BitDefender is an antivirus software suite developed by Romanian-based software company SOFTWIN. It was launched in November 2001, and is currently in its thirteenth version. The most recent version is called version 2010 and it was launched in August 2009.
BitDefender replaced SOFTWIN's earlier AVX (AntiVirus eXpert) product range. Between 1996 and 2001 AVX became a product available worldwide that offered intelligent updating without user intervention and integrated an internal browser which scanned and monitored all downloaded files. AVX hold the first behavior- based application blocking technology and it was the first antivirus product to include personal firewall features. With the sixth generation of AVX, the product becomed the first antivirus to include an application firewall as well as behavior- based blocking.
The BitDefender group spun off from SOFTWIN in 2007. The BitDefender range includes antivirus products for home users, businesses, enterprise users and Internet service providers. Home editions support Microsoft Windows, Symbian OS, Windows Mobile and Mac OS X (Beta); business and enterprise editions support Microsoft Windows, Linux and FreeBSD. The current version of the Home/Home Office security suite includes antivirus, anti-spyware, firewall, e-mail spam filtering, backup, tune-up and parental control components. A free basic online scan is offered via the BitDefender website.
In reviews for BitDefender, the home version of the suite was given the PC Answers editor's choice award in a comparative review in May 2007. As of June 2007, BitDefender had passed Virus Bulletin's VB100 independent tests 14 times out of 18 since first tested in 2002. It also achieved an advanced certification from AV Comparatives for on-demand scanning, and standard level certification for catching unknown viruses, though it was criticised for its slower scanning speed and higher instances of false positives. It is also the least expensive of the top three antivirus solutions, as ranked by PC World.
Bitdefender is designed to protect computers from viruses and spyware. Older versions of BitDefender are made available for free download when newer versions are released. The first version which was made freely available was version 6. As of May 2009, version 12 of BitDefender is freely available for download. Unlike the commercial version, the free version only offers an on-demand virus scanning and doesn't provide real time scanning, and may therefore be less suitable for machines with a continuous connection to the internet.