Bitdefender vs Kaspersky – Which One Is Better?

Bitdefender vs Kaspersky

In this Bitdefender vs Kaspersky guide, we’ll compare the features, plans, effectiveness, and value-for-money delivered by the two security platforms. Bitdefender and Kaspersky are two big names in the antivirus industry, and both provide robust defenses against the ever-evolving array of dangers online.

In this comparison, we’ll provide insights into both products so you can make an informed decision and acquire the most suitable protection for your digital ecosystem.

NOTE: In April of 2024, Joe Biden and Donald Trump signed an order to prohibit Kaspersky Lab from providing certain products to U.S. companies and citizens. While nothing has been fully confirmed yet, the change might result in Kaspersky Lab products being banned in the U.S.

Bitdefender vs Kaspersky Compared

The two solutions have many points of similarity, and both have consistently received full marks in independent tests from AV-Test.

When it comes to protection, performance, and usability, both Bitdefender and Kaspersky shine and can be ranked among the best antivirus solutions out there.

Bitdefender Kaspersky
Starting price $29.99/yr (first year) $34.99/yr (first year)
Antivirus testing results 6/6 for Protection, Performance, and Usability from AV-Test 6/6 for Protection, Performance, and Usability from AV-Test
Compatibility Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Yandex, Opera
Firewall
Real-time protection
VPN 200MB/day, Unlimited with Premium Security Unlimited VPN with Plus and Premium
Max Devices Supported 15 10
Money-back Guarantee 30 days 30 days
Site

Bitdefender vs Kaspersky Pricing Compared

Winner: Bitdefender is more affordable

Here’s a quick price comparison table displaying the different plans each provider has to offer.

Bitdefender Kaspersky
Free Version Free plan and 30-day trial Free plan and 30-day trial
Starter Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
$29.99/yr (renews at $39.99/yr) – malware, spyware, ransomware protection, VPN
Kaspersky Standard
$34.99/yr (renews at $69.99/yr) – malware, spyware, ransomware protection, device optimization
Advanced Bitdefender Premium Security
$79.99/yr (renews at $159.99/yr) – includes firewall, unlimited VPN, password manager, parental controls, device optimization, 10 devices, multi-platform support
Kaspersky Plus
$47.99/yr (renews at $99.99/yr) – adds password manager, unlimited VPN
Premium Bitdefender Ultimate Security Plus
$119.99/yr (renews at $239.99/yr) – adds identity theft protection, $2m identity theft insurance, account and credit card monitoring
Kaspersky Standard
$67.49/year (renews at $149.99/year) – adds secure storage, smart home monitor, premium support, parental controls

Bitdefender offers six plans, with starting prices ranging from $29.99 to $119.99 per year, and offering a wide range of features. Kaspersky only offers three home plans, and they don’t scale to offer as wide a range of features as Bitdefender.

Both providers also offer a free plan and trials. When compared like for like, Bitdefender’s first three plans are cheaper than those from Kaspersky or are very similarly priced.

Bitdefender Free vs Kaspersky Free – How Do They Compare?

Winner: Bitdefender’s free plan is better

Bitdefender has free antivirus solutions for Windows, Android, and MacOS. While it might only offer basic antivirus protection, you do get live customer support, which few competitors include with their free plans.

The Kaspersky Free app, meanwhile, is available for Windows, Android, and iOS and includes the platform’s core antivirus protection.

Both platforms also offer 30-day trials for all plans (with the exception of Bitdefender’s two Ultimate plans) and 30-day money-back guarantees so you can test out the full functionality.

Bitdefender vs Kaspersky – Which One is Safer?

Winner: Bitdefender has better protection features

Bitdefender and Kaspersky are both very good at protecting users from online threats, as proven by independent testing. However, there are some concerning allegations about Kaspersky that can’t be avoided.

Kaspersky antivirus protection is provided by Kaspersky Lab, a company founded in Russia by Eugene Kaspersky, a former military intelligence agent. Some of its senior staff have also included former KGB agents.

The company has been accused of collaborating with Russian intelligence, which resulted in it being banned by U.S. government agencies for internal use.

The firm has since moved key operations and servers out of Russia and now has data processing and storage centers around the world. These are subject to third-party inspections to ensure user privacy is respected.

