Split Tunneling And Multi
We mentioned this briefly above, but we were disappointed to see that Bitdefender doesnt support either of these useful VPN features. That being said, when we reached out, they did note that they were looking into adding multi-hop and split tunneling to their offerings. Were looking forward to it!
External Audit: Is Bitdefender Safe
The external audit isnt when someone on Facebook, Reddit, or Instagram praises your product. Its when a verified, professional regulatory body verifies your product as being reliable and trustworthy.
So far, a few VPNs managed to achieve this status and some of them are NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and VyprVPN. They all have their policies verified, making them completely trustworthy and safe to use.
Bitdefender VPN isnt a part of this elite group and youve probably seen that coming. Its a new provider on the market, plus, its not as good as any of the companies we mentioned above.
For that reason, dont expect any audits that will prove this VPNs safety.
Confidentiality Security & Logs
Bitdefender VPN is stationed in Romania, and as we know, this is a very VPN-friendly country. The important thing is that its outside of the 14 Eyes jurisdiction, so no data-retention laws are in place. A provider from Romania, CyberGhost, is one of the best picks in 2021. But, is this one going to repeat its success in terms of security?
While CyberGhost doesnt store logs, this one does, albeit not to a very critical extent. We already highlighted what you need to see. Basically, they collect your IP address, timestamps, and the referral website that brought you to Bitdefender websites.
Although collecting IP addresses is already pretty bad, they dont collect anything except what we mentioned, including your email and name, which is obligatory. However, this last sentence drew our attention. It says that they can keep your data up to 1 year, and thats quite a long period.
Also, they state that they may reveal your personal data to authorities if they request them to hand the data over. While many no-logs providers add that they dont have anything to hand over since they dont store data, this one doesnt do that.
Before wrapping up this part of our Bitdefender VPN review, lets check the IP leak test:
While 256-bit encryption is here, the provider does not include a kill switch, which is a fatal flaw. For that reason, Bitdefender VPN isnt very safe, nor secure.
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Is Bitdefender VPN Safe To Use
Bitdefender VPN uses military-grade encryption to encode your traffic. This means that your IP address will be masked, and your personal information will be kept well out of reach of any potential hackers.
It also offers the following tunneling protocols:
- Hotspot Shields Catapult Hydra
While the first three options are legit, I would advise against using L2TP/IPSec. Its considered to be already outdated, especially since the WireGuard protocol has become available. Unfortunately, Bitdefender is yet to implement it.
When it comes to security and privacy features in 2021, Bitdefender Premium VPN has little to offer. The only option is to turn on the kill switch, which is disabled by default. Without it, your personal data may be exposed in case of a VPN failure.
Want To Consider Other Options
Bitdefender is not the only VPN on the market, although it offers impressive performance. Lets check out some Bitdefender alternatives and see how they differ.
Bitdefender vs NordVPN
While both VPNs provide anonymity, secure your web traffic, and are easy to use, they also have a few differences.;
NordVPN is faster than Bitdefender and provides slightly better conditions for downloading, streaming, or gaming. It also has more servers5,200 in 62 countries, compared to Bitdefenders 1,300.;
NordVPN doesnt only unblock Netflix US but can also Youtube Premium, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Sky, Hulu, and Disney+, unlike Bitdefender.
Bitdefender vs ExpressVPN
While both VPNs offer privacy, use the same encryption, and are suitable for torrenting, they are different in some aspects. ExpressVPN allows five simultaneous connections, whereas Bitdefender allows ten.
ExpressVPN is faster than Bitdefender, and with it, you can unblock all major streaming sites. It also offers more comprehensive anonymity, as its based in a jurisdiction with no data retention laws .;
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Can I Use Bitdefender To Bypass Censorship
Many people online mention that Hotspot Shield is good for bypassing censorship. As we mentioned before in our review, Hotspot Shield powers Bitdefender VPN, so they share some of the features. One of them is the proprietary Hydra protocol that should, in theory, bypass censorship easily.
To avoid any misunderstanding, were talking mostly about censorship in China, as well as the Chinese firewall. It represents one of the angriest nemesis of VPNs, making only a few of them worth a shot. This provider is nowhere near bypassing the Great Firewall of China, rendering it useless for bypassing censorship.
We dont recommend it if youre living in China, the UAE or Russia. A much better option is NordVPN and its obfuscated servers.
How Private Is Bitdefender VPN And Does It Keep Logs
Although Bitdefender Premium VPN may be packaged as a Bitdefender product, it actually works by connecting through Hotspot Shield’s Catapult Hydra protocol. servers. When we first reviews the VPN, we initially wrote that we were concerned that Bitdefender was simply a white-label Hotspot Shield, which would mean users were subject to similar logging.
However, we’ve had clarification that the service does not share user data with Hotspot Shield or its parents, meaning any logging or lack of it is wholly down to Bitdefender, and the only shared technology is the Catapult Hydra protocol.
