and Netflix denied it, but Hulu seemed more than happy to let us through with a protected connection.

When it came to watching content, there was a slight ramp up time for the connection. It’d often start by defaulting to 720p or 480p, but less than 10 seconds later, the connection would improve and the video would be bumped up to 1080p. That isn’t uncommon among VPNs.

Once the video was bumped up to 1080p on YouTube and Hulu, the connection was stable and we didn’t have to deal with buffering. On the other hand, we did experience buffering on Twitch, most likely because of unstable latency, which can have a serious effect on live streams.

Though the overall performance while streaming was good, most people are probably looking for a way to beat the Netflix VPN ban. If you’re one of them, check out our best VPN for Netflix article. If you’re trying to access BBC iPlayer, head to our best VPN for BBC iPlayer roundup.

Server Locations

75% - Good

Bitdefender VPN hosts servers in 27 countries. They’re distributed well, with servers in Europe, North America, Asia and South America. Strangely, the list of servers in the VPN’s client doesn’t show the exact location of the server, but just the country, so you won’t know exactly where you’re connecting.

It also seems impossible to tell how many individual servers Bitdefender has. We couldn’t find the number on the website or anywhere else. That makes it hard to tell how redundant and reliable the servers are, but, as we saw during our speed testing, there are signs that the servers are under significant load.

For context, while 27 locations is not necessarily lacking, the highest we’ve seen is from HideMyAss. Its network has almost 1,000 servers spread over 280 locations. Read our HideMyAss review to learn more.

Customer Service

90% - Excellent

As we noted in our Bitdefender Antivirus review, the customer service is excellent. If you encounter a problem, you have several options for getting help.

For starters, there’s a long list of phone lines that can be contacted in various countries. The hours of the phone lines vary, but some are open 24 hours a day. There’s also live chat on the website, as well as email support. All support routes were able to give us a concise and helpful answer in a timely manner.

There’s also a user forum and a massive knowledgebase. The knowledgebase can be difficult to search, especially when looking for answers regarding the VPN, but it’ll still provide you with useful information if you look around.

The Verdict

Bitdefender nailed a lot of important marks when it comes to offering a great VPN. The speeds are solid, the customer support is top notch and the software is well-designed and easy to use.

That said, there are plenty of things that hold it back. Having to purchase an entire security suite of software just to use the VPN is unfortunate, especially when it doesn’t let you want BBC iPlayer or Netflix.

Because we can’t recommend Bitdefender VPN, we suggest you take a look at our massive archive of VPN reviews. They’re sorted from best to worst, so you can easily find the current top dog.

If you have experience with any of Bitdefender’s products, let us know in the comments below. We love hearing from you. Thanks for reading.

Bitdefender VPN Review

A featureless but safe experience.

Bitdefender VPN is a decent solution designed to work in tandem with the company's antivirus. It's pretty good, though eschews the features and functionality found in market leaders. Still, it's a solid choice if protection is your main concern, as you can read in our full Bitdefender VPN review.
Starts from$ 333per month
Visit Bitdefender VPN

One thought on “Bitdefender VPN”

  1. Bitdefender VPN User Rating

    Unless all features and performance are improved
    I will not buy the Bitdefender VPN next year.

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Bitdefender VPN Review

A featureless but safe experience.

Bitdefender VPN is a decent solution designed to work in tandem with the company's antivirus. It's pretty good, though eschews the features and functionality found in market leaders. Still, it's a solid choice if protection is your main concern, as you can read in our full Bitdefender VPN review.
Starts from$ 333per month
Visit Bitdefender VPN
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