This comprehensive guide was created based on the research of our seasoned experts and the top independent labs in the world so that you could make an informed decision.

We follow the work of four labs that regularly release detailed reports: AV-Test Institute based in Germany, MRG-Effitas, and SE Labs found in the UK as well as AV-Comparatives based in Austria.

AV-Test Institute discovered 144.91 million new malware samples in 2019 and a record of 38.48 million new samples in the first quarter of 2020. Malicious hackers are now attacking computers and networks at a rate of one attack every 39 seconds.

They say that the total number of registered malware has grown from 65 million to over 1 billion in the last nine years. In the last year alone, they discovered more than 100 million new viruses and malicious programs. This number was more significant than the total in 2012.

As you can see, high-grade protection is more critical than ever before.

In this comparison, you’ll see the security products, features, and tools both companies offer. We look at how they stack up against each other regarding malware protection, system performance, user interface, cost, and more.

Here are the most important factors that we’ve compared:

  • Protection
  • Performance
  • Usability
  • Features
  • Pricing

You need to be able to protect yourself against any digital threats, so you don’t have to deal with these kinds of problems ever in your life.

So let’s see what’s what.

A quick overview of the results

If you’re in a rush or just not too interested in all the statistics, we have compiled a handy overview of the results.

  • Protection

    While both software options showed brilliant 100% protection and detection rates in one lab, the other found that Avast had a 0.5% better detection.

  • Performance

    Avast shows some significant slow-down when launching popular websites. It is the reason there is a clear winner in this category.

  • Usability

    Both products offer simple and straightforward to use interfaces. There were some small issues with false reporting by both software options, though.

  • Features

    Bitdefender and Avast both offer anti-malware and VPN features. Avast requires you to pay extra for every advanced feature, though.

  • Pricing

    Bitdefender has a few different price points, but Avast requires you to pay extra for almost every advanced feature.

A short verdict

Both Bitdefender and Avast offer excellent protection against malware and viruses. Still, Bitdefender provides better performance, features, and pricing. It means that Bitdefender is a better option as an antivirus.

  1. Overall winner
    Bitdefender Antivirus logo

    Bitdefender

    Since 2001, Bitdefender innovation has consistently delivered award-winning security products and threat intelligence for people, homes, businesses, devices, networks, and cloud services.

    Starting at $19,99 from Bitdefender
  2. Complete protection for all your devices
    Avast Antivirus Logo

    Avast

    Avast offers a good level of protection against malware and hackers. Still, all the features are not included in the entry-level product, so be ready to pay extra for them.

    Starting at $55,99 from Avast

Detailed results

If you’re the kind of person that loves to get to know products before investing in them, you’ve come to the right place. We would be happy to dive into the details that were uncovered during our research. Let’s see everything we learned when we put Bitdefender and Avast head-to-head. Two contenders were compared in 5 categories using data gathered by our experts and test results of top independent testing facilities.

So let’s see what we found out.

Protection

There is nothing more critical than antivirus software’s ability to protect your computer against malware. It’s the whole reason you want to have it on your computer in the first place. The last tests run by independent test facilities show that both software are among the top in the world.

Let’s compare the test results of two labs, AV-Test and AV-Comparatives so that you can see for yourself.

In the last tests, AV-Test put both software up against 402 samples of 0-day malware attacks and 20606 samples of malware in four weeks.

Both Bitdefender and Avast protected against 100% of threats. It is an impressive score. We can see that we have two competent software against each other. Both also detected all 20606 samples with an impressive 100% result.

Industry average Bitdefender Avast
Protection against 0-day malware attacks, inclusive of web and email threats

402 samples used

Detection of widespread and prevalent malware discovered in the last 4 weeks

20606 samples used

Source: av-test.org

AV-Comparatives also tested Real-Life Protection and found that Bitdefender Blocked 99,3% of threats while Avast blocked 99,7% of threats. The results are based on the test set of 754 live test cases (malicious URLs found in the field), consisting of working exploits (i.e., drive-by downloads) and URLs pointing directly to malware.

Bitdefender Avast
Blocked
Compromised
Protection rate

Source: av-comparatives.org

As you can see, the tests show that the two options are pretty much equal. Because of the 0.5% difference, Avast is still the winner.

Winner: Avast

Performance

If you choose to secure your digital life, it’s crucial for the solution to trouble your everyday tasks as little as possible. Trying to load websites or open applications when the computer keeps slowing down, can get quite infuriating.

Let’s see how the two competitors hold up against each other in that regard so that we can avoid any problems.

AV-Test lab research shows that Bitdefender performs quite nicely while installing frequently used applications, but may cause some slow-down while launching popular websites. The results are pretty much the same for Avast, with some slow-down detected when launching websites and applications.

Industry average Bitdefender Avast
Slowing-down when launcing popular websites

50 websites visited

Slower download of frequently-used applications

20 downloaded files

Slower launch of standard software

12 test cases applied

Slower installation of frequently-used applications

19 installed applications

Slower copying of files (locally and in a network)

7388 files copied

Source: av-test.org

Because of the percentage of slow-down Avast caused while launching popular websites, the win goes to Bitdefender.

Winner: Bitdefender

Usability

We measure the usability of antivirus software with two aspects. The first is its interface and how easy it is to use. The second is the software’s false reporting. Can you imagine false reports popping up left and right? Doesn’t seem like the best option? We agree. It is why we put the products head-to-head in both aspects.

First, let’s compare the interfaces.

Bitdefender offers a modern and easy to understand application with an intuitive design. Compared to some of the competitors, it has a bit more information on the home screen. Still, the important things stand out, and everything can be found in a heartbeat.

On the left side of the window, you can find a menu for different modules.

The first is the dashboard that is basically the home screen and gives you an overview of everything that is going on. There’s a big status message on the top, letting you know if your computer is safe. You can also start a quick scan there, open the VPN, safepay, and add other devices you wish to keep safe. There’s also an option to add a customized quick action.

If you check back to the right, you’ll find the protection module, where you can see if your device is protected and if the program is up to date. You are also able to start a quick scan or a vulnerability scan from there.

If you go through the options on the left, you are presented with privacy, utilities, notifications, your account, setting, and support.

Bitdefender User Interface

Avast has a modern and simple design, a bit darker than the other contender, though. The interface is intuitive and lets you find the most important functions with ease.

The default layout is configured to suit most users. However, you can manually set your preferences in the Settings.

The most critical information is always there and lets you know if your computer is protected or not. There is a big circle with a tick to indicate that. You can also start a smart scan with just one click.

In addition to the status, you’ll find the information about protection, privacy and performance, on the left bar of the window.

Notifications and preferences can be found on the top right corner.

Avast User Interface

Now let’s dive into false reporting.

AV-Test also conducts usability tests that show if any false reports show up. Results indicate that both software have some issues with false reporting. To be honest, for an everyday user, such a small number of false reports doesn’t impact usability.

Industry average Bitdefender Avast
False warnings or blockages when visiting websites

500 samples used

False detections of legimate software as malware during a system scan

1 515 716 samples used

False warnings concerning certain actions carried out whilst installing and using legitimate software

40 samples used

False blockages of certain actions carried out whilst installing and using legitimate software

40 samples used

Source: av-test.org

As you can see, Bitdefender and Avast had some issues with false reporting in the last tests. As an everyday user, that small amount doesn’t bother any work. That’s why the result can be nothing else than a tie for this category.

Winner: It’s a tie

Features

Bitdefender and Avast both come with all the necessary features for you to protect your digital life. The main difference is how you get access to these features. Avast asks you to pay extra for almost all the advanced features separately.

Let’s first see what Bitdefender has to offer.

Bitdefender offers a wide variety of security products for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS users. They also can provide multiple services for their clients, ranging from install and setup to computer tune-up.

Bitdefender’s entry-level product for PCs is called Bitdefender Antivirus Plus and it offers essential antivirus protection. The Mac version of the same product is called Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac. It promises absolute antivirus protection against all Mac-related threats.

The lightweight software also offers multi-layer ransomware protection, as well as blocks and removes annoying adware. The software prevents phishing and online fraud when shopping and browsing. You’ll also get a secure VPN for complete online privacy, including 200 MB of traffic a day.

The only thing the Mac version offers, that the PC version doesn’t, is the additional Time Machine protection for your backed-up files in case of a ransomware attack. If you compare the two products the other way, you can see that PC users get a lot more than the Mac users.

Here’s a list of all the features that are only available with the PC version:

  • Advanced Threat Defense that uses a technique called behavioral detection to closely monitor active apps. The moment it detects anything suspicious, it takes instant action to prevent infections.
  • A new cyber threat intelligence network threat prevention technologies that can analyze and identify suspicious network-level activities and block sophisticated exploits, malware, or botnet-related URLs, as well as brute force attacks.
  • Advanced aunty fraud filtering system warns you whenever you visit websites that may try to scam you.
  • Safe Files that can prevent unauthorized changes to your most important files. You can simply add folders to the watch list, and Bitdefender guards the files stored in them against ransomware and other types of malware. Only applications you explicitly trust are allowed to access your Safe Files.

These examples are only from the protection features. Bitdefender also offers performance features such as Global Protective Network, Battery Mode, as well as Game, Movie & Work Modes for PC. There is also safe online banking, WiFi security advisor, social network protection, vulnerability assessment, a Password manager, and a file shredder features available to PC users.

If you use more than one computer, the PC version is available for up to 10 devices. The Mac option can be purchased for only up to 3 devices. A 30-day free trial is available for both PC and Mac.

Bitdefender Internet Security is a mid-tier option available to only PC users. Its threat detection is designed to keep all Internet threats away.

It comes with a privacy firewall to block intrusions, filter your network traffic, and provides webcam and microphone protection to prevent eavesdropping.

A secure VPN with 200MB daily traffic is also included to protect your bank info, passwords, and downloads from hackers when you use public WiFi networks.

Bitdefender Internet Security also comes with parental control options so you can be sure that your children stay safe while browsing. Filter out inappropriate content and limit screen time. You can also log in remotely to Bitdefender Central to keep up with your kids.

Bitdefender also offers two different bundle options.

The first is Bitdefender Total Security and is available for PCs, Macs, Androids and iOS devices. You can choose between 5 and 10 device options.

The software bundle offers top-grade protection both off and online as well as a secure VPN for up to 200 MB of traffic a day and advanced parental controls.

It is basically everything Bitdefender has to offer to keep you safe.

There is also another bundle option available for people who are heavy computer users.

In addition to everything covered before, Bitdefender Premium Security offers you unlimited VPN traffic and priority support. So every time you have a question, you’ll get a quick answer. This bundle is only available for up to 10 devices.

View all Bitdefender products

Now let’s take a look at what Avast has to offer.

Avast product line consists of three different categories – Security, Privacy, and Performance. From the security part, you can find two options.

Avast Free Security is the most basic antivirus bundle you can get.

It offers you Anti-Malware Security that blocks viruses, spyware, Trojans, and other malware, and scans your computer for already-hidden threats.

Web & Email Shields alert you of unsafe websites, blocks insecure downloads, stops dangerous email attachments, and prevent intrusive web tracking.

Wi-Fi Security Scan checks your entire network and all connected devices for vulnerabilities to help you stop hackers from stealing your personal data.

But for the everyday user, ongoing protection is much needed. For that, you have to opt for the Avast Premium Security option.

With the premium product, real-time Wi-Fi security alerts feature is added so you can instantly be alerted to network weaknesses and intruders.

Also, one of the essential features today is ransomware detection, as this is the fastest-growing segment in malware. Ransomware attacks in the US alone cost an estimated $7.5 billion in 2019. Avast Premium Security offers a Ransomware Shield to protect your files.

The premium product comes with two purchase options. The first lets you use only one PC, and the other is for up to 10 devices, but you can use it on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS platforms.

Avast also offers Avast SecureLine VPN for some extra. This product lets you keep everything you do online totally private thanks to the bank-grade encryption. You can browse, bank, message, and shop without having to worry about hackers or anyone else seeing what you do online or stealing your data.

Another extra is its Avast AntiTrack that helps you online. It lets you know when you’re being tracked, keeps your true identity private, stops targeted advertising, and erases your browsing history automatically. For some more money, you can find a Secure Browser in Avast lineup as well. Password protection is another add-on the company offers.

On the Performance segment, Avast offers three products. Avast Cleanup Premium lets you boost your computer’s speed and performance. The last two options are available for windows only. Avast Driver Updater keeps your drivers up to date with a single click, and Avast Battery Saver maximizes your laptop’s battery life.

For the best all-round protection you must opt for Avast Ultimate. This is Avast’s all-inclusive bundle where you get everything we have mentioned before.

View all Avast products

The list of features for Avast is quite long. But it is as long for Bitdefender as well. And remember that you have to pay extra for all the advanced features with Avast. That is why we consider Bitdefender, the winner.

Winner: Bitdefender

Pricing

When deciding which option to go with, price is always an important part. You have to take all the details into account to make the best decision. When investing in antivirus software, you are not purchasing an application but rather an ease-of-mind that your digital life is in safe hands.

So let’s see which price points are offered by both products. Here are the prices of both Bitdefender and Avast products.

Bitdefender offers four different levels of protection for you with its products. You can buy its antivirus and privacy products separately or as a bundle.

  1. Bitdefender Antivirus logo

    Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

    A lightweight antivirus that offers essential protection for 1 to 10 PCs.

    Starting at $19,99
  2. Bitdefender Antivirus logo

    Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac

    A lightweight antivirus that offers essential protection 1 to 3 Macs.

    Starting at $19,99
  1. Bitdefender Antivirus logo

    Bitdefender Internet Security

    An Internet security suite that protects your Windows PC against all online threats.

    Starting at $29,99
  2. Bitdefender Antivirus logo

    Bitdefender Total Security

    Complete protection for all your devices that goes beyond antivirus & anti-malware software. For up to 10 devices.

    Starting at $44,99
  3. Bitdefender Antivirus logo

    Bitdefender Premium Security

    Premium security and privacy pack for absolute digital freedom – protection, unlimited VPN traffic, and priority support. For 10 devices.

    Starting at $89,99

In our opinion, the options to consider from Avast are its Premium Security and Ultimate bundle.

  1. Avast Antivirus Logo

    Avast Premium Security

    A complete online protection for all of your computers, phones, and tablets.

    Starting at $55,99
  2. Avast Antivirus Logo

    Avast Ultimate

    Everything you need to keep all your computers, phones, and tablets secure, private, and running at their best.

    Starting at $79,99

Avast is priced a bit differently than Bitdefender. You pay the price for the product and get everything it has to offer with Bitdefender. Avast requires you to pay extra for almost every feature you’d like to use.

Winner: Bitdefender

Final Thoughts

Bitdefender and Avast are quite equal in regards to protecting your computer from outside threats. But when it comes to performance, features, and pricing, Bitdefender is the superior one. It is why we consider Bitdefender as better antivirus software.

Keep in mind that we give our best to get you all the facts so you can make an informed decision about the best option. After all, you are the one that is going to use the software. We hope this review has been helpful to you.