We collect for this service only randomly generated or hashed user and device IDs, IP addresses, and randomly generated tokens to establish a VPN connection for the sole purpose of providing the VPN service. For this service, we use AnchorFree as data processor who processes data on behalf of Bitdefender in accordance with Bitdefender’s instructions and for the sole purpose of providing VPN services to users.’
Although neither Bitdefender nor Hotspot Shield can see what you’re doing online, and claim that what they log cannot be linked back to you, this level of logging is higher than most of its competitors.
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Other Total Security 2021 Tools And Features
While we did not test all of Total Security 2021s privacy and security tools, those we did test were fairly functional. With the exception of Bitdefenders VPN, which we dont recommend, the Total Security brings to the table an impressive suite of features that cover most of your privacy and security needs to a great degree.
When Should I Use Bitdefender VPN
If you decide to use it — and we arent saying you should — its best for people who are already using Bitdefenders other products.If you have the Premium VPN service, you should turn it on whenever you plan to connect to the internet through any app. If youre working with 200MB of data per day from the free Basic version, turn the VPN on only for potentially sensitive actions, like sending files or making purchases.
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Does Bitdefender Premium VPN Support My Device
When it comes to using Bitdefender VPN, youll find that it can be used on all of the main platforms:
Theres no option to configure it on routers or other devices manually. Browser extensions are unavailable as well. Therefore, I must conclude that Bitdefender VPN device support is poor.
Each of the applications is easy to navigate and has a modern theme that is simple to read. However, this also stems from the fact that theres not much to toggle save for the kill switch.
I liked that the Bitdefender client has the option to start up automatically when connecting to public wifi or starting a P2P app. This is very convenient in case you dont want to run the VPN all the time.
Bitdefender VPN can be easily installed either separately or automatically added with your Bitdefender package. So, if you purchase Bitdefender Total Security, for instance, you will be able to use the free version of the VPN as this will come installed as standard.
Bitdefender Servers And Server Locations
The more countries in which your VPN provider has servers, the more options you have to spoof your location or find a nearby server when traveling. Bitdefender Premium VPN offers servers in 48 countries, which is only slightly below average. Annoyingly, the server list is not available on the company’s website. That said, it’s a solid list of locations, including servers in Africa and South America two continents often ignored by VPN companies. Bitdefender Premium VPN provides servers in regions with repressive internet policies, including Russia, Turkey, and Vietnam. The company also has servers in Hong Kong.
In terms of total network size, Bitdefender boasts some 1,300 servers across the globe. Keep in mind that having more servers does not necessarily make a VPN better, but that’s still a respectable number. CyberGhost leads the pack with over 6,500 available servers.
None of this is inherently problematic, but it is complicated. Mullvad VPN, for contrast, has a tool that lets you see information about its entire server network, where those machines are located, and whether they are leased or owned.
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Romanian Jurisdiction No Data Retention Law
Bitdefender VPN is based in Romania which means its far from the reaches of the 14 eyes.
The 14 eyes is a coalition of different countries that have the power to take data and information from those under them.
As for Bitdefender VPN, the service is not obligated to hand over information of any kind. Their data protection method remains tightly secured.
Just remember that even Bitdefender VPN will give out specific data to cooperate with ongoing investigations and the like. This can happen to any VPN service regardless of location.
Servers And Server Locations
Bitdefender has more than 1,300 servers in over 25 countries around the world. To be more precise, it doesnt have its own server network but instead uses Hotspot Shields one.
In any case, Bitdefenders server park seems sufficiently broad in terms of geographic diversity but doesnt come close to that of heavyweights such as NordVPN, which has 5,300+ servers in close to 60 countries worldwide.
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Pricing And Subscription Info
For a pricing deep dive check out our Bitdefender VPN pricing guide, but for a quick reference the chart below should do the trick. We ended up going with the one-year plan for the 20 percent savings, and would recommend to go with that plan as well, but make sure you dont forget about the seven-day trial!
Effectiveness As A Security Solution
Total Security 2021 is Bitdefenders top antivirus tool for consumers. As its highest-priced and most fully-featured option, it may be a bit more loaded than what your average user is going to need. However, as a security tool, its hard not to recommend Total Security 2021.
The big question here is:;why choose Total Security 2021 over a cheaper option, such as Antivirus Plus 2021? There are three key reasons:
- More protected devices per account
- Access to the Parental Advisor
- Access to the added Fire Wall
Its unfortunate for consumers that Bitdefender doesnt include the Parental Advisor and Fire Wall standard on its other options, but it is what it is. Total Security 2021 more than makes up for the cost if youre looking to cover an entire household of devices and computers. And if you really do need access to quality parental monitoring software for your mobile phones and computers, their Parental Advisor tool is top notch, even if it creates software conflicts with other tools.
Those aspects aside, the power behind Total Securitys real-time monitor is a selling point for the tool all by itself. If thats all you need, Antivirus Plus 2018 is probably a better option. But if you are in the market for an all-inclusive software package that covers every conceivable security and privacy need, Total Security 2021 will work well for you.
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Final Thoughts On Bitdefender VPN
Bitdefender VPN shares close ties with Bitdefender Total Security; this makes the VPN product a complimentary service. It is a cheap, secure and trustworthy VPN, offers essential features to ensure online privacy.
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Bitdefender VPN shares a little on their website, and their FAQs do not cover all aspects. This shady approach by the product may shake the trust of a potential customer. Bitdefender VPN should add more information about what they offer so that a potential customer may find the product reliable and trustworthy.
Bitdefender VPN Features Overview
The Premium VPN rates look great compared to many other VPNs, but dont forget youre paying that price on top of whatever you paid for Bitdefender itself. For example, if you got the VPN through Total Security for five devices, add $3.75 every month.
Once you do that, the cost falls into line with most other VPN services. If you get Bitdefender only on one device, this is actually one of the most cost-effective VPNs, but that solution is available only for Windows users.
The payment methods are pretty limited. It supports only credit cards, PayPal and bank transfers internationally no cryptocurrency . In the U.S., you can also send a check or pay cash at a 7-Eleven or Ace Hardware location, though the website is extremely light on the details of how. Frankly, wed rather have bitcoin as an option.
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What Do You Get For Your Money
A Bitdefender Premium VPN subscription allows you to connect up to 10 devices simultaneously, which is double the usual limit we see among VPNs. That’s a good value, particularly for large families or homes with many devices. A few companies are moving away from this limitation, however. Avira Phantom VPN, Encrypt.me VPN, Ghostery Midnight, IPVanish VPN, Surfshark VPN, and Windscribe VPN place no limit on the number of devices you can use at a time.;
The Bitdefender Premium VPN app supports split-tunneling, which routes specific traffic outside the VPN connection. This is useful for activities that are low-risk but high-bandwidth. Interestingly, you can only designate URLs to go outside the VPN tunnel. Most other VPN apps let you select specific apps, as well. The URL option is still very useful. Considering that some apps may use unusual URLs to send data in the background, it may create some problems, however.
Besides that, Bitdefender Premium VPN doesn’t have much beyond basic VPN protection. It does not provide integrated ad-blocking, as some other VPNs do. It does not support multi-hop connections that route your traffic through two VPN servers instead of one, nor does it support push-button access to the free Tor anonymization network. The company has told me it plans on adding these features later. Only ProtonVPN and NordVPN offer multi-hop, split-tunneling, and Tor access.
How Can I Contact Bitdefender
One of the advantages of having a large company like Bitdefender is that you get extensive customer support. This is one of the few providers that included the option to make a call and chat exclusively with the customer support team.
Apart from that option, you can send an email or use the live chat feature. If you want to hear more opinions about your question or problem, you can go to the forum and ask there. We must admit that this is truly extensive customer support, at least when it comes to contact methods.
We tested live chat and waited about 4 minutes to get a response, which is, believe it or not, very slow. VPN providers such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN usually take less than 15 seconds to respond, as a reference.
For a more direct approach, you can always make a call and fix your problems in a matter of minutes. In some countries, they even offer 24/7 service but only in a few of them.
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Bitdefender VPN Review Of Speed And Overall Performance
To test the speed and performance of Bitdefender VPN we used US locations on a 1Gbps connection. Testing was done by measuring the download speeds using Ookla’s SpeedTest and Netflix’s Fast.com. Each one is done across morning and evening times.
Based in US
Catapult Hydra: 340-410Mbps
Bitdefender VPN uses the bespoke Hydra Protocol from Hotspot Shield which means it’s all about speed balanced with security. The top speed hit was 410Mbps which is impressive. It doesn’t hit the top end, from ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol which managed 610Mbps in our tests, but it’s still a lot faster than many.;
The key here is that our testing of Hotspot Shield found similar speeds. That means you’re not getting a limited version of the service just because it’s running through Bitdefender.;
Should You Get Bitdefender Premium VPN
After doing this Bitdefender Premium VPN review, I cannot recommend it for you. The price is too much for such a basic service with virtually no features. Whats more, your internet speed will slow down significantly when using Bitdefender VPN, mainly due to the lack of WireGuard protocol.
Even though this provider unblocks Netflix, serious streamers will miss other options, such as BBC iPlayer or Kodi. Once again, the video quality will depend on your internet connection. The same can be said about P2P.
Finally, Bitdefender Premium VPN logs simply too much. At least the jurisdiction is privacy-friendly. So for all of you looking for a reliable VPN, I advise checking our top VPN providers instead.
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