Bitdefender Premium VPN can be purchased as part of three different security solutions that the security software provider has available: Bitdefender Total Security, Bitdefender Internet Security, and Bitdefender Antivirus Plus. It can’t be bought separately and so should be regarded more as a feature of these packages rather than as a standalone application. Users can use the VPN across various devices and platforms depending on the service that they have purchased, meaning that if an individual has purchased Bitdefender Total Security for ten devices, then they can use the VPN across ten different devices.
Easy to Connect
Setting up Bitdefender VPN means downloading and installing one of the Bitdefender’s multi-feature solutions and having the VPN service installed alongside the package. Because the Bitdefender VPN service is only an additional feature, the relevant tab must first be found within the menu. It occupies little space on the screen, though, and its design is very minimal, which can be helpful to individuals who know little of how to use a VPN. Activating the VPN, for example, only requires a single click on the “Connect” button.
Bitdefender promises users that their VPN service will is “fast, anonymous and secure while surfing the web”. However, with only two protocols – OpenVPN for Windows and Android and Hydra VPN for iOS and macOS – users have no way of setting the protocol they want to use. Most VPN services allow users to switch protocols according to their preferences in connection speed or security which Bitdefender doesn’t offer, however on the positive side those available with this VPN do at least provide a good balance between these two. A kill switch button is nowhere to be seen, which can disrupt the user’s privacy if the VPN connection drops. The service could be improved by simply giving users more options to choose from and adding a kill switch option.
There are 27 server locations to choose from with Bitdefender Premium VPN. Besides the usual countries like the U.S., the UK, Canada, Australia, and Italy, the VPN service also offers less common locations such as Indonesia, Singapore, Turkey, and Ukraine.
Those using the free version, however, can’t select the country that they want to connect to. Instead, only the “Automatic” option is available, through which the service will connect to the first server available, regardless of location. This means that the VPN may connect to a server farther away from your physical location and therefore the connection will be slower than ideal.
When it came to testing this automatic connection, we saw that the connection was 40% slower when the VPN was active. While this may still be a big drop in speed, we should also consider that the protocol being used by the software is OpenVPN which does present a slower connection but is better when it comes to privacy. However, because it is impossible to confirm the location of the server that is used at the moment of these tests, it’s hard to really know just how detrimental these automatic connections are. At least by purchasing access to the Premium version you may control your experience more by choosing closer locations for quicker connections.
When it comes to personal privacy, Bitdefender VPN guarantees that the use of its software will grant users anonymous browsing and secure transactions. However, the VPN service only uses two protocols: OpenVPN for Windows and Android and Hydra VPN for iOS and macOS. As simple as this is to use, it falls short when it comes to user control as they cannot change or even switch protocols.
Additionally, although the company insists that third parties do not have access to users’ online logs, when accessing the VPN service a prompt indicating that it is powered by Hotspot Shield appears. This provider has been involved in controversy regarding privacy issues before.
OS, Device Support
As part of the Bitdefender Central, Bitdefender Premium VPN can be used on the same number of devices covered by the particular solution that the user has subscribed to, regardless of the platform. This means that if you have a Bitdefender Total Security subscription – which allows for ten different devices – then you can protect up to ten devices. Individuals who use the free version will benefit from 200MB of traffic quota per day on each device linked to the account.
Bitdefender VPN works on a various number of operating systems and devices while still maintaining its simplicity. It works with the usual desktop operating systems Windows and Mac, but can also be used on mobile devices like Android or iOS. Using Bitdefender VPN is a similar experience across all platforms: users must download the Bitdefender Central and after choosing the protection they want to use, activate the VPN application.
Bitdefender Premium VPN is part of the complete package and therefore cannot be downloaded separately. Some may view this as a negative point as they may want to install only the VPN feature while others may find this simplifies the whole process and will enjoy having full protection on their device. However, users who are familiar with VPNs would most likely prefer an extended set of settings to configure the VPN themselves.
For everything it does, Bitdefender VPN comes at a fair price. Users can opt between using the free version or the premium version, with the former being a lighter version of the program and, as such, it allows you to browse anonymously and guarantees secure transactions over Wi-Fi but limits traffic to 200MB per day per device. It can be the first step for users who have never used the application, especially since they can try the VPN service for an unlimited time without having to pay or upgrade. Consider, however, that the traffic quota isn’t really enough test the connection speeds properly.
The cost of the premium version, however, is split between either a monthly plan or a yearly plan, with the former costing $6.99 per month. This plan may be interesting for users who want to try all the available functions before making a more definitive decision as Bitdefender has a refund policy that is valid for 30 days after purchase.
The yearly plan is the most attractive option, however. Users can explore the software to its maximum for only $3.33 per month. Besides the price, the only difference between the yearly plan and the monthly subscription is the fact that the monthly plan can be cancelled at any time, something the yearly plan doesn’t allow you to do.
Subscriptions can be bought using Visa, PayPal, Master Card, American Express, wire transfer and Discover.
Installing and using Bitdefender VPN is very easy, however issues may still arise. If such a thing happens, users can rely on the website’s FAQ section to help them. Bitdefender has prepared pages on which it explains how to use the program, complemented with video tutorials. There is also a step-by-step explanation for users to overcome any kind of common technical issue they may find.
If none of the solutions presented solve the problem, then customer support can be contacted directly. Bitdefender has 24/7 support available and can be reached through email, live chat, telephone, the forum, and Facebook. Email seems to be the company’s preferred channel as their support page already comes with a form ready to be filled out with the necessary information.
As a companion to Bitdefender’s standard security solutions, Bitdefender Premium VPN surely achieves its goal. However, it isn’t developed enough to stand on its own two feet. The availability of only one protocol may disappoint some users, even if it does provide a secure and a fast enough connection. The application itself could be improved when it comes to the free version, too, since the limitation of 200MB per day for each device is not quite enough to test the software and get thorough use out of it. The fact that Bitdefender has a 30-day refund policy may not be enough to bring potential customers on board.
Despite all this, Bitdefender Premium VPN is very intuitive and easy to use. Its interface has a very clean design, leaving no space for doubts in the user’s mind. Even those who don’t particularly know how to use a VPN can have a taste anonymity and security while surfing the web.
- Simple design
- Intuitive app
- Reasonable price
- Global server network
- Decent customer support
- Lack of manual settings
- Low traffic quota for free version
- Can’t be purchased individually