There haven’t been any new accusations of spying on its users. Nevertheless, the U.S. government continues to describe the firm as a threat to national security.

Given all this and the fact that the two are evenly matched when it comes to third-party testing, we rate Bitdefender as being safer.

Malware Protection

In independent testing, Bitdefender and Kaspersky both caught 100% of the zero-day malware attacks and prevalent malware threats they scanned.

Bitdefender malware protection
Bitdefender’s malware protection

Bitdefender’s malware protectionBitdefender uses a global database of threats to determine if links are dangerous. Kaspersky has its own database and uses algorithms to identify new threats.

Kaspersky malware protection
Kaspersky’s malware protection

Both Bitdefender and Kaspersky offer anti-ransomware tools. Bitdefender mitigates the risk by creating backups of your files so that if your PC is infected by ransomware, you can wipe your system clean and retrieve your files.

Kaspersky, meanwhile, has a decryption tool that can unlock encrypted files. It also has features to detect behavior indicative of ransomware so it can stop the program in its tracks.

Firewall Protection

Firewalls are standard when it comes to antivirus protection. They add a first line of defense by supervising your connections and controlling what programs can access your network.

Bitdefender firewall protection
Bitdefender’s firewall protection

Bitdefender’s firewall can be configured so you can control application access, set rules, and change network adaptor settings. It is also equipped with port scan protection, which shuts down any attempts to scan vulnerable ports.

Kaspersky offers a two-way firewall that will shield you from attacks against your device. It tracks incoming and outgoing network requests and blocks anything suspicious.

Kaspersky firewall protection
Kaspersky’s firewall protection

Compared to Bitdefender, Kaspersky offers more customization options. For example, you can modify individual packet rules and change connection permissions, which will be appreciated by experienced users.

Real-Time Malware Protection

Real-time protection is a staple of antivirus software, and both Bitdefender and Kaspersky provide real-time security.

Bitdefender offers the Bitdefender Shield, which constantly scans your downloads for threats. If it finds anything malicious, it automatically deletes it or places it into quarantine.

Bitdefender real-time protection
Bitdefender blocking a malicious site

It offers excellent protection and works closely with Bitdefender’s Global Protective Network. This monitors hundreds of millions of machines in order to identify novel malware. The feature ensures you remain protected, even against zero-day threats and phishing attacks.

Kaspersky real-time protection
Kaspersky’s “access blocked” warning

Kaspersky’s real-time protection monitors the files you’re using and your downloads for malware. If it detects anything suspicious, Kaspersky marks files and applications for termination and deletes them, while Bitdefender simply sends suspicious files to quarantine.

Scanning

Bitdefender offers quick, system, custom, and vulnerability scans, drawing on a large malware directory and machine learning to detect known and unknown threats. It’s lightweight, and most of the scanning takes place in the cloud, which means it takes very little processing power.

Bitdefender scan options
Bitdefender’s scan options

You can also schedule scans to run on start-up or on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Kaspersky Scan options
Kaspersky’s scanning options

Kaspersky also offers several scan options. A quick scan will check the locations where malware is typically found, while a full scan will check the whole system. You can also schedule scans and run vulnerability scans to search for weaknesses in your system.

As with Bitdefender, Kaspersky will check malware databases and cross-reference scan results to ensure it picks up all forms of malware, including new and emerging threats.

Bitdefender vs Kaspersky – Ease of Use

Winner: Bitdefender is easier to use

Bitdefender and Kaspersky have similar installation processes, and both take about five minutes to install. Automatic renewal is enabled by default, but this can be disabled once installation is complete if desired.

Bitdefender dashboard
Bitdefender’s main dashboard

Bitdefender’s interface is easy to navigate, with categories for Protection, Privacy, and Utilities on the left of the main dashboard. You can also customize the dashboard to add more quick action buttons for easy access, though you are limited in the number you can add.

Kaspersky dashboard
Kaspersky’s main dashboard

Kaspersky’s interface has a modern design, and all the main features are easy to find, with additional functionality made accessible via the left toolbar. Every feature comes with a short description, which makes the platform very easy to use.

Some of Kaspersky’s tools are difficult to find, though, and you can’t resize the UI, meaning you have to scroll through a list of features. Compared to Bitdefender, this UI takes a little more getting used to.

Both solutions received the maximum testing score for limited system impact, meaning they won’t noticeably slow your device down. On the whole, though, Bitdefender is slightly more user-friendly.

Bitdefender vs Kaspersky Key Features

Winner: Bitdefender has a better selection of features

Both providers offer a wide range of features, but Bitdefender has a lot of unique functionality available with its higher tiers.

Device Performance Optimization

Bitdefender comes with a OneClick Optimizer, which can be used to free up space on your device by removing unnecessary files. It looks for old installation files, registries, junk files, outdated drives, and empty files, which are likely unwanted – and it’s a very effective tool.

Bitdefender device optimization features
Bitdefender’s device optimization features

Before Bitdefender clears anything, it moves the items into disk, registry, and privacy cleanup groups. This means you can check the various items before they are deleted in case it picks up something you’d prefer to keep.

Kaspersky has a suite of system cleanup tools that are very helpful in keeping your device clean. The tools include a standard PC cleaner, speed-up tools, and even a hard drive health monitor.

Kaspersky performance optimization features
Kaspersky’s performance optimization features

These tools are pretty intuitive. For every item that gets flagged, for example, you have the choice of deleting or ignoring it. It also gives you the option to do an online search so you can get more information about an item so you don’t blindly delete anything you might need.

The hard drive health monitor is also useful. It reviews any hard drives you have connected to your system and notifies you of issues – though it can’t necessarily solve them itself.

VPN

Bitdefender comes with a built-in VPN that has robust features and connection speeds. However, you’ll be subject to significant data caps unless you upgrade to the Premium plan.

The VPN comes with 200MB of data per day per device – or up to 6GB per month – which isn’t great for downloading files, streaming, or even browsing the internet. The Premium plan, on the other hand, includes unlimited data.

Bitdefender VPN
Bitdefender’s VPN

Alternatively, you can add Bitdefender’s stand-alone VPN to any antivirus package for $3.33/month ($39.99 for the first year). This offers unlimited traffic for up to ten devices. It’s also got 4,000+ servers spread over more than 50 countries around the world.

Kaspersky VPN
Kaspersky’s VPN

Kaspersky also has a VPN, and it’s also limited to 300MB per day with a single server on the introductory plan. If you opt for the Plus or Premium packages, you get an unlimited VPN with 2,000+ servers in 100+ locations, but it ends up being more expensive than Bitdefender.

The stand-alone VPN is cheaper than Bitdefende’s offering, though, and costs $2.17/month ($25.99 for the first year) for five devices.

Dark Web Monitoring

Bitdefender offers data breach monitoring on its Ultimate plans or with a Digital Identity Protection subscription, which starts at $3.33/month.

It continuously monitors the public and dark web and reports any breaches that may put your data at risk. It then generates an overall identity protection score, which indicates how safe your data is and gives you recommendations on how to fix problems.

On the other hand, Kaspersky offers a data leak checker with its Plus and Premium plans. This will warn you if your passwords or bank details have been leaked on the internet and offers advice on how to prevent this from happening again.

This feature is fairly basic compared to Bitdefender’s Digital Identity Protection package, however.

Password Manager

Bitdefender includes a password manager with its Premium package, letting you save passwords and personal information like addresses and phone numbers. It works via a browser extension, and while there’s no desktop app, there are mobile apps for Android and iOS.

The tool can generate strong passwords and auto-fill your information. There’s also a vault auditing tool that provides an overview of your password security. It highlights weak passwords, reused passwords, and leaked passwords, giving you an indication of your overall password strength and security.

Kaspersky’s password manager is relatively basic in comparison. While it can generate and store passwords, the free version only allows for five passwords to be stored. If you opt for the Premium or Plus packages, you can store an unlimited number of passwords.

A significant downside is that Kaspersky has no recovery options, unlike Bitdefender, so if you lose your master password, you’ll lose all of the information you have saved.

Parental Controls

Bitdefender Parental Controls
Bitdefender’s Parental Controls

Bitdefender’s parental controls work well on Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS. As with all parental controls, you’ll need to install a separate application on the device you want to monitor. It comes equipped with GPS tracking, app and web use restrictions, and screen time scheduling.

Kaspersky Parental Controls
Kaspersky’s Safe Kids parental control feature

Kaspersky offers its Safe Kids feature for Premium subscribers. Like Bitdefender, it includes a GPS tracker and the ability to block inappropriate content. The feature also allows you to monitor device usage and get reports on activity.

