Bitdefender and Avast are extremely competitive antivirus products that offer a vast array of capabilities. Some of the key features of each product are outlined below:
Malware Scanning and Removal
One of the most important factors to examine is which tool is better at detecting and removing malware. As mentioned above, in this area, both Bitdefender and Avast are extremely close, with each vendor scoring 99.6% and 100% respectively on the AV-Comparatives Real-World Protection Test.
Similarly, in AV-Comparatives’ malware protection test, both Bitdefender and Avast blocked 99.4% of malware threats, making the two equal in their ability to detect malware.
However, it’s worth noting that scanning with Bitdefender takes significantly longer than when using Avast.
Endpoint Detection and Response
One of Bitdefender’s standout capabilities is the inclusion of EDR capabilities. For instance, Bitdefender GravityZone EDR cloud can detect advanced threats, including zero-day exploits and ransomware on multiple devices in real time.
It also has the ability to detect indicators of compromise, MITRE ATT&CK techniques and other signals that indicate someone is trying to hack a device.
While this package may be overkill for smaller teams and home users, SMEs can use it to monitor multiple endpoints at once and develop a centralized list of security events to investigate.
One key feature that Avast provides but Bitdefender does not is application sandboxing. Avast’s sandboxing feature enables users to browse online or run applications in an environment that’s isolated from the rest of their device.
This means the user can run unknown or distrustful applications while reducing the risk of infecting the underlying system. It also provides a layer of protection against phishing attacks by enabling users to examine suspicious files from a distance.
Phishing is one of the most common ways that users’ devices get infected with malware, and is something that both Bitdefender and Avast have aimed to address directly.
For example, Bitdefender Premium Security can identify phishing websites and block them so that users aren’t at risk of visiting them and exposing their personal information.
Likewise, Avast Premium Security can also detect and block fake websites, alerting the user before they visit a fake website.
Another area where Bitdefender differentiates itself is with the inclusion of vulnerability assessments. Bitdefender Total Security enables the user to scan their device for outdated software and missing patches. This gives them an opportunity to download software updates and eliminate potential exploits.
While Avast Premium Security also offers vulnerability assessments, this is largely focused on remote access attacks. For example, Remote Access shield is designed to detect and block remote access attacks and has the ability to detect OS vulnerabilities that enable these types of exploits.
Bitdefender and Avast each provide their own file shredding tools. Bitdefender’s file shredder enables the user to permanently delete files and folders from their device’s hard disk, so they can’t be recovered. This is useful in the event that the user wants to sell the device or if it’s stolen by someone else.
Avast’s file shredder (included with Avast Premium Security) offers a similar approach, overwriting saved files multiple times in an attempt to make them unreadable.
Bitdefender and Avast also offer users their own VPN service. Bitdefender’s VPN service consists of over 4,000 servers in over 50 countries, and supports unlimited encrypted traffic for up to 10 devices, which are protected with AES-256 encryption.
Avast’s VPN, included with Avast One, provides users with an unlimited VPN with AES-256 encryption, which offers over 50 locations to choose from. There is also a VPN available with the free version of Avast One, but this is limited to an allowance of 5GB of traffic per week.
Bitdefender and Avast provide secure firewalls. Bitdefender’s firewall allows users to configure rules to block or allow connections. There are also options to block port scans, intercept DHCP traffic and to create alerts notifying the user about each connection.
Avast firewall also allows users to configure rules to determine whether certain apps are blocked or allowed. Users can also view firewall logs for a summary of blocked apps, devices and applied rules.