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About the Company
Bitdefender is a Romanian cybersecurity and anti-virus company that was founded in 2001 as a spinoff of Softwin. Since that time, the company has done well and is known as one of the top antivirus products millions of users feel comfortable trusting this company because of the long record they have.
Bitdefender VPN Cost
As far as pricing goes, Bitdefender VPN offers two plans. You can get one month of service for $6.99 a month. If you want a year of service, the price drops to $3.33 a month. The annual plan is billed as a single payment of $39.98 a year. As we mentioned, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee. There is also a 7-day free trial. Payment options include Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Discover, JCB, Paypal, 7-Eleven/ACE, wire transfer, and check. Unfortunately, they do not accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency. If you want to use one of the other options, however, they make it easy to buy.
One of the primary reasons to read a review is to find out about the features. Bitdefender VPN is a simple product that boasts the following features:
- Custom apps for the 4 major operating systems
- Strict no traffic logs policy
- Internet Kill Switch
- Autoconnect activates when you connect to a p2p file-sharing app or public/unsecured Wi-Fi network
In the images you see below, you can see that Bitdefender VPN is streamlined. There is not much to it. Unfortunately, that means you can not change protocols or alter the encryption levels. However, we were glad to see a kill switch and the autoconnect feature.
Server Locations and Countries
The website shows that Bitdefender VPN offers server locations in more than 30 countries, but the interface says the number is currently 27. As far as the difference goes, we are not sure why there are fewer now. We would have expected them to at least change the website but they could be performing maintenance on a few of them. That said, they have a good list of the top countries. At the time of our review, the server locations include:
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
- Hong Kong
- United States
Connecting to the Bitdefender VPN network is easy to do. Everything is streamlined, and they do not give you many options to change any of the settings. Once you start the VPN, you see the left side of the image below. From that point, you can select either automatic or choose a country by clicking the “virtual location” arrow.
BBC iPlayer Test
One of the first and best tests we perform is something we call the BBC test. Simply, we see how the VPN performs when connecting to BBC iPlayer. By doing so, we can tell if you can use it to unblock geo-restricted content. If you are outside the UK and try to access some of the shows, you get the message that says “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues. In the UK? Here’s some advice.” Unfortunately, we were not able to watch BBC outside the UK with Bitdefender. That means you may have issues doing so if you try. Keep in mind that some of the other competitors are able to unblock these restrictions.
Does Bitdefender leak?
Another test we perform is a leak test. That means we see how well the VPN performs as far as DNS leaking goes. If your VPN leaks, any website you visit automatically knows where you are. We connected to the UK server for this test. In the first image you see below, we ran a leak test from doileak.com. The second image is from the dnsleaktest.com. There, you should only see a single entry listed in the servers found column. To answer this question, the answer is yes. Bitdefender did not perform well in our DNS leak test.
With more than 1,300 servers in 27 countries, you would hope the service would be fast. We tested its speed. You can see that with Bitdefender VPN, the speed was 342.70 Mbps. However, the speed without it was 459.30 Mbps. That means the VPN reduced our speed by 26.4%. The normal speed reduction is between 15-25% with other providers, so it is right in line with other services.
Why you should use a VPN
Many establishments offer free WiFi these days. If you are going to use them, you will need a VPN when you connect. As we showed you earlier, Bitdefender VPN has an auto-connect feature that will connect automatically to the VPN whenever you connect to a public WiFi network. While WiFi is great, you have to be careful. By connecting to the server of your choice, you create a secure and encrypted connection. That way, you greatly reduce the risk of criminals or cyber thieves stealing your private information.
Another reason to use a VPN is to help you get around geo-restrictions. No matter where you are, connecting to a server there will help. That is because it makes the blocking software think you are located somewhere else. That can be a real advantage if you are trying to access certain regions or you are being blocked from viewing content. Keep in mind, though, that this VPN failed our connection test. That means it is not ideally suited to unblock geo-restrictions.
Should I Use Bitdefender VPN?
There are better options available. While this VPN is in line with other competitors, as far as speed goes, it is leaky and ineffective. You may be able to get around some geo-restrictions from time to time, but perhaps none of the ones you may hope for. The primary function of a VPN is to protect your privacy. Because of the DNS leaks, this one misses the mark. If you want a service with a better degree of security, no leaks, and the ability to get around geo-restrictions, there are plenty of other options out there. We would recommend looking elsewhere.
In conclusion, Bitdefender VPN has some issues. Some of those include the lack of ability to change protocols, set encryption level, pick a specific server location by city, get around geo-restrictions for BBC iPlayer, or keep you safe from DNS leaks. We are surprised that a company with a solid reputation like Bitdefender chose to release this product in this condition. The only thing it really has going for it is the speed. However, that does not matter if it will not protect your privacy or help you get around geo-restrictions. It is obvious to us why it has a 3.1 star rating in the Google Play Store. We feel good recommending Bitdefender Antivirus but the VPN leaves a lot to be desired. We do not feel its safe to use until they take care of the DNS leaks.