Unique Features

Rescue Environment is an exclusive feature from Bitdefender. It allows you to scan your hard drive before your operating system boots up, allowing you to remove sophisticated malware like rootkits that have managed to infiltrate your system files.

There’s also a file shredder to permanently destroy files and a range of identity theft protection features.

Kaspersky offers an onscreen keyboard, meanwhile, that can help fight against keyloggers. Whenever you enter personal information like a password or PIN code using a hardware keyboard, there’s a risk spyware could intercept the data, and the virtual keyboard prevents this.

The Identity Protection Wallet, meanwhile, provides encrypted storage for your most valuable documents.

Bitdefender vs Kaspersky – Compatibility

Winner: Draw

The two providers offer a similar level of device compatibility. They both cover Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, though Bitdefender only supports Windows with its two cheapest plans.

Kaspersky supports ten devices on its top-tier Premium plan. Bitdefender offers more flexibility by allowing you to upgrade to cover more devices, and its Family plans can protect 15 devices.

In terms of browser compatibility, both work well on Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari, but Kaspersky also supports Yandex and Opera.

Bitdefender vs Kaspersky – Customer Reviews

Bitdefender has a rating of 3.6/5 on Trustpilot, giving it an average score. While many people praise the product’s protection capabilities, some reviews complain that the automatic renewal setting is too difficult to change and that the provider persistently tries to upsell its customers.

Bitdefender customer review from Trustpilot
Bitdefender customer review from Trustpilot

On the other hand, Kaspersky’s reputation has suffered in recent years. Nevertheless, Kaspersky UK has a “Great” 4/5 rating on Trustpilot, with 13,245 reviews, and users speak highly of its excellent detection rates.

Conclusion: Bitdefender or Kaspersky – Which One Wins?

Bitdefender Kaspersky
Price
Security
Ease of use
Features
Compatibility Draw Draw
Customer reviews Draw Draw
Overall Winner

Based on the categories we’ve assessed, Bitdefender is the better choice. It’s more affordable, making it great for those on a budget, and it’s also easier to use and offers a wider range of features – giving it the lead before even considering the accusations leveled against Kaspersky.

How We Test Antiviruses

Our reviews are always based on thorough testing, and our team of experts are able to draw from their extensive experience of assessing the best cybersecurity tools on the market. Here are the key metrics we used to assess Bitdefender and Kaspersky:

  • Independent antivirus testing – We look at reports from independent labs like AV-Test to supplement our findings and provide a technical assessment of product performance.
  • Features – Our reviews explore all the features on offer and how effective they are, considering both core security functionality and extras like VPNs and password managers.
  • Ease of use – Usability is critical, so we assess how easy it is to navigate the user interface. Being accessible for beginners is a major bonus.
  • Third-Party Reviews – To supplement our findings, we look at real user feedback to understand what customers are looking for and how they’ve found the product in the long run.
  • Pricing – Value for money is critical, and we look to highlight the best, most affordable plans, and where vendors go above and beyond.

How to Choose the Best Antivirus Service

To find the best antivirus solution to suit your needs, it’s worth considering the following features.

  • Antivirus Detection Rates — It’s important that the product performs well and includes core features like virus scanning, real-time protection, and firewalls and that it gets good results when its detection rates are tested.
  • Usability and Compatibility — A good solution should be intuitive and easy to use. Equally, it’s important that it supports all the devices you want to protect.
  • Key Features — It’s worth exploring the functionality of different plans and making sure all the tools you need are available. In addition to core features like malware scans, consider whether you want extra tools like VPNs, password managers, and parental controls.
  • Customer Support — Good customer service is a key differentiator. Providers that don’t offer easy access to support or that get poor reviews online are more likely to disappoint you. Bitdefender offers support even with its free plan, which is excellent.
  • Cost — It’s worth thinking about how much you want to pay, how much that will buy in the market, and whether you’ll need to pay for add-ons and upgrades. When two products are evenly matched, the cheaper solution may be the winner.

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Justin Van Gent
Technology Writer

As an experienced freelance writer for Techopedia.com, Justin strives to provide accurate, informative comparisons and reviews on both B2B and B2C tech solutions — ranging from product reviews to CRMs, security software, and beyond.