Review – Bitdefender Premium VPN

A simple-to-use VPN built into your Bitdefender security suite

New Hero

OUR VERDICT

Value a look when you’re utilizing Bitdefender already and simply want a easy, built-in VPN, however would not have the options to match with the highest providers.

FOR

  • Straightforward to make use of
  • Unblocks US Netflix
  • Solid and consistent speeds from many areas
  • Limited 200Mb/day free account

AGAINST

  • Very fundamental apps
  • Could not unblock iPlayer, Amazon, Disney+
  • Can solely be used as a part of a Bitdefender safety suite
  • Some session logging

Join any of Bitdefender’s excellent security packages – Antivirus Plus, Web Security, Total Security or its mobile apps – and you may now additionally get a bundled VPN. Sounds nice, till you notice there isn’t any choice to decide on a location (the app robotically picks the nearest server), and you notice the tiny information switch limit of 200MB a day.

Buying an additional Bitdefender Premium VPN license will get you limitless visitors and full access to all 27 international locations. (Bitdefender VPN is powered by Hotspot Defend, a robust indicator that you are going to get an honest service.)

Costs are low at $6.99 billed monthly, or an equivalent $3.33 a month for year one on the annual plan (so cheaper than the VPN heavyweights of ExpressVPN and NordVPN), $4.17 on renewal. You may pay by card, PayPal or bank switch.

One potential difficulty to consider is that you will solely be capable to use the VPN on the variety of gadgets coated by your Bitdefender security software license.

When you’ve purchased Bitdefender Antivirus Plus for a single system, for example, then you’ll solely be capable to use the VPN on that device, maybe an issue.

However if you’ve bought a Total Security License overlaying ten gadgets, then you can use the VPN on all of those for a similar value, a much better deal.

There is not any trial of the complete service, sadly, and the 200MB-a-day free product will not provide you with a lot of an concept of the way it actually works (that’s not even sufficient bandwidth to run a single web-based velocity check.)

Bitdefender does provide a 30-day money-back assure, although, so you must be capable to get a refund if the service would not work out for you.

Privateness and logging

Bitdefender Premium VPN appears to be a solely Bitdefender product – you pay them to use the service, it is powered by their software – but it surely works by connecting to Hotspot Shield servers and utilizing the Hotspot Defend community. That does not matter at all once you’re utilizing the service, but it surely’s related once you’re attempting to determine the service logging coverage, as a result of that is not underneath Bitdefender’s control.

You may see this in Bitdefender’s very fundamental Privacy Policy, describing the info it makes use of:

“We collect for this service solely randomly generated or hashed user and system IDs, IP addresses and randomly generated tokens to establish VPN connection for the only objective of offering the VPN service. For this service, we use AnchorFree as information processor who processes information on behalf of Bitdefender in accordance with Bitdefender’s directions and for the only objective of offering VPN services to customers.”

Not precisely useful.

What we will say is that Bitdefender is aware of the gadgets the place you have put in the VPN, as it will have its security software (you possibly can’t run the VPN stand-alone.) To manage a 200MB per day restrict on the free plan, Bitdefender should be capable to keep no less than a working complete of the bandwidth used per system. However it may well’t see the web sites you are visiting, or the content of your net traffic, as that’s encrypted by the VPN.

Any more detailed service logging is carried out by Hotspot Shield. Its privacy coverage explains, reassuringly, that there isn’t any monitoring of your net visitors or looking historical past. However there’s more session logging than you would possibly anticipate, too, together with the recording of system identifiers, browser types, system settings, community data and more. This does not permit the corporate to see something of what you are doing on-line, but it surely’s nonetheless greater than you will see with a lot of the competition. Try our full Hotspot Defend assessment when you’re involved.

Installation

You may first have to put in certainly one of Bitdefender’s safety functions earlier than you need to use its VPN 

Apps

To try Bitdefender VPN, it’s essential to first set up certainly one of Bitdefender’s safety functions. If you do not have one but, you possibly can often set up a free trial, so for example there is a 30-day trial version of Bitdefender Complete Security obtainable for Windows. However bear in mind that the suite solely contains the restricted 200MB per day model of the VPN, and you will not get an actual concept of the VPN’s talents till you have handed over some money.

Windows App

This is the consumer interface of Bitdefender Premium VPN’s Windows consumer 

Bitdefender’s client is very, very fundamental, with the naked minimal of options. A big blue Join button by default connects you to your nearest server; you are in a position to decide on one other location from a easy checklist; and there are settings to launch Bitdefender VPN together with Windows, and robotically join everytime you entry an insecure wi-fi community.

We observed a number of small enhancements because the final assessment. A desktop notification now tells you once you’re protected, for example, and you do not have to manually shut the present connection earlier than you possibly can select a brand new server.

Settings

Sadly Bitdefender Premium VPN has barely any settings 

There are nonetheless only a few of the opposite options we’d usually hope to see, although. You may’t select places on the metropolis degree, only countries; there isn’t any Favorites or Lately Used checklist to hurry up accessing commonly-used servers; no kill swap to dam web entry if the connection drops; and no choice to alter protocol, or tweak your connection in any manner.

There are some plus factors. The consumer is really easy to make use of that even complete beginners most likely will not want any help, and it handles sudden conditions with ease. Once we made the VPN connection drop by forcibly closing the openvpn.exe course of – a really aggressive step which is impossible to occur in actual life – the consumer warned us instantly with a desktop alert, then robotically reconnected inside seconds. (The dearth of a kill swap meant our visitors was uncovered till the connection was re-established, although.)

When you’re looking to buy Bitdefender Premium VPN as a less expensive path to entry Hotspot Defend, it is value noting that Hotspot Defend’s personal Windows consumer has a number of further options, together with a kill swap, further leak safety, finer management over when the VPN will robotically join, and the very speedy Catapult Hydra protocol (the Windows consumer is OpenVPN-only.)

Bitdefender Premium VPN is additionally significantly cheaper, so may be definitely worth the tradeoff. However if you would like to match the 2, Hotspot Shield’s free trial provides you 7 days to take a look at the service.

New Speedtest Image

We use a number of totally different velocity exams to find out the efficiency of every VPN we assessment 

Efficiency

Bitdefender sells Premium VPN mostly for its encryption and anonymity advantages, however the web site claims it may well additionally ‘unlock media, videos & messaging from everywhere in the world.’

That wasn’t true for BBC iPlayer, unfortunately. Once we tried to stream content material whereas linked to the UK server, iPlayer instructed us ‘this content material is not obtainable in your location.’

Premium allowed us to stream US Netflix content material, an enchancment on our last assessment. However that was the testing spotlight, because the service failed with Amazon Prime Video and Disney+.

Premium had some velocity points throughout our final assessment, however not this time, Connecting to Bitdefender Premium VPN’s nearest UK server gave us decent speeds of round 66-68Mbps on a 75Mbps check connection, a lot the identical as we would anticipate from any high quality VPN.

This wasn’t some fluke, either. Speeds had been dependable in every single place, with European cities similar to UK efficiency, UK to US speeds a succesful 40-45Mbps, even the long-distance locations Australia and Singapore had been consistently above 30Mbps.

The excellent news continued proper as much as the top of the assessment, too, as a number of check sites discovered our check consumer did not have any DNS or WebRTC leaks.

Ultimate verdict

Bitdefender Premium VPN works effectively as a easy manner for Bitdefender customers to safe their community connections after they’re out and about, however the service would not have the facility, the options or the configurability of providers like ExpressVPN to draw extra demanding sorts